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Entries in CBC Mission Trips (72)

Monday
Mar162015

What God Made Clean

Sydney Stamy - Charis Bible College student (Click to enlarge)Recently a team of Charis Bible College students partnered with the European Initiative to bring the light of the Gospel into the darkest reaches of Eastern Europe.

There, they ministered throughout major cities, small villages, in a children’s hospital, and at three Budapest public schools. Two hundred and forty-five people made decisions for Christ during their two week stay! But it seems that the students were most affected.

“The verse in Acts kept rattling through my memory as our bus bounced and tumbled down the dirt roads on our journey to the Roma villages: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean’ (Acts 10:15, New Living Translation). We had met the children from this particular village the evening before, and their bright eyes and radiant smiles flashed across my mind as I prepared my heart to experience the reality of their lives. Once I stepped off the bus, the children embraced me and clung to my arms and waist.”

Some of the kids (Click to enlarge)Bible college student and missions team member Sydney Stamy couldn’t fathom why these children would display such love to a complete stranger—especially to one who could not speak their language. “God reminded me that it was not about me; they were drawn to the Jesus inside me.”

The light of true Love drew people like magnets everywhere the missions team went. In the subways, crowds of twenty-five to fifty would gather as students portrayed that love through skits and music. In the schools, hundreds of eyes looked to their small group leaders to confirm the love and acceptance portrayed through those same skits.

“Words cannot capture the extravagance of God’s love that I felt on that [trip]. His love is deep and wide. God highly esteems His children and has constant thoughts about them. His love stretches beyond borders, across oceans, across the universe to reach them. He is near His children and pursues their hearts passionately. During my time in [Europe], I experienced a mere glimpse of God’s compassion for His people and recognized that, more than ever, there is a battle waging for the hearts of [people],” Sydney recalls.

A Charis student showing the love of Jesus (Click to enlarge)As believers, we must continue to search out the lost and fight for the wounded souls of God’s children so they can gaze in wonder with childlike faith at His goodness—so they, too, have the opportunity to cling to Love the way the children clung to Sydney Stamy.

Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. [14] But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. [15] Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” [16] And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 10:13-16 (New King James Version)

Thursday
Jul242014

Lessons Learned on the Mission Field in Russia

Charis Bible College second year students, Stan Mael and Donna Hanna from CBC Colorado and Boris Alekseev, from Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg. February 2014 (Click to enlarge)While there is not enough space here to detail God's call on Stan Mael's life, we'll suffice it to say that it was his calling that prompted Stan to state on his Charis Bible College application that one of his goals in attending CBC was to come to the end of himself. According to Stan, the myriad of first year courses and new relationships he made at CBC, laid the groundwork for that transformation. As he continued through second year, however, Stan realized that coming to the end of himself was not something he could do on his own, and that he may not even know when or if it happened. Stan said, "We all have habits, hang-ups, and hoopla to deal with, and I certainly have my share of inadequacies, but it's like Andrew says, 'I may not have arrived yet, but at least I've left the station.'"

As a second year student at Charis, Stan was required to take a foreign missions trip. Of the destinations available to Stan, his preferred choice was Russia. And just as God had placed that desire in Stan's heart, He also made a way for Stan to go in February 2014.

For several weeks prior to the trip, God had showed Stan that his task on the mission was to be a blessing—not a show off. Stan understood that God was telling him that his experience was going to be different, that he would indeed come to the end of himself in Russia. Regardless of how many years Stan had been a team leader, department director, business owner, children's pastor, etc., God instructed him to let it all go, and just serve. In fact, the night before the trip, as Stan was lying in bed, the Lord showed him that he and the CBC-Colorado team were going to work in another man's field.

"Russia is Mike and Carrie's field. It is Victor and Natasha's field. It is Pastor Svetlana’s field. We were merely passing through, and our purpose was to sow seed, water, fertilize, and watch God reap the harvest," Stan said.

Amid the many salvations, baptisms, and healings, the CBC team saw during their stay in Russia, Stan also learned the following five things:

You teach the Word, but you minister love.
Not everyone is called to be a teacher, but each person is called to minister the love that God has shed abroad in their heart. We are ministers of reconciliation. Let God’s unconditional love for you spill over in all of your relationships.

