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Entries in Dominican Republic (12)

Thursday
Mar072013

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.

Monday
Mar052012

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.

Monday
Jan162012

CBC Mission Teams Visit Santiago

Second-year CBC students performing a skit in a park in Santiago, Dominican Republic. (Click to enlarge)A group of second-year Charis Bible College students, including student teams from across the US, the UK, and Kenya spent the first week of December in the Dominican Republic. The group, led by CBC instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, was hosted by full-time missionaries, Tim and Trena Johnson, at the Casa Grande Centro de Misiones Internacional mission compound in Santiago.

The schedule for the week was packed with hands-on ministry opportunities including a children’s crusade, a visit to a feeding center where the team helped serve lunch to the children in an impoverished community, and a pastors’ and leaders' conference. The students ministered at a children's crusade called Kids Camp. 200 kids attended the event. (Click to enlarge)The students took the lead in each event performing puppet shows, original student-written dramas, sharing testimonies, preaching, and praying for those who responded to the end-of-service altar calls. Although none of the student-missionaries spoke Spanish and most of them had no previous experience working with an interpreter, they had no problem communicating the love of God and the almost-too-good-to-be-true-news of the gospel with the audiences.

The bond of love between the students and the people was clearly visible and was particularly noticeable at the kids' crusade where the children’s bright faces enthusiastically One of the larger churches the group visited. The pastor of this church was offered a Major League Baseball contract in the United States, but turned it down to serve the Lord.
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displayed their joy during the student performances. Their enthusiasm could also be seen as the CBC students prayed for the children and handed out candy as they left the meetings.

Each outreach was highlighted with salvations, and the manifest power of God through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Even on the team's free day, when the students took a break to explore their surroundings, they made time to share the gospel with the local vendors leading at least one to Christ.

During one morning outreach, the team performed their skits and Tim Johnson preached a wonderful This is a church in one of the poorest neighborhoods the students visited. (Click to enlarge)message to the people in the park. More than 20 people, mostly young men, received Jesus. At the conclusion of the morning's event, the Holy Spirit drew one CBC-Colorado student, Leesa Hamilton's, attention to a scantily clad young woman. Leesa noticed the young twenty-something as she stood off in the distance, scowling as she watched the ministry taking place. "I felt the compassion of Christ for this girl. I knew that prostitution was a great source of trade in that city, and that she was dressed like someone in that profession," recalled Leesa. With her heart and eyes set on the young woman, Leesa approached. She wrapped her arms around her and felt the woman stiffen up. Leesa Joy Southworth (left) shared her testimony through interpreter and host, Trina Johnson. While in the Dominican she also received her calling from the Lord. "God captured my heart and spoke to me and said, 'Here.' I not only believe I'm going back, but I can't wait until God returns me to these precious people," said Joy (Click to enlarge)maintained the embrace, and she could feel the love of God flowing out of her right into the young woman's heart. "I felt her body begin to relax and receive. When I finally let her go, I looked into her face and smiled at her, and she smiled back at me," said Leesa. Although she admitted she doesn’t know what God said to her through their embrace, Leesa knew for sure that God had touched the young woman. "I knew He was telling her just what she needed to hear, Leesa said confidently.

Clearly, based on Leesa's fond memory, the heart changes realized during this CBC second-year mission trip weren't limited to the Dominicans. Some of the team members testified that they had received divine directions for their future ministries and even the call to missionary work during this trip.