When I was in grade school, I used to get envious of classmates who would tell stories about their summer getaway with their families in different places, different countries. Traveling was something our family couldn’t afford then; there were no “seat sales” yet nor “piso fares” and plane tickets were skyrocketing expensive!
Whenever I wanted something we couldn’t afford, my father used to console me with, “Magiging prinsesa ka ba pag nabili mo yan?” (Would you become a princess if you bought that?) So I would brush off my dreams of going places or buying things that I wanted because they didn’t make me a princess anyway.
Fast forward to about 6 years later. God called me to missions. Another 4 years after that, He gave me an opportunity to go on my first mission trip to Thailand.
“Maybe it has always been in your heart to go, but you don’t know where to start.”
That was the altar call made after an outreach team shared their testimony from a trip. I felt like I was the only one present in a 15,000-seater coliseum during that Jesus Revolution Now Convergence in November 2005. I knew in my heart that the Lord was inviting me to respond. I didn’t have a passport. I didn’t have money. All I had was a “yes.” God breathed on my weak “yes,” and since then, He has taken me on a journey to different countries.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 ESV
From when I first borrowed Isaiah’s cry, “Here I am, send me,” God showed me what my “yes” looked like—
“Y” – “YES,” JUST SAY “YES!”
There were times I felt inadequate and unqualified to go to the nations to share the gospel, but He showed me that even before I could even try to impress Him, He already knew me; He already chose me; He already marked me; and He already approved of me—before I was born!
“Before I formed you, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“E” – EVEN JUST FOR ONE
I would never forget a man named SomSak. When I had all the expectations to see many
get saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior on my first mission trip to Thailand, I wondered why we were assigned to a Christian village. Toward the end of the trip, SomSak was the only one who gave his life to Jesus. While the team was praying for him, I heard a whisper in my heart: “If you knew that he was the only one who would get saved, would you still have come?” I couldn’t help my tears. I cried even more when God added, “Even if it was just for you, I would still have come.” I have carried that with me since.
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner
who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
“S” – SHOW UP!
One time, during a mission outreach to Cambodia, our host didn’t let us know what our daily schedule looked like. He would just bring us to communities and villages seemingly without a plan. But there, I witnessed miracle after miracle. God showed off as we showed up! And we saw many come to salvation in Jesus.
I learned that some things don’t always need to be planned to the detail. We just show up!
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation… And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues… they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18
In Hebrew, the word for the phrase “Here am I” is “HINENI” (hee-ney-nee)— הִנֵּֽנִי— it means an expression of readiness to give oneself in TOTAL AVAILABILITY, in ABSOLUTE SURRENDER. It means a readiness to be FULLY AVAILABLE and READY TO PAY ATTENTION, READY TO OBEY INSTRUCTIONS — EVEN BEFORE THE ASK.*
“Hineni” is what Moses said when God called him from the burning bush; it’s how Abraham responded even without knowing what God would ask of him yet; it’s Samuel’s response after the third time that he heard a voice calling him, realizing it was God calling him and not Eli; it’s Isaiah’s cry when He heard an invitation to volunteer and go. I desire to have the same courage always to say, “HINENI.”
Today, 14 years later and 19 countries traveled since that fateful day in November 2005, I still say “YES” over and over to wherever God would take my feet. Today, it’s no longer about just wanting to travel to a different country like my grade school self dreamed of, but to travel with a purpose: to hasten the day of Jesus’ return. I couldn’t be more grateful that God is making my childhood dreams come true in a more meaningful way, and with an eternal value as He invites me to partner with Him in preparing the nations as Jesus’ inheritance. I now have a passport, obviously. Most of the time, I still don’t have the money, but I know now that I can always dream big, especially when it’s about the dream of His heart!
After all, my given name, Sarah, actually means princess. I am already His princess.
Hineni”: Here I am. Send Me! (2018, October 11). Retrieved June 22, 2019, from https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/hineni-here-i-am-send-me/
“Daddy’s Girl” as she calls herself, Sarah is growing in her understanding of what it means to live life as a daughter of the King as she gives herself to prepare the Bride for the return of her Bridegroom.