[All images via Lydia Summer]
Breaking My Heart
By: Lydia Summer
We are already almost halfway done with the year as we go into May, time seeming to fly by faster than normal for me. It seems as though the older I get, the faster time seems to fly, but this year seems to be going at an abnormally faster pace than years prior. The reason being, I believe, is because for the first time in my life, I feel as though I’ve finally found the calling God has placed on my life, and, in doing so, I’ve found my greatest passion. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
To shed some light for those who haven’t been following my journey, at the beginning of this year on January 3, I flew away from my family, friends, and everything I knew to go to Hawaii to embark on a six-month journey to praise God by learning to know Him more and making Him known in the nations. I enrolled in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) last year, and am now going into my fourth full month of our six-month school. To say that I am the happiest I have ever been since graduating from college almost three years ago now, is a gross understatement. I’ve never felt such gratifying fulfillment, overwhelming love, and extreme joy before I entered this school.
For those of you who do not know what YWAM is, it is a Christian organization with discipleship training programs that equip young people to learn more about who God is and training to become a missionary for a few weeks at a time, before being sent out to go out into the nations to make His Name known and share His love with people who may have never heard of Him before. I answered God’s call to go to Kona, Hawaii to go through one of YWAM’s DTS’s, and where I am right now in the nations is a country I never expected to fall in love with. Every class has a series of possible outreach locations to go after they have gone through the first 11 weeks of training. One of the options was the Philippines, where I asked to go to upon a friend’s vision she received for me from the Lord, which is exactly where I am right now, never guessing what God would be doing in the hearts of the people we’ve come in contact with in the Philippines, including my own.
On March 29, my team and I arrived to the Philippines, where, almost instantly, I fell in love with this country. Never have I met a people so welcoming, so tender-hearted, so loving and open than I have here in the Philippines. They are the complete opposite of some people I have met in the United States, and they are definitely a lot more hospitable than we are, and I say that as someone who has lived in Texas where we are known for our southern hospitality! When the people named this country Philippines, it was definitely God-inspired to do so. It is the most prophetic and true word about a nation, that I believe God has called them to be loving for a reason – to share the love of God once they know God themselves. And that, in itself, is not hard for them to do!
“Never have I met a people so welcoming, so tender-hearted, so loving and open than I have here in the Philippines.”
Our team and I have been here for almost six weeks, and we are so encouraged by the amount of people that we have seen come to know the love of Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Collectively, our team has probably seen about 800+ salvations, and have seen multiple healings. Can I get an amen, hallelujah?! Praise the Almighty God because He is so so good! The people I have met and shared the Gospel with have had such open hearts to hearing His Word that most accept Him into their lives almost instantaneously. It’s been so encouraging to be a witness to this!
“Collectively, our team has probably seen about 800+ salvations, and have seen multiple healings.”
One of the many amazing testimonies I got to witness and be a part of was when our team got to wash the feet of the women from the brothels, for whom we got to hold a “Love Feast.” A Love Feast is a celebration that we hold for a group of people that God has called us to love on, and this one was specifically for the prostitutes and their families. The week prior to our Love Feast, members of our team went to a brothel to meet the women there to befriend them and invite them to dinner, where we got to share about the love of Jesus with them. One of the four women that we “purchased” gave their life to Christ and showed up at the Love Feast with her friends a week later to learn more about Him. Others came that our team hadn’t met, simply because they heard about what we were going to do for them and they were curious to know more.
At the Love Feast, we worshiped the Lord together, shared testimonies, and one of my team members shared the story from the Bible about the prostitute that was about to be stoned. A bold move to share this story with them, but the result was God-given! All the women and their families made the choice to accept Jesus in their hearts and to live a life for God! One of the women from the brothel that we had prayed for to find a job, so she could leave, was actually answered! She found a job and left the brothel immediately. At the end of leading them through the salvation prayer, all of the women and their families sat down while our team each went to a person to wash their feet, to pray over them, and to share any words of encouragement that we felt the Lord wanted us to speak over them. It was one of the most amazing moments that I have ever experienced, being brought low to wash the feet of these women, so that they could be lifted up and know how deeply loved they are.
“It was one of the most amazing moments that I have ever experienced, being brought low to wash the feet of these women, so that they could be lifted up and know how deeply loved they are.”
It was one of the many moments that God has broken my heart for the people here, and every minute, and every day that I’m here, I am more and more aware that God has called me to love on the people in the 10/40 window. I cannot stand idly by anymore, now that I have seen how much the world is in need to know of God’s love and goodness for them. I cannot stand idly by while the Lord has called me to be a missionary. I cannot stand idly by when the Lord has told me to go. When the Lord calls, I must be obedient and follow Him.
“I cannot stand idly by anymore, now that I have seen how much the world is in need to know of God’s love and goodness for them.”
Perhaps, while reading this, the Lord has moved something in your heart. Perhaps you were reminded of when God has called you to do something for His glory, and you have yet to say yes. Maybe there will be conflict with your family in your decision to say yes, or maybe you feel as though you’re not capable or strong enough to do the work that He has called you to do. Trust me, you are capable. You are strong enough. You are good enough. When you’re following the will of God that He has for your life, you can’t mess it up. There will be trials and tribulation when you follow God’s voice, but the reward at the end of it is so worth it! And, when you follow the desires that God has placed on your heart to do His will, you will enjoy every minute of every day with your work. Whether you’re a missionary, a teacher, a doctor, a pastor, the Lord is calling you to be obedient to His voice.
“Trust me, you are capable. You are strong enough. You are good enough. When you’re following the will of God that He has for your life, you can’t mess it up.”
So, will you say yes and allow the Lord to move in your life to do incredible things for the sake of the Gospel? As someone who has said yes to God, I can tell you, it was the best decision of my life to listen and obey Him, and I pray it will be the same for you.
“Whether you’re a missionary, a teacher, a doctor, a pastor, the Lord is calling you to be obedient to His voice.”
Lydia Summer left behind a life of comfort– a job, her family, her friends– to become a missionary for the Lord. She is super passionate about sharing the Gospel and using her voice to give God praise and glory. She loves her dog, Trudy, whom she misses very much, but is enjoying living a life of only cold showers, eating chicken and rice everyday, and getting to know the people in the Philippines, where she is currently residing for a short period of time. Need prayer or someone to talk to? Feel free to reach out to her!