Join us in celebrating how God is moving in the lives and communities across the globe!

Interview with a Colombia Mission Trip participant

God can take the most average person, and blow their world right open! Say YES to a mission trip.

Why did you make the decision to go on a mission trip? Why this trip? Why now?

I was excited about the way our CCV attendees sponsored over 11,000 children in Colombia As a family we chose to sponsor a child. We were eager to go and serve at one of the many churches built there. We also were excited to meet our little sponsored girl.

Was there a moment that really stood out to you? What was it?

It was the moment we walked into the Center on the very first day and the children were holding sign saying they were “happy” and “Had been waiting for us”. It was quite a moment.

How are you going to apply what you've learned and seen on this trip to your life when you get home?

We haven’t stopped thinking about it. We hope to go back soon but to also invest in our local community. We hope to reach other children and make sure they know Jesus.

How did this trip equip you to be a better Ambassador for Christ?

It was a trip of complete giving and selfless acts. Exactly as Christ would have done it!

How did this trip impact your personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

I felt the Holy Spirit quite often. That was my biggest take away. To listen to that voice more often and act on it. Continue to be in his Word.

What would you tell someone else thinking about going on a mission trip?

Please don’t wait. And if you can’t afford it, tell someone. You never know who is out there to gift you with a financial blessing.

One Student's Open Mind

When we step into something we don't know about, God can help transform our thinking and our hearts to align with his.

The other day I joined a one day discovery trip to GoTEN’s campus to see what that team is doing with the communities of refugees we have here in Phoenix. GoTEN stands for GO To Every Nation, a non profit dedicated to fulfilling the great commission in Matthew 28 that says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”

My first thought after hearing about GoTEN and their mission is if you want to “go to every nation” then… why are you here? Of all the nations in the world you are choosing to plat yourself here… in the US, the country with the most churches in the world, why is that? My answer would soon come.

Early on in the discovery, Bobby Cox and his wife Angie explained how their ministry started with Bobby being a successful youth minister who then felt God pushing him to visit the countries affected by a 2004 tsunami that decimated most of Asia. After going on a single short term mission trip, Bobby was hooked. Bobby and his family decided to pack up, sell everything they have, and move to a country that was considered 100% Muslim. A country where using the Bible as a means to convey the gospel wasn’t much of an option. So he spent the next few years there until the Arab Spring changed the entire 10-40 window.

The 10-40 window is an area of the world that is almost completely Muslim and has been historically completely closed off from all Christian attempts at conversion. Not only was it completely closed off, but it was also exceptionally dangerous. A large population of the planet was closed off from any Christian contact until most of the North African and Middle Eastern countries banded together to have massive uprisings, revolts, government overthrows, and in some places even deadly civil wars. It hasn’t been pretty for sure, but what we learned is that this created quite possibly one of the greatest evangelical opportunities we have ever seen…. The greatest refugee crisis in modern history.

Now in our politically charged and divided country those words bring a sense of dread and fear. Refugees? That’s a mess I don’t really want to deal with. I, like most Christians, know what the Bible says about refugees. In Exodus 22:21 we are told to not mistreat or oppress the foreigner among us. The James 1:27 verse that states that the true religion God accepts as pure and faultless is the one that takes cares of orphans and widows in their distress. And of course there is the famous Galatians verse that says we are all one in Christ, that there are no racial or national differences. I could go on and on about God’s call to take care of the people seeking asylum from well-founded fears of persecution and violence. So the problem isn’t that Christians don’t know what God has asked us to do, I think personally it’s that we don’t care. The question is always about fear. Fear for the safety of me, my family, and my country. Allowing foreign born nationals coming from war torn countries ravaged by Muslim extremists to live among is a danger too great to take right? Right? Here lies the question that Bobby made us pander. What if that crippling fear is unfounded?

We were shown the results of a study done by the CATO Institute called Terrorism & Immigration Risk Analysis 1975-2015. The pivotal part of the study comes when it shows that terrorism by people who have gained access to the United States through a refugee visa is basically non-existent. Since 1975, we have accepted 3.3 million people into the US on this type of visa, and since then only 3 people have died due to terrorism. If you stop that study from 1980 and forward, that number is ZERO. The reason for this? Most refugees spend years, if not literal decades, in refugee camps before they ever are accepted into a country. Not only that, but the US has the stingiest refugee security check of any country. If an extremist of any kind wanted to do something, they would not wait years in a refugee camp just to get flagged by our security checks before they even reach the border. There are far easier ways to do it. So Refugees are by and large, broken hurting people running from violence, just trying to find a way to live.

