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Author Archive for Craig Walter

CCC team opens doors for the gospel in Mali

5“Yes” – said the village Chief of Tiere, when asked by the missionary if a small group from CCC could come visit their village and provide medicine for their animals. Tiere is a small village of a few thousand people just a couple hours drive from our hospital in the city of Koutiala. The Chief’s answer was significant because for several years he has been saying no to our missionaries coming to visit his village and share about Jesus. But the prospect of having a team come and provide inoculations for their cattle, goats, sheep, and other small animals, was too good to be true.

Dr. Jerry Busselman, a Veterinarian that was part of the CCC team, said this about his experience in that village. “It was the perfect example of why we go. A village previously closed to Christians now welcomed us with open arms through something as simple as de-worming their animals.” In fact, the village Chief asked Jerry why they would come all this way and Jerry told him it was to show the love of Jesus. To that he responded, “Then we accept your love from Jesus.”

15In all, the CCC team (Melissa Head, Jerry Busselman, Pat Lighthart, Doug Gillespie, Brad Dunbar, and Kim Wilkinson) inoculated thousands of animals from seven villages named Tarasso 1, Tarasso 2, Tiere, Chiola, Togo, Sekoro, and Banankoroniwere. This act of kindness and love gives Christians a good name in these villages where the love of Jesus has never been felt. Pray for these villages as missionaries and Malian Pastors follow-up and continue to build relationships with village leaders and share the gospel. 13



how Basketball changed my heart

For the past five years, in partnership with Bridge Church, CCC has been helping support and build a youth basketball league in North Omaha. I (Eric Carpenter) have been blessed to be a part of this since the beginning.


Each time we end practice, we have a Better Together Student Award that recognizes the player that exudes character, integrity, and teamwork. We also end each practice with this prayer, “Today is a day of victory on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. I commit to being a life-lifting, better together, game-changing leader. In Jesus name, that’s what’s up!”

Its 6 AM when I wake up to a frantic knock on my front door.  As I open the door a cold draft comes rushing in and to my surprise the youngest daughter of my neighbor is standing at the door looking to come in.  “Is everything ok?” I ask, and without hesitation she says, “I’m hungry coach.”  Not having much to offer, I grab a granola bar and pour her a glass of juice.  I can see in her face that she’s been up for hours as I ask her if she knows what time it is.  She shrugs her shoulders and quickly asks what time our basketball game is that morning.  In my head I’m thinking, “It’s not for another 3 hours and I need to go back to sleep!”  Instead I ask, “Is your mom coming to the game or do you need a ride?”  With disappointment on her face she lets me know her mom is already at work.  Her mom has not been able to come to a game all year.  After reassuring her that I would be there to pick her up on time, I lie in bed and think about how all 10 girls on my basketball team experience the same disappointment.  In fact, only one mom has shown up to watch her daughter play the entire season.  I think this is when it hit me how much I value the time I spend with these kids and how important it is for me to be a role model in their lives.  It crushes me to imagine my own child with the same look of disappointment.

As parents, we all have moments when we let our children down.  Sometimes because of unforeseen circumstances or work or just the busyness of life. The families we work with at Bridge Church have many barriers to overcome, and many of the children we coach come from single parent homes.  I just got back from a week-long mission trip and when I returned my wife commented on how hard it would be to be a single parent.  If we examine our lives, busyness if often the thing that distracts us from what ‘s most important.  It seems we are always in a hurry.  Our culture thrives on busyness and we are often guilty of not slowing down to see what God is doing right in front of us.  Most of the activities we are involved in are good and seem important,  but I’m realizing nothing is better than getting involved with activities that will change the life and direction of a young child.

