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Entries in CBC Mission Trips (46)

Monday
Mar192012

How HE Loves Each of Us

In early 2012, CBC-Colorado sent a student missionary team to Russia. CBC students Shirley, Rheta, Gideon Collin and Dan pose for a living "Last Supper" portrait at the Koralia Church.
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One visit to the mission field, short term or long, has a tendency to change a person. The experience often exposes an individual to facets of God's love and aspects of ministry that they would otherwise never encounter. Through Charis Bible College's missions program, many students have had the opportunity to see the world and God's people from a new perspective. This was the case for CBC student, Sharayah Stitt; her trip to Russia with a team from CBC-Colorado solidified a direction for her future.

The team led by CBC-Colorado's Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, visited St. Petersburg in January and ministered alongside staff and students from Charis Bible CBC-Colorado students, Sharayah, Alex and Steve, enjoyed their time ministering at Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg.
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Training Center. The Colorado students had the chance to minister in the CBC extension school as well as at a local rehab center and small village church several hours outside St. Petersburg. It was at this village church that Sharayah encountered the Lord in a new way.

At the church, the students gathered in groups of three in front of the platform for a time of prayer ministry. A young girl named, Galya, was brought to Sharayah's group. It was evident by her lack of eye contact that Galya was very shy and timid. Through the translator Sharayah understood that the girl, about 17, was recently orphaned, and now found herself living on her own and caring for a younger sister. While they did have a home Carrie Pickett, the Director of CBTC in St. Petersburg (center) stands on the platform of a small village church with the team's interpreter and CBC Colorado's team leader, Michelle Patterson (right). (Click to enlarge)and a small pension from their father's passing, it was clear that Galya's heart was broken and she needed love.

"After praying, I asked our interpreter to tell Galya that she was pretty and reminded me of one of my friends. She looked up nearly astonished, for the first time making eye contact, then smiled ever so slightly and threw her arms around me in the most desperate hug I have ever experienced," Sharayah said.

The two embraced for several minutes and for the next half hour, stood with their arms around each other, listening to another CBC team member minister on God’s love. From those first moments, Sharayah and Galya were inseparable. If they were standing, they were hugging; if they were sitting they had their arms around each other. It did not matter that neither spoke the other's language—God’s During the course of the mission trip, Sharayah (right), gained a glimpse of God's love for each of us. Here she sits with her new friend, Galya.
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love bridges any language barrier.

"She had obviously not been shown much love growing up, and I believe God specifically sent me to Russia to spend time with her, love on her, embrace her, and show her the tangible side of God’s love," Sharayah said.

When the group was departing, Galya found an interpreter to share her thoughts with Sharayah. Galya told Sharayah that she loved her. During the emotional moments that followed, they shared one last embrace, and Sharayah said she loved her too.

Sharayah spent the ride home meditating on her experience. She said, "He sent one person around the Sharayah, caught a glimpse of God's love for each of us, and it was overwhelming. (Click to enlarge)world just to show one of His children that He loves them. God filled me with a taste of the love He has for everyone. I was overwhelmed by even that small fraction; unable to fully comprehend the capacity of love God has for us and wants us to show others."

For Sharayah Russia was a life-changing, life-directing experience. She has seen how much God desires for others to know His love, and He revealed to her that He has gifted her and called her to be a missionary— to spread His love to others abroad.

Monday
Mar052012

CBC Students Minister in Santiago

CBC Instructor and mission team leader, Lawson Perdue (left) stands with team hosts Tim, Trena and Darren Johnson on the mission field in Santiago, Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)In early 2012, Charis Bible College-Colorado sent a team of students on to the mission field in the Dominican Republic. This was the second team, from the soon to graduate class of 2012, to minister in the city of Santiago. The students, led by CBC Instructor and local Colorado Springs pastor, Lawson Perdue, were hosted by CBC friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound.

Never short on options for outreach to their local communities, the Johnsons provided the students with many first-time opportunities to share the love of God with the people of Santiago. For one CBC student, Cindy Suess, that meant having the chance to lead Cindy Suess (left, light colored skirt and shirt) had the opportunity to lead a person to Lord while in Santiago—it was a first for both Cindy and the person to whom she ministered. (Click to enlarge) another person to receive Jesus as their Savior. Cindy said, "Prior to this trip, I had not personally led anyone to Christ. It was wonderful to be a part of the teaching and the altar call, where men and women came up to receive Christ. Wow! What an honor to participate in what God is doing!" Cindy is moved to tears when she recalls her experience.

