Sometimes God suspends the routine of our lives and lets us spend our days in a daze while He designs extraordinary opportunities. Before we can even map out our comfort zone He takes us beyond it. And if we will but quietly, simply, take His hand and go, He turns our daze into praise and makes us so humbly happy to find ourselves in the middle of His plans instead of our own.

Flying around the world to a foreign mission field had never entered my mind 2 ½ weeks before I landed in the Philippines. Me, the total rookie with no passport? It just didn’t even seem like an option. But the Way paved my way. The Word promised that His wouldn’t return void (Isa. 55:11). The One who was asking me to be His hands to a hurting world held mine… and though a whole world stood between me and home, I never felt helpless or alone. Jesus never says, “Go,” without also saying, “Lo, I am with you always…” (Matt. 28:19, 20) He never asks us to speak without putting His words in our mouths (Jer. 1:9).

I smile as I remember His work—heart work—in the Philippines, in me… Grace flowed freely. Memories colored and shaped by Providence linger…

Long will I remember evangelism under a parachute, toothless smiles leaving our primitive dental clinic, children covering me with hands and hugs, finishing every meal with a mango, questions and answers and counseling sessions with academy students, breakfasts at noon, bucket showers, shouting out Bible stories above the din of 100 little street urchins piled and pressed into a tiny concrete room, jeepney rides with stinging eyes, stroking the back of a teary student, my twisted tongue and the children’s delight, stepping through the gates to speak at the Baguio City National High School after one night’s notice, comfort room (not so comfortable) experiences, the stirring as baptismal calls were made, kneeling with academy students one by one, sunset over the South China Sea, letters from kids, hands in my hair, the laugh of our faithful driver, gifts and love and profuse appreciation, longing and praying for so many to choose Jesus, the climactic answer to those prayers—surprises even at the poolside…

There’s nothing like Light, no honor so bright as that of being a light-bearer… There’s no thrill that compares with that which pounds inside when watching faces beaming a reflection, dripping joy, emerge from the waters of baptism…

One promise after another, one miracle after another, His story—mission stories—unfolded. I watched, realizing, this is witnessing. One who witnesses is simply one who sees. We have no light of our own to shine, no way of our own to cause truth to catch in someone’s heart. The eyes that see are the eyes that shine. His “witnesses” (Isa. 43:10, Acts 1:8) are those who witness Him… They are those whose lives are changed by the life-changing message they carry, who look on in awe as the Holy Spirit accomplishes the mission.


5 Responses to Witnessing…

  1. keith says:

    Wow Shaya!!

    That’s very inspiring! Ihope that you can return here in the Philippines and let”s do missionry work together…..

    Always yours,

    • Shaya says:

      Ah yes, sister… I love doing missionary work with you!

      Tell the kids at Bayabas that Ma’am Shaya sends a hug to each of them…

      May God keep us ever faithful!
      Loving you, praying for you,

  2. Christy says:

    I am always inspire of all your words Shaya… you are really a blessing to me and thank
    God for leading us here in this place and met a friend like you.
    Thanks for everything Shaya…God Bless you and I am always praying for you friend.

    Missing you miles away,

  3. Ohhh Shaya, that brings back so many wonderful memories! :)

  4. Pingback: The Happiest Way to Spend a Day | Kyle Family Blog

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