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Thursday
Aug262010

CBC-Florida's Mission to the Dominican Republic

Part of CBC-Florida's mission team performing a skit for the residents of La Vega.
(Click to enlarge)
The second year curriculum at Charis Bible College combines classroom teaching with hands-on training in real-life ministry situations. One of the blessings second year students receive is the privilege of participating as part of a team on one mission trip abroad. These experiences are a valuable part of each student's time at Charis, as they learn how to effectively minister the Gospel and communicate in a foreign culture.

In April, sixteen students from Charis Bible College-Florida (CBC-Florida, formerly CBC-Jacksonville) visited the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is the eastern neighbor of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. The CBC-Florida team partnered with Cedric Twillie of Crucial Ministries in Jacksonville. Cedric's wife is from the Dominican, and they maintain a ministry in Concepción de La Vega, the third largest city in the Dominican Republic.

Map of Latin America with the Dominican Republic highlighted in red. (Click to enlarge)Many of the CBC students were amazed at the depth of poverty in the city. Housing accommodations in the area were poor at best, and in this community that often meant houses were built with tin sheeting and had dirt floors. However poor the conditions appeared, students were equally amazed by the warmth of the people. As the team traveled by foot down the local dirt roads, little children would spring into the streets and follow them everywhere they went, greeting them with hugs, and grinning with broad smiles of friendship as they welcomed the CBC team to their neighborhood.

The poor in La Vega live in shacks like this one. (Click to enlarge)Danon Winter, Director of CBC-Florida, carefully planned the week-long trip maximizing the team's ministry opportunities. The students broke into smaller groups to cover more ground during their short stay. They visited three different hospitals, two schools, engaged in a neighborhood clean-up project, and met with local pastors to present Discipleship Evangelism lessons. “Everywhere we went we saw God save and heal people,” commented Danon.

A team of men from CBC-Florida visited a juvenile detention center and saw 33 boys receive Jesus. (Click to enlarge)The teams were sensitive to the Lord's leading, taking every opportunity to minister. As the students walked downtown in the mornings they would extend invitations to those passing by to meet them at the park. Then as local children and their parents gathered together at the park, the drama team would perform skits that pointed to the glory of Jesus. In the hospitals the team witnessed numerous miracles; people were healed and many were filled with the Holy Spirit as the students laid hands on them. A few of the CBC men also visited a juvenile detention center for boys, which was home to thirty-three young men. The mission team spent two hours with the boys, and before they left the center, all thirty-three received Jesus as their Savior!

A CBC drama team performs a skit for local school children. (Click to enlarge)Much of the team's ministry time was focused on the local neighborhood children. Before leaving the United Sates, the CBC students had packed approximately twenty suitcases full of school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing, candy, games and toys. On the ground in the Dominican Republic the teams sorted and packed all the goodies into backpacks and distributed the items to the children. The team even hosted a birthday party for all the students at the local Haitian Christian School, providing them with these gifts.

The CBC team and local children glorified Jesus, performing together for a large crowd. (Click to enlarge)The CBC students spent a few afternoons walking through the streets, speaking with the families and offering prayer. On Saturday night a stage was set up, a local band played and the gospel was delivered to a large, but quiet crowd. The CBC drama group and some of the children also performed together. As the skies grew dark one person approached the stage for prayer—then all of a sudden, prayer erupted everywhere! The children and the parents, and the mission team were all praying together. As the ministry and evening ended, the children led everyone in a time of joyous dancing in the street.

Prayer was well received in La Vega as the CBC students experienced hands-on ministry. (Click to enlarge)CBC-Florida students enjoyed their time in the Dominican Republic, and were blessed as the power of God worked through their hearts and hands as they shared the good news of Jesus Christ.

“We are glad to partner with Crucial Ministries,” Danon said. “We plan to return to the Dominican Republic to continue what the Lord has begun, and this local connection helps us to stay in touch with their needs.”