Costa Rica was the destination of a recent mission trip for a team of students from Charis Bible College (CBC) in Colorado Springs. The group from Colorado was hosted by, and ministered alongside a team from Kingdom Transitions Ministries of San Jose, Costa Rica which was founded by CBC graduate, Jim McHood. CBC Instructors Dr. Delron and Peggy Shirley and Intern Eric Williams, led the Colorado team. The following is Delron’s summary of the team's ministry highlights while on the mission field.
The mission actually began before we arrived in Costa Rica as a couple of the students led their seatmate on the plane to salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit while still airborne. On Friday, we visited a school and had a special assembly where the CBC students presented the gospel through skits, music, and testimonies to the elementary school children and their parents. Each child also received a special gift of a Spanish New Testament and some school supplies. On Saturday, we were back at the school for a full day of activities, including a high-energy rally with games, puppets, dramas, music, testimonies, teaching, and prayer, followed by a fun-filled time at the newly constructed obstacle course on the school grounds. The evening concluded with a free Christian movie and a time of ministry to the community living near the school.
Sunday was a full day of ministry, beginning with a service at a local church complete with Spanish music, testimonies, and a skit. Almost the entire congregation came forward for prayer, and many received significant instantaneous answers. One man walked away from the altar carrying the cane that he had been dependent upon when he hobbled forward for prayer. Another lady came forward with knees so stiff that she could barely bend them, but was able to walk briskly across the stage after a simple prayer of faith by one of the students.
After a tearful goodbye at the front door of the church, the students boarded the bus to head to a remote village for a tour of a parcel of land where Kingdom Transitions Ministries is building a campground. The visit was highlighted by a refreshing time playing in a river on a rope swing. But even while we were having fun in the water, some of the students were busy on the shore sharing the gospel with a couple of local residents.
Next, we visited a rehab for men who were recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Dramas, testimonies, and preaching were followed by a time of prayer and personal ministry to the men. All the men received prayer and at least one of them was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
On Monday, the team visited a rehab center for women, most of whom had been rescued from prostitution and drug addiction. All the ladies were touched by the dramas and victorious testimonies, and were blessed through the prayers and love of our team. Several of them were slain in the Spirit as the students laid hands on them and commanded that they be released from the bondages which held them captive.
Tuesday was our last full day in Costa Rica, and for many it was the most memorable. We started our day by loading the bus early in the morning to head for the Pacific coast. Once we reached the beach, we found a place where we could present our dramas and music to the passersby. The action really began once the first person came forward for prayer. As we prayed for him, others started gathering around to see what was happening. Soon, every member of the team was actively ministering to the people. Drivers stopped their cars right in the street causing a mini traffic jam, and called our team over to pray for them in their cars. One man who came to the Lord returned asking us to come with him to talk to a local shop owner up the street. Since he couldn’t leave his store to come to us, we went and ministered to him. Wave after wave of seekers kept rushing to the CBC students to ask for prayer. We saw a number of alcoholics delivered and several instant healings. One man came limping up with a bandage wrapped around his ankle and leg; after prayer, he pulled off the bandage and walked away without any haltering in his step.
After the bus trip back to San Jose, we gathered for one “last hurrah” before our early-morning flight back to Colorado—a farewell banquet of typical Costa Rican fare accompanied with traditional Latin music and dancing. As the students shared their final goodbyes with the interpreters and other team members, the constant theme was how much they had all been impacted by the love of the Costa Rican people. When asked to share some of the most impactful moments during the trip, one student told the story of how his heart had melted when a little girl had reached up to grab hold of him during the children’s program, and one lady described the moment that she “melted like butter” as one of the women at the church hugged her after the service.
The Costa Rica mission was a powerful time of ministry to the locals, but just as impactful to the students who made up the team—the exact reasons we love to lead mission teams to foreign countries!