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Entries in CBC Mission Trips (79)

Monday
May182015

The Word of Our Testimony

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11a, New International Version

Early one morning in Ecuador, as the Charis Bible College missions team was sitting down to breakfast, screams split the air. Rushing out the hotel’s back door, five team members searched the alley to find the source of the trouble.

Resurrected child“We found a woman pulling her hair, screaming at the heavens over a young man holding a very still baby in his arms,” one member recalled. Apparently, the one-year-old had fallen and cracked his skull on the concrete. He was dead. As the missions team began to minister to the woman and work to calm her down, a team member who happened to be a registered nurse verified the baby’s injury. “His eyes were set; there was no pulse. The child was dead.”

Moments before they left to take the baby’s body to the morgue, the Holy Spirit spoke to one of the team members. “You have a choice,” He said. “You can close the child’s eyes or speak life back into his body.” So, she began to speak life. The other team members joined in, and suddenly, the baby blinked. Shouts of praise erupted in the house as the mother took her child into her arms.

Later that night, the team held a powerful service about the power of testimony. During Larry Wilgus’s teaching, the parents of the baby who was raised from the dead shared their story with the congregation. Thirty people were healed that night—and word began spreading. The next morning, the Charis team’s hotel was surrounded with people requesting prayer. “Word about the little boy spread quickly, and people began to pour into our hotel, requesting the ‘Charis people’ pray for them,” Larry reported. “It was so awesome seeing God confirm His Word with signs following [Mark 16:17-18]!”

The testimony of the little boy’s miracle started a tidal wave of faith in Ecuador. After hearing the testimony, one mother approached the team for her six-month-old girl. She was born with a deformed hip that caused her legs to grow inconsistently. Two days after prayer, the mom brought her child and x-rays to show the team how her daughter had been healed. The hip was perfect, and both legs were the same length!

“This trip was a life-changer,” one team member said. “I’ve never seen such hunger for God or witnessed firsthand the power of the Gospel.” During their time there, the Charis team ministered in churches, at meetings, in the mayor’s office, and out on the streets. The entire hotel staff was born again, and the mayor openly requested prayer. The team witnessed people getting saved and filled with the Spirit, deaf ears and blind eyes opening, arthritic pain disappearing, cancerous cysts dissolving, limbs growing, and much more! “You could hear shouts of praise all over the city!”

Monday
May042015

The Works of Grace

Ephesians tells us that we receive the grace of God through faith—not works (Eph. 2:8-9). But according to James, our faith must have corresponding actions (James 2:17-18). What are those actions? They are the works of grace.

For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13, International Standard Version

God’s heart beats for people. But what is the most effective way to share His grace with others? Is it with words or through works? First Peter tells us to "live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (1 Peter 2:12, New International Version).

On a recent missions trip to India, Charis Bible College student Jon Hay discovered the truth of that verse when a group of Indian Christians planned a conference on the eve of a major pagan holiday. “On the day of the conference, the entire country shut down to honor Shiva, their god of destruction. There was a lot of opposition to our meeting, and it was unclear whether it would be safe for us to hold it. But I knew that God was with us and that He would open the doors for us to do what He’d called us there to do.”

The first session of the conference was well-attended and finished without incident. At least 100 people responded to the love of God demonstrated by the team. But Jon was unprepared for what transpired during the evening Charis missions team member Sherry Hoffer ministeringsession. “When we returned in the evening, the Hindu holiday was in full force. The streets were packed with revelers! God did amazing things during the meeting. We saw demons cast out, people healed, and children blessed. Toward the end of the meeting, the pastor of the church approached my teammate Teresa and me for assistance. He led us out of the meeting and told us someone needed prayer.”

Directed to the neighboring house of a major councilor in the Hyderabad government, Jon and Teresa met the woman responsible for the opposition to their meeting. The house was full of idols, but what Jon and Teresa noticed first was the stress in the woman’s eyes. “The Hindu woman told us of some major decisions she had to make for her job and the number of people pressuring her for counsel. She explained some of the physical complications she was experiencing (like diabetes and high blood pressure) because of her high-stress job and asked us if we would pray for her. Teresa and I laid hands on her and began to pray. Immediately, the peace of God overflowed in that room! We spoke life, healing, and peace over her and her family.”

The woman expressed her gratitude to Jon and Teresa for extending love to her without force or demands. And though she did not acknowledge Christ as Lord that day, the seed of His Word was planted in her heart because of their works of grace. Jon is fully expecting God to “use that time to do great things throughout India!”

Monday
Apr202015

Leaving the Ninety-Nine

Then Jesus told them this parable: [4] “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? [5] And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders [6] and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ [7] I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Luke 15:3-7 (New International Version)

Charis missions team heading out to minister to people on the streets of Russia (Click to enlarge)In February 2015, Austin Brown joined a team of Charis Bible College students on a missions trip to Russia. Feeding his spirit with the testimonies of other students involved in the missions program at Charis, Austin expected to see God do amazing things in Russia. But he was unprepared for the life-altering revelation he would receive about God’s unfailing love for people.

“I went to Russia expecting to see great miracles,” Austin recalled. “And I did see amazing instantaneous healings. A lady with a broken wrist came for prayer and left with her mobility. A Muslim man allowed us to pray for his sore knees while waiting for the train. The pain left, and he literally began jumping and dancing. Another man brought his child to us for prayer. He had been struggling to breathe with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We prayed, and the child was healed. But it wasn’t the physical healings that impacted me; it was the revelation of God’s love.”

Muslim man who got healed in the train station (Click to enlarge)When the team arrived in Izhevsk in central Russia, they were told to prepare to minister in a hospital for special-needs children. “I was really looking forward to the opportunity to minister to these kids, however, when we arrived at the hospital, it was under quarantine. We were not allowed in.”

While the hospital dealt with the flu outbreak, the team began ministering to the mother of one of the children. She’d been wrestling with the misunderstanding that she had done something wrong and that God was punishing her child because of it. “I told her that God does not hold our sins against us—that He is a good God. And the healing for her daughter was provided through Jesus.” The life in Austin’s words set the woman free from guilt. She surrendered her life to Christ and was baptized in the Holy Spirit at that moment!

Conference in Izhevsk, Russia (Click to enlarge)Later that night as Austin lay in bed reviewing his day, he found himself wishing he had been able to minister in the hospital. God spoke to his heart and said, “I sent you over 12,500 miles by plane to minister to that woman. And if she were the only woman you were able to personally touch, this trip was a success in My eyes!” At that moment, Austin realized what an unrelenting love God has for people. Not only has He given His Son, but as a Good Shepherd, He left the ninety-nine to find the one missing sheep from His pasture. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (Matt. 18:11).