Recently, 25 Charis Bible College students from Colorado headed south to the Central American nation of Costa Rica. Led by CBC's Director of Online Education, Greg Macy, this small army of short-term missionaries was hosted by CBC-Colorado graduates, Jim and Lynn McHood of Kingdom Transitions Ministries at their 60 acre training center in La Esparanza.
While the trip offered a wide range of ministry opportunities, the students were specifically challenged by their host to, go deeper. "Go deeper in knowing Jesus. Go deeper in serving others, really listening and hearing God. Go deeper in being led and walking in the Spirit. Go deeper in building people and the Kingdom of God with pure motives and heart. Go deeper in unity, working as a team and loving others. Go deeper in the areas God is showing you," Jim encouraged.
One student, Cathy Reeves, took Jim's encouragement to heart and sought the Lord about where she was to focus her ministry. Cathy felt strongly that God was leading her to minister to abused women. She had her opportunity as the McHoods had a bus-load of ladies from a local women's shelter brought to the training center, aptly named Garden of Hope. The CBC team ministered to the women through breakfast and lunch, and during that time, Cathy could see that the women were bound by shame, hurt, guilt, sickness and hopelessness.
Knowing she was scheduled to teach between meals, Cathy had prepared a message to share with the women from the shelter, but as her turn to speak drew near, the Holy Spirit began to rearrange her plan. Sensitive to Jim's encouragement to "Go deeper," Cathy let go of her plan and embraced His. The Lord led Cathy to share a very personal healing testimony with the group—something she had not shared before. "Although I knew I was set free from a stronghold that had been in my life for 51 years, I had no idea he would want me to share such a personal message with these ladies. I obeyed, and I could tell the Holy Spirit was touching them even through my interpreter," Cathy shared.
Cathy said it had been raining all morning and that as she ministered the Lord spoke to her to tell the women that just as it was raining in front of them (the meeting was held in a cabana without sides) the Lord wanted them to know He was raining His love on them, healing and delivering them. As Cathy finished sharing the word, the rain turned to a downpour, and the place erupted into a frenzy of women crying out to God and being healed, delivered, saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The women understood that God was there to meet them in their need. At that point, other ladies from CBC began to minister to the women from the shelter. "There were more ladies than interpreters but the Holy Spirit knew what each one needed," said Cathy.
Later as the women were boarding the bus to head back the shelter, Cathy noticed that none of them looked the way they had when they arrived. She said they all looked younger and free. "The same enemy that kept me bound, has ladies bound in the same way, thousands of miles away! I know that the Lord loves these ladies so much that He sent me all the way to Costa Rica to deliver a message that had set me free and in turn it has set them free," said Cathy.