Recently a 30 person team of staff and second-year students from Charis Bible College in Colorado had the opportunity to minister in Central America. The team, led by CBC Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, and intern leaders, Marcelo Duarte and Lori Lalonde, went to the nation of Costa Rica where they were hosted by Garden of Hope, a ministry founded by CBC-Colorado graduates Jim and Lynn McHood in Horquetas, Costa Rica.
The McHoods provided the students with ample opportunity to put into practice the ministry training they have received at CBC. The team spent time evangelizing neighborhoods through door-to-door ministry; they taught in churches and schools and visited a local rehabilitation center. Each opportunity yielded measurable fruit.
For CBC student, Dalton Mixon, that measurable fruit came in the form of healing. After an evening outreach, which included a series of teachings and the sharing of student testimonies, Dalton had the opportunity to minister to a man who came forward for prayer. Although the two were hindered by a language barrier, Dalton understood by way of hand and facial gestures, that the man was suffering from severe back pain. It was Dalton's prayer that the man would feel a warmth come over his body as he laid his hands on him. Dalton hoped the warmth would overcome the language barrier and that the man would realize he was healed. When Dalton finished praying for the man, he invited an interpreter over to bridge the gap in communication. The interpreter told Dalton that the man said he had felt a warm sensation in his back and that he knew he was healed. The man also said that there was still a small pinch when he bent over all the way. Dalton was unwilling to compromise; he expected a full healing. Dalton spoke again to the man's back, and the pinch and pain left immediately. Later one of the CBC intern leaders, Marcelo, who speaks fluent Spanish, followed up with the man and explained to him that it wasn’t Dalton who had healed him, but that it was God. Marcelo stressed this for the man's benefit, pointing out that tomorrow Dalton would be gone, but God would never leave him.
Another CBC student, Maria Seppälä, experienced the Lord in a different way, and her fruit manifested on a freeing internal level. As she prepared for the trip to Costa Rica, Maria realized that her primary expectation for the trip was to actively participate in the ministry opportunities presented to her on the mission field. Maria felt that she had been hiding behind her husband for some time, with the perspective that he was the one God was able to use, and that she was just along for the ride.
Once on the ground in Costa Rica, Maria stepped out of her husband's shadow and out of her comfort zone. On more than one occasion, Maria found that the Holy Spirit led her to minister to groups of people that have always been on her heart, and she found that ministering in those situations was exciting. "I have felt that I am called to love and help parents in their parenting, to help young couples with their marriages, and I know that I want to see children growing in their personal relationship with their Lord and sharing the good news. During the mission trip I was excited as I realized that most of the ministry opportunities that I had, took place among these groups of people. I loved being in those situations and I felt that ministry was easy," Maria said excitedly.