AUSTIN, Texas (BP)–Lyn Hyde is hoping Southern Baptists will remember her in prayer on Oct. 22.
As a Southern Baptist missionary to the Philippines for 25 years, she has known the power of their collective prayers on her birthday when her name is included on a missionary prayer list.
A much different circumstance now prompts her call for prayer.
Seven months after her husband, Bill, was killed by a terrorist’s bomb on the island of Mindanao, she’ll return to the Davao City airport where the March 4 explosion took place, killing 43 Filipinos and injuring another 136 people.
“There is only one airport that I will fly back into and I will walk through the place where Bill was killed,” Hyde told International Mission Board trustees during their Sept. 10 meeting in Austin, Texas. “I’ll go back to our duplex where we lived, where Bill will not be, but his things will be.”
LISTENING TO GOD
Over the three weeks of her visit, Hyde said she will seek to “hear from the Lord, continue the grieving process and try to determine what God is saying to me for my future.”
She expressed gratitude for the IMB providing a full year in which to make a decision about returning to the Philippines as a missionary. She also asked for continued prayer for her sons who, though ages 31 and 32, are deeply grieving the loss of their father.
“As God continues to bring good to our lives, we can count on Him doing that for us,” she said.
Since the death of her husband of 37 years, God’s comforting presence has been profoundly real, Hyde said, quoting Isaiah 54:5. She said she was experiencing the reality of that Scripture: “My maker is my husband, the Lord Almighty is His name.”
Hyde has been living in Argyle, Texas, and attending Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. One son, Tim, is a contractor in nearby McKinney. Another son, Steve, leads a missions organization in Southeast Asia.
GOD STILL HAS A PLAN
Hyde is convinced God still has a missionary purpose for her life: In 25 years of missionary service, March 4 was the only time she had not stood next to her husband while waiting to pick up fellow missionaries at the airport.
“When the bomb exploded that killed my husband, it was as if my life was blown up into a thousand pieces like a jigsaw puzzle,” she shared. “In the hours and the days that I’ve spent with the Lord since that time, the Lord is slowly beginning to turn over the pieces of that puzzle.”
Though the bombing took her husband’s life, it did not kill her missionary calling, Hyde said.
“From the time I was 7 years old when I came to know the Lord, and from the time I met my first real-live missionary, all I ever wanted to be was a missionary,” she said. “Even though Bill is gone from me, that call has not gone away.”
NO BUSINESS AS USUAL
Because of the death of her husband and the three Southern Baptist hospital workers killed in Yemen three months earlier, Southern Baptists can no longer go about mission work as usual, Hyde said.
“This is not an isolated incident. We need to see the larger picture taking place around the world,” she said. “The cost for each one of us and the cost for the IMB is going to be far greater.”
While some questioned their decision when they began serving as missionaries in 1978, the reason they went was simple obedience to God’s call, Hyde said.
“The reason Bill and I went to the Philippines is that the Great Commission has not yet been fully obeyed,” she told the trustees. “We are called to follow Christ and to lay down our lives for the cause of Christ.
“Bill paid the ultimate price for his commitment to Christ. He died for the cause of Christ as many other millions have died before him,” she said. “I do have the joy and the comfort in knowing his life was not wasted. He lived for eternity.”
She quoted martyred missionary Jim Elliott who wrote, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain which he cannot lose.”
Just as Elliott’s wife, Elisabeth, continued serving in the country where her husband’s life was taken, Lyn Hyde returns to the Philippines Oct. 22 to seek God’s will about continued service among the people she’s loved for 25 years.
HEAR LYN HYDE’S TESTIMONY
http://rodan.implex.net/alliedvaughn/IMB/trustees/hyde_high.wma (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LIFTING HER UP.