One of the greatest ministries I have been involved in these past 5 years is the basketball program at Bridge Church.  This past year it has grew to over 250 students!  When we first started we needed 3 cars to pick up our entire team and had one set of parents in the stands.  Now when I drive to games, I no longer need to pick kids up and we see every parent in the stands cheering for their child!  What a difference Bridge Church is making in the lives of students and families.  Throughout the season each student receives a jersey, shorts, socks, shoes, a snack at each game, and an award for their hard work.  It’s pretty cool to no longer see disappointment on their faces, but rather excitement and joy over simple things.  As the basketball program continues to grow, we will certainly need more coaches to lead and help coach teams.  It doesn’t matter what age you are or how much experience you have, we need you!  Investing in the lives of kids doesn’t just impact them, but it also impacts your life as well.


Dominican Republic short-term team

Eric Carpenter, a member of the CCC missions staff, recently led a team from CCC to the Dominican Republic to support and grow the work of the local Dominican church. These are a few thoughts from Eric about the trip.

Pic 1One thing I enjoyed most about this trip is the impact we saw in the lives of others.  We had the opportunity to embark on an adventure with God and connect with a diverse team of people.  We were forced out of our comfort zones and experienced God in new ways.  Our group bonded together quickly and worked well together.  Many people felt a direct call on their life – that God wanted to use their gifts and talents for a specific purpose in the near future.  We were led by a great staff team and partnered with a growing church.

Rebuilding the Church

pic 2One of the main responsibilities on our trip was to reconstruct a church.  It is amazing to think that this task can be done with ordinary people like us!  We had a dozen experienced construction workers and a dozen laborers.  Throughout the week we tore down a few walls and the stage, extended the walls of the church by 30 feet, constructed a new front entrance, and rebuilt the roof.  We also connected and bonded with locals which is a challenge to do in such a short amount of time.



Our team was challenged throughout the week with a memory verse, Colossians 4:2 – “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Each day after morning construction we went out into the community and spoke to the neighborhood.  Many of the locals invited us inside their homes and displayed great hospitality toward our team.  God gave us unique opportunities to share the gospel and scripture.  We also were able to extend invites to kids for our VBS program.   An overwhelming number of kids showed up!  Here is a picture of our team leading the kids in our Bible and craft time.  img_20160204_161416_559

Prayer Walking

After spending a week with the team, it was easy to see that each person was spiritually challenged.  We were pushed out of our comfort zone and needed God’s help.  For many in the group, praying with people was the most difficult because it was a new experience.  There was fear of the unknown, doubts about how to pray, and if the words would even come out.  Through the doubt came a willingness to step out in faith and let the Lord lead.  At the end of our prayer walk our group was encouraged and shared stories of their experience.


The Perrotto Family – Mission in Miami

family pic 2Matt and Teri have five children, Alec, Marcus, Ellah, Madelyn and Isaac with ages ranging from 15 to 5 years. Matt and Teri were born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and chose to raise their family and build their lives there, until God prompted them to make a change. Separately, they were involved with missions in college and for a short time after. Once they were married and had children, it was something they put on hold until joining Christ Community Church (CCC) in Omaha in 2010. While attending CCC Matt and Teri became involved with youth ministry and the family enjoyed helping with community outreach in North Omaha. In November of 2012, Teri was blessed to go on a short term mission trip to China.

Sometime in the fall of 2012, Teri and Matt had a discussion about a long-term family mission trip. They found out that this is something they both had been thinking about quite often, but just hadn’t really talked about. This was the beginning of them sensing God’s call on their lives to be missionaries. In April of 2014, they left everything and moved to the Dominican Republic for a 2-year ministry assignment with an Alliance organization called Envision. While in the DR, the entire family participated in the Mission which built a new church in an impoverished area, expanded 2 other churches that desperately needed more space, painted numerous churches, led thousands of children in VBS, ran sports clinics where they shared the Gospel with the participants and saw God move through prayer ministry in many villages. Their time in the DR passed quickly and the second summer was nearing its end. During that time, they were asked if they would be interested in leading a new Envision site in Miami, Florida with the Alliance. Through a lot of prayer Matt and Teri sensed God leading them to Miami and recently have accepted the Site Coordinator position. They have come back to Omaha to work on raising financial and prayer partnerships.