And Yet, for me, God challenged that notion even more. He reminded me that even if there was a little danger, even if it was not that safe, the benefits far outweigh the risks. At CCV, one of our core values is to risk it all to just win one more. With just one dollar, and one week, we would still spend it on saving just one more person for Jesus Christ. After all, we serve a God who leaves one hundred sheep to go find that one lost one, even if it cost him everything. At GoTEN I was reminded that God and his church never let fear be a factor in sharing the gospel. At GoTEN I also learned, that the greatest opportunity to witness to Muslims is right here on our doorstep.

Men doing Men things

Going on a mission trip is more than just building a roof.

CCV has been a proud partner with Bulembu ministries for the last 13 years! We just sent a hard working team of men with the sole purpose of building a roof on the local high school.  Turns out that with the pouring rain and construction, much more was able to be done other than the roof.  Mentoring happened, meals were shared, testimonies given, men were challenged, boys were inspired. People who have been to Bulembu, Swaziland say that the air is thin there, it's like you're closer to God.

Thank you, Bulembu Ministries, for impacting an ENTIRE NATION and for allowing CCV to serve you. 

Athletes Coming to know Jesus

Student Athletes coming to know Jesus

CCV  is a proud supporter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes here in Arizona.

this story comes to us from Kelly, who works with young female athletes.

"This is my 7thyear with the team as their chaplain. This year in particular has been a harvest it feels. I’ve had the opportunity of baptizing 7 of them this year in the pool over the left field wall. That includes the head coach which was amazing.

Overall all 9 have been baptized in that pool… 11 if you include the two University of Oklahoma softball players who jumped in to be baptized.

I feel God reminding and speaking to me… “be faithful, keep showing up, even when you don’t know if its helping I will use you”.

Let's continue to pray for all the workers who strive each day to be obedient and let's celebrate with them when God uses their efforts for his Glory. 

A One Night Mission Trip??!!

A local serving opportunity, engaging in our community, and a mission trip - all rolled into one 24 hour period.

In September of this year, CCV sent a team on an overnight trip to the Phoenix Dream Center (PDC) located near Grand Ave and 35th Ave. The team spent two days doing projects around the center, such as clearing out closets of donations, painting, and general clean ups. The team had the opportunity to hear from residents of the PDC and how the center has changed their lives. It was amazing to see how the residents were so invested in the center, and were not only working to better themselves, but were also working hard to better the other residents.

The Phoenix Dream Center exists to disciple men and women through community based outreach programs, which includes long term housing at a complex that was formally an Embassy Suites. They offer programs lasting anywhere from 3 months to 2 years that help people overcome difficult seasons of life (addiction recovery, coming out of prison, aging out of foster care, leaving abusive relationships, etc) through Christ-centered discipleship, structured living, and community outreach.

CCV is excited to offer this opportunity to our members and attendees.  It gives us a chance to know the needs and resources in our community! We have an upcoming trip to the dream center this January.  Check it out! 

1Mission builds its 800th house!

Poverty alleviation One House at a Time! !

This past October CCV sent a team with 1Mission down to Rocky Point, Mexico. Our team consisted of 85 people, with each of the 9 campuses represented on this team!

1Mission's main strategy for community development in that city is by coming alongside local families and helping make a way for them to have sustainable and adequate housing for their families. While our team was down there, they constructed three houses alongside the families receiving the homes. Of these three homes, one was the 800th house that 1Mission has constructed!

This home was for the Gil Encinas family, who worked along with the team in the construction of their new home. Ruben and his wife Yoselin, and their two children Ruben Alejandro and Rubi live off about $70 a week and have been living with Ruben’s mother. Receiving this new home allows them to live independently as a family and work together towards a brighter future for themselves. The family has put in over 200 hours of service towards the receiving of their home; through community service, health & wellness, skill training, literacy education and home building itself.

CCV has been involved with 1Mission and the work they are doing in Mexico since they were founded in 2007. We send several teams throughout the year, and would love to see you on a trip! To learn more about 1Mission's community development strategy in Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua, visit 1Mission.

Our favorite Cambodian

Sometimes CCV mission partners visit and we show them a good time!

Earlier in November, we had the wonderful opportunity to host Theara from Rapha House, a ministry we support in Cambodia. The CCV missions team and previous Cambodia trip participants got to hear about the work that our partner, Rapha House is doing in the fight against human trafficking in a difficult country. There is a constant influx of girls being brought in to their safe houses in various locations who have been rescued from lives of sex slavery and forced prostitution, as well as girls leaving their care through reintegration into the community and reunions with their families. They ask for your constant prayers for the girls – both those coming and those leaving, as well as the staff providing care.

While Theara was visiting, we got the chance to hear from her at a little get together with some of the previous team members from CCV who have taken a mission trip to visit Rapha House in Cambodia. It was a great time of fellowship between teams and reunion with Theara who serves as a translator and host for the teams that visit. The missions team also had the chance to take Theara to Antelope Canyon, an Arizona favorite destination! We loved having this chance to encourage Theara, and hear about how Rapha House is doing.
We have two trips this year to Cambodia, we would love to have you on these trips. The work Rapha House is doing is incredible! 

