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I have a mission ministry calling and am excited to receive mission ministry calling education at Christian Leaders Institute. I grew up in the church, but my belief had very little depth and not much fruit. In our mid-twenties, my wife and I decided that we should bring our young daughter to church. We wanted her to learn the basics of Christianity. The church we went to was mission focused and talked about Christian growth. Since I was serving in the military, this caught my attention. What was the point in filling my head with knowledge if I wasn’t going to put that into play?
One Sunday morning, our pastor was preaching about salvation. He talked about how many claim to know Jesus but that few follow him and his teachings. It struck a cord, something about his words convicted me. I was a fraud. I said I believed, claimed I was a Christian but did I follow His teaching and commandments? Did I only do them for credit, to show an example to others or to feel good about myself? Did I love him or not?
I gave myself to Jesus completely that day, but God had more for me. He had plans that would rock my world.
Our family began to seek more and more ways to understand God’s will for our lives. We actively pursued ways we could make a difference within our community. It was while volunteering at a Christian Concert that I met Aaron Boyd, the founder of Bluetree. He sat with me and talked with me about a recent mission he had done on the border of Myanmar.
There was something about his words that spoke right to the core of me. I received my mission ministry calling, and I wanted to be part of what is happening in South East Asia. Aaron helped make it happen. He introduced us to Christian Freedom International. He set the wheels in motion for what would be a complete shift in all of our lives.
After a couple of short term missions here with the family, we decided to jump in with both feet and eyes wide open and serve God. I quit my army job of 16 years and threw myself into the role of Director and Pastor alongside my wife who focuses on teaching English and Stewardship.
We’ve been at this Bible school now going on four years. Our mission has continued to be focused on serving the poor and persecuted of the area. That includes teaching leadership focused Bible lessons to a significant number of ethnic minorities that have run from the fighting and persecution happening in Myanmar (Burma). We deal mostly with refugees that are trying to establish a new life in a new location or want to return home and serve God by helping their people.
Working in the jungle has been a considerable change from the cold and sometimes snowy weather of Canada. Not only is the weather completely different, but we’ve had the opportunity to grow and learn more about the people groups here and how God has influenced their lives. Unfortunately, we aren’t entirely free to travel into the refugee camps or cross the border into the conflict areas. However, we have been able to do so thanks to the connections we have established with the local churches, community leaders and military commanders.
One of the key things I discovered is that titles are important. My position as Director of a Bible school and retired Army Captain has given me some respect. But, ordination would open more doors. Besides, I can’t expect my students to be pushed towards personal growth and betterment if I am unwilling to do the same myself. I found that many groups online would ordain me. But this specific ordination course at Christian Leaders Institute has asked more of me. CLI wants to train me. A curriculum focused on the foundations of Christian leadership, which is what I am also teaching here, would inspire me and add to the school’s mission statement and direction.
Our school serves as leaders at a couple of local churches. Our teachers and former students are helping as elders, deacons, youth pastors, and worship leaders. I also partner with those churches for many events and outreach. I attend and serve as one of the pastors of a church that is mostly foreigners that are working with the poor and persecuted of the area in a variety of different ways.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.
My name is Brenda Baker. Columbia, South Carolina has been my family’s home since 1971. Born in Florida 65 years ago, I am the oldest of six children. I am up to the challenge with beginning anew today.
I retired from my career as a food service manager in the healthcare industry. However, I work part-time as a front desk receptionist at a small nursing facility in Columbia. I also enjoy the privilege that God had given me to meet and greet everyone as I enjoy talking to people. Some of the people I come into contact with in my work day need to converse or to have a reassurance that things they are dealing with will work out.
The Spirit of Christ lives in me and allows me to minister to souls that are in need of a word. I received my calling into the service of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Operating in my calling is the strength that carries me daily.
I am very involved in my local church. My church is of medium size. We have approximately 160 members. In the children’s ministry, as a member of the evangelism team and the women’s prayer group are some of the ways I serve. I am also on the Pastor’s Advisory Committee. I serve under a very knowledgeable and dedicated leader, which is a great blessing.
The scholar program here at Christian Leaders Institute is one of the best things to come along for me. After losing my husband of 43 years in June of 2018, I assumed my life was over. With this opportunity with Christian Leaders Institute, I have the opportunity of beginning anew. I received another gift from the Lord in CLI. I can now serve with all of my heart and truly study to show myself approved.
Learn about local ecuministry ordinations at Christian Leaders Alliance.
My name is Hans Eksteen born in South Africa. I am living in Norway close to Kristiansand for the last 14 years and a Norwegian citizen since 2016. I am on a discipleship journey which has led me to Christian Leaders Institute. I co-pastor a local international church called Brave Heart Mission Church. Many of our members are non-Norwegians, but we also engage with many Norwegians who feel left out of society and feel they do not fit in. We also have a church with more than 250 members in Zambia and will soon start training church planters and pastors to be able to reach the lost.
I grew up in a single parent home with three other siblings. We did not always have what others had, but God used people around us, and we never lacked anything. As a child, I could never identify with a father. But, through accepting Jesus as a friend and reading a book called “The Father Heart of God,” I came to understand what a father should be.
I came to know God when I was 14 years old. I responded to an altar call from our pastor (Ed Roebert, Hatfield Christian Church), and baptized soon afterward. I remember one day while walking down the road a few years after I finished school; I was singing by myself. I found that I was uttering words I did not understand, then I realized that I the Holy Spirit was in me.
I would say that understanding my spiritual dream came later in life. It is to teach the word of God and move in the prophetic by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Early on, I could discern and know things about people but did not have the right knowledge or relationship with God at the time to have the understanding. This was all part of my discipleship journey.
The obstacle I faced growing in maturity was receiving outstanding teaching in the church, but not discipleship. This obstacle led me to backslide for a time to search for happiness outside the church. I learned through many trials, errors, following my mind and ways, that one cannot get away from God at all. God will keep on searching for us. I could never escape because I always knew He is the only way.
I later studied at Rhema Bible Training Centre and completed a two-year diploma. Afterward, I got involved with the ministry. I remember being in Sweden ministering and experiencing God’s power in a mighty way. I decided to stop ministering when I realized my character was not able to handle the power of God. I believed that was a dangerous combination. It was humbling to come to the understanding that God values character over anointing. But I am also very grateful that He allowed me to see it.
I got back into the ministry in the last five years. At this time, I went through a tough time in my life. I hit rock bottom with everything. I prayed to hear God’s voice not to air my shopping list of wants. This time is when God became very real in my life. It was tough in the beginning because God told me things I did not want to hear. But, I embraced it and received joy beyond words.
For some time, I looked for a place where I could further my studies to receive a degree. Then, I found the Christian Leaders Institute on my discipleship journey. I was surprised and happy that an organization like this is doing what it is doing. The reason I want to study more is first to build myself up in the Word again with the help of others. Second, to be prepared and available so God can use me to spread the Gospel in places that are off limits now because I do not carry a degree.
I am happy that I can receive free training at CLI. Financially, it would have been impossible for me to study without incurring debt. I believe training is essential. As Paul said to Timothy “to study to show one approved of God, not by men.” That said, I also know that men look at formal training as a criterion especially when one wants to teach in educational institutions and be taken seriously by churches.
To learn more about ordination check out Christian Leaders Alliance.