Recently, twenty-three Charis Bible College (CBC) students from the Colorado campus went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. The team, led by CBC instructor, Dr. Delron Shirley, was the third from Colorado to visit the impoverished nation this year. The team had the opportunity to serve alongside missionaries Karen and Darey Jolley, founders of Ambassadors to the Nations, a ministry which serves in some of the poorest countries in Central America. Much of the students' time was focused on ministering to the children of Nicaragua.
The Ambassadors' Sponsor a Child program allows participants to support an individual child, or an entire family, on a monthly basis. All money received through this program is used for food, clothes, water, medical and schooling needs. Some of the CBC students had the opportunity to personally meet the children whom they have been sponsoring through the program. It was a joy for them to have hands-on involvement in distributing the needed supplies to the children and families they have been supporting from a distance.
The student missionaries also went into the local schools and presented Gospel-centered dramas and puppet shows, and then blessed the children with coloring books as well as new shoes. As part of the shoe distribution, the CBC students imitated Jesus' selfless act of washing His disciples' feet (John 13:4-17). The team washed the children's feet and prayed over each child before placing the new shoes on them. It was a small blessing for the children, but the act had a life-changing impact on the students.
The CBC team also held open-air meetings as part of their outreach efforts to the villages throughout the area. One such meeting was held on an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. People came from neighboring islands in canoes and rowboats to see the puppet ministry, and hear the Gospel. At other meetings, people filled the streets and crowded around the ministry teams. At several locations where the students ministered they also offered free medical clinics. Prior to seeing the doctor, however, each patient received prayer from a CBC student, and many students reported instant healings. Students were overjoyed by the miracles they witnessed while operating in the power of God.
When the crowds became too large at some of the outreaches, it was impossible to minister to each person individually, so the prayer team formed a line and had the people seeking prayer walk past; the team called it a prayer tunnel. The students laid hands on and prayed a blessing over each person as they walked through. Delron and the team believed that their prayer tunnel had the same anointing that Peter’s shadow had as he passed by people in the book of Acts.
Ambassadors to the Nations help to improve the living conditions through the building of suitable housing for the people to whom they minister. CBC students were able to visit several housing projects where new homes had been built. The new houses, which were constructed with sturdy cement brick, and were complete with electricity and plumbing, replaced old shelters built with scrap metal, random pieces of wood and sheets of plastic. One home that had just been completed was given to a teacher from one of the schools. Before moving into her new residence, the teacher lived in a “home” with a tarp roof and had to walk a village block to use a bathroom.
Delron estimated that the CBC team touched at least four thousand lives through the supplies distribution, medical clinics and open-air ministry; however, the impact on the students lives was just as great, as they witnessed so many responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.