Soccer Reaches Nations

We never know the powerful impact our presence in another country can have on individuals coming to know Christ.

CCV and STARS Youth Sports collabored on a mission trip to Cuba recently. A team of coaches and players spent a week in Cuba, playing soccer, sharing about topics like leadership and integrity, visiting the local church, and playing more soccer!

Our partner in Cuba had this to say, "It was an incredible experience to have your teams coming our way. Many blessings are being received because of the program and the work your teams did. The community is aware of the partnership between Phoenix and Havana. The impact of the activity reaches many levels of the life of the communities here. A testimony of friendship, and the most important one is the fact that we are one people to the eyes of God. It impacted, not only our players, but other teams who play for the National league and many neighbors. On Sunday service we had a bunch of kids worshiping our Lord! and they were very attentive to what was happening. It is all because of the testimony your team showed them."

Praise God for following God's call to reach the nations! 

I had no idea 6 days in a foreign country would impact me so much

Mission Trip Participants never quite know what to expect.

Mary recently went to Colombia on one of CCV's trips.  This is what she had to say:

It’s been a little over a week since I came home from my mission trip to Columbia. Since returning I’ve had a plethora of emotions and feelings run through me. Part of me wanted to keep Colombia in a secret part of my heart and not share it with others because then it would truly be over and I would be back to reality. Another part of me wanted to tell every detail and hope that each person would be impacted by my story. Yet that isn’t practical either. It’s nearly impossible to explain in words just how significant and life changing a mere 6 days in a foreign country was, unless you were there. But I’ll do my best. Part of me truly came alive in Colombia. I loved being immersed in the culture, surrounded by the people and engaged in their love for Christ. I had opportunities to pray for people I had never met before but we had one thing in common, we love Jesus. I was able to encourage and uplift them, while they softened my heart and welcomed me into their homes and life. I went to their country with an open mind, yet the thought in the back of my head was that I going to share Christ and in some way help them...I didn’t realize I would come away from my mission trip so filled by the love of Christ they poured out on me. Colombia will always have a piece of my heart and I will forever be molded by the experience.

Bible Studies in Afghanistan

Be Bold in sharing your faith. You never know who is listening.

Sometimes we get the privilege of serving our service members when they reach out with specific requests.

This came over from a military servant stationed in Afghanistan.  We sent him a care package with specifically Bibles for him to share with his friends.

CCV Missions, 
I wanted to share something awesome with you that happened tonight. The men have been in their bibles a lot and bible studies continue to grow. We’ve been studying spiritual gifts and evangelism techniques for our Americans, African, and Muslim friends.
Last night a man asked me if tonight, I would spend some time one on one sharing testimony and answering a few questions he had.
After spending with him for about an hour a couple men heard talking from the chapel so they walked in. Then a few minutes later, more men heard something and walked in.
Three and a half hours later, I’ve lost my voice from teaching so excitedly, and answering questions from about 10 men who just walked into the chapel wanting to know how to know God's calling on their life and how to take the next step for those who know their calling.
God is good.
Please continue to pray for our group here at camp.

- T

A Plea to Write Letters to the Child you Sponsor

Heather and her husband Mark went on a mission trip to Colombia to visit the child they chose to sponsor.

To tell my story is to tell a story of every person on our Mission trip. A story that is so intertwined that only God could create something so beautiful. It’s a story of love.

The idea of going on a Mission trip was planted in my heart for many years, but the timing and financial commitment never really aligned. I felt like I could do more, but I didn’t know what “more” looked like.

When CCV launched Compassion at Christmas in December of 2017, there was no doubt this was my next step. Sponsorship was an easy decision. I had something to give and there was someone out there in need. I could make a difference! We were encouraged to not look for the perfect child, but know that it was the face of Jesus. As my husband and I reach out our hands to pull two sponsorships, we had no idea how those packets would change our lives.

I put so many obstacles in the way, but when we signed up for the Mission trip to Colombia, God removed them all. I wanted to see the work that was being done and to meet our children. The reality is that my sponsorship is not only impacting an individual child, but there is a ripple effect through a family and a community. I was helping to provide the message of Jesus.

I learned so much about Compassion, our sponsored children, and myself. Thousands of miles away, down a little dirt road, in a small one-bedroom house, when asked about the letters that I had sent, a mother walked over and pulled out every letter written to her daughter. Maintained in perfect condition, as if something precious, I looked through the words and photos sent. I am a part of that family’s story.

My message is simple…write letters!

