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Entries in CBC Mission Trips (77)


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).


The Gospel in Brazil

Brazil Charis missions team (Click to enlarge)After laying the foundation of the Gospel in their students, Charis Bible College prepares them for practical ministry during the second-year program. Not only do students clock volunteer hours at local churches and ministries, but they also plan and participate in missions trips at home and abroad. It’s amazing to hear their testimonies. They always return with wonderful ministry testimonies of salvation and healing, with personal growth testimonies as well.

Recently a group of second-year students returned from their missions trip in Brazil, excited about the revelations God had given them while outside their comfort zone. “This trip became an empowering, equipping encounter with the Holy Spirit,” student Christian Estrella said. “It brought clarity and definition in my life and ministry. I learned to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit, to discern people’s needs, and to allow the gifts of the Spirit to move through me more freely.”

At one of the local churches where students were ministering, a baby was brought forward who appeared to have a neurological defect. The eight-month-old could not move under her own power or sustain the weight of her head. Stirred with compassion, students Christian and Flor stepped forward to pray. “My wife and I held that child in our arms and began to declare the Word of God over her. We commanded the spirits of sickness and infirmity to leave her body in the name of Jesus, and within moments, she began wiggling!”

Man with a shattered leg (Click to enlarge)Another student reported praying for a man with a shattered leg. Four surgical pins stuck out of his right leg, and he felt constant pain. “With an authority I never thought I would have, I spoke to his leg and commanded pain to go,” Diana Netotea recalled. “I spoke life and healing over him and watched as he walked away without limping. The next day, the man was in church jumping on his pinned leg, shouting, ‘Look! I have no pain!’ I’ll never forget the miracle I witnessed that day—in his life and mine.”

Every member of the Charis team returned to the States with similar testimonies. “My time in Brazil was too amazing to put into words. God moved mightily in and through the entire team,” Kris Turner said.

Another student experienced God’s supernatural protection. “My first morning in Brazil, I stepped onto what I thought was a rug. Apparently it was not, for the next thing I saw was the ceiling and a steel pipe sticking out of the ground next to me.” Falling through the floor into a three-foot hole, Chris Sheya wasn’t sure if he could stand. “My roommate grabbed my hand and pulled me up saying, ‘You’re healed in the name of Jesus. Walk!’” Still in shock, Chris maneuvered outside, speaking in tongues and stretching his ankle for the next hour. “My calf and ankle swelled grotesquely, and I limped for the next thirteen days—but I walked!”

These students and the many others who have taken the Gospel of grace all over the world because of the impact of Charis Bible College can testify that God watches over His Word to perform it (Jer. 1:12)!


Let Us Reason Together

Hungary-Croatia missions team in Croatia (Click to enlarge)“God withheld nothing to show His love to me, and I knew I could not withhold my life from these men,” Charis Bible College student Matthew Brown said after returning from his missions trip to Croatia. Having never before been out of the country or ever really sharing the Gospel with anyone, Matthew left the States a bit apprehensive about this new experience. “I didn’t feel like I had the knowledge or skills to share the Gospel and be a blessing, but I was excited to try.”

Lisa Nakkula and Matthew Brown ministering the love of Jesus to kids at a childrens' hospital in Croatia (Click to enlarge)During part of the street-ministry time in Croatia, Matthew had his first opportunity to try. Approaching two guys to see if they knew Christ or were open for ministry, Matthew heard, “Jesus isn’t real.” Not knowing how to respond to that, Matthew began telling them his healing testimony. “Do you have a video of it?” they asked.

Matthew didn’t, but he did have other proof: “Why would I spend money to fly across the world and lie to people I don’t know? Why don’t you believe in God?”

Their responses varied from “The church ruined God” to “America ruined God.” But they didn’t say that America made God up or that there was no evidence for Him.

So, Matthew kept talking. “God was before the start of time, the church, or America. And none of those things define Him. You should figure out for yourself if God is real.”

Josh McFall ministering to a man in Zagreb, Croatia
(Click to enlarge)
As the Holy Spirit began working on their hearts, the two men began fidgeting. Matthew said, “When I saw them doing everything they could to find a way out of our conversation, the compassion of Christ overwhelmed me. I’ve never felt that for anyone before. I knew that God loved them and that He wanted to extend His grace to them. I felt compelled to share the whole of my testimony, but I didn’t want to. It wasn’t something I told many people.”

But the Lord moved on Matthew’s heart, and he began to share with the men how Jesus set him free from pornography. “You can’t be set free by someone who doesn’t exist,” he said. At that, the men opened their hearts to the full Gospel and allowed Matthew to pray with them. “They said they weren’t yet ready to make Jesus their Lord, but they allowed me to pray for them. I simply asked God to reveal His love to them in a tangible way. We then kept talking for another ten minutes. When I finally see Jesus face-to-face, I fully expect to see them too.”

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

Isaiah 1:18 (New King James Version)