At Charis Bible College (CBC), the second year curriculum combines classroom teaching with hands-on training in real-life ministry situations. Second year students also have the privilege of participating in one mission trip abroad. For many believers, few things are as life changing as participation in a foreign mission trip. These experiences are a valuable part of each student's time at CBC, as they learn how to effectively communicate the Gospel message in a foreign culture.
In February, a thirty-six member CBC mission team, led by CBC Dean of Students, Wayne Knurr, traveled to Ciudad Victoria (Victory City) in northern Mexico for a week of hands-on ministry training. The team was hosted by Bobby and Lynn Crow, founders of World Missions Outreach and Palabra De Vida (Word of Life) Church. The students saw the power of God's Word in action, as they witnessed salvations, miracles, and transformation in the lives of the Mexican people to whom they ministered.
After returning to Colorado, each student had the opportunity to share personal highlights from their experience in Mexico. During an assembly, with the rest of the CBC student body, mission team members shared their deep appreciation for Bobby and Lynn, noting the Crow's desire to serve and provide for the CBC team. Their example of love, service, and abundant provision did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Prior to the trip numerous students had prayed that God would provide an opportunity for them to be part of a major healing manifestation, and Praise God, no one was disappointed. The students saw a baby healed of colic, blind eyes and deaf ears opened, and witnessed people being set free from sickness, disease and pain. One woman, who was in a wheelchair due to a severe back injury, was healed and able to walk around after being ministered to by the CBC team.
CBC student, Kim Hatfield reported that upon arriving in Mexico the Holy Spirit reminded her that if she didn’t do anything, nothing would happen. This inspired her to step out of her comfort zone. As she trusted the Lord and ministered His word to the Mexican people, she was delighted to see the manifestation of God's healing power.
Mission team member, Deuane Woodard took special note of the uniting power of music ministry. He was touched by how praise and worship united everyone at each gathering, completely overriding the language and cultural barriers. He also noted that when he was faced with a particularly challenging prayer request during ministry, he would ask the Holy Spirit to guide his prayer. In one instance, the Holy Spirit prompted him to pray against a spirit of infirmity. He did as the Spirit instructed and saw an immediate healing manifestation.
The Mexican children made quite an impression upon several of the CBC students. Some of the children enjoyed tagging along with the missionaries during their door-to-door home canvassing, and other children helped the students by translating for them. Whether it was cultural curiosity or candy that drew the children to the missionaries is hard to say, but all of the children came forward boldly and unashamedly to take their share of the candy when it was offered by the CBC students. Through this example, one student realized God’s desire for all of His children to approach Him in the same manner, with boldness, excitement and anticipation, unashamedly expecting His blessing and provision.
Second year student, Tim Abello was pleased to note that preaching with an interpreter actually calmed his nerves some, but he was more excited to share about the particularly fruitful door-to-door visitations. One day as they canvassed a neighborhood, he and his team members saw thirteen people saved within an hour and a half.
Overall, the students were overwhelmed by the open, receptive hearts of the people in Mexico. Everyone who came forward for prayer was able to receive from the Lord. Although many of the people the students encountered claimed to know Jesus, some also confessed that they were not sure that they would be going to heaven when they died. Students led the individuals who were seeking assurance of their salvation in simple prayers throughout the week. Simplicity was the key for many in overcoming language and cultural differences.
Effective ministry led to salvations, miracles, and changed lives, both Mexican lives and student's lives.