What would you leave for the sake of the Gospel?
Some people leave family and friends, even countries, to share God’s love in nations across the world. But “leaving” doesn’t have to involve permanent or long-term geographic relocation. Leaving can simply mean getting out of your comfort zone, stepping outside the boundaries of the familiar, to reach out to others.
That describes the second-year Charis Bible College students who visited the Dominican Republic earlier this year. The team, comprised of twenty students, two interns, and two staff members, left the familiar surroundings of the U.S. to bring the Gospel to a nation more than 2,000 miles away. Ministering on the streets and in the schools, the students didn’t do it in their own power but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the team traveled to a high school located high in the mountains outside Santiago, it was slow going. Four weeks of rain had produced terrible road conditions. The road was even washed out in many areas. But their leaving was worth it. Once they got to the school, the team performed skits and shared a short message of salvation. About 175 students received Jesus as their Savior! The Charis students found such freedom in being able to share Jesus so openly—in a public school!
During a second public school outreach, the team ministered to about 500 students and faculty members. Again, they performed skits and shared the Gospel. They also passed out food and candy, which was a hit with the students.
The weeklong trip also included street ministry and open-air ministry in a park. During one of the open-air meetings, the team invited people to come forward with their prayer needs. Bryan Houser prayed for a lady who had pain in her throat. Because of their language differences, they were only able to communicate through hand signals. Bryan placed his hand on the lady’s throat and prayed. The pain lessened after the first prayer, but it wasn’t completely gone. He prayed again and the pain left!
Another team member, Kathy, prayed for an elderly woman with an eye problem. After praying for her, Kathy learned through the interpreter that the woman’s eye problem was healed. The team also prayed for Pastor Abel, a man their team leader had known for over twenty years. Pastor Abel and his wife pastor a church in a rough area of Santiago and had joined the Charis team during an outreach.
“Personally, the most exciting part of the entire afternoon,” Kathy says, “was the prayer for the pastor and his team. I felt the Spirit in a tangible way over his wife. I felt the anointing flowing over her like rain showering her, over and over. [It was a] powerful time!”
Evangelism wasn’t relegated to only the schools and streets, however. The team also ministered in local churches. During one such meeting, the students witnessed an event they do not usually encounter in the States. At the end of the service, people were invited up for prayer. Bryan had just finished praying for someone and had turned to join a teammate, Carrie, in praying for a woman who had come forward. As soon as Bryan placed his hand on the woman’s head, she fell backward. Carrie immediately knew there was demonic activity, so she continued to pray in the Spirit. When she laid her hands on the woman’s legs, the woman began to scream and cough. In the spirit, Bryan saw black smoke come from the woman’s mouth. He commanded the demons to come out, and the lady was set free!
Leaving for the sake of the Gospel is what second-year Charis missions trips are all about. Partner with us and help take the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit to the nations!