Tag Archives: Financial Testimonies

Tim and Nikki Abello

Tim and Nikki Abello

- The Soldiers that Created the Abello’s Destiny -

Tim And Nikki Abello
CBC graduates and owners of Abello’s Roofing
in Colorado Springs, Tim and Nikki Abello.

One weekend in July of 2007, Tim Abello and his family were exploring a small Christian bookstore in Oklahoma. While there, Tim found Andrew’s book, You’ve Already Got It. When he read the back cover he found the book’s description a bit humorous as it was a reflection of Tim’s own life and walk with Christ. Tim purchased the book and spent the rest of the weekend reading it—he couldn’t put it down.

In search of more teaching, Tim visited Andrew’s website and downloaded 250 hours of free audio messages and loaded them onto his MP3 player. At the time, Tim worked in sales and as he drove from appointment to appointment he would listen to the teachings—sometimes four hours a day. Andrew’s teaching and revelation of Jesus began to transform Tim’s life.

Tim Abello Computer
Tim downloaded all of Andrew’s teachings
onto his MP3 player and listened to the
messages for several hours each day.

Tim began to share Andrew’s messages with his wife, Nikki, and their children, and the word began to impact the whole family. He also began to implement the teaching in several small groups that he led at the time.

In the summer of 2008, Tim shared with Nikki that he felt that the Lord was leading him to attend Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs. While there were many reasons why this seemed impossible; the Abellos owned a business, had five children, and they had recently moved into their dream home in Oklahoma, Tim was almost certain they were supposed to go.

As he considered the prospect of moving his family, Tim had a conversation with the Lord. He remembers saying, “God, if I obey you and move to Colorado and you don’t come through, I’m going to sink like a rock in a pond.

Abello Family 1
The Abello family in 2007.

God spoke to my spirit so clearly and said, ‘Tim, if you stay here and I don’t come through for you, you’re going to sink like a rock in a pond. Wouldn’t it be better to just go ahead and obey me?'” At that point, things became clear for Tim.

With a new found peace, Tim and Nikki agreed they would move. As he shared the Abello’s plans with people outside the family, they began to give him reasons why he should wait; these included the fact that the Abellos owned a home that was not selling as well as a commercial building, but Tim believed when God says go—you go. Tim began confessing, with a strong conviction that some way, somehow, he and his family were going to prosper more by accident in Colorado than they ever had on purpose in Oklahoma.

Abello Family 2
The Abellos in Colorado, the day before
Andrew’s Summer Family Bible Conference
in 2008.

The family attended the 2008 Summer Family Bible Conference and fell in love with the area and the people, and as a result moved forward with their plans to attend CBC. Tim assured his family that they weren’t moving to Colorado to suffer for Jesus. He was confident that the Lord would provide for them the way they were accustomed to living, even though Tim would be working less due to his class schedule.

Tim, Nikki and their two youngest daughters traveled to the Springs in November of 2008. Tim and Nikki started first-year classes even before they had found a place for the family to live. Each day after class, they would go and look at rental houses. Full of faith, Tim went ahead and booked a moving truck for the following weekend. At the end of the first week in Colorado, they still hadn’t secured a house, and they headed back to Oklahoma to pack up their belongings for the move. God blessed the Abellos as they moved forward with their plans, and over the weekend, Tim solidified

Abello Family 3
The Abellos in 2009. While waiting on the Lord,
they kept their circumstances to themselves.

a place for his family to call home in Colorado Springs. Tim praised God.

Once the Abellos returned to Colorado, nothing went according to plan, and that included their finances. For the first year and a half, the Abellos, a family of seven, relied on credit cards to survive. They quickly found themselves more than $60,000 in debt on the cards alone. They also fell eight months behind on their mortgage for their home in Oklahoma and three months behind on their tuition payments— they plunged into debt like a rock sinks in a pond.

In the face of negative circumstances, God continued to speak to the Abellos, and with a voice of assurance He said, “Peace be still. Rest.” Through the struggle, Tim held tight to his confession of prosperity, and Nikki held tight to Isaiah 26:3,

Tim Abello Sign
The Help Wanted ad Tim posted on the
CBC student bulletin board.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Tim eventually landed a part-time job in sales, working for a roofing company. The Lord’s favor was upon him as he performed his job, but as time went on, he found his employers to be handling his customers with less than the highest integrity. After prayerfully considering what he should do, Tim decided to start his own roofing business. He and Nikki prayed and took another step of faith.

While getting the business off the ground, Tim gave God praise. As he was thanking God, the Lord spoke to him and said something that caught him off-guard. In his spirit he heard God say, “Tim, you’re fixin’ to step into a level of prosperity that you have never imagined. The only thing that will keep you from stepping into it is you’re inability to imagine it.” From that moment forward, the Abellos have purposed to stretch their imaginations because as Tim says, “God can never take me beyond the place that I believe He can take me.”

Tim Abello Truck
Tim and his Executive Supervisor, David
Petrali, on the job.

Over the first ten months in business, Abello’s Roofing did more than 2 million dollars in business, more than enough to clear their debt and to begin blessing others. In the Abello’s second full year of business they saw an increase over their previous year’s earnings. Tim heard the Lord ask him, “Do you know why this happened for you? The reason this worked is because of your confession. When you spoke those words two years ago for the first time…those words went out like little soldiers to perform and create and the destiny that you spoke into existence.”

