2015 General Santos – Anna Hong

Complete Freedom Is For You

Before going on this missions trip, I wrote on my Facebook status something along the lines of “GenSan, be prepared to be changed forever.” I didn’t feel at all prepared or ready, but my spirit was filled with excitement, and I was filled with anticipation for all the works of God: the breakthroughs that people would experience through our team, and the heart of worship that God has put in me to release for this region. I was looking forward to how many people would be touched through praise and worship of our God. Pastor Myunghwa wrote on my status something in the lines of, “Anna, you also get ready to be changed forever.” My heart said yes and amen, but I thought to myself, “I’m going as a missionary. I need to be the one ministering to the people and serving the people.” I wanted to see the people of General Santos be blessed more. And in the end, they were so blessed. They were healed, they saw rain ceasing and clouds dissipating through the prayers of their children. The local pastors were blessed and the youth were blessed through revival services. Prophetic, powerful words of God were released over everyone, from the impoverished to those in high positions. I know and believe in my heart that the people of Gen San were truly encouraged and blessed by the Lord through this ministry. But Pastor Myunghwa was right. I was changed as well. But I was changed in a whole different way.

The day after everyone was wrecked by the Holy Spirit, on the sixth day of ministry, the wife of Pastor Ching (our local ministry contact) made us dinner at church. After eating, some of us were scattered around. I sat alone in the back of the church singing along with the CD that was being played in the sanctuary. The song “Rooftop” was playing. As I was singing, God ever so gently said to me, “Anna, your testimony is not finished.” You see, everyone on the team had to write out their testimony and have it prepared and ready to share it anytime during the trip. My testimony was on freedom. I thought my testimony was complete. God is good, life is good. The end. So God telling me that it’s not complete yet actually discouraged me a lot. I am an active leader of the house. I’ve been a small group leader and community group leader for more than four years. I am the one God has placed over so many to help set them free. Yet He was telling me that it’s not complete yet. Then suddenly, almost like a spring of water bursting forth from the ground, these identity issues that had been hidden for so long started to be revealed. It felt intense. These issues that I had swept away and shifted out of for the past years, were actually still there. I felt weak because I couldn’t shift out of it anymore. If my community group member came up to me with the same issues, I would know exactly what to do or say. Yet I couldn’t help myself. I thought to myself, “Really, Anna? After all these years and this is it? You can’t even speak words over yourself?” I felt like a failure.

During the team meeting that night I opened up to my team. Pastor Marcus told me that I know what to say to my members because I am the one who is covering them, but I can’t cover myself. I’m not in the position to cover myself. I have no authority to cover myself. I understood and felt comforted. Yet couldn’t help but feel like I was back at square one. It felt like I had a lot of work to do. Yet God reminded me of something He had already reminded me earlier that day, that His grace is like a crashing wave on the ocean shore. It was there thousands of years ago, it’s here today, and it’ll be here forever. It was a humbling experience. I believe God highlighted those issues within me because they were buried deep inside and in order for me to become completely 100% healed. These issues needed to be brought up and exposed. He wasn’t satisfied with His beloved living a life that didn’t have complete joy and freedom. He didn’t want to see His daughter living a life, seeming fine when there were so many issues hidden inside. Right now, I feel as vulnerable as ever. I feel sensitive and God continues to reveal things in my heart that need to dealt with. I have relief knowing that I don’t have to be strong, but that it is okay to be vulnerable. One thing I learned to the core is that it’s ok to be vulnerable with God. He wants you to express everything, not just joy and anger, but every single emotion you feel.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” – Romans 6:22

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