Charis Bible College prepares second-year students to go and declare the glory of God to other nations by sharing His wonders among all peoples (Ps. 96:3). These mission trips are not just prayer walks. Those who go—students whose lives have been transformed by the Holy Spirit—carry the “Charis experience” with them, taking the love and power of God and sowing it among the people they come in contact with. On one particular trip, the destination was the Dominican Republic—one of two nations located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago, nestled in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
With the help of their hosts, Tim and Trena Johnson, the students visited many different places, and their testimonies awakened the reality of the Gospel for the listeners. Students truly had the opportunity to learn the meaning of Christian outreach. They were not sharing just stories from a book; they were sharing the true love of God flowing from their own lives. They visited a prison in Santo Domingo, and Charis student Sylvia Wells opened her heart and shared her testimony with the inmates:
“A few years before I came to Charis, my twenty-three-year-old son, Kyle, was involved in a hit-and-run accident and was left to die on the side of the road. Being found by a policeman, he was then rushed to the hospital, where he died several hours later. The man who hit Kyle was drunk at the time of the accident. He was arrested just days later and received a light sentence for what he had done. My son was born again, and in spite of the circumstances, I knew that God’s Word promises that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). Because of this truth, how could I be sad, knowing that my son was now in the presence of the God I love?”
She continued, “I forgave the man and chose not to harbor bitterness toward him. I was free to celebrate the life of my son without focusing on the loss. Later, I found out that the man was struggling with guilt and depression because of what had happened to my son and our family. I wrote him a letter and extended forgiveness to him. I told him that Jesus died for him so that he could be forgiven and free. The man was very grateful for my letter. I’m sharing with you today how God helped me to forgive the man responsible for my son’s death—because you need to know that God’s forgiveness is available for you too. My son’s race is over, but yours isn’t. God still has a plan for your life. Don’t give up!” With those words, seeds of forgiveness, redemption, and hope were planted in the lives of those inmates.
During the same trip, Dominican children also received ministry. The visit from the Charis team to a mission where children gather for a meal and Bible study was the highlight of the day for many involved. The children were able to see that God loves them through these students taking the time to show that they cared. Ed and Michele Liquete, the team leaders, had the opportunity to minister to a Canadian girl who was struggling with drugs. They also helped others rededicate their lives to the Lord. Like Jesus, the Charis team went about doing good and destroying the works of the devil (Acts 10:38).
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 World Outreach web page.
If Sylvia’s testimony or the work done in the Dominican Republic ministered to you, please comment below.