As the blessings continue to overtake the Abello family, they have come to realize that it hasn’t been through their effort that they have prospered; it has been through rest in Jesus finished work. Tim said, “We’ve come to the point where we know we have a contract, we have a covenant, with the living God and it’s written in Christ’s blood. When you speak the Word of God, it will go forth and accomplish what’s been set forth to do. It will produce hope, it will produce peace, it’ll produce joy, it’ll produce finances, it’ll produce health, it’ll produce food— it’ll produce everything that you need. The Word of God always produces tangible results—we’re proof of that.”

 

Sandy Harmon

Sandy Harmon

- A Pharisee Set Free -

Sandy Harmon was navigating her way through the ravages of divorce when she was first introduced to Andrew’s teaching. In the summer of 2001, Sandy’s counselor, a Christian woman who had been helping her through her marital situation, asked if she could give Sandy some audio tapes that would further explain some of the topics the two had been discussing. The teaching Sandy’s confidante gave her was Andrew’s Spirit, Soul and Body, and her reception of this teaching brought the beginning of a huge change in Sandy’s life.

Nearly a decade after Sandy had received the free gift of salvation, and after she had served her church as a deaconess and a Bible study leader, she began to realize that she had not established a true relationship with Jesus. In her own words she was a Pharisee.

When Sandy listened to Andrew’s teaching, You’ve Already Got It, she was set free. She had been teaching Bible lessons and acting like a Christian, but she really didn’t understand the truth of the Word. This message completely changed Sandy’s approach to the Word and her relationship with God.

Sandy Harmon
Charis Bible College graduate
and business owner, Sandy Harmon.
The Lord has prospered Sandy as
she has followed His lead.

“I was always dragging my knuckles behind me into my time with the Lord and feeling like such a failure. I was always asking God to give me more love, more patience, more kindness; I did not know that I already had it inside me. I cannot tell you how much that changed me. Understanding that, I began to walk a little taller and with a peace (instead of striving) that I had never known,” said Sandy.

As Sandy continued to listen to Andrew’s teaching, she began to have a desire to attend Charis Bible College (CBC). Although she imagined attending CBC in the distant future, it became clear to her, as she gained deeper revelation of God’s love for her, that the Lord was leading her to go to CBC much sooner than she envisioned. In early spring of 2002, Sandy contacted CBC and asked for information about the school. She then attended one of Andrew’s camp meetings and that helped finalize her decision; she moved her family to Colorado one month later.

Sandy Harmon's Kids
Sandy Harmon’s three children enjoying
the favor of God and their first winter
in Colorado Springs.

Sandy and her three small children, twin five-year-old daughters and a two-and-a-half-year-old son, left the east coast and drove to Colorado Springs. No job, no contacts, no place to live—just a mom, her kids and a faithful knowing that she was to attend CBC. As Sandy stepped out, the Lord met her family’s needs.

After getting situated in Colorado Springs, Sandy spent the next two years attending CBC; saturating herself in the Word of God and being equipped for a life of ministry in the marketplace. Her mornings were spent in classes and her afternoons were filled with business opportunities—all of which came supernaturally.

Sandy Harmon With Andrew
Andrew and Sandy Harmon standing in what
would become the headquarters for AWM and
CBC Colorado. It was from this visit to
the new building that Sandy returned to
the Robinson location to overhear the
phone conversation that led to her first
job in Colorado Springs.

For example, Sandy walked in on a phone conversation the CBC receptionist was having with a local business owner; the conversation was about Sandy. Sandy had previously called the business owner about a job opening, but was so quickly dismissed because of her limited availability, that she didn’t even have a chance to leave her name. Somehow the business owner had tracked Sandy down to invite her to apply for the job. When Sandy arrived to apply, she noticed the owner wasn’t feeling well and asked if she could pray for her. The owner allowed Sandy to pray. The woman was instantly healed and exclaimed, “You’re hired!” Sandy went on to enjoy extraordinary favor within the company during her days as a CBC student, and she was able to minister to the company’s staff on a regular basis.

Sandy Harmon DE
Sandy and her Discipleship Evangelism
class, which was led by program
co-author, Don Krow (center, red shirt).

Sandy continued to work with the company after graduating from CBC until the Lord began to turn her attention to Real Estate. This surprised Sandy because although she had been successful in the field before moving to Colorado, she had been open with the Lord about not wanting to be involved with it again. “I was very much against it since Real Estate is a very performance driven industry and I was now living by grace. Grace and performance are polar opposites,” said Sandy.

Sandy yielded to the stirring and gave her notice at work. Six months later, after hearing in her spirit “Call brokers,” she began to call local Real Estate brokers and ask them if they needed help with their businesses. As she offered her expertise, not as an agent, but as a consultant, the Lord consistently brought her new experiences and a wide array of job opportunities—not all in Real Estate. Over the next several years Sandy held four different jobs, and much like Joseph’s story in the book of Genesis, God’s favor was evident in each position. She would work for a season, and then Sandy would be laid off. Though troubled by the disturbing trend of being let go,

Harmon Graduation
Andrew and Sandy at her
CBC graduation.

Sandy began to see that each new job had prepared her for the next—each was a promotion. She could see that her work across the years since graduating from CBC had prospered her employers and her family, and each position had provided an opportunity to minister to her employers and clients.

