by Caitlin A. Fredericks
His signature Lions cap becomes visible in the crisp light as he joins me in the Richardson Center, waiting for our 8 a.m. classes to start. He lounges in the chair beside me, pulls out a laptop, theology text, and begins conversing with me over the presence of God as keys patter away in the distance.
This dedicated and insightful individual is Rochester College junior, Logan Mong, who has encountered difficulty in his quest to find God and live out a true direction of faith.
Discovering His Gift
Mong was born in Lake Orion, but raised in Rochester to parents that placed a high emphasis on morals, and whom improvised with strict consequences when the rules were not abided by.
This desire for order, followed by his mother’s declaration “to strive to do great things” and “be a light for others,” would signify the beginning interest in ministry once Mong discovered his talents of obtaining scripture and memorizing theology from different religions.
However, this seventh grade realization at St. John Lutheran School would be tested when he would be forced to confront various relational obstacles in his life.
During high school, Mong dated a girl, and after three months, felt forced to terminate the relationship after he felt that she attacked his dignity, and threw insults at him. This abrupt end and blow to self-esteem negatively impacted him, “I became very angry with her and with God,” Mong said.
This harrowing experience led Mong to doubt the existence of a higher power, and confine himself to the chambers of depression. Moreover, and during these years, Mong was an active participant in football and baseball, and aspired to be a leader for his team. Although he prepared for each game by utilizing pep talks, no one one seemed receptive to the phenomena ‘to give God all the glory,’ or the encouragement to give 110 percent on and off the field.
Instead, the incurred losses and combined marginalization defeated him, “I began to believe that I was convincing myself that scriptures had no validity because I could not get through, and every action seemed to be motivated by chance,” Mong said.
Abiding by the Call
After purchasing his first car, Mong had an epiphany when the piston in the engine failed to work. This profound recognition was beneficial in lifting his spirits. “I understood that a relationship with God cannot be forced, is a personal experience, and that God has always intervened to make sure I have enough money,” Mong said.
In this, Mong’s doubts about a ministry career began to dissipate, and as he concentrated on his own spirituality, he began to pray for a Bible-led college. Coincidentally, in 2014, RC opened its doors to Mong, and upon enrolling in the curriculum, he noted feeling dissociated from his Lutheran upbringing.
This discrepancy of baptizing infants without the ability to ask God in his or her life swayed him, “I believe that I was directed to the Pentecostal ministry because I’ve not only developed a relationship with God, but I’ve been blessed with the gifts of leadership, faith, and dissertation, and I think this will aid in my desires to pursue a double major of Christian and Youth and Family Ministry at RC,” Mong said.
“Mong is selfless, caring, compassionate and God-fearing,” said Kimberly DeClaire, a junior at RC and Mong’s girlfriend.
The two met during RC’s annual ‘Welcome Weekend Retreat’ in August of 2014, and have been inseparable ever since. The two bonded over a mutual love of devotionals and worship, and soon DeClaire, an early education major, confessed that she wanted to do ministry with him.
This revelation was startling to Mong. “She had already influenced me to listen to Christian music, and to think outside the Bible, but I had no idea that this would lead to a direct involvement at the Troy Assembly of God Church,” he said.
The Troy Assembly of God Church
“I first became affiliated with Mong after he requested to volunteer intern with me, and wanted proof that God is active in my congregation,” said Scott DeClaire, associate pastor of the Troy church. On a biweekly basis, Mong is committed to assisting the senior pastor and the children’s and high school ministries.
The effect is very overpowering, “I see Mong light up when he hears ‘praise reports,’ when someone professes a newfound faith, or when he has teachable moments with another; this is a true testament to Mong’s caring and compassionate nature,” DeClaire said.
However, Mong admits that it’s still challenging to listen to those that question the truth, to hear those that are too complacent to place God first in his or life, and to witness those that are suffering from inattentiveness, or the inability to focus on the gospel truths.
Regardless, this perspective is still a lesson in righteousness. “I need to learn to withhold judgment when I’m faced with opposition because this will lead to grudges, and will be counterintuitive to church principles that family ministers need to be accepting of one another’s differences,” Mong said.
Mong is self-assured that his faith conversion and his career decision are God’s will for his life, and he hopes that others will be inspired to veer off from being ‘politically correct,’ and will follow their hearts instead.
Conversely, and for those skeptical about a career in ministry, “There must be a lifelong commitment, a feeling of ordainment or direction from God, personal stories must coincide with spiritual testimonies, and one must have a devotion to read the Bible and to accept its teachings with gratitude,” Mong said.
He believes these factors must be present to undertake ministry, because without, people will fail to recognize God’s hand and intervention in everyday life. Mong promises to continue to spread God’s word no matter what interaction or circumstance he faces.