Early in March, ten second-year students from Charis Bible College in Colorado were given a taste of life on the mission field in Ecuador. The team, led by CBC's Online Education Director, Greg Macy and his wife, Citlalli, were hosted by Charis alumni and full-time missionaries, Mickey and Suzan Cartagena in Machala and Huaquillas.
While looking at the cultural and regional diversity of the team, one student was prompted to ask God, "Why did you put this team together? How is this going to work, Lord?" The student's questions came while preparing for the trip as a team and evaluating the diverse make-up of the group. The student was concerned about the team being able to come together in unity to serve the Lord. "We were like an orchestra warming up, we sounded out of tune," the student said.
An amazing thing happened by the time the team arrived in Ecuador, our Lord, The Conductor, began to lead His orchestra. The student remarked, "All the pieces fit together and sounded so beautiful. Everything we had prepared separately was exactly what was needed at the right time."
Not only did the Lord bring this team together, but He used them in mighty ways, so much so that the Cartagenas opened their recent ministry newsletter with the headline: "CBC Colorado brings 'Love in Any Language' to Machala & Huaquillas, Ecuador."
Mickey said, "As the team ministered in the home groups, in the church services, and in a rehabilitation center, they all ministered with the power of God’s love. How awesome it was to see the countenance on the people’s faces change as they encountered God’s unconditional love."
CBC student, Jeremie Hill, won't soon forget his time in Ecuador. He was given the opportunity to share his real-life prodigal son story at a drug rehab facility for men. Jeremie gave his victorious testimony, an account of coming out of the drug and alcohol scene after spending nearly a decade running from God. After Jeremie and a classmate, John Leong, shared their stories of hope with the residents, they gave an altar call to accept the love and forgiveness that Jesus had for each them—the same love that had saved them. About a dozen men came forward to receive Jesus. Jeremie said, "I was ecstatic! Then, we gave an opportunity for them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit...even more men came forward at that point!" Nearly 30 men went forward in all.
"We saw healings, salvations, and the Holy Spirit move everywhere we were allowed to teach—even in the park and especial at the drug rehab center. It blessed me to be a part of this Ecuador team," said CBC student, Jane Montague.
Jane also shared that the one thing that touched her heart the most was when the team visited the children's home. The home named, La Casita de Mi Sueños (Little House of My Dreams) is a place for children from broken homes, homes where the parents are drug addicts and where the children had been severely abused. In the home Jane used a puppet show to teach a lesson about the Lost Sheep and how Jesus is like the shepherd. She made sure to point out how precious each person is to Jesus, including each one in the children's home. After the puppet show, 10 children came forward for salvation. Jane said, "I started crying to see God's plan come to life through that simple story. God sent me to Ecuador for that reason, and it was beautiful."
Mission: Bring the unconditional love of God to the people of Ecuador. Mission accomplished.