After being released from a job in 2009, Sandy reflected on her experiences, and it became evident that the Lord had gifted her in the areas of business development, organization and administration. Sandy sought the Lord for her next step. Again she heard the words, “Call brokers”—something from which she had drifted, clinging instead to the security of a steady paycheck and benefits. Sandy heard the Lord say, “If it’s not by my grace, than it does not belong to you.” Again Sandy yielded and opened her own company. “By this point I knew that the Lord had gifted me to help people—specifically Realtors. The name of my company is Helping You Succeed and that is what I do. I assess a broker’s business and spiritual needs, and then God uses me to be a blessing to them and to minister to them in their marketplace.”

Sandy Harmon's Kids At Graduation
Sandy and her children after graduation.
Harmon Pumpkin
Sandy enjoying a moment outside last fall.

Looking back Sandy shared, “The Lord was so good in how He provided for me and my three when we got to Colorado.” Through Andrew’s teaching and her subsequent revelation of God’s love for her, Sandy had developed a true relationship with the Lord. Through that relationship with Jesus and her dependence upon the Holy Spirit, He has guided her every step into His promises of prosperity and abundance.

Judy Rhodes

 Judy Rhodes

- A Second Look -

Judy Rhodes
Judy Rhodes, owner of the consignment
superstore, A Second Look, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Business owner, Judy Rhodes had a great spiritual awakening as she entered her “golden years.” When she was in her mid-sixties, Judy found herself forced into a position of self evaluation. At the time, she was emerging from a season of grief and loss, which left her wondering what to do with her latter years. Over a three-and-a-half year period, Judy lost six close family members, and she had come face-to-face with life’s fragile nature. Weighing her own mortality, she gave serious consideration to retirement and began to plan how she would step away from the consignment store business she had started thirty years earlier. God’s plan however, was quite different.

Rhodes Family
Judy’s family (L to R): Mickey, Jim, Helen, Larry and Zac. Not pictured: Judy’s dad, Jerry.

Judy is the mother of five children, and her season of grief began with the passing of her youngest son. When the youngest of her first three boys was eight years old, Judy was blessed with fraternal twins, Mandy and her fourth son, Mickey. Mickey, quadriplegic from birth, was the first to pass away; he died in his sleep at age 30. Seven months later, Judy’s brother, Jim, lost his battle with cancer. Two weeks after Jim’s passing, Judy’s mother, Helen, died. Ten months later, Judy lost her father, Jerry. Six weeks later her 32-year-old son-in-law, Zac passed away. And, 11 months later, Larry, Judy’s husband of 46-years, died.

Judy Rhodes Office
Judy at work in her office.

Throughout the troubling times, Judy’s best friend, Janet, did what she could to comfort Judy as she endured the compounding emotional strain of her losses. As Judy contemplated what to do with the remainder of her life, Janet gave her an audio teaching series from one of Andrew’s 2010 Gospel Truth Seminars (GTS). The gift Judy received from Janet changed her life.

After listening to the teaching and being encouraged, Judy wanted to know more, and she began visiting Andrew’s website. It wasn’t long before she found out that Andrew was hosting a GTS near her home in Arizona, and she made plans to attend. It was at the 2012 Phoenix GTS that the Lord began to reveal His plans for Judy’s future. Andrew’s teaching for the weekend was Taking the Limits Off God X 10, and the messages were such a revelation to Judy that she had a complete change of heart with regard to her future.

Judy Rhodes Mother
Judy and her mom, Helen,
in the first retail space.

Before attending the conference Judy felt that she was at the end of her life. She realized that she was now the oldest generation in her family. Crippled by her limited thinking, she thought she needed to plan an exit strategy from her business. Judy said, “When I went to the conference, I learned three things: First, that God could make the latter years better than the earlier years; Second, that there is no retirement with God; and third, that God is able to do far more with my life and my business than I had realized. Since I had a renewed hope
for an exciting future, I decided to ‘go for it’ in my business—and my personal life!”

Judy Rhodes Sister
Judy with her sister and business partner, Jeri,
working together on the vision for the continuing
expansion of A Second Look.

Judy’s business is called, A Second Look, and what she started out of necessity, with seven boxes of used clothes in the early 1980s, has become a prosperous consignment superstore with more than 38,000 consignors. Although the business was Judy’s idea, it has also been a family endeavor since the beginning. Judy came up with the concept for the store and took the initiative to set things in motion, but her finances were restrictively tight from the get-go. Judy didn’t have the means to purchase enough merchandise to sell or to lease a storefront on her own, but her mother, intrigued by Judy’s entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity, helped with the start-up costs. At the time, Judy and Larry were buried under nearly a half a million dollars of debt, the majority of which stemmed from the birth of the twins and Mickey’s subsequent health issues. The medical bills coupled with the fact that Larry, a real estate developer, had run into hard times and severe legal issues, forced Judy to seek an alternative source of income—A Second Look was her answer. In 1989, Judy’s sister, Jeri, joined the team as the store’s office manager.

Rhodes Second Look
A Second Look opened in 800 sq. ft.,
this photo is of the store front after
moving into 3,000 sq. ft.

In 1982, A Second Look opened its doors, humbly housed in 800 square feet of retail space. Judy’s consignment business was blessed and it prospered over the years. As business increased, Judy and her family expanded the store. In 1994, Jeri became Judy’s business partner when Helen retired. Over 30 years, and up until the devastating loss of family members, the retail space required to house the inventory continued to grow to 26,000 sq. ft. Judy was content with the success of the store—until Andrew’s GTS teaching challenged her to believe God for more.

