At the end of April, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent its largest team of the year (33 people) on a short-term mission trip to Nicaragua. The group, led by CBC instructors, Dan and Penny Funkhouser, was hosted by and served alongside, Karen and Darey Jolley and their ministry, Ambassadors to the Nations. While in Nicaragua the students ministered to over 3,200 people, working as a team toward the same goal; to share the Gospel and the love of Jesus.
One family of three had the unique opportunity to travel together to Nicaragua. It was their first time on a plane and their first time out of the country. Paul, Valerie and daughter Stormy Stratton were blessed in many ways throughout the mission trip, but one of the biggest highlights was meeting three out of the four children whom they sponsor through Ambassadors to the Nations. “I couldn’t help but think, ‘Wow! I’m actually here talking with, embracing, and beholding these children we sponsor. God is so good!’ How at peace I felt knowing they are taught the true Gospel and that our family gets to be a part of something so great!” Valerie shared.
Valerie felt that the CBC team seemed to be of one mind and one accord for the entire trip. “We just loved everybody with the sweet love of Jesus. It was a great blessing to be with the body of Christ serving in unity and purpose. This team will forever hold a special place in my heart,” she said.
For Paul the trip helped him to realize the great needs of other people in the world. “Here in America we live in somewhat of a bubble. We can be so unaware of what is happening in our own backyard much less in other parts of the world. The need for help is great; the need for the gospel is even greater. This trip has greatly increased my desire to do all I can to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Paul shared that he thought that the two dramas the team performed, False Identity and The Heart Drama, reigned as the highlight for showing the love of God and the gospel to the Nicaraguan people. In addition to participating in the drama outreaches, Paul also had the opportunity to water baptize five of the CBC team members, including his wife, Valerie, while in Nicaragua. “I praise God for this ministry experience,” Paul said.
CBC student, Roderick "Robbie" Gammon, got a word from God to encourage the teachers that work at the schools built by Ambassadors to the Nations. He told them that they are helping to raise up a generation of leaders for Nicaragua by giving them a strong foundation built on the Word of God. “They are manifesting Jesus to these kids,” said Robbie. Later he received a confirmation about the word he shared from another team member, Dennison, and Karen Jolley who shared how a teacher impacted her life as a child. Robbie also prayed for a woman who was in severe stomach pain, and following prayer the woman was pain free.
Regarding the time spent in Nicaragua, Robbie had this to say, “Ambassadors to the Nations is the most effective ministry I have ministered with. I love Karen and Darey’s hearts for the people of Nicaragua. When I see them, I see Jesus!”