The Testimony of Kristina Rogers

The fol­low­ing is the tes­ti­mo­ny of my dear friend Kristi­na Rogers, which she has shared with me so that I might share it with all of you.

Through­out my teenage years, I’ve strug­gled with many things. I attend­ed a pub­lic school, where I was more inter­est­ed in fit­ting in and being “pop­u­lar,” than with any­thing else, espe­cial­ly hav­ing a Christ-cen­tered life, or being a bea­con of light to my lost friends. I live in a home where Chris­t­ian val­ues are far from taught, let alone enforced. I go to a church where my sis­ter, my broth­er, and I are the only kids whose par­ents do not attend the ser­vices. This path of mine is not as easy as one may think, and many times, I’m the one who has made it dif­fi­cult for myself.

My mom was raised in a Catholic home, but after run­ning away as a teenag­er, nev­er went back to the Roman Catholic ways. My mom met my dad through my aun­t’s boyfriend; they were in prison togeth­er. My mom was 19, and my dad was 35 when they were mar­ried in the Mon­tana State Prison. Three years lat­er, I was born. Between the birth and the age of two, my par­ents lived in vir­tu­al­ly every state on the West Coast, and sev­er­al oth­ers between Mon­tana and Mex­i­co because my dad was on the run from the gov­ern­ment. My lit­tle broth­er was born in Wash­ing­ton, and my lit­tle sis­ter was born after we moved back to Mon­tana. My dad went back to prison, and after that I saw him for one sum­mer between sec­ond and third grade, and I haven’t seen him since. He is still want­ed by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. I nev­er real­ly knew why he was in prison until much lat­er in my teenage years.

When I was in fourth grade, we moved across town into our first real “house.” My neigh­bors had a daugh­ter only a cou­ple years old­er than I am. For two months, she begged us to go to church with her and her fam­i­ly, but we did­n’t go. Vaca­tion Bible School came around, and my mom decid­ed to let us attend. I was saved that first night in June of 1994. Three weeks after that, we began rid­ing the Sun­day school bus faith­ful­ly. I was bap­tized in the ear­ly (and freez­ing) spring of 1995.

In the sum­mer of 1996, my new bus cap­tain and his fam­i­ly invit­ed me to start attend­ing youth group with their fos­ter daugh­ter. Instead of going home on Sun­days after the bus, I would go to their home, then to a rest home, youth group, and Sun­day evening church with them. Even­tu­al­ly, I began to attend all the reg­u­lar ser­vices at my church. Then, the next sum­mer, I attend­ed my first youth con­fer­ence at Ham­mond, Indi­ana. I had nev­er seen any­thing like it. I decid­ed then that Hyles-Ander­son Col­lege was the only place for me. Satan would use every­thing in his pow­er to sway me from this decision.

That same sum­mer (1997), my church decid­ed to start a school. My mom would not allow me to go. I stayed up for five nights pray­ing that God would allow me to go to the school. I told my pas­tor I would clean the toi­lets at church to pay my school bill. When we went clothes shop­ping, I bought noth­ing but dress­es. At the reg­is­ter, my mom turned to me, and said, “I’m still not going to let you go to that school, and that’s final!” I was­n’t sure that she was going to let me either, but I con­tin­ued to pray. A week before school start­ed, my mom decid­ed to let me go. God real­ly does answer your prayers! As an eighth grad­er, I learned that even I mat­tered to God.

On Novem­ber 10, 1997, dur­ing evan­ge­lis­tic meet­ings at my church, I got assur­ance of my sal­va­tion and again, I was bap­tized. That year, I began singing in the choir and get­ting involved in teen soul win­ning and oth­er church min­istries. At our annu­al mis­sions’ con­fer­ence, on Feb­ru­ary 10, 1998, I sur­ren­dered to be a mis­sion­ary’s wife.