Rhodes Second Look 2
A Second Look opened in 800 sq. ft.,
this photo is of the store front after
moving into 3,000 sq. ft.

In 1993, Judy and her staff moved into a 10,000 sq. ft. space. Soon after her change of heart, Judy announced to Jeri that she was ready for more; rather than throwing in the towel, Judy wanted to move forward with the business. The two women began to dream bigger and planned another expansion of their retail space.

Currently, A Second Look occupies 37,000 sq. ft. of space at the Paradise Hills Shopping Center in Phoenix, and Judy and Jeri have no plans to slow down. In fact, as A Second Look continues to prosper, so too do ministries in the surrounding area, thanks to the ladies’ generosity. True to Malachi 3:10, the Lord has poured out His blessing upon the sisters, to the extent that they cannot contain it. Surplus beyond their capacity is distributed to 28 local ministries.

Rhodes Second Look 3
After taking the limits off God…
the store expanded to 37,000 sq. ft.

Kevin and Rachel Dowling

Kevin and Rachel Dowling

- Off the Streets by the Grace of God -

Dowlings Motorcycle
CBC graduates, Kevin and Rachel Dowling,
operate In Jesus Ministries in Colorado
Springs, Colorado.

Kevin Dowling and his wife, Rachel, lay huddled together in a cardboard box to stay warm. It was a chilly spring night in New York, but not cold enough for nearby shelters to open their doors to overnight homeless guests. The Dowlings would have to remain in their box for the night, pushed up against a rundown alleyway building. Too tired, too cold, and too high on drugs to worry about it at the moment, they would resume their quest for food in the morning.

Kevin and Rachel first met in Grand Central Station in the heart of New York City. After a quick, casual conversation, Rachel boarded one train and Kevin another. But, as fate—or God—would have it, they met up again that same night in a different part of the city. They have been together ever since.

Kevin and Rachel soon married, but the honeymoon was short-lived. Trapped in the tentacles of drug addiction, the couple found themselves living on the streets without a dime to their name: “Every penny we were able to hustle, steal, or con someone out of went straight to the dope man,” recalls Kevin. “Drugs were absolutely an idol in our lives.”

“We wandered the streets hungry,” adds Rachel. “The first time we ate out of a dumpster was when we saw a pizza box sitting right on top of the garbage heap. Most of the pizza was still in the box, so that was our dinner.”

Dowlings Box
At one time, Kevin and Rachel
slept on the streets of New York City.

Aside from dumpster diving for their meals, the Dowlings also ate at soup kitchens, churches, or homeless shelters—anywhere they could scavenge free food. Then they heard about a Lutheran church that provided breakfast for the homeless on Sundays. “You didn’t have to go to the services,” explains Kevin. “They just let you come and eat. We started eating there every Sunday.”

Little did Kevin and Rachel know that their newfound breakfast spot would soon change their lives. After a while, the Dowlings began hanging around after breakfast to help the church staff clean and put tables and chairs away. They also took time to chat with some of the church people.

It wasn’t long before they began attending the services as well. “Although we were going to the church, we were also still living on the streets and getting high. We never told anyone what our lives were really like,” says Kevin. He and Rachel were certain that those at the church would not approve of their lifestyle.

But at least one lady in the church didn’t care. “We met a lady named Pat, and even though she knew we were homeless and had nothing to give back, she invited us into her home,” says Rachel, still amazed at her generosity.

Dowlings Couple
Kevin and Rachel have been together
since the day they met in Grand
Central Station, New York City.

Kevin continues the story: “Pat sat me down at her kitchen table, looked me right in the eyes, and with such compassion, she told me that God loved me no matter what I was like or what I was going through.” At that moment, Kevin felt something move deep within his heart—something he had never before experienced.

Pat continued sharing God’s love with Kevin and, when she felt he was ready, asked him if he wanted to give his life to the Lord. He did, and he received Jesus right there at Pat’s kitchen table.

“I was so excited…so joyful,” recalls Kevin. “I told Rachel that I had gotten saved, and I asked her to do the same.”

“I remember saying to Kevin, ‘But I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve Jesus,’” says Rachel.

The very next day, Rachel had her own conversation with Pat: “Pat told me, just like she told Kevin, that God loved me very much—no matter what. I’d never heard that before. I didn’t know God could love someone like me.” Rachel also gave her life to Jesus, and she and her husband experienced an immediate infilling of God’s unconditional love and grace.

Although they were completely transformed on the inside, the Dowlings’ circumstances were still dire. Their drug habit was so ingrained, they knew they wouldn’t be able to get free on their own. They checked themselves into a Christian rehab center that took in married couples. While Rachel was able to stay in the program, Kevin had to first clear up past issues with the courts due to his probation. After his year of probation was up, he informed his probation officer that his only hope of staying out of trouble was to get out of New York City.

Kevin Dowling Food
Kevin distributing food at
Charis Bible College.

God moved on his probation officer to stand in for Kevin before the judge so he wouldn’t have to appear in court and run the risk of having to stay in New York. She only made Kevin promise to call her as soon as he and Rachel arrived in Chicago. He did, and he and Rachel began with a clean and sober slate in the Windy City, where they lived for five years. Afterward, they decided to move to Pennsylvania. It was there that they heard God calling them into the next chapter of their lives:

“When we were in Pennsylvania, I stumbled across Gospel Truth on television. I was hooked,” says Kevin. “We started watching Andrew every day and ordering his books and CDs.”