In Miami, the Perrottos will be working alongside Alliance churches in a multi-cultural setting (Latino, Haitian, Russian, Chinese, and North American). They will be serving in the inner-city and surrounding areas to revive the city for Christ. They will be starting a new Envision Site from the ground level, which will be designed to facilitate short term mission trips while focusing on discipleship of interns and youth. You are invited to join in this work for the Kingdom. Please consider your part, whether it be prayer support, financial partnership or participation in a short term mission to serve God in Miami.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us.

email  Matt (402)999-2465; Teri (402)999-2462

life-giving sea container heads for Mali

sea1This last weekend about 50 volunteers from CCC packed up a huge sea container full of donated goods for Mali. This was so much more than just “stuff” that people need, but instead “life-giving” items that impact both the physical well-being of the Malian people and their spiritual well-being.

Check out the list of what was on the container:

– Critical medicine and medical supplies for the hospital to treat newborn babies, cancer patients, burn victims, and more.

– Over 200,000 highly nutritious meals (packaged by CCC volunteers) to help fight malnutrition in thousands of children

– New operating room lights so the hospital can open a 3rd surgical ward

– Oxygen tanks, tools, storage cabinets, an ultrasound machine, and other hospital equipment

– 6 laptop and 5 desktop computers to upgrade the computers at the hospital (funded by the Mali Project)

– Dental chairs and dental equipment

– 20 sets of school desks and chairs for Bethel Bible College students

– 15 laptop computers that will be given to next years graduating Pastors at Bethel

– 10 boxes of audio Bibles

– farm tractor that will assist Malian Pastors as they seek to help feed locals in their communities

– and of course, a ton of toilet paper for our missionaries!

As you can see, an impressive list, especially when you consider that most everything on the container was a donation. Please pray that the container arrives safely (probably some time in November) and that these items truly bring life to people in need.





CCC team ministers in Guatemala orphanage

From July 5-14 a team of 14 people from CCC ministered to around 35 children at an orphanage run by CCC missionaries Norman and Vickie Sutton. This is their story, as told by their team leader, Eva Rhoades.

“And God’s says, I’m gonna turn it into something different. I’m gonna turn it into something good. I’m gonna take all the broken pieces and make something beautiful like only I could. So put it all in the hands of the Father. Give it up, give it all over to the only one who can turn it into something beautiful, something really beautiful.” –Steven Curtis Chapman

IMG_0365Fourteen broken people. Who knew that this random group of people–young & old, rich & poor, new & longtime believers, would be such a vibrant, effective group?

God knew! God only asked us to go with servant hearts… and He would work out the rest. God called each of us on this very trip, and we were obedient. We went. We served. We loved. We played. We laughed. We cried. We learned. We saw God. We felt God. We heard God.

Our group joined CCC missionaries Norman & Vickie Sutton at the orphanage Hogar de Vida, in San Andres, Guatemala. One of our tasks was to put on a vacation Bible school for the younger kids at the Home. The focus for our time with them was on 5 parables Jesus told. All of the planning and preparation that went into the storytelling, the songs, the games, the snacks and the crafts was incredible! Our team did what was asked and God blessed it!

Another task we had was to help with some projects around the Home—most of us painted 5 of the rooms the kids share, while some painted roofs and others even welded. We certainly got our work projects completed, but even better than that, we had fun along the way with our mini-helpers! We would work, and then take a break to push someone on the tire swing, help make bracelets, or paint fingernails.

One morning, we had the opportunity to travel out to a more rural school. While there we were able to help clean and style their hair, play games and share the Gospel. We witnessed team members stepping up and out of their comfort zones to help in ways they didn’t feel comfortable with, but again in obedience of God’s call.

We were also able to spend an entire morning serving the children and staff of the Home by cooking brunch & lunch, and leading the staff in a devotional & craft. Most meals are made from scratch in Guatemala, so spending hours cooking and baking for 60 people was a feat none of us were equipped to do. However, we found much joy out of doing so! It was such a blessing to see the staff stop working, enjoy each other and have some fun.

