2015 General Santos – Randall Kyle Rogers

Fighting Self-Doubt in a Culture of Honor

Romans 5:1-2 (TLB)
So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.

Though during my missions trip, many people and events marked how significant I am. But I had a difficult time accepting it for myself. When I met up with the seven other team members in Seoul the night before departing for my mission trip, I felt everyone else had their stuff together and I didn’t. I felt that I was weak and would not be able to contribute much to the effectiveness of the team.

In a blind prophecy activity, Sarah H. Kim, one of my team members, said that out in the mission field I would discover strength I didn’t know I had, that I would be like King David, comfortable fighting Goliath without King Saul’s armor. And indeed, throughout the mission trip, I had discovered an inner strength that I didn’t know that I possessed, a strength that comes through faith. Though it was evident throughout my trip, a part of me had a difficult time accepting it for what it was.

What marked my time in General Santos was a culture of honor. Upon arriving at General Santos Airport, we were greeted by pastors who oversee multiple churches holding a banner that said “Welcome New Philly.” I felt highly honored and almost broke out in tears. At Springs of Praise Church, on the door was a New Philly logoed banner with my team’s Facebook profile pictures. I stared at the banner for a long time and my eyes started tearing up. Another detail that marked a culture of honor was the wonderful food we had everywhere we went. The hospitality of the pastors of the churches and tribes we visited really touched me. What touched me the most was how these pastors reflected the Father’s heart, treating each and every one of us as their own flock.

What surprised me the most is that even though I felt like I really messed up as I was doing ministry, the congregations we had visited encouraged us through words of affirmation after the service. They also prayed prayers of blessing over us. But though I felt I experienced a lot honor, I doubted myself by thinking I didn’t deserve it. Everywhere I went, I wondered whether my prayers were really touching hearts of the people I was praying for. I felt that I didn’t know what I was saying, that what I was saying was a distraction. I felt I was making so many mistakes.

The reality however was different, for my prayers were powerful. The people I was praying for in many tribes and churches received full healing. When I prayed for baptism of the Holy Spirit, a couple of students I prayed for at Faith Bible College started speaking in tongues and fell under the weight of God’s glory.

On Sunday evening, during our mission debriefing, Pastor Marcus led us in a time of soaking in God’s word. He repeated 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” At this point, I realized that I wasn’t ministering in my own strength, that God was using His strength to minister through me. Though I felt broken, God used me anyway, for His grace covered me.

Though I felt this was a breakthrough, I still wrestled with self-doubt. Even though I had received many encouraging words from team members and local pastors, I felt I had a difficult time receiving them. Even though Pastor Marcus preached on identity, being ambassadors of God, and taking our place, the messages I heard didn’t register. Even though I didn’t think it was specifically for me, it was directed to the heart of my main issue. The irony is that the personal testimony I wrote out before my trip was about struggling with rejection and fears of failure. Though I said I had faith, the reality is that I didn’t feel peace and that I wasn’t secure in who God created me to be. Because my testimony wasn’t used until the last day of ministry, I felt that it wasn’t good enough. On Tuesday evening, I told my team leader, Marie Suazo, that I will rewrite my testimony and give it to her Wednesday morning.

After our missions debriefing meeting Tuesday evening, I started to rewrite my testimony. Our team preacher, Pastor Marcus, asked why I was rewriting my testimony. I told him it was because I felt it didn’t clearly express what I wanted it to say. He said that I didn’t have time to rewrite it, and that any future edits have not and will not be approved by him. I told him that I didn’t feel it was good enough to share. Pastor Marcus said “You don’t have to try to reedit yourself. Your testimony is powerful. It is good the way it is.”

The following day, I had the opportunity to share my testimony with Springs of Praise, Pastor Dan’s church. There, it seemed people were hanging onto every word I spoke. It caused some members of the congregation to shed tears. After I finished sharing, it felt as if a huge weight had been taken off my chest. Toward the end of the service, we prayed for the leaders of Springs of Praise, for the anointing and fire of God to come down on them. One of the leaders came to me and asked specifically if I would pray for him. Puzzled that he would ask me specifically, I agreed and started praying for Baptism of the Holy Spirit. After a few minutes, Pastor Marcus cued me to stand back, prayed for the fire of God, and the man I was praying for fell. After, Pastor Marcus prayed for me saying “I break off the spirit that says Randall isn’t good enough. Randall, you don’t have to reedit yourself ever again”.

At this point, all parts of the testimony that I had written came together. The words I had written and hoped for myself started to have meaning and life, and it felt my testimony had been sealed with the kiss of God. I felt a peace, happiness and lightness unlike I’ve ever felt in my life. As for the native congregation, I believe that through my testimony that they saw I had come a long way in my faith. Through this, I feel it may have spurred fresh hope, especially for those who may have felt overwhelmed with all their struggles. As I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, it seemed to be a common struggle shared with most of my team members. It was also shared among some of the congregations and native pastors we had visited.

Please pray that all will feel empowered in their identity in Christ, that with the faith they have in the promises of God, that they will have peace with being God’s ambassadors taking their places in representing and acting on behalf of bringing His kingdom to General Santos. Even though many of us felt we were going to serve the native pastors and communities of General Santos, they had served us by showing us a culture of honor and the Father’s heart. Though God, through His Holy Spirit, worked powerfully through me and each of my team members, I got the general feeling that many of us felt that the blessing we received from them was far greater.

In General Santos, I realized that what I said and did really does matter. I also realized that the Holy Spirit covers me in grace when I feel uncertain about how to do things. Through faith, I now know that God will carry out His promises. Because of this, I can feel peace knowing that God will ultimately make me victorious.

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