In early 2012, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a team of students on to the mission field in the Dominican Republic. This was the second team, from the soon to graduate class of 2012, to minister in the city of Santiago. The students, led by CBC Instructor and local Colorado Springs pastor, Lawson Perdue, were hosted by CBC friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound.
Never short on options for outreach to their local communities, the Johnsons provided the students with many first-time opportunities to share the love of God with the people of Santiago. For one CBC student, Cindy Suess, that meant having the chance to lead another person to receive Jesus as their Savior. Cindy said, "Prior to this trip, I had not personally led anyone to Christ. It was wonderful to be a part of the teaching and the altar call, where men and women came up to receive Christ. Wow! What an honor to participate in what God is doing!" Cindy is moved to tears when she recalls her experience.
Cindy's classmate, Joy Cousineau, learned several things during the trip; foremost was her realization that she was uncomfortable with public speaking. Over the course of the trip she did find freedom and was able to pray for the people who came forward with expectant hearts. Joy said, "Learning to pray for people, when there were not very many translators, built up my faith. At first it was intimidating not knowing how to pray exactly for what they needed, but after a few times, God revealed to me that He knows, and that is all that matters."
Although Joy found it a struggle to get up in front of people, it was evident to her by the end of the trip that the Lord was calling her to missions work. "Ever since I was in high school, I have felt like I was supposed to go onto the mission field. This trip has confirmed my love for people over seas and wanting to help them. I have also learned that evangelism might not be where God is calling me, but He is calling me to a form of missions... I am the type of person who would rather hang out in the background and help others minister to people," said Joy.
Sometimes the ministry that is shared on the CBC mission trips extends beyond the expected opportunities to impact the lost souls of a particular region. Sometimes the people most deeply touched are the faithful ministers living in the areas of need. This seemed to be the case at one particular rehabilitation center the team visited. The facility primarily handles men with drug and alcohol addiction. According to CBC student, Dana Marsden, many of the center's patients were in such rough shape, they were unable be a part of the meeting. What struck Dana though, was that the pastor and his family really seemed to, in his words, "need" the team's visit. "They were so encouraged by us; it struck a chord in my heart. We could see the way the pastor was just teeming with joy that we had come; for me, that was a precious time," said Dana.