That next school year, God made it pos­si­ble for my sis­ter and my broth­er to attend Her­itage Bap­tist School as well. Our school Christ­mas play was about Lot­tie Moon, a mis­sion­ary to Chi­na. On the night of the pro­gram, I begged God to get my step dad saved. I knew if I could get him saved, then my mom would fol­low. At the end of the play, I stood in the back of our audi­to­ri­um beg­ging God to do some­thing. I watched, as my step dad walked the aisle and received Christ as his Sav­ior. I began to cry so hard, I had to leave the build­ing and go out in the park­ing lot. My mom was­n’t saved that night, but the next Sun­day at our Sun­day school pro­gram, she walked for­ward, received Christ, and got bap­tized. I thought for sure now I final­ly had the Chris­t­ian home I’d dreamed about. I was wrong.

My par­ents did­n’t start attend­ing church, or pray­ing, or doing any­thing dif­fer­ent than they had been doing. That East­er, my mom got mad at the church and took us out of the school, and out of the church. That was on April 5, 1999. One month lat­er, on Wednes­day, May 5, 1999, in answer to an unspo­ken prayer, we were back in church for the first time. My par­ents would not allow us to go back to the school, but we were back in church, and at the time, that was all I cared about.

At school, I began to side­track myself. I became part of the “pop­u­lar crowd.” I was high­ly involved in the music pro­gram and extra-cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties. God gave me a tal­ent that I was just begin­ning to dis­cov­er, and with the help of my orches­tra teacher, I was well on my way to sev­er­al music schools across the nation. In 10th grade, I was in two orches­tras and choir, as well as writ­ing my own music on the side. God’s plans for me were get­ting in my way, so I decid­ed to stop going to church because I could­n’t go to church and be in God’s will, and pur­sue my own dreams as well.

For three months, I chased my own dreams. A schol­ar­ship to Berklee School of music snagged me. At the age of 16, I became the youngest ever to receive a full-rid­den schol­ar­ship to Berklee. How­ev­er, Hal­loween 2000, God knocked me flat on my face in a hos­pi­tal bed with the only per­son I could look to being Christ. Out of school for a month, I returned to school amidst rumors and sto­ries of why I was gone. Two days after return­ing to CM Rus­sell High School, I went back to my church’s school.

It’s been almost two years since then, and still, Satan has tried his hard­est to move me. I work in many of my church’s min­istries now, includ­ing the bus min­istry and the rest homes. My par­ents still do not attend church and have decid­ed to again take my broth­er and sis­ter out of Her­itage Bap­tist School. They also still believe that I’ve been brain­washed by a cult. My mom believes I belong on Broad­way. Many times, he has used my past to influ­ence the deci­sions I make now. How­ev­er, God has giv­en me great oppor­tu­ni­ties and tal­ents that I know now can only be used for him. I may not be able to do some­thing great for Him, but I owe as much to Him for allow­ing me the tal­ents He has giv­en me, to give them back to Him. There­fore, in August of this year, I will be attend­ing Hyles-Ander­son Col­lege. My hope and prayer is that God will do some­thing with me, or with my future hus­band: that God will allow me to be a part of some great work some­where, whether it’s here or across the sea as a pas­tor’s wife, mis­sion­ary’s wife, dea­con’s wife, or lay­man’s wife.

Here is a poem Kristi­na wrote which she has allowed me to share as well, enti­tled “The Lighthouse”:

I never asked to be a lighthouse
Nor to be a shining star
I haven't asked to be the moon
Because it's just too far
But if I can be one tiny ray
Of sunshine for a soul
Who's tossed and turned upon life's sea
Lord, let this be my goal:
To show Your love in all I do
In everything I say
For I may be the only "Jesus"
They see along their way.
Help me face each trial
With courage, hope, and love
And help me to remember
You're watching from above.
I see my journey's ending
My races have been run
But there are others after me
Whose journey's just begun.
They will need the hope You give
And Your gentle care
They will need to lean on You
To know You're always there
But who will show them all these things
'Cause no one else can know
Unless they've fought the battles
And received the scars to show.
Lord, let me be that light for them
Because (through You) I know the way.
Grant me the years to touch these souls
My Jesus, this only I pray.

Fea­tured image: source, license

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Rick Beckman