In early November, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent its first team of the 2011-2012 academic year to the mission field. The group, students ages 17 to 89, led by CBC Director, Gary Luecke, had the opportunity to minister in several cities in Argentina. The Colorado team was hosted by full-time missionaries and CBC graduates, Joe and Nancy MacQueen. The MacQueens are the founders of Charis de Dios (Grace of God) Ministries in Buenos Aires.
Joe and Nancy organized a number of outreach projects and local church ministry opportunities for the students. The team was invited to minister and teach in Pastor Jonathan Ravello's church, Palabra de Fe (Word of Faith) in Buenos Aires and Pastor Jorge Ovando's, Iglesia Bautista (a Spirit-filled Baptist Church) in the city of Lujan. In addition to sharing at many church services, the students also hosted parties for local children, evangelized in area parks, and hosted an assembly at a local school.
The lively children's parties included many games, musical fun and skits. "They did a really neat skit for the kids going through the whole life of Jesus – it was really well done. Then they gave the salvation message and many kids accepted Jesus," said Nancy excitedly. She also shared that, "Pastor Jorge, who had been very reluctant to allow a female to teach in church, was absolutely 'blown away' and humbled by the teaching 17-year-old Brittanie did at one Wednesday night church service in Lujan.
At CBC foreign mission trips are viewed as a valuable part of the student's ministry training. Their primary focus during these second-year trips is to share the almost-to-good-too-be-true news of the gospel with as many people as possible during their seven to ten day stay on foreign soil. The experience abroad gives students' a refreshingly new perspective of the world and provides abundant learning opportunities unavailable otherwise. With
regard to her experience in Argentina, CBC team member, Jill Tomlinson said, "I learned that it is great to have expectations, but that ultimately it is God's decision how He wants to manifest Himself to us and to the world. Our trip was all about His love... that was our message everywhere we went and that is what we experienced ourselves."
Jill's husband and CBC student, Jimmy Tomlinson shared, "I experienced God's love flowing between fellow believers who have never met one another in person and yet share the connection we have in Christ, and I was able to see first-hand how the Body of Christ can work together in ministry (even with language barriers) in displaying His love to others."
"Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.' This is so true. The people were so open and hungry for Jesus. The Love of God I saw, changed my life!" exclaimed CBC student, Lisa Bradley.
From their wide range in ages to the gifts with which God had equipped them, this was a diverse group of students. "The diversity of their gifts was received with great warmth from the beautiful people of Argentina. It seemed like the students chosen to minister at the various services were ordained by God as their messages, testimonies, worship, etc., seemed to always be right on, and they blessed many people," said Gary.