You can rely on the Holy Spirit for inspiration and direction.
Going to a foreign country and not speaking the language, you’d better be relying on someone. We had a translator for most of the time, but when one was not available, we had to rely on the Holy Spirit to know what to do.

It doesn’t matter what the story is, God’s big enough to handle it. He doesn’t need your eloquence, He simply needs your trust.
One morning our hostess came in frantically waving her arms and trying to explain some crises to us. Our translator happened to be gone, so we just looked at each other and said, “Let’s pray anyway.” We gave it to God, who already knew the situation, and let Him handle it. Ten minutes later she came back in and everything was fine.

Leave your dictionary at home. The simple truth will do every time.
This shouldn’t take a lot of explanation, but I will say, that in conjunction with the rest of these, just let your heart be your guide. Trust the Holy Spirit and lean not to your own understanding.

Whatever happens, good or bad, you don’t need to commend yourself, defend yourself, or justify yourself. That’s God’s job.
Regardless of your chosen profession, you will have opportunity to be offended. What you do with that offence is more important than the offence itself, so my advice is to just give it to God and let Him deal with it. You will also have opportunity to be lifted up in pride. The same advice applies.

While the primary focus of CBC's mission trips is on serving and blessing the communities the students visit, it is often the students that learn the most from their adventures overseas. To learn more about the school or the missions program, visit the Charis Bible College website.

Monday
Jul212014

Unexpected Blessings in Ecuador 

Bubbles... Dr. Delron Shirley, the Director of CBC Colorado's School of Missions, breaks the ice with some children in Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)What do you get when you send a clown named, Bubbles to the banana capital of the world? Sounds like the opening to a very funny joke, doesn't it? Well, as funny as it may sound, it's not a joke; it's something that really happened as part of a short-term mission trip to South America. Earlier this year, Charis Bible College sent a team from Colorado to Machala, Ecuador. The 16-person group, led by CBC-Colorado's School of Missions Director, Dr. Delron Shirley and his wife, Peggy, were hosted by Charis alumni and full-time missionaries, Mickey and Suzan Cartagena.

Because schools in the region had just been released for summer break, the team spent a good deal of time ministering to the local children. Having a clown on the team was really a great way to reach the kids in a light-hearted manner. In one neighborhood, the CBC students shared the love of God with the children by hosting a three-day Vacation Bible School. In another area, the team ministered at a care facility for children that have been rescued from abusive situations. In both places the CBC students enjoyed spending time with their young audiences. They sang and played games with the kids, made balloon animals, served them a meal, and prayed for them.

The CBC Colorado team in Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)The Charis students were also given the opportunity to minister in churches and small home groups. These settings gave them time to teach the Word, perform Gospel-centered skits, and share personal testimonies. These opportunities opened the door for the people of Ecuador to experience God and his love in down-to-earth ways.

Team host, Suzan Cartagena said, "We watched the students connect with different people in Ecuador who didn’t know or had forgotten that God is pleased with them. People everywhere Dancing with God's stars. (Click to enlarge)are discouraged, lonely, abandoned, rejected, and filled with guilt and condemnation. They are angry with a God who does not seem to care."

During each outreach, the CBC students were able to introduce the people of Machala to a God who does indeed care—often connecting through the shared experience of their own testimonies. "It was amazing to see CBC students that have overcome rejection, naturally reach out to those that felt rejected; to see students that have experienced condemnation, reach out to those who walk in self condemnation, and to see students who have been angry with God or had given up on him, reach out to those who have searched for God and not yet found Him," said Suzan.

There were moments when the interaction between grown men, embracing battered children so perfectly mirrored God's heart for all His people that team leaders watched in awe as the children responded to the love that was being transmitted. "We heard students say, 'God just wants me to give you a hug,' and watched as the people on the receiving end instantly became connected to the love of God that they The princes and princesses of Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)had been so desperately longing for," Suzan shared.

"As the CBC team members prayed for the people, we saw them give their lives to Christ, receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and be healed," said Peggy Shirley. She also noted that the team saw several dramatic deliverances as people were set free from demonic oppression.

CBC's mission trips are always full of unique moments and special memories. One of the unexpected blessings on this trip was a request from a CBC student to be water baptized. When the team leaders made arrangements for her baptism, two others students joined her! All three were baptized in a pool by a local pastor named, Alfonso.

Three CBC students were baptized on the Ecuador trip.