The Baptism in the Holy Spirit turned out to be a key emphasis for a team of Charis Bible College students from Colorado who traveled to South America to minister in Colombia. Twelve students, led by Dr. Delron and Peggy Shirley, spent time in a variety of ministry environments and shared the good news of Jesus Christ with many. The team visited places such as rehabilitation centers, children’s rescue homes and churches.
While at a rehabilitation center for young women rescued from prostitution and drug addiction, one CBC student shared her testimony of receiving a severe beating, which resulted in a months-long coma. She explained to the young women how God healed her from the inside out, and that she could forgive her attacker as a result. Once the team finished ministering on a believer’s new identity in Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, the young women came forward for prayer. The majority of the group received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and they spoke in new tongues.
More students shared their testimonies the next day when the students visited a rehabilitation center for men recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. Again, most men in attendance came forward and received Jesus as Savior and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was a powerful time for both the residents of the center and the student missionaries.
The fruitfulness continued as the team visited a home for children rescued from cocaine plantation slave labor. Because of tight quarters within the building, the meeting was held outside at a nearby park. This allowed the students to minister to the children as well as to passersby. One group of five teenagers stopped to watch the dramas. A team member approached them to talk and learned that one out of the five was a believer. Before long, the other four teens received Jesus as well; an answered prayer for the one already saved.
CBC Student, Amie Larson, recalled a young girl who approached her to pray for a migraine on the right side of her head. “I laid hands on her and began to pray in tongues, she began to sway back and forth, and as I commanded the migraine to go, she fell backwards into the catcher's arms and to the ground. As soon as she got up, I ran over to make sure the migraine was gone and it was! Praise God!”
Rain threatened to interfere with plans for more outside ministry, however, skies cleared supernaturally on more than one occasion. “Not only did the Lord close the physical heavens to stop the rain, He opened the spiritual heavens to pour out the anointing as the team ministered on the streets and in the churches,” said Delron.
Throughout the trip, students had the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones. One team member, who had never shared her faith or prayed for anyone to receive Jesus, led four people to the Lord during one outreach. For many, comfort zones stretched in other ways. Between interpreters not showing up, to flat tire on the bus, to switching from adult to children’s ministry at the last minute, the students learned Delron and Peggy’s first rule of missionary work—be flexible.
“Of course, the impact of the mission experience on the students was just as significant as the work done in the people of South America,” Delron noted.