Cindy's classmate, Joy Cousineau, learned several things during the trip; foremost was her realization that she was uncomfortable with public speaking. Over the course of the trip she did find freedom and was able to pray for the people who came forward with expectant hearts. Joy said, "Learning to pray for people, when there were not very many translators, built up my faith. At first it was intimidating not Out of her comfort zone, Joy Cousineau (right, colorful skirt) participates in open-air ministry in a local park.
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knowing how to pray exactly for what they needed, but after a few times, God revealed to me that He knows, and that is all that matters."

Although Joy found it a struggle to get up in front of people, it was evident to her by the end of the trip that the Lord was calling her to missions work. "Ever since I was in high school, I have felt like I was supposed to go onto the mission field. This trip has confirmed my love for people over seas and wanting to help them. I have also learned that evangelism might not be where God is calling me, but He is calling me to a form of missions... I am the type of person who would rather hang out in the background and help others minister to people," said Joy.CBC student, Joseph Nelson, poses with some new friends. (Click to enlarge)

Sometimes the ministry that is shared on the CBC mission trips extends beyond the expected opportunities to impact the lost souls of a particular region. Sometimes the people most deeply touched are the faithful ministers living in the areas of need. This seemed to be the case at one particular rehabilitation center the team visited. The facility primarily handles men with drug and alcohol addiction. According to CBC student, Dana Marsden, many of the center's patients were in such rough shape, they were unable be a part of the meeting. What struck Dana though, was that the pastor and his family really seemed to, in his words, "need" the team's visit. "They were so encouraged by us; it struck a chord in my heart. We could see the way the pastor was just teeming with joy that we had come; for me, that was a precious time," said Dana.

Monday
Jan162012

CBC Mission Teams Visit Santiago

Second-year CBC students performing a skit in a park in Santiago, Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)A group of second-year Charis Bible College students, including student teams from across the US, the UK, and Kenya spent the first week of December in the Dominican Republic. The group, led by CBC instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, was hosted by full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at the Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound in Santiago.

The schedule for the week was packed with hands-on ministry opportunities including a children’s crusade, a visit to a feeding center where the team helped serve lunch to the children in an impoverished community, and a pastors’ and leaders' conference. The students ministered at a children's crusade called Kids Camp. 200 kids attended the event. (Click to enlarge)The students took the lead in each event performing puppet shows, original student-written dramas, sharing testimonies, preaching, and praying for those who responded to the end-of-service altar calls. Although none of the student-missionaries spoke Spanish and most of them had no previous experience working with an interpreter, they had no problem communicating the love of God and the almost-too-good-to-be-true-news of the gospel with the audiences.

The bond of love between the students and the people was clearly visible and was particularly noticeable at the kids' crusade where the children’s bright faces enthusiastically One of the larger churches the group visited. The pastor of this church was offered a Major League Baseball contract in the United States, but turned it down to serve the Lord.
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displayed their joy during the student performances. Their enthusiasm could also be seen as the CBC students prayed for the children and handed out candy as they left the meetings.

Each outreach was highlighted with salvations, and the manifest power of God through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Even on the team's free day, when the students took a break to explore their surroundings, they made time to share the gospel with the local vendors leading at least one to Christ.

During one morning outreach, the team performed their skits and Tim Johnson preached a wonderful This is a church in one of the poorest neighborhoods the students visited. (Click to enlarge)message to the people in the park. More than 20 people, mostly young men, received Jesus. At the conclusion of the morning's event, the Holy Spirit drew one CBC-Colorado student, Leesa Hamilton's, attention to a scantily clad young woman. Leesa noticed the young twenty-something as she stood off in the distance, scowling as she watched the ministry taking place. "I felt the compassion of Christ for this girl. I knew that prostitution was a great source of trade in that city, and that she was dressed like someone in that profession," recalled Leesa. With her heart and eyes set on the young woman, Leesa approached. She wrapped her arms around her and felt the woman stiffen up. Leesa Joy Southworth (left) shared her testimony through interpreter and host, Trina Johnson. While in the Dominican she also received her calling from the Lord. "God captured my heart and spoke to me and said, 'Here.' I not only believe I'm going back, but I can't wait until God returns me to these precious people," said Joy (Click to enlarge)maintained the embrace, and she could feel the love of God flowing out of her right into the young woman's heart. "I felt her body begin to relax and receive. When I finally let her go, I looked into her face and smiled at her, and she smiled back at me," said Leesa. Although she admitted she doesn’t know what God said to her through their embrace, Leesa knew for sure that God had touched the young woman. "I knew He was telling her just what she needed to hear, Leesa said confidently.

Clearly, based on Leesa's fond memory, the heart changes realized during this CBC second-year mission trip weren't limited to the Dominicans. Some of the team members testified that they had received divine directions for their future ministries and even the call to missionary work during this trip.