Once, when Kevin was tuned in to the program, he heard about Charis Bible College(CBC). He mentioned CBC to Rachel, but neither gave it much thought initially. Meanwhile, the couple was trying to purchase a home in Pennsylvania, but every time they thought they had an open door for a place of their own, that door would slam shut.

Kevin recalls, “It was funny how every avenue we tried for a home suddenly became closed off to us. About this same time, God started bringing the thought of CBC alive in my heart. One night, I came home from work and woke Rachel up. I said, ‘Why don’t we just move to Colorado and go to the Bible college?’”

“I just looked at him and said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you to say that.’”

Dowlings Ministry
Kevin and Rachel and their ministry, In
Jesus Ministries, supplies bread to
shelters and individuals from Colorado
Springs to Woodland Park, CO.

As soon as the Dowlings made their decision to attend Charis, they received a phone call informing them that they were owed money that they never even knew about! Although it wasn’t a large sum, it was enough to pay off their car and help them save for their move out West. Kevin and Rachel enrolled in CBC in 2008 and have never looked back from this new beginning God gave them.

“Sitting under the teachers at CBC has totally changed our lives,” says Kevin. “We’ve learned that we don’t have to earn anything from God; He just loves us and gives us His gift of salvation absolutely free.”

One of the biggest changes Kevin has experienced is how God’s grace has transformed him into a brand-new person: “Simply by studying God’s Word and staying focused on His love, I’ve realized that God has changed things in my life and inside my heart that I didn’t even try to change. Over time, I’ve just become a very different person.”

Dowlings Truck
Kevin opening the trailer in a local
parking lot to distribute food.

Kevin and Rachel knew they weren’t going to just sit in classrooms and listen to lectures every day. This was a hands-on school that equips the students to be world changers. And that was fine with them. God had given them more than they could ever repay, but they wanted to do something to serve Him by serving others.

One of the ministries the school offers was a perfect fit for the Dowlings: an outreach to the homeless. Kevin and Rachel jumped at the chance to be involved in this food ministry and led it throughout their entire second year at Charis. Now they’ve graduated, but they continue serving in the ministry by bringing food to CBC students at the school three times a week and providing ministries and churches within Colorado Springs and surrounding areas with all the food they need.

Kevin and Rachel stand amazed at how God has grown this ministry. “We receive thousands upon thousands of loaves of bread every week, plus meat, canned goods, and dry goods,” says Kevin. “Each Saturday, I pick up a trailer full of food, and people from all around come and take whatever they want. We had no idea it would turn into something this big.”

Dowlings Praying
Kevin and Rachel have become members
of a Christian motorcycle group called
the Black Sheep. Kevin is the Assistant
Chaplain of the organization.

When they started leading the food ministry, they made a promise to God to never turn anyone away. God has helped them honor that vow by consistently providing for their every need so that they always have enough to bless others.

But God hasn’t limited Himself to only meeting the Dowlings’ needs; He has also given them the desires of their hearts. Kevin explains, “For many years, I’ve always wanted a brand-new Harley. And, once I became a Christian, I wanted to be part of a Christian motorcycle group.”

Not only did God provide Kevin with his Harley and lead him to a Christian motorcycle group, but Kevin is now an assistant chaplain with one! The group is called Black Sheep because their goal is to be different. While a lot of motorcycle groups are on the streets looking for trouble, Black Sheep riders are out looking for ways to serve.

“This group loves to serve and give in any capacity,” says Rachel. “God has brought us into this group because it’s an extension of our passion.”

Dowlings Motorcycle 2
Rachel & Kevin are happy in the Lord.

Whether it’s feeding the homeless or ministering to the hopeless, Kevin and Rachel never want anyone to feel that they’re useless or worthless just because they’re going through hard times. They’ve been there themselves, and now they want to be able to see people through God’s eyes: “We want to treat people like kings and queens,” says Kevin, “because when you love God first, then love your neighbor as yourself, everything else falls into place.”

Kurt Barreto

Kurt Barreto

- Road to Victory -

Frank And Leisa Barreto
CBC-Florida graduate, and traveling minister,
Kurt Barreto and his wife, Leisa, at Andrew’s
2011 Minister’s Conference.

It is true that most people will face challenges in their lifetime; for instance, losing a job or facing conflict with a family member. And, there are those who will face circumstances with more devastating impact such as bankruptcy, addiction, divorce and homelessness. In Kurt Barreto’s case, he endured each of these—and more. Yet today, he and his family stand in a position of victory, thanks to the Lord’s unconditional love and grace in their lives.

Kurt grew up in a small town on New York’s Long Island. By age 29 he had become relatively successful, at least by the world’s standards. Kurt was a young professional running a subsidiary of the largest automotive dealership consulting firm in the country, he was married with two children, a daughter and a son, and his future seemed bright. But, by his mid-thirties, his life had fallen apart. Kurt’s first marriage had ended in divorce, he had lost his job, and he had begun drinking.

In the late nineteen nineties, at age 37, Kurt had reinvented himself, gotten remarried and had managed to get his foot in the door, in the then booming mortgage industry. He did very well for several years and was able to make an increasingly handsome living. By 2004 Kurt owned a mortgage company, a large home and a rental property.

