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Monday
Oct042010

From the Medical Field to the Mission Field

Charis Bible College graduates Carolina and Oswaldo Santos are the directors of the Home Cell Groups at Palabra de Vida Church in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. (Click to enlarge)Oswaldo and Carolina Santos, originally from Nicaragua, came to the United States in 1983 seeking political asylum, exercising the basic right to seek shelter in another country if one has a reasonable fear of persecution within their own country for differing political opinions. They were granted asylum, and in 1995 the couple became United States Citizens. In 2004, they moved from Nebraska to Colorado Springs to attend Charis Bible College (CBC).

Both physicians, the Santoses worked in the medical field at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota from 1983 until 2003. After their youngest of four children graduated from college, they made plans to move to Guadalajara, Mexico to serve as full-time missionary physicians. Before they left, an elderly friend, Jack Simmons from Gordon, Nebraska, asked Oswaldo to drive him to Estes Park, Colorado to attend Andrew’s annual Men’s Advance conference. Oswaldo (yellow shirt) teaching Discipleship Evangelism. (Click to enlarge)Oswaldo agreed, and thought he would spend the majority of the conference working out the details for his move to Mexico. Instead, he found himself engrossed in Andrew’s teaching of the Gospel and made the decision that Mexico would have to wait (Isaiah 55:8-9). Two weeks after the conference, Oswaldo sent his application to CBC in Colorado Springs. After the couple attended the Summer Family Bible Conference in 2004, Carolina made the commitment to attend CBC as well. The couple graduated in 2006.

While attending CBC, the Santoses were chosen to go to Mexico for their second year mission trip. There, they met and sensed a strong connection with Bobby and Lynn Crow of World Missions Outreach and Palabra de Vida Church in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Bobby and Lynn Crow with Carolina and Oswaldo. (Click to enlarge)After returning to Colorado Springs, Oswaldo and Carolina shared the desire to go back to Mexico to serve the community via the Crow’s ministry. After seeking guidance from Andrew and CBC Dean of Students, Wayne Knurr, the couple contacted the Crows and asked them if they could serve their ministry as volunteers. Bobby and Lynn agreed and the Santoses once again made plans to move to Mexico—this time they wouldn’t be serving as physicians.

The couple began volunteering at Palabra de Vida (Word of Life) Church in August of 2006. Two months later, Bobby asked Oswaldo and Carolina to take over the care of the Home Cell Groups for the church. Map of Mexico (Click to enlarge)Despite their lack of experience, they joyfully agreed to take on the additional responsibility. “God does not call the equipped, but He equips whom He calls,” Oswaldo said.

Carolina and Oswaldo have had great success teaching the Discipleship Evangelism (DE) program in their Home Cell Groups (2 Timothy 2:2). For many years the couple had the desire to disciple people, and the DE program has given them an excellent tool to do so effectively. They have seen lives transformed, saved, and delivered. They have also had the honor of baptizing some in water and to lead others in the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Teaching a small group in the local community. (Click to enlarge)The couple has not limited the DE program to their groups, they have also assisted some local pastors from different denominations. The pastors have reportedly received the teaching with joy, and their churches are growing again. Oswaldo and Carolina have also shared the DE program with believers back in the nation of Nicaragua.

The Santoses medical career had been rewarding for them; they were always working with people and they saw many restored to health as a result of their medical care. Now however, serving the Lord full-time, they find they are exceedingly blessed and more fulfilled as they see lives changed through their Home Cell Groups, the DE program, and individualized counseling. “We are experiencing eternal rewards that we did not experience while we were practicing our medical careers,” Oswaldo said.

Oswaldo and Carolina Santos are just one more testimony of the process of multiplication that begins at Charis Bible College.

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