Once a month, all the letters arrive in one packet. It’s a special day at the centers. Lets make sure that every child has a letter. Don’t think of your sponsored child as a pen pal and wait to get a response before sending another letter. Your letter is not only impacting that child, but also everyone around them. The same message that Jesus wants us to hear is the message that they need to hear: they are chosen and they are loved.

The power of a letter. It can change someone’s life forever. The only question is…is it their life or mine?

Love your Kenya

Brian just got back from Kenya and has some things to say.

My wife died in May 2017 after a two year battle with Ovarian Cancer. Once we got near the end she started ensuring that I was equipped with the information and advice I needed for what would follow. She was a strong supporter of overseas missions, particularly ones that impacted children.

When I moved from Northern California to Phoenix I was led by God to CCV through a series of events. Once I got to CCV, the Kenya Medical Mission trip seemed to call my name as I looked for a trip to support as my wife had advised.

I ended up on a team where I didn't know anyone. This turned out to be the first of many blessings from the trip. Also, not being Medical, i had no idea what I would be called on to do, another blessing. God was dismantling strong holds I had built in my life to cope. Certainty and control were the biggest of these. This trip totally destroyed those crutches.

I was so amazed by God's size. Here we were thousands of miles from home and there were people praising His name. They treated me like we had been lifelong friends. As I watched this same impact on my fellow team mates I realized God was on the move in changing my ideas about who He was. In Turkana, in northern Kenya, I was asked to serve in the Prayer room. There I found my voice for praying for others and learned how much love I actually had in me that had never gotten out.

But the major thing I learned on this trip was that if it comes down to sending money to help or going, going has a bigger impact as it allows God to show those you visit how big He is and that His love exceeds all the other forces that are out there. The local pastor David in Turkana explained that those I prayed with would never forget that a man came thousands of miles to love on them.

Church Planter gets a new Vehicle

Reliable transportation can be a game-changer for Kingdom Impact.

When you're a church planter in a sensitive country and you travel hundreds of miles a week to recruit, train, and sustain church pastors, their fledgling congregations, and host training conferences in multiple cities - having  reliable vehicle is a game-changer. There is such a church planter in a country in Asia that we are proud to have contributed to his vision and desire for a vehicle. 

From the pastor, "I’m so glad to let you know that finally God has provided a reliable vehicle for me to go around in ministry. I consider it as miraculous provision because it was not possible by myself. I took some time to check on this vehicle and tested with mechanics as well as on road and finally decided to get it. God has provided the exact amount needed for this vehicle as well.  This is my prayer, that this vehicle will be used to expand His Kingdom and make disciples all across this country and beyond. I’m so grateful to CCV for the generosity to make this happen."

Bible Translation progress in Vanuatu

Bible translation in some cultures takes many years and starts by training local native speakers to learn the languages of the Bible.

It’s amazing to look back and see what the Lord has done over these past 4 years on the island of Vanuatu.

Since we began, 15 of the native translation students have worked hard to learn Hebrew and begin translating a panorama of Old Testament passages. After this they began taking Greek classes and translating portions from the New Testament . They attended classes on preaching, biblical exegesis, publication and learned how to use our computer translation software. They also worked on developing Bible story apps for smart phones and educational primers for literacy from their translations.

On October 13th, they will receive a certificate of completion for their work. A ceremony will be held in the middle of town at the city park, where we will publicly declare the faithfulness of God. We will read a document we’re writing that details how the Lord has sustained and provided for us over the last 4+ years…from beginning to end. It reminds me of Nehemiah 8 or Acts 2 where the history of God’s faithful work is told.

We thank you for your part in all this and while you may not be physically present for this moment, your faithfulness is a big part of our celebration. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

For more information on this team's work, visit their Facebook page "Mission Vanuatu: The Thompson 4".

The Mission within the Mission

Those are the best words to hear when a team comes back from a mission trip. Sending disciples out to impact the world means you pray and hope for fruit that comes from their efforts.

However, on this trip, it might not be what you're expecting. The four people who make a decision to follow Christ were team members. They were people on the team from CCV who were sent out. Sometimes people sign up for a mission trip knowing they are supposed to go, knowing there's a purpose in it, knowing that it's a good thing to give of yourself to serve others. They don't always know the change and transformation that will occur in THEM as a result of that going. 

When you go on a mission trip, you're taking yourself out of your normal routine, out of your comfort zone, and you're placing yourself in a vulnerable position where you have to exhibit faith, sacrifice, patience, flexibility...and most important, you become a very good listener. You rely on your leaders and your teammates in a way that challenges your self-sufficiency. What a perfect place to be for God to speak to you. When you're way from the noise of every day life. 

Jarrell, Khloe, Malachi, and Angie, we are proud of you and excited to see how God continues to reveal himself to you in the months and years to come.