Follow Us Online
Previous News Topics

Entries in Dominican Republic (10)


Not Limited Anymore

Judy and Anna with one of Anna’s neighbors“All my neighbors here in this community know how I used to walk with my arm stiff. I always had it covered. People knew I could not sleep because of the pain. I could not dress myself, and my daughters had to brush my hair for me. As you can see, that is not the case anymore.”

As a team of Charis Bible College students arrived at the little village on the outskirts of Santiago, Dominican Republic, they prepared for yet another opportunity to share and minister the love of God to the expectant hearts of the people who began to surround them. One of the locals, Anna, headed straight for one of the students on the team, not realizing that this student was not only one of the two fluent Spanish speakers on the team but also happened to be a nurse.

“My plan was to pray for the little children, but God had other plans,” remarks second-year student Judy Saiz. “Anna came up to me and presented with a painful right shoulder. She stated that she had had this condition for a while and that it had progressively worsened.” Needless to say, Anna was tired of her condition and sought the only source of hope she had left—her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Anna and Judy lifting their hands high—something Anna couldn’t do beforeWasting no time, Judy began to minister to Anna. “When I asked her what she would like Jesus to do for her,” remarks Judy, “she responded with, ‘I believe that God can heal my shoulder so that I can do the things I have to do every day.’”

After a brief exam, Judy realized that Anna had what is called a frozen shoulder and experienced limited flexion and extension in her arm. “I thought, Lord, this is a frozen shoulder. In my experience, this will require surgery and three months of intensive physical therapy. The Lord said to me, ‘Yes, I know.’

“I told her that we would have to pray in agreement, and I commanded the pain to leave and never come back. I prayed for full range of motion in her shoulder and for the inflammation to leave immediately in Jesus’ name.”

Instantly, Anna received her healing. Jumping up and down, she extended her arm straight upward and began to glorify and praise God for the healing she had received.

Anna sharing her testimony with her people, with translator Conrad and Pastor TimAnna then took the platform and told the people in the little village of Rio Seco, Jacuaga, about the great healing that had just taken place and what Almighty God had done for her. “As you can see, I’m not limited anymore,” Anna proclaimed.

Anna and Judy’s encounter is just one of the many examples of the testimonies that come from the Charis Bible College missions trips. As students continue to take the message of God’s love and grace to the cities and villages of the world, there’s no telling what God will do next!


Heather Hunter's Hermanito

Heather Hunter from Charis Bible College in Colorado and her "hermanito" (Spanish for, little brother) Nicaraguan native, Jose Luis. (Click to enlarge)Heather Hunter is a recent graduate of Charis Bible College in Colorado. Shortly before she graduated, she took part in a CBC second-year mission trip to Nicaragua. Even before finding out she had been chosen to be part of a team headed to the Central American nation, Heather knew in her heart that she belonged in Nicaragua. As she prepared for her journey, people prayed for and spoke many encouraging words over her. Among the things people shared with Heather, were that God was going to show her a different aspect of His love on the trip, and that God had a specific, divine appointment waiting for her there, and that she would be aware of exactly when she had the encounter.

During Heather's first day in Nicaragua, her team ministered in a place called Las Maderas. There they worked closely with Andrew's good friends Darey and Karen Jolley and their ministry, Ambassadors to the Nations. While visiting a school, and preparing for her role in a team skit, the Lord brought a young man to Heather's attention. She immediately sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to her about him. Their initial encounter was only long enough to exchange greetings before they were interrupted by the performance.

In the skit titled, Set Me Free, Heather played a person far from God, tangled and entrapped in all sorts of sin. In the end, Jesus redeemed Heather's character, and she embraced Him. Jesus wrapped her in a white robe of righteousness, and the two danced, rejoicing in her deliverance. After the skit, Heather shared some of her personal testimony. Among other details, Heather shared that she used to cut herself.

Immediately following her testimony, the young man she had met before the skit, Jose Luis, came and grabbed her by the hands and asked (in Spanish) to speak to her alone. After the two went outside, Jose revealed lines and scars on his arms—he was a cutter also. Realizing that he was struggling, Heather explained to him that the change he was seeking would come effortlessly, as a by-product of a relationship with God. Heather could see relief flood Jose Luis' face when he realized freedom was not on his shoulders.

By the third day, Heather and Jose Luis had gotten better acquainted. Heather had learned a lot about Jose Luis' past and his current life at home. "He told me his dad never said he loved him, and I told him I had experienced the same in the past," Heather said. "I honestly don’t think anyone had ever told him that they genuinely love him, and I don’t think he had ever been able to say it to anyone," Heather continued.

On a ferry returning from team outreach efforts on the island of Ometepe, Heather felt it was time to tell Jose Luis how the Lord brought them together. Heather said, "I told him about knowing I belonged in Nicaragua, about the divine appointment that I was told I would have, and how I would know the appointment when it happened. Then I told him that he was the divine appointment."

