GLOBAL PARTNER STORIES
INADEQUATE IS LIBERATING
AUTHOR: Dustin Stephens, missionary to Haiti | CATEGORY: #GodIsEnough | POSTED May 30, 2018
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. –2 Corinthians 3:5 ESV
I often struggle, sometimes daily, with what role I have in God’s global plan and if I am making a difference—even if it’s small. Living around and being friends with many missionaries from every walk of life and from various organizations, I am surrounded and seem to be overloaded with their stories. Wow—the stories! Such power, passion, and God-breathed stories. With most of the stories, I cannot help but get goosebumps and tear up at what God has done. God is too good!
Here is a little secret—most missionaries, pastors, and those in ministry feel utterly inadequate. Even Paul exclaims in 2 Corinthians, “Who is sufficient?” We all struggle with our sufficiency. Here is what I am learning—and it hit me like a ton of bricks a few months back:
I am inadequate, BUT God is more than adequate.
I know—we all know—that God is adequate, sufficient, perfect. For me, the epiphany came when I was able to say that I am completely and totally inadequate—and now I am becoming okay with it!
This conclusion came when I was working in northern Haiti several months ago. Pastor Riguard lives and works in Trou-du-Nord at a Wesleyan church. He stands in front of his church of more than 600 Haitians each Sunday with a passion for Christ that is unmatched by any Haitian I’ve ever witnessed. He told me a story that has stuck with me.
Years ago, Pastor Riguard stood in front of his church and shared a God-given dream he had to build a Wesleyan school on the same property as the church. He saw the number of children that didn’t attend school in the area. And for those who did attend a school, they traveled a great distance. The church went about their business as usual for years saying: “The school isn’t built yet, Pastor.” “We won’t get a school.” “We can’t get the money for a school.”
Pastor Riguard remained faithful. That’s all he needed. This past March, I was able to be with the Indiana South District of The Wesleyan Church to partner in work with the Trou-du-Nord Wesleyan Church of Haiti to begin the process of building the initial installment of the first 104 feet of the structure for a school. I kept hearing his parishioners say: “Pastor, God made our school!” “Pastor, God answers prayer.” “God heard you, Pastor.” “Praise the Lord for this school!”
I asked Pastor Riguard about the dozens of statements I heard like this. He told me about his dream of the school from years ago and that many in the church doubted it would happen. His response rocked me, “The church knew I could not build this school and that I didn’t have the money for it. Now they know they were right. God did this.”
Such a simple lesson. Such a powerful one at the same time. Now for me to be able to say that it is okay to be inadequate is liberating. I work for God. He is enough. Pastor Riguard is not enough, I am not enough, Indiana South District is not enough, BUT God is enough!
Cover Picture: Pastor Riguard of the Trou-du-Nord Wesleyan Church