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My name is Richard Hall and I am receiving recovery ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute. I was born and raised in the small town of Bicknell, IN. I have lived here my entire life and enjoy small town living. I currently work for SMC which is a firm that works and trains people to eventually get hired full time by Toyota Manufacturing. I have two Associate Degrees from Vincennes University, one in Computer Programming (1983) and another in Business Administration (1996).
Growing up as a boy, I had all of the privileges of small town living; riding bikes, playing with friends and fishing in the local small ponds. We would stay out until dark every night and then catch lightning bugs in our yards after night set in. I attended the local First Baptist Church from a young age and continued there all through high school. My parents insisted that I attend church each week, but never attended with me. I was a high school athlete playing football and running track. I was a rebellious young man and took up smoking pot and drinking alcohol at age 15. I continued in this for many years. I tried other drugs but was a pothead and an alcoholic at the core. I tried to get sober a couple of different times in my life but never had any long-term success. My bad habits cost me my first marriage. However, I do have a son that is 26 years old now and my best friend.
I married my second wife in 1998 and she had one child also. We never had children together but we enjoyed raising our two children together. My stepdaughter considers me her dad and I love her with all of my heart. My son and she grew very close over the years and for that I am thankful. Still, the drinking and drugging continued causing many fights with my wife, she was a social drinker. I played in bands and don’t really remember a lot of those times.
I started attending a new church a couple years ago due to the strong urging of my son and also knowing the pastor from my years of partying. He got sober years ago. I thought maybe, just maybe this guy could help me. I was baptized, went on my Walk to Emmaus, and joined the church band. I thought, “Hey, I am going to Heaven, I am doing the Christian thing and I got everyone fooled.” I lived two different lives. I would crawl out of bed on Sunday morning, gargle Listerine, take some aspirin and put Visine in my red eyes and head to church smoking a bowl on the way. I would get out of the church, smoke a bowl on the way home and start drinking in my privacy. My son, God bless him, was really trying to live a Christian life and he called me out on my activities about six months ago. It tore my heart out that night. He stood there crying and telling me, “I should not be in the church band leading worship and not living the Christian life.” My pastor always told me that there would be a moment of divine intervention and I would fall to my knees and just know it’s time to change. Well, that night was not it, I tried going to meetings, but still was feeding my flesh and hiding it as best I could. In the fall of 2017, I had my moment. I was in a huge argument with my wife, I was drunk and high, and I was about to hurt her physically. God stopped me that night and yelled: “Stop!” I went out the back door and fell to my knees and began to pray and ask him to forgive me and come into my life permanently. My wife moved out that night and two days later, I lost my job of the past eight years. I knew it was the Devil attacking me with everything he had, but I was determined to not let him win. I began going to church functions every night. Wherever I could find some Christians gathering, I was there. I joined Celebrate Recovery and began working my steps. I am happy in my sobriety and happy to say my wife moved back home and I just recently landed a great job.
The Lord delivered me from drugs and alcohol and he speaks to me daily about what I need to do with my life. I am involved in several church organizations and volunteer as much as possible. I always felt a calling to the ministry, but just dismissed it as silliness. I know I want to be a Recovery Minister of some sort. With this recovery ministry training, I want to help lost souls in darkness be led to the light. I am walking with Jesus and I know that recovery ministry training with Christian Leaders Institute is going to bring me closer to him and increase my understanding.
My pastor is delighted in my journey and is a strong supporter of mine along with some church elders that mentor me, one on a daily basis. I am praying about where this training will lead me. It is incredible that I can get this schooling for free, but I have become quite the giver and tither lately and I intend to give back not only monetarily but by becoming a true disciple and warrior for Christ.
My scholarship for recovery ministry training will help me to gain the knowledge of the gospel and also help me be more confident when sharing my testimony. It will enable me to be recognized as a trained Christian leader and that makes me more confident in who God has created me to be, which is something I have never really been in my life. Please pray that God will give me direction with my ministry and that I am able to touch people’s lives through my testimony.
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My name is Kristina Mariner and I am receiving evangelist pastor training. I am a Maine native in the USA. I notice a lot of people are ‘Sunday worshippers’ and do what they want the rest of the time. I feel a strong calling to minister/teach and encourage others how to be Christ-like and obedient. I studied for many years, earning about 460 college credits. I am a mother of 3 children, sons ages 14 and 6, and a 7-year-old daughter.
I currently work for myself in Holistic Wellness and work part-time in nursing and for a funeral home as a Funeral Attendant. I hope to perform services at some point, as well as minister for my church, or plant a church of my own.
I came to know God as a child. I was raised in a Catholic household. My faith has been tested and life has had a lot of setbacks and hurdles for me to face. I believe each occurred and several repeated to teach me lessons and to build my endurance and my faith to perform my mission in this life and to the next in His Kingdom.
I was called into ministry this past summer, 2017. I heard the Lord’s voice speak to me for the first time in my life. In being so busy and taking so much on myself, I lost sight of my true purpose and blocked out what the Lord has been trying to show me. I was not only created to help heal the sick through my choice in a profession but also to bring people to Christ through the Lord’s guidance.
I identify more as a pastor, but I can also see myself in evangelism. I want to reach as many people as I can and bring God’s word to others, to encourage their walk of faith with the Lord.
This first class at Christian Leaders Institute renewed my connection with God and confirmed my calling to continue with Christian Leaders Institute to gain the knowledge to minister. I want to train so I can reference scripture confidently, connect with others, and become more comfortable in ministry with an education specific to the Word.
I believe a scholarship to Christian Leaders Institute will allow me to gain the knowledge that will be required for me to minister without needing to rely on a ‘paid position’ to pay off student debt, compounding the student debt I am still paying off. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to my continued journey with Christ.
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