Staff Posts

STAFF POSTS

 

stories from our missional partners

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Part 1: What does obedience look like? 

"When God calls me, I'll pack up my bags and go."

This is what I used to believe, and I thought I had the faith to do it.

June 2, 2020

"You like the idea of mission...
You like the thought of Japan...
But you don't love the people...

These three phrases shatter what I used to believe, and the reality of God's call opens the stronghold of fear. When I heard God speak this to me, I was surprised, and as a normal person, I told God to teach me how to love the people. I was overwhelmed, and shocked that God answered my prayer so fast! At that very moment, I fell in love with the people I haven't met yet. At the same time, the cost of being a missionary becomes real, and fear envelops me.

I met several missionaries, read missionary biographies, and completed a Perspective course to know that being one is not a walk in the park. I know that once I said yes to it, my life is not in my hands anymore. The fear of the unknown and uncertainties were too real to me. When God called me, my immediate response was 'No' and recommended someone else. Since that moment, I have witnessed my fear to be bigger than God.

I ran away, thankfully, not ran away from God, but I negotiated, begged, and convinced God why not me. It didn't work, and God was so persistent about it. I came to a point where I cried anytime and everywhere, and the more I ran away, the more I'm physically having trouble breathing. But I'm stubborn, I don't want to say yes because I know when I say yes, I will be accountable for it.

Abu Dhabi is my comfort zone already, I have a job, amazing friends, and a church where I found a family outside my family. The struggle of letting go and laying down what I have is too costly. It was hard, lonely, and painful. I know that I have to deal with God, but the path that He is leading me is not the path that I want to go.

Finally, on August 18, 2020, I gave my 'yes' to God, and for the first time since June 2, I was able to breathe, breathe! Yet, fear didn't leave. Instead, I started to have anxiety attacks, and loneliness joined the club. I thought that saying yes would lessen the fear, but I didn't realize that it would make me more doubtful, insecure, and fearful. Everything was new to me, and I didn't know what to do. I shared it with my close friends, but most of them listened but didn't hear me. I felt so lonely and insecure. I never felt so lonely walking this path of the unknown.

Everything was overwhelming, but I never felt closer to God than ever. Only a few people understand me, I have no choice but to draw myself closer to God, and He never left me. Yes, I was afraid, but God was there in the midst of my fear. Most of the time, my fear seems to be bigger than God, but God never failed to be there for me. Never once did His presence leave. God understood my fear, and He walked with me graciously.

Even though I said yes to God, I was also finding ways to run away from it. I have been asking God what obedience looks like. I love God and want to obey Him, but I don't know if I'm obeying because half of me still wants to run away. It was in November 2020 when two typhoons hit the Philippines simultaneously, and I was praying on it when I felt God's pain. I felt led to give, and I felt God spoke to me, "if a part of the body is in pain, the whole body should feel it". I called one of our church elders and shared my heart about what I felt God was telling me. Our church and my friends responded. We sent relief help to the Philippines, and hundreds of people heard the Gospel and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

One of the elders told me, obedience doesn't necessarily mean doing big things. Sometimes obedience is just picking up your phone to call someone and letting God do the rest. And this experience boosted my faith. Somehow, the journey of obedience wasn't as scary as before. At that time, I was still scared, but I was also excited to see what God would do.

Hanna Evardone

P.S. - Look for Part 2 soon...


Hanna EvardoneHanna Evardone was born and raised in a small town in the middle part of the Philippines and is an expat of a beautiful Arab country. She enjoys meeting people with different nationalities, cultures, and beliefs, and loves exploring their food! She states, "I'm someone who talks a lot and still learning how to stop!"

 

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