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Entries in Ecuador (4)


The Word of Our Testimony

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11a, New International Version

Early one morning in Ecuador, as the Charis Bible College missions team was sitting down to breakfast, screams split the air. Rushing out the hotel’s back door, five team members searched the alley to find the source of the trouble.

Resurrected child“We found a woman pulling her hair, screaming at the heavens over a young man holding a very still baby in his arms,” one member recalled. Apparently, the one-year-old had fallen and cracked his skull on the concrete. He was dead. As the missions team began to minister to the woman and work to calm her down, a team member who happened to be a registered nurse verified the baby’s injury. “His eyes were set; there was no pulse. The child was dead.”

Moments before they left to take the baby’s body to the morgue, the Holy Spirit spoke to one of the team members. “You have a choice,” He said. “You can close the child’s eyes or speak life back into his body.” So, she began to speak life. The other team members joined in, and suddenly, the baby blinked. Shouts of praise erupted in the house as the mother took her child into her arms.

Later that night, the team held a powerful service about the power of testimony. During Larry Wilgus’s teaching, the parents of the baby who was raised from the dead shared their story with the congregation. Thirty people were healed that night—and word began spreading. The next morning, the Charis team’s hotel was surrounded with people requesting prayer. “Word about the little boy spread quickly, and people began to pour into our hotel, requesting the ‘Charis people’ pray for them,” Larry reported. “It was so awesome seeing God confirm His Word with signs following [Mark 16:17-18]!”

The testimony of the little boy’s miracle started a tidal wave of faith in Ecuador. After hearing the testimony, one mother approached the team for her six-month-old girl. She was born with a deformed hip that caused her legs to grow inconsistently. Two days after prayer, the mom brought her child and x-rays to show the team how her daughter had been healed. The hip was perfect, and both legs were the same length!

“This trip was a life-changer,” one team member said. “I’ve never seen such hunger for God or witnessed firsthand the power of the Gospel.” During their time there, the Charis team ministered in churches, at meetings, in the mayor’s office, and out on the streets. The entire hotel staff was born again, and the mayor openly requested prayer. The team witnessed people getting saved and filled with the Spirit, deaf ears and blind eyes opening, arthritic pain disappearing, cancerous cysts dissolving, limbs growing, and much more! “You could hear shouts of praise all over the city!”


Unexpected Blessings in Ecuador 

Bubbles... Dr. Delron Shirley, the Director of CBC Colorado's School of Missions, breaks the ice with some children in Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)What do you get when you send a clown named, Bubbles to the banana capital of the world? Sounds like the opening to a very funny joke, doesn't it? Well, as funny as it may sound, it's not a joke; it's something that really happened as part of a short-term mission trip to South America. Earlier this year, Charis Bible College sent a team from Colorado to Machala, Ecuador. The 16-person group, led by CBC-Colorado's School of Missions Director, Dr. Delron Shirley and his wife, Peggy, were hosted by Charis alumni and full-time missionaries, Mickey and Suzan Cartagena.

Because schools in the region had just been released for summer break, the team spent a good deal of time ministering to the local children. Having a clown on the team was really a great way to reach the kids in a light-hearted manner. In one neighborhood, the CBC students shared the love of God with the children by hosting a three-day Vacation Bible School. In another area, the team ministered at a care facility for children that have been rescued from abusive situations. In both places the CBC students enjoyed spending time with their young audiences. They sang and played games with the kids, made balloon animals, served them a meal, and prayed for them.

The CBC Colorado team in Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)The Charis students were also given the opportunity to minister in churches and small home groups. These settings gave them time to teach the Word, perform Gospel-centered skits, and share personal testimonies. These opportunities opened the door for the people of Ecuador to experience God and his love in down-to-earth ways.

Team host, Suzan Cartagena said, "We watched the students connect with different people in Ecuador who didn’t know or had forgotten that God is pleased with them. People everywhere Dancing with God's stars. (Click to enlarge)are discouraged, lonely, abandoned, rejected, and filled with guilt and condemnation. They are angry with a God who does not seem to care."

During each outreach, the CBC students were able to introduce the people of Machala to a God who does indeed care—often connecting through the shared experience of their own testimonies. "It was amazing to see CBC students that have overcome rejection, naturally reach out to those that felt rejected; to see students that have experienced condemnation, reach out to those who walk in self condemnation, and to see students who have been angry with God or had given up on him, reach out to those who have searched for God and not yet found Him," said Suzan.

There were moments when the interaction between grown men, embracing battered children so perfectly mirrored God's heart for all His people that team leaders watched in awe as the children responded to the love that was being transmitted. "We heard students say, 'God just wants me to give you a hug,' and watched as the people on the receiving end instantly became connected to the love of God that they The princes and princesses of Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)had been so desperately longing for," Suzan shared.

"As the CBC team members prayed for the people, we saw them give their lives to Christ, receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and be healed," said Peggy Shirley. She also noted that the team saw several dramatic deliverances as people were set free from demonic oppression.

CBC's mission trips are always full of unique moments and special memories. One of the unexpected blessings on this trip was a request from a CBC student to be water baptized. When the team leaders made arrangements for her baptism, two others students joined her! All three were baptized in a pool by a local pastor named, Alfonso.

Three CBC students were baptized on the Ecuador trip.


CBC Students Minister in Ecuador

Second-year students from Charis Bible College in Colorado recently served on the mission field in Machala, Ecuador. (Click to enlarge)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, CBC grad and missionary, Mickey Cartagena addresses men in a local drug rehab in Machala.
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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.

Jeremie Hill, with the assistance of the CBC team Co-leader and translator, Citlalli Macy, shared his testimony in the drug rehab. (Click to enlarge)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."

Jeremie (bottom right) extends his hand in blessing and prayer.
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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 Jeremie, John (center, hand on man's back) and the team during a powerful time of prayer with the men who responded to the altar call.
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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 (pink) and the CBC team performed a puppet show for kid's in a children's home. (Click to enlarge)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.