Barreto Family
The Barreto family (L-R: Kurt, Nicole,
Giovanni, Leisa) celebrating Giovanni’s
high school graduation in 2007.

On the surface the Barretos appeared to be doing well. Underneath, however, Kurt’s social drinking was becoming a dependency, his then adolescent daughter, Nicole, was struggling with issues at school and Kurt was leveraging his entire family’s financial future.

In late 2005 Kurt’s life began to unravel again; a hurricane severely damaged the family’s primary residence and the rental home, and his mortgage business was in legal trouble. In addition to these struggles, Kurt’s wife, Leisa, had suffered traumatic injuries in a horse riding accident and faced the possibility of never walking again.

In 2007, the Barretos lost the mortgage business, their homes went into foreclosure, and more serious problems were brewing with Kurt’s daughter. Kurt’s social drinking had become alcoholism and strife was raging within their extended family because Kurt had borrowed money from various family members in an attempt to save his company.

Kurt Barreto Socializing
Kurt socializing with business associates.
At the peak of his mortgage career Kurt
was rubbing elbows with clients in exclusive
restaurants and country clubs where a
hamburger could cost as much as $125.

Eventually, Kurt’s business dealings left his family broke and deeply indebted to relatives, and his father was forced to file for bankruptcy.

After moving to a new state with the intention of starting a new company, things only grew worse. Kurt’s business efforts failed and he was fired was from two subsequent jobs. Even with Leisa’s income and Kurt’s unemployment benefits, they were unable to afford the home they had rented, and to top things off, his daughter had become involved in a dangerous relationship. Eventually, the strain was too much and Kurt was hospitalized for depression.

Barreto House
One of the Barreto’s properties in
Florida, prior to Kurt losing everything.

Shortly after his release from the hospital, Kurt took on work as a handyman, but his drinking had become such an issue that he plummeted to an all-time low. One evening, Kurt passed out, drunk, on a customer’s couch and Leisa had to go pick him up. At her wits end with both Kurt and their daughter, Leisa, told them to move out. Kurt loaded his tools and his motorcycle into a trailer and headed to his brother’s home.

As he pondered his plan to stay with his brother, who pastors a Christian church in Florida, Kurt changed his mind. Instead, he decided to drive to the nearest U Haul warehouse facility to rent a storage unit. There he made his home for the next three months. From December until February Kurt lived in his unit, showering at the local YMCA. When the weather became too cold, Kurt plugged in a small space heater, which blew the breaker in the building and his make-shift housing was exposed.

Barreto Storage
Kurt preparing to live in the U-Haul warehouse
storage unit. He managed to remain undetected
in the unit for three months.

It was during his time living in the storage facility that his brother had given him Andrew’s booklet, Self Centeredness—The Root of All Grief, which Kurt claims turned out to be the most profound reality check he had ever encountered. Kurt asked his brother for more information and was directed to Andrew’s website where he downloaded and listened to over 250 teachings. “Being separated from my wife and family, I rode an emotional rollercoaster and these teachings were literally the only thing that kept me from going crazy,” Kurt said. “In the midst of living on my own and listening to critters walking around all night in the warehouse walls, trying to protect myself from roaches for three months, I still managed to find a profound peace that I never felt before, as I recognized how awesome God is.”

As Kurt grew in his relationship with the Lord, he was convinced he should pursue reconciliation with Leisa, but she wasn’t receptive to Kurt’s supposed change of heart. Kurt didn’t give up, however, and simply continued to pursue the Lord. In this pursuit Kurt learned about Charis Bible College and he decided to move to Colorado to attend. Imagine his excitement when he realized there was an extension school in Jacksonville, right near his storage warehouse. He called Danon Winter, Director of CBC Jacksonville, and arranged to start school the next week—in the middle of the term.

Barreto RV
After Leisa recognized the transformation
in her husband, the two began to work
things out and were reunited. Here Leisa
walks the dog on the couple’s first visit
to Colorado Springs for the 2011 Summer
Family Bible Conference.

Today, Kurt, now a graduate of CBC-Florida, looks back and realizes that his time at CBC saved his life. After his first year, he began spending weekends with Leisa, who recognized the changes in her husband. She eventually joined Kurt in Jacksonville, where they live together now—their marriage is better than ever. In addition, Kurt convinced his daughter to attend classes with him in Jacksonville for a two week period. While there, her transformation unfolded before his eyes. She now lives in Colorado Springs where she attends CBC- Colorado full-time.

Through his time at CBC, Kurt realized that the call on his life is to travel around the country, as the Lord leads, in the family’s motorhome, to share his testimony and teach Discipleship Evangelism. To learn more about Kurt and the Barreto’s ministry, Jesus for Dummies, visit, God Followers Ministries.

Leonardo and Iselsa Jimenez

Leonardo and Iselsa Jimenez

- God is a Good God (Dios es un Dios Bueno) -

Leonardo Jimenez
Through Andrew’s teaching, Leonardo and Iselsa
Jimenez came to understand that God is a good
God, and they have prospered because of
their knowledge.

Entrepreneurs, Leonardo and Iselsa Jimenez, owners of Alpha Dental in Katy, Texas, have made a long journey into their identities as a couple, as business owners and as part of the body Christ. Both immigrated to the United States in the 1980s, Leonardo from Colombia and Iselsa from the Dominican Republic, and their journey has led them from religion to a true understanding that God is a good God.