Jose Luis and Heather (right) with other CBC-Colorado students.
(Click to enlarge)
As Heather continued to speak to Jose Luis, she told him of the deep sadness she sensed he had in his heart. She said, "You feel that no one knows, and that no one cares, and you feel alone. But you have to see how God sent me, someone from across the world, to intercede for you.”

Jose Luis acknowledged what Heather shared and said, “Yes, I felt that way, but after meeting you, I do not anymore because I know there is someone who does care.” Wanting to impress upon Jose Luis just how valuable he is to the Father, she replied, “Yes, but you have to see that it is not just me who cares, it is really God."

Heather began to see the Love of God opening up in Jose Luis, the way a flower opens to the sunlight. "The look on his face was unforgettable. I told him, 'You know what? God loves you, and the way God loves you, I love you also. God never wants His kids to hurt, and He loves you so much that He sent me from across the world, just to tell you.”

Jose Luis looked at Heather, and told her he loved her the same way.

Heather said that in those moments, the Lord showed her that Jose Luis was responding to more than her sisterly love; he was literally responding to God's love poured out through her.

For the rest of the trip, the two were inseparable, referring to each other as hermana (big sister) and hermanito (little brother). The Lord continued to use Heather to reveal Himself to Jose Luis, and through the experience, to reveal more of His love to Heather as well.

Understanding that the bond the Lord had forged between Heather and Jose Luis was meant to be maintained, Heather struggled with how to stay in touch with her little brother after the CBC team left Nicaragua. After all, Jose Luis didn't have the modern conveniences (e.g. cell phone and internet) we enjoy in more developed nations. Back in the United States, as Heather pondered the communication gap, she prayed and asked God to make a way for their friendship to flourish.

Heather's happy little brother, Jose Luis. (Click to enlarge)A few hours later, Heather received a message from Jose Luis on Facebook; he had just purchased a phone and downloaded the free app. Now the two can communicate any time, any place. In Heather's reply, she shared what she had prayed earlier in the day, and pointed out how God had faithfully answered her prayer. Nothing is impossible with God.

Second year mission trips provide real-life opportunities for CBC students to put what they've learned in the classroom, into action. For many, like Heather, these trips are life changing. To learn more about Charis Bible College and how you can change your life and your world, visit:


Big Blessings in Small Packages 

CBC-Colorado sent a mission team to the DR in December 2013. Here, a young boy prays a prayer of thanksgiving before a meal served by the CBC students at a feeding facility for underprivileged children. The 23-person team fed about 50 children on the last day of their trip. (Click to enlarge)One of the greatest and most life-changing opportunities Charis Bible College offers its students is the hands-on ministry experience during their second-year mission trip to a foreign country. Over the years, we have posted many stories and videos sharing the impact that these trips have on the students and the people to whom they minister. Today's testimony provides a glimpse of just how the Lord uses these trips to spread His unconditional love and grace around the world, one small, Spirit-filled moment at a time.

The food ministry facility where the CBC team served lunch to approximately 50 children. (Click to enlarge)CBC-Colorado student John DeBoer visited the Dominican Republic late last year with a team, led by CBC Instructor Peggy Shirley, and third-year interns, Richard and Jen Kramer. On the last day of their excursion, John and his 21 other teammates served lunch at a small food ministry for underprivileged children. Just before the children were about to eat, the pastor of the local church that sponsored the daily meal asked a young boy to come forward to lead the group in a prayer of thanksgiving.

The little man of God prays for CBC student John DeBoer as Conrad (background) translates the boy's prayer.
(Click to enlarge)
Although John didn't understand the boy's words because he spoke in Spanish, John sensed he had prayed a heartfelt prayer. It was also clear that the boy was nervous, as he hesitated several times seeming to search for the right or acceptable words. John also noticed that some of the other children were laughing and making fun of the boy. After the child concluded his prayer he quickly sat down, away from the other kids, covered his face and began to cry. In that moment, Holy Spirit began prompted John to encourage the young man.

The small, but mighty man of God.
(Click to enlarge)
"I asked Conrad, our interpreter, to help me, and we took the boy outside. As we spoke with him the Holy Spirit had me tell him that Jesus was proud of him—that he had prayed a wonderful prayer, and that he was already a powerful young man of God. I also told him that God loved him so much and had a wonderful plan for his life," John said. Holy Spirit then urged John to have the boy pray a blessing over him. John said, "I asked him to pray for me, and he placed his hand on my head and prayed."

It was an awesome moment for both men of God. The younger walked away smiling and happy, and John walked away totally blessed. "The Holy Spirit blessed and encouraged that young man, and I was privileged to be the vessel He used to do it," John shared with joy in his heart.

This was just one small moment of many Spirit-filled moments that John and his team experienced during their week of ministry in the Dominican. The smallest moments can be packed with life-changing impact.