In January, a team of staff and students from Charis Bible College in Colorado arrived in India to share the love of God with the Indian people. After a series of lengthy travel delays (22 hours worth) the second-year students, led by CBC Instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, dove into ministry at the CBC extension school in Chennai. While the Colorado students were on foreign soil, they were welcomed by familiar faces; the directors of CBC-India, Lance and Gerri Weldgen, and ministry team member, Jessica Klecker, are each recent CBC-Colorado graduates.
Over the course of the nine days they spent in India, the Colorado team had the opportunity to teach at the school, participate in a local community outreach, minister in churches and during open-air crusades, and they traveled to a gypsy village. They also visited a home for destitute women and an orphanage for HIV-positive children. At each of the two latter places, the student's close interaction with the residents gave the women and the children a taste of love, laughter, life, and in a way, the very nearness of God and His unconditional love.
For one student, Kelsey Hamilton, the journey to India was a dream come true. Before ever hearing about Andrew or CBC, Kelsey had a vivid dream in which she saw herself in the busy streets of India. She knew in her spirit that the dream was of God, and it was her call to the mission field.
After learning about CBC, and moving to Colorado to attend, Kelsey found that one of the graduation requirements is the completion of a foreign mission trip. Although at the time, her trip was more than a year away, she immediately asked God where He wanted her to go. As she reviewed the destination options, she remembered the dream she had about India. She scanned the available trips with excitement, but her enthusiasm was dampened as she realized that there were no trips scheduled for India. Kelsey then heard the Lord tell her to call forth a trip to India. She spent the rest of her first year speaking forth her opportunity to minister in India. During her second year, when the time came for students to submit their choices for their preferred mission trip destinations, India had been added to the roster!
Throughout her times of prayer, calling forth India as her destination and praying for the people of India, Kelsey continued to have visions of things to come (John 16:13). One such vision included the image of a little Indian girl; when Kelsey saw the girl in her mind's eye, she wept.
During the team's actual visit to the gypsy village, Kelsey came face-to-face with the little girl she had seen in her vision. "Right when I saw her, I knew she was the one I had wept over. She was so dirty and her hair was matted, but she was so beautiful. When she saw me, she clung to me, so I held her the whole time. The one time I did have to put her down, I gave her to her mom, and she was crying and reaching for me; talk about breaking my heart. Her mom handed her back to me and asked, 'You take her to America with you?' I wanted to more than anybody knows. I asked what her name was and was told, 'Divia.' I looked it up and it means, 'Heavenly.' Meeting Divia changed my life," said Kelsey.
Kelsey knew before she went to India that God called her to go there, and now that she has visited, she continues to think about and pray for India and its beautiful people. "I long for the day that I can go back. On this trip I grew closer in my relationship with my heavenly Father and feel so privileged that He chose me and called me to India," said Kelsey.