Though the immigrants had come to America from different countries, they wound up attending the same church in the Houston area. Iselsa and Leonardo met shortly after Iselsa had shared with the Lord her desire for a husband. “I asked God for a husband, not a friend or boyfriend,” said Iselsa. She also prayed specifically for a tall man who loved the Lord. At church a short time later, Leonardo approached Iselsa and the two hit it off. Iselsa, conscious of what she had prayed, asked Leonardo during their first date, what he wanted to do with his life. He answered that he felt like he wanted to teach God’s Word. The two were married in 1997.

Jimenez Tape
Leonardo holds a tape of the first teaching he
ever received from AWM. He was so grateful
that Andrew’s teaching was and continues to
be offered for free.

During the early days of their relationship, Leonardo worked in a small hospital. One morning at work, he was listening to a local radio station when he heard Andrew’s Gospel Truth program for the first time. Andrew was teaching, God is a Good God, and what Leonardo heard so impressed him that he called the ministry’s help line to ask for a copy of the teaching. Leonardo was grateful that the tape was free because finances were tight. Actually, he refers to those days as the “poverty days.”

Up until that point, Iselsa had been Leonardo’s Bible study teacher as she had had some previous religious training, but with each message Leonardo heard he gained new revelation, and he began to share Andrew’s teachings with her. As much as Iselsa was learning from Leonardo, she still struggled with accepting the teaching because it countered much of what she had been taught. She would listen and say to Leonardo, “Show me in the Bible where it says this.” In frustration she would take things before God and ask, “Is this really true? Are you really showing these things to Leonardo?”

Jimenez Studying
Leonardo began to share Andrew’s
teaching with Iselsa.

Iselsa remembers Leonardo saying, “It’s so simple, God is a good God, and the devil is a bad devil. See life from there. Whatever is good is from God, and whatever is bad is from the devil.” Once Iselsa settled in her heart that what Andrew was teaching was true, the couple began to see change in their lives—change that lined up with the Word of God.

In those early days, the Jimenez struggled financially, to the point that their lack of money was in the way of their advancement. While Leonardo worked for the hospital, Iselsa worked as a dental assistant, but she wanted more. “The Lord says delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I had a desire to do greater things. I didn’t feel comfortable where we were. We had enough for us to live day-by-day, but we didn’t have enough to give, we didn’t have enough to enjoy—we didn’t have enough.”

Iselsa had been educated in the Dominican Republic and was certified as a dentist there; however, the United States would not recognize her credentials. The legal system prevented her advancement, but as she yielded to the need for further schooling in America, she couldn’t get into any of the American dental schools. She scraped her savings together and spent the money on application fees and postage to apply to schools across the country only to be rejected by each one.

Iselsa Doctorate
After several years of struggling to advance in
life, the couple put their faith in God’s Word
and watched as the Word began to produce fruit
and Iselsa received her doctorate in America.

As she watched her dream to be a dentist slip away, Iselsa became depressed. Even the people at church, whom she felt should be encouraging her, were saying things that made her doubt herself; things to the effect of, “Maybe your dreams are not from God.” She grew frustrated as she watched new doctors coming out of American dental schools, as they were hired with little knowledge and even less experience, knowing she had both.

The Jimenez struggled to afford their one-bedroom apartment and to make repairs to their car when needed. “America is supposed to be the land of your dreams, and I wasn’t living that dream,” remembered Iselsa.

Jimenez Office
The Jimenez opened their own dental practice
in Katy, Texas called, Alpha Dental.

“We had always been taught that God was the one in control, using sickness to teach you and poverty to keep you in line,” said Leonardo. When they realized, through Andrew’s teaching, their true identity as the head and not the tail, they began to see a change in their lives.

The Jimenez came against the previous rejection from the schools and Iselsa chose to reapply. The couple prayed over her applications and would bless her outgoing letters, speaking the promises of God over each one. Eventually, Iselsa was accepted at University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry. She started school last in her class and graduated as the class salutatorian. Better still, she is now a dentist—twice.

Leonardo and Iselsa operate their own dental practice. The office, managed by Leonardo, is in a beautiful 2,500 sq. ft. space, and they now live in a 3000 sq. ft. home in a nice neighborhood. “We have more than enough. I’m not lacking anything, and money is not a problem—sincerely,” said Leonardo.

Jimenez Ministry
When Leonardo first met Andrew at a GTS,
he shook his hand and thanked him for his
ministry. Andrew pulled him closer and told
him that he had the same gift of teaching
that Andrew does, and he gave him a word
from the Lord. Since that time, doors have
opened for Leonardo to minister the grace
and love of God.

They credit their success to standing on the Word of God and Andrew’s teachings that helped them see that God is good. “It was an eye-opener for us. Finding that God was not the problem for [Iselsa] to get into school or for me to be able to get ahead in life, but rather, we have an enemy. Basically, the devil was taking advantage of our ignorance of the Word of God. Once we started to get the knowledge, the word says, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,’ and once we began to get the knowledge of the Word of God, we were able to possess the promises that God has already made,” Leonardo shared.