Though we were expecting God to move, we may not have been expecting all that He had planned and carried out. Walls that had been put up around our hearts, in fear or protection, started to crumble. Hearts began to soften and open to the children of the Home, and to each other. Quiet times in connection with the Lord began to reveal many things. A newfound love for others and for serving began to flourish. A longing to be With God intensified. Lastly, we came away with a desire to bring all of our brokenness to God and have faith that He will use it to glorify and further His kingdom.

Please pray for:
*CCC missionaries Norman and Vickie Sutton.
*The children of Hogar de Vida.
*The people of Guatemala.
*Our team.

CCC helps build sustainable income for Malian Pastor

Just to give you a good understanding of how important a role CCC plays in Mali, let me share with you a recent story.

IMG_2909In 2014 CCC assisted missionaries Shawn & Becky McCabe with $10,000 to help them launch a new fish farm by the Niger river. They purposely put this farm  in a location that is a near a small village that has been closed to Christians or the gospel. Their prayer is that the fish farm can be used as a means to provide jobs for men in the village and much needed food for families. Their prayer is that this village will become open to the gospel.

After starting the farm Shawn hired 7 local Malian men who lived in this village to work at the farm. For their work they get to keep 75% of profits from the sell of the fish. He then invited them to attend a Saturday Bible study each week, and all 7 men are attending. Keep in mind, these are Muslim men who know nothing of Jesus and the Bible, and yet they are now attending a Bible study.

But the long-term solution is not for a missionary from America to mentor these men, so our denomination of churches in Mali sent a Pastor named Sofoni to live nearby and lead the Bible study. Sofoni is not only mentoring these men, he has also started a new church. However, this is a problem because Sofoni has a family so he needs an income to for them to live. This is where CCC comes in.

IMG_20150713_092952202_HDRCCC provided $3,000 to help Sofoni buy a new taxi, called a Moto-Taxi, that will hold up to 10 passengers. In Mali almost everyone gets around using either a small motorcycle called a Moto, they walk, or they take a taxi. This Moto-Taxi will allow Sofoni to work part-time and provide enough income for he and his family to continue their work in helping reach this village for Christ.

So the McCabes, the Malian church, and CCC have all come together in partnership to reach this small Malian village with the love and hope of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful thing!


Update from Dominican Republic

Here is the latest update from the Perrotto family and their ministry in the Dominican Republic.

family pic 1What’s happening in the DR?

In the past few updates, we told you that there were going to be some changes here within our mission team.  Up until a recent announcement, our assignment was still yet to be determined, but we remained confident that God has us here for a purpose.  Our former site leaders are moving out of the leadership of the Envision Mission and into a different branch of ministry.  Brandon and Bethany Nutter are now the site leaders and our role will be to work in support of them, and along the C&MA church in the DR to help them grow their ministry to reach more people with the Gospel.

Through these past few months, we learned more than ever what it means to wait on the Lord.  I can’t say it is easy, but I trust the He knows more about what we need than we do.  I am thankful for the people he has put in our lives during that time who encouraged us and walked alongside us.  I also want to thank all of you for your prayerful support and messages of encouragement.  We needed it these past few months more than ever.

Our upcoming schedule

We are in the preparation stages for hosting 19 short term mission teams in Santiago this summer.  These teams are coming from all over the U.S. and they will be helping the DR churches with projects that they would have a difficult time getting accomplished otherwise.  Through this process, the churches who come and serve will not only have a tremendous impact in the DR, but will return to serve in a new way in their home churches.  As for our responsibility, it will still be to facilitate the work that the teams do when they come, with a few more added responsibilities.

Please pray with us…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness, your kindness, your gentleness and your willingness to be involved with all the little details of our lives.  We praise and thank you for the plan that you have in mind for each one of us and how your grasp around us cannot be shaken.   Please bless all the missionaries here and around the world in the ways that only You know they need.  Please guide us as we prepare to host mission teams to do your work here in the DR.  We pray that your work will be accomplished in and through all who come here to serve. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Thank you all so much for your faithful support!

