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Entries in Dominican Republic (7)


Wes Ray: God's Simple Question 

Charis Bible College graduate, Wes Ray, making a difference in the Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)Whenever the topic of foreign missions came up when Wes Ray was just a boy, he would bristle and dismiss the conversation, declaring, "I'm not called to that." His comments would distance himself from the discussion, and he would go on about his business. This seemed to be an acceptable teenage declaration, as not everyone is called to serve in a foreign land. It remained acceptable until the Lord asked Wes with friend and fellow CBC graduate Abbie during commencement ceremonies at CBC in 2009.
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Wes one simple question... Why are you limiting me?

"When I was 15, I heard the Lord ask me, 'Wes, why are you limiting me?'" Stunned by the question, and the realization he was somehow hindering God, Wes apologized to the Lord, and rethought his position on missions. A short time later, he traded the comfort of his family's home in California for a taste of life on the mission field in the Dominican Republic—a place he has now been visiting for a decade.

Wes had only been involved in church a short time, but it was there that he was introduced to Andrew's teaching. When the Lord got a hold of Wes he began to have an unquenchable desire to know Him more. Wes' desire prompted him to ask his pastor if there (Click to enlarge)were additional teachers he would recommend. His pastor told Wes about Andrew and gave him Andrew's teaching, Sovereignty of God.

The teaching made an impact in Wes' life and he continued to listen to Andrew's material through high school. During that time, Wes deepened his involvement in the Dominican by continuing to work with an organization called Grace Covenant and DR Missions. Each summer, Wes spent several weeks on the ground in San Cristobal.

As high school drew to a close, and Wes explored his college options, he knew in his heart he would flourish Wes praying for a young woman in San Cristobal. (Click to enlarge)at Charis Bible College in Colorado. The time spent in preparation at CBC could only further his ministry to the people of the Dominican. So at 18, fresh out of high school, he enrolled in classes at CBC. His first summer out of high school was hectic. He had two weeks after his graduation to prepare for a six-week trip to the Dominican, and then he was home for three weeks before moving out on his own. Wes' transition to Colorado went smoothly, considering he moved to a new state, into an apartment he had never seen, to go to a school he had never visited. That summer was "a rollercoaster of excitement for sure," Wes shared.

From the look on his face... It may just be true that Wes was called to missions! (Click to enlarge)After graduating from CBC, Wes' perspective on the Bible, the natural realm and his relationship with God had all matured, and he began to walk with a confidence that could only be attributed to the revelation he gained while at Bible college. "My time at CBC gave me a love for the Word. I now see it [the Bible] as a love letter to me. And I now know, without a doubt, that God desires to have a passionate relationship with me; this allows me to be more confident in what God says to me," Wes said. Through his time at CBC, Wes was further prepared to be the minister the Lord called him to be. "I am equipped through the knowledge of Him [Jesus] to encourage and build up others," said Wes.

After several years serving short-term stints with DR Missions, Wes knows the time has come for the adventure to become full-time. While the organization's primary focus is ministry to the disadvantaged children in San Cristobal, Wes' efforts have been put toward relationship building with local pastors. He plans to continue his outreach to church leadership upon his return to the Dominican. "Right now Wes receives prayer from a young boy on the mission field. (Click to enlarge)it's just about getting to know the pastors more personally. We have been sharing our hearts with them and fanning the flame that God has placed in their heart through the message of His love," said Wes.

Wes said he's just a young man, keenly aware of the call on his life, and he's stepping out in faith knowing God will be with him, enabling him to do all that is required on the mission field in the Dominican Republic. His time at CBC has helped prepare him for the work ahead as he encourages the growth of God's kingdom in a foreign land.

For more information about Wes's call to missions, or to find out more about his work in the Dominican Republic, readers are welcome to contact him via email: .


Choosing Life in Santiago

These Charis Bible College second-year students ministered in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.The first CBC-Colorado mission team to leave the country in 2013 went to the fertile ground of the Dominican Republic to share the love of Jesus. They were hosted by ministry friends and full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at their mission compound in Santiago. The hug of a lifetime. CBC student, Jim Holmes, bear-hugging some local children with the Father's love.
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Using the compound as a hub for their outreach activity, the students were given the opportunity to minister the Gospel in a number of ways throughout the city. The team held meetings, visited schools and prisons, and ministered through street outreaches, performing skits, canvassing neighborhoods and distributing food. Their efforts yielded fruit in God's harvest.

One CBC student, Dennison Strong, spent his time in Santiago acutely aware of the Lord's voice (John 10:27) and he shared the words he heard, as the Lord led him to speak. The CBC team was the first group of missionaries ever to enter this school. It was here that souls and lives were saved. (Click to enlarge)During one outreach, held in a school that had not previously allowed missionaries in to minister, Dennison heard a specific word from the Lord. Concerned because the service was winding down, and most of the ministry had already taken place, he wondered how to present what he had heard to the hundreds of students in attendance. Dennison kept hearing, "There's a girl here who is going to commit suicide. She doesn't like herself. She's ashamed of what her life has been like. She feels dirty and has been abused."

"I knew it was the Lord speaking, but didn't know how to find her," said Dennison. Dennison and Ismaria, the young lady saved from suicide because Dennison stepped out in faith, and let her know of God's specific love for her. (Click to enlarge)He approached one of the team's interpreters and asked him to make this word of knowledge known in Spanish over the PA system. After the word was shared, a teacher, who was talking with a girl at the side of the platform, sent the girl over to Dennison to receive prayer. "After praying for deliverance in her life from the lies she'd believed, the Lord gave me more words to encourage her. She is a different person now and was glowing with God's love and mercy in her life. I love how God knows who's hurting and orchestrates His provision," said Dennison.

Another student, Rena Keener, shared an encounter of her own. During an outreach in a public park, Rena noticed a young man resting on the fringes of the ministry area. He was noticeably downcast and had several visible injuries. He had casts on his left leg and his left hand, with screws and stabilizing pins sticking out of both. Rena watched Rena (center of skit) noticed Davor while performing in one of the groups dramas. (Click to enlarge)the young man draw closer as the team ministered. After the presentation, Rena and classmate, Gary Laxson, approached him. His name was Davor; he was an 18 year old Haitian refugee. After being asked about his injuries, Davor expressed that his hand was in severe pain. Rena and Gary laid hands on Davor's hand and commanded the pain to leave. When asked if his hand was pain free, Davor said it was better, but it still hurt.

As their ministry to Davor continued, Rena asked if he had ever received Jesus as his Savior. He said no, but expressed that he wanted to receive Him. With the help of their interpreter, Rena and Gary walked Davor through the prayer of Davor (circled in red) sitting on the curb where Rena first noticed him. (Click to enlarge)salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Davor's countenance had changed since she first spotted him, and a big smile began to spread across his face. Rena said, "He was very excited. Then he looked at me, touched his hand and yelled 'C'est bien! C'est bien!' which is French for 'It's Good! It's Good!' We had the interpreter verify that all the pain in his hand was now completely gone!"

According to CBC student, Diane Coble, one of the team's interpreters tearfully expressed that she knew the team was sent by God, because the CBC team introduced the Holy Spirit during the Salvation message. "I was so blessed to be able to take what I've received at CBC and share it with others," said Diane.


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.