In January, ten second-year students from Charis Bible College in Colorado journeyed to the Central American nation of Belize for a mission trip. The team, led by Charis instructors, Dan and Penny Funkhouser, was hosted by full-time missionaries, Craig and Tina Rumbley, the Co-Directors of the CBC-extension school in Belize. The Colorado team spent a week with the Rumbleys and their students ministering in local venues.
The Colorado team participated in door-to-door evangelism, ministered to children in an elementary school, visited a prison for teens and spent time ministering to patients in a local hospital. In addition, the team also enjoyed the opportunity to minister at the Bible school, and on a secular radio station.
CBC-Colorado student, Cindy Pearson, was right at home ministering in Belize, and based on the lives she was able to touch it would seem the Lord had ordered her steps. Cindy has spent the past two years as a CBC student, but for the ten-and-half years prior to her arrival in Colorado Springs, she lived and worked in China. On the ground in Belize, Cindy had more than one opportunity to minister to Chinese residents in the area.
For Cindy, one of the most touching moments of the trip was her encounter with a local shop owner, a Chinese woman named, Li Lian. When Cindy entered Li Lian's shop, which was located in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood, she was surprised by the extensive security gates and iron bars protecting the goods in the shop; the only unguarded area was the immediate entry into the store. During Cindy's brief visit, Li Lian shared that her family had moved away, and she was all alone. Feeling compassion for the shop owner, Cindy told her that God loved her. Cindy could tell that her simple words had penetrated the woman's heart. She asked Li Lian how she felt, and Li Lian responded by saying no one had ever told her that before. After praying for Li Lian, Cindy said she wished she could hug her. In the blink of an eye, Li Lian grabbed the keys, unlocked the security bars and came out to give Cindy a big hug. Simply sharing a few words and an embrace with Li Lian let her know God's love for her was real.
During the team's last day of ministry in Belize, they split up into smaller groups and ministered in a nursing home and to patients in a hospital. Colorado student, Rick McFarland, led a person to the Lord in each place. At the nursing home, Rick and his small group of students ministered the gospel to an elderly man named, Duncan. After listening attentively to the gospel, Duncan said the he had never received Christ and chose to do it at that moment. Afterwards, when asked how he felt, Duncan said he felt "clean." When Rick's group visited the hospital, they talked with a young, teenage girl named, Louisa. As Louisa was waiting for surgery she, like Duncan before her, listened attentively as Rick shared the gospel. And, like Duncan, she received Jesus as her Savior. "As she was receiving Christ, her face lit up and a smile came to her face. We had two extremes that day; one elderly man, now ready to pass over to heaven, and another prepared for a lifelong ministry for the Lord. Praise God!" exclaimed Rick.
Who came away from these missionary experiences with more blessing, those being ministered to or the students doing the work of the ministry; it's hard to tell. One thing is for sure, God was honored and each person has a testimony to share for His glory.