Matt, Teri, Alec, Marcus, Ellah, Madelyn and Isaac

Scott & Tami Wade need your support to reach children in Peru

Wades to PeruI’m excited to introduce Scott & Tami Wade to everyone at CCC. I’ve known the Wades for several years and they have been amazing volunteers helping with missions work overseas (in places like Mali and Peru) and locally in Omaha. In fact, Scott & Tami got engaged just four years ago on a short-term mission trip to Mali, so serving in Missions is just part of their marriage DNA.

It was a few years ago that they came to tell me that they are confident God has called them as a couple to serve as a light to the world somewhere overseas. For a while it was unclear just where this might be, until they went on a short-term trip through CCC to minister in Peru. This was a simple trip to build a bathhouse at a youth summer camp, but God had much bigger plans. It was here they learned that the missionaries who run the camp are close to retirement and in need of a new couple to come and take over their ministry. It was in that moment that God grabbed their heart for the children in Peru.

Here in Nebraska our camps (like Camp Rivercrest) can only run a few months out of the year. But in Peru, where the weather is pretty much always nice, the camps can run year round. So this camp has over 3,000 children and youth coming throughout the year, many of which do not yet know Jesus as their Savior. So its that simple – children in Peru need Jesus, they can find Jesus at this summer camp, and you can be a part of that right from the comfort of Omaha.

In 2014 the Wades applied with the mission organization SIM (and will work under CCC missionaries Dr. Allen & Amy George) and have been accepted for a long-term position in Peru. Now they are asking other Kingdom followers at CCC and beyond to join their team. They really need three things:

Like all of our missionaries, they need tons of prayer, and I don’t say that lightly. The forces of evil will be working hard to keep Scott & Tami from getting to Peru, and prayer is our most powerful weapon.

Like all of our missionaries, they need your friendship. Having a long-lasting relationships with people here at CCC that they know will pray for them and support them is vital. Once someone decides to go to the mission field they often end up on a relational island, which can be a lonely place.

And like all of our missionaries, they need your financial support. The wades need over $4,500 per month in consistent support and $70,000 up front to make this all happen. Those are daunting numbers for us but they are trivial to God.

You can stop by their booth in the Atrium on Sunday to meet them and start to build a relationship. You can give one-time or monthly through CCC by going to And you can contact the Wades directly to learn specifically how to pray for them and maybe even invite them to your small group at

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

Update from the Perrotto Family in the Dominican Republic

In April of 2014 CCC sent Matt and Teri Perrotto and their 5 children to minister in the Dominican Republic for the next two years.

The other day in Church, the first song we sang was “I Surrender All”. Truthfully, I had a hard time keeping it together. This song has a lot of meaning for me. It was in Spanish, as is every church event we attend, and contrary to many of the songs and words, I recognized this one right away. Before we left for the DR, we had a sendoff from Christ Community and during the service, we went in front of the congregation to share about the Mission we were about to embark on. During one of the services, I sang this song in Spanish. Today it hit me pretty hard at Church because God reminded me of what this Mission is all about.

To be honest, it has not been easy for our family. We have had many positive and amazing things happen, and we have made some great friendships. Along with all that, there has been some difficult times too. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier just to give up and go home. But the Lord reminded me today that although following Him is not always easy, it is what He calls us to do. When things don’t go well, it is easy to question if we heard God correctly. But we believe with all our heart that God called us here, and also that He knew that it was going to be difficult at times. I have learned to take comfort in that knowing that He is in control, and on a daily basis, I need to surrender all of it to Him…my joys and my worries.

Here is a link to the song I am talking about. It is a beautiful song.

Please pray with us… Lord, it is not always easy to surrender everything when we have difficulty staring us in the face. Help us to trust you through and praise you through it all, and to remember that you will never leave us or forsake us.

Thank You for your partnership in prayer, Matt, Teri, Alec, Marcus, Ellah, Madelyn and Isaac