2015 General Santos – Marie Suazo

A Princess of the Kingdom

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:17

Before going on this trip Pastor Marcus, our team preacher, encouraged me by affirming my identity. He said that going on missions is like bringing the Kingdom of God here on earth, and that as a diplomat’s daughter, I knew exactly what it meant to be in the world and not of the world. I myself had grown up in various countries while representing a totally different nation. Pastor Marcus also concluded by saying the reason why I love Disney and being a princess so much is because I can relate to Kingdom principles so easily through that identity. This word empowered me to believe that God was going to use me in a powerful way on this trip.

At the beginning of this trip I was excited and ready for what God had in store for Gen San. Because I have been there the year before, I was looking forward to seeing the different lasting changes that had taken place over time. I was expecting similar things to happen. But there was one big difference this time around: I was no longer the youngest on the team, but now the team leader. On the previous trip I felt like I could hide behind all my other team members because I was the youngest. But this time everything I did would be seen not only by the Filipino people, but also by my team.

Throughout the trip I was at peace and had a lot of confidence in everything I had to do as the team leader. Except for one thing: preaching. When I was told I would be preaching on the field at least once, I began to freak out. This was not because I was incapable, but because it was another thing to do on top of all the other responsibilities I had as the team leader. If I could pick my greatest pet peeve, it would be going anywhere unprepared. On the first night in General Santos, Pastor Ching (our native ministry contact) informed me of the schedule for the next day, which included a revival service that was the same time as a radio broadcast ministry. I informed Pastor Marcus immediately and he told me I would be the one to preach at the radio ministry. I was calm in my response, but in my head I began to panic because I didn’t have a sermon ready. I had prepared one sermon beforehand, but I didn’t feel like it was the word God wanted me to preach over the radio. I honestly didn’t think I was ready, but I felt at peace.

When my teammate Sarah Kim asked me how I was feeling right before I went into the radio booth, I replied by saying “I feel like this was something I was created to do.” I ended up preaching on the passage we used for the preaching seminar during missions training about the woman with the issue of blood. I talked about how Jesus cares about your sickness, no matter for how long you may have felt hopeless. While I was preaching I felt so at ease and could feel Holy Spirit giving me deeper revelation as I spoke.

Pastor Marcus asked me to preach several more times on the trip and I ended up preaching almost every day. Each day I felt God give me a word to speak to the people of Gen San. And as a Filipina, each day I could see His very heart for my people. Nevertheless, there were moments when I wasn’t sure if this was actually making an impact.

On our last day in Gen San we went to Christ Community Church for a service just to give thanks for the things God has done throughout the week. All of the partner pastors from the week- those who lead the churches where we had ministered- were all gathered in one place and shared all the different testimonies from their congregations about the fruit of our ministry time. At that service I heard all the amazing things God did in and through our team. One after another they said that they were encouraged, refreshed, and filled with hope all over again. For one of the churches where I had preached, Pastor Clar (the lead pastor) said that he couldn’t even tell it was my first time preaching ever. He was so blessed by my sermon at his church, as well as the radio ministry message that reached had 7,000 people around the area.

At that moment I felt God’s soft whisper into my heart as He said, “This is what it is like to bring my Kingdom here on earth.” I didn’t have to strive. I didn’t have to live in fear. I was there to represent His Kingdom, just as a princess in the natural represents the Kingdom and that all that comes with it. I just had to be me, His princess, to show the rest of the world a piece of His Kingdom.

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