“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Mark 16:15, brackets mine
Every year, Charis Bible College – Colorado sends hundreds of second-year students around the world to preach the Gospel. And every year they return with testimonies of healings, salvations, and miracles. Perhaps the greatest testimonies are those of the students’ changed hearts and minds. Charis students who leave Colorado somewhat timid return emboldened. Those who leave quoting theory come home with revelation. And many who are seeking God for that “next step” return with vision.
This year has been no different.
Tim Mayes, a Charis Colorado student who went to Costa Rica, returned in awe of the way God changed his heart during his team’s trip. “Costa Rica was not my first choice,” Tim says. “I don’t even think it was my last choice, but I am fully aware that it was the correct choice for me.” During Tim’s trip, the Lord challenged him to do something with the wisdom and knowledge he had received from Charis. Tim describes what he heard the Holy Spirit say to him: “You have been given all of this. What are you going to do with it?“ But then a short time later, Tim tells how the staff leader, Steve Bartlett, “pointed his footlong index finger [at me] and asked, ‘What are you going to do for the next twenty years that will count for eternity?’ This gets your attention, starts a person to thinking. Long story short, I’m headed back to Costa Rica this summer to work in the remote villages. Hallelujah!”
Another member of the team, Rosemary Goddard, shares her story:
“Some years ago…God spoke to me and told me I would be teaching and preaching…[and] would travel and ‘go places that no man would go.’ Not really understanding [that] phrase, I said, ‘Okay, Lord!’ In the city of Limón [Costa Rica], some of us were scheduled to go up to what we called ‘the church on the hill.’ The church was in an area where we had to walk up the hill to get to it. It would [mean] climbing muddy, rocky roads, so it was not possible for the bus to reach it…. Our leader, Pastor Douglas, told us that no teachers or pastors would come to this church and others like it because they did not want to walk. It is too hot. There is no air conditioning in the church. The roads are too muddy. It is rainy sometimes, and they do not get enough money for doing it. I rejoiced when God reminded me of His words many years ago. This was my first church for ‘going places no man [would] go,’ and for me, it [will] not [be] my last.”
Student Jon Rand says, “Each individual going on a [Charis] mission[s] trip comes back, I am confident, with different impressions of the experience they had.” He describes his own experience like this:
“Our team traveled deep into the rainforest to an indigenous tribal village of the Bribri people. Here, life is simple but hard. … Our group joined a Saturday, mid-afternoon church service. The congregation gathered under a black plastic tarp…. Seating was crude wooden benches and old, rusted, schoolroom chairs. … Through an interpreter, one [Charis] team member addressed the native Bribri people about simply asking God for what they’re believing in and then expecting it to happen. Near the end of the service, a local pastor shared that they [were] believing for a new church facility. I took them aside after the service to inquire what that would cost. As I headed down the path toward our waiting bus, God spoke to me about helping to build that church—providing them the funds. Upon returning, we have been busy putting together a plan—a way to channel the funds, monitor the project, and simply make it happen. God is quickly opening doors. That church building will soon become a reality! Praise His name!”
If you would like to help take the Gospel of Christ to the nations through the missions trips taken by Charis students, go to our website.
Please share a comment below if the testimonies from this Charis missions trip ministered to you.
(Note: Testimonies have been edited for length and clarity.)