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Monday
Mar192012

How HE Loves Each of Us

In early 2012, CBC-Colorado sent a student missionary team to Russia. CBC students Shirley, Rheta, Gideon Collin and Dan pose for a living "Last Supper" portrait at the Koralia Church.
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One visit to the mission field, short term or long, has a tendency to change a person. The experience often exposes an individual to facets of God's love and aspects of ministry that they would otherwise never encounter. Through Charis Bible College's missions program, many students have had the opportunity to see the world and God's people from a new perspective. This was the case for CBC student, Sharayah Stitt; her trip to Russia with a team from CBC-Colorado solidified a direction for her future.

The team led by CBC-Colorado's Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, visited St. Petersburg in January and ministered alongside staff and students from Charis Bible CBC-Colorado students, Sharayah, Alex and Steve, enjoyed their time ministering at Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg.
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Training Center. The Colorado students had the chance to minister in the CBC extension school as well as at a local rehab center and small village church several hours outside St. Petersburg. It was at this village church that Sharayah encountered the Lord in a new way.

At the church, the students gathered in groups of three in front of the platform for a time of prayer ministry. A young girl named, Galya, was brought to Sharayah's group. It was evident by her lack of eye contact that Galya was very shy and timid. Through the translator Sharayah understood that the girl, about 17, was recently orphaned, and now found herself living on her own and caring for a younger sister. While they did have a home Carrie Pickett, the Director of CBTC in St. Petersburg (center) stands on the platform of a small village church with the team's interpreter and CBC Colorado's team leader, Michelle Patterson (right). (Click to enlarge)and a small pension from their father's passing, it was clear that Galya's heart was broken and she needed love.

"After praying, I asked our interpreter to tell Galya that she was pretty and reminded me of one of my friends. She looked up nearly astonished, for the first time making eye contact, then smiled ever so slightly and threw her arms around me in the most desperate hug I have ever experienced," Sharayah said.

The two embraced for several minutes and for the next half hour, stood with their arms around each other, listening to another CBC team member minister on God’s love. From those first moments, Sharayah and Galya were inseparable. If they were standing, they were hugging; if they were sitting they had their arms around each other. It did not matter that neither spoke the other's language—God’s During the course of the mission trip, Sharayah (right), gained a glimpse of God's love for each of us. Here she sits with her new friend, Galya.
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love bridges any language barrier.

"She had obviously not been shown much love growing up, and I believe God specifically sent me to Russia to spend time with her, love on her, embrace her, and show her the tangible side of God’s love," Sharayah said.

When the group was departing, Galya found an interpreter to share her thoughts with Sharayah. Galya told Sharayah that she loved her. During the emotional moments that followed, they shared one last embrace, and Sharayah said she loved her too.

Sharayah spent the ride home meditating on her experience. She said, "He sent one person around the Sharayah, caught a glimpse of God's love for each of us, and it was overwhelming. (Click to enlarge)world just to show one of His children that He loves them. God filled me with a taste of the love He has for everyone. I was overwhelmed by even that small fraction; unable to fully comprehend the capacity of love God has for us and wants us to show others."

For Sharayah Russia was a life-changing, life-directing experience. She has seen how much God desires for others to know His love, and He revealed to her that He has gifted her and called her to be a missionary— to spread His love to others abroad.

Reader Comments (1)

I love this story.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

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