“When Leonardo told me about Andrew Wommack, and he told me what he learned, I started founding my life and living my life through the Word of God, my life changed. It was not because I was in America. It was not because I was a dentist. When I made the decision to believe God and His Word, that’s when I saw my life change,” said Iselsa

 

 

Rick and Mitzi Pudlo

Rick and Mitzi Pudlo

- All the Right Moves -

Pudlo Studying
Mitzi and Rick Pudlo, owners of Pro Cargo,
a global freight forwarding company, study
the Scriptures together.

Rick and Mitzi Pudlo met in the summer of 1975, and were married in the fall of 1976 at a local county courthouse. They remember the judge pointing his finger at them and saying, “If you put Jesus at the center of your marriage, you’ll never have any problems.” At that moment, Rick had a vision of he and Mitzi, merging into one person; the two of them becoming one flesh (Ephesians 5:31). Although Rick was not saved at the time, his experience at the courthouse made a significant impact on him and left him with a decision to make; would he acknowledge God’s presence in his life, or continue on a path of destruction?

Pudlo Young Couple
The Pudlos spent a good portion of
their first two years together high
on drugs. Mitzi and Rick lived
rebellious lives, but the Lord was
working on their hearts.

Although neither were living God’s plan for their lives when they were married, Mitzi had received Jesus as her Savior when she was eleven, and Rick had been raised in church. Rick had gotten into drugs in his latter teens, and for two years following their marriage, Rick and Mitzi continued to live a life involving drugs, all the while knowing God was trying to reach them. The first Easter the Pudlo’s were married, they attended a small Baptist church in rural Kentucky. When the invitation was given to receive Jesus, Rick audibly heard God speak to him, “Rick, come.” Needless to say, Rick was shocked. “It was like someone had bellowed through a megaphone,” Rick explained. Despite this experience, Rick still resisted.

Although the Pudlo’s continued their rebellious lifestyle, Rick soon came to the realization that he needed to change his course or he was going to end up in jail, or worse—dead. Rick got up one Sunday in July of 1978 and went to a Baptist church thinking that the Baptists never fail to give an altar call. He waited for the invitation, but it never came. Rick figured if they didn’t give an altar call, he couldn’t get saved. Later that same week, Rick went outside into his garden in the early morning hours, fell on his knees and looked toward heaven. “I didn’t say the sinner’s prayer or anything, no words came from my mouth, but the cry from my heart was one of help to the Lord. The moon and the stars are my witnesses that God touched my life and changed me on the spot. I got up out of the dirt a different person,” Rick said.

Pudlo Car
Rick standing next to the couple’s car,
on their journey West.

Mitzi acknowledges that Rick was indeed a “completely changed man” and within two weeks, the couple had sold nearly everything they owned, loaded up their Volkswagen and left town, throwing drugs out the car window as they drove. They had no idea where they were going, but figured God would direct them. Ten thousand miles and six weeks later, the two landed in Boulder, Colorado where Rick ended up getting a very good paying job. Things were looking up for the couple.

One day, while riding in his work truck, Rick heard Andrew on the radio. He liked what he heard and he and Mitzi decided to attend one of Andrew’s meetings in Denver a few days later. It was at that meeting that Rick and Mitzi learned about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Rick was baptized at the meeting and Mitzi followed a week later.

Pudlo Procargo
After several years working a variety of jobs,
Rick (right) longed to start his own freight
forwarding company. The Lord opened the doors
for Pudlos to start their company, Pro Cargo.

For the Pudlos, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost opened up a new level of intimacy with the Lord, and Andrew’s steady teaching continued to minister to the couple.

Over the next several years, Rick and Mitzi committed to do exactly what God led them to do. The couple moved from Boulder to Knoxville, Tennessee and then to Houston, Texas, where Rick landed a job at the Houston airport with a freight forwarding company. “I didn’t even know what a freight forwarder was or that there was such a business,” Rick said. He and Mitzi remember sleeping in their car at a gas station when they first arrived in Houston, trying to save money so they could ent an apartment. Rick’s boss happened to ask him about his living situation during his first day of work. After Rick explained their situation, his boss gave him enough money for first and last month’s rent. For four years Rick stayed with the company, during which time the Pudlos had two children; a daughter, Jordan and a son, Asher.

Pudlo International
As the Pudlos sought the Lord for wisdom,
He brought them from a humble start-up in
their home, to international status.

In January, 1985 Rick left his freight forwarding company at the Houston airport to work for an oil well completion company. Rick’s job was to transport the necessary tools, which included explosives to the company’s job sites. Although he enjoyed his job, Rick could not stop thinking about owning his own freight forwarding company. After much prayer and consideration with Mitzi, Rick decided to take another step of faith. “I told my boss my intentions and he and I drove to headquarters to talk to the president of our division. I told him I liked my job, but if I didn’t do this, I’d grow old wondering if I would have made it,” recalled Rick. To his amazement, the president responded, “I know exactly what you mean.” Not only did the president of the company support Rick’s new business venture, he offered him a safety net. He told Rick that if things didn’t work out, he could have his job back.

Pudlo Couple
Rick and Mitzi Pudlo

In 1988, the Pudlos started Pro Cargo. From humble beginnings, Pro Cargo now has four locations around the world. Today, the Pudlos enjoy sowing seed and giving back to the Kingdom. “One of Andrew’s teachings that ministered to us early in our walk with the Lord was on giving. No matter how lean the times were, we knew that giving was something we were called to do. It’s always been a joy to give, and it’s true—you can’t out-give God!” said Mitzi.