Passionate about Serving the Lord
The District of Hawaii is in a season of revival! The most joyful are those who have chosen to be a part of the reaping. Recently Pastor McGriffin said, “Everyone ought to know Jesus!” I cheered along with the congregation, but I remember a time when I did not always think that way.
I came to the Lord at the age of fifteen—piercings, tattered clothes, mental and emotional scars, and a lifetime of hurt. As a youth I was starving to know why life seemed so dark. A teacher once called me a punk in high school. I embraced it and it became me. To my dad, it seemed I could never be good enough, and I embraced that I was not good enough. Growing up, I never really had any true friends, so I felt like I deserved that. All of this together made me feel ashamed of myself, which is why I spent a lot of time alone. It gave me time to think. I was very young, but life was making me grow up and that is where God found me.
He found me! I would have climbed mountains and swum rivers to get to this truth. The contrary, however, occurred for me. I read somewhere, “If there were one-thousand steps between God and man, Jesus took all but one.” He came after me. But He left that last step for me to take.
One night at Family Camp, I wholeheartedly committed myself to serve the Lord. Since that night as I have grown in Him, God has worked miracles, wonders, and signs through me. He has changed my life! The lyrics to the song are true: “if you can use anything Lord, You can use me!”
I am proud to testify that in the five years since God saved me, He has undone what the world had molded me into. He has removed shame and hurt that once kept me frightened and silenced. He has turned my life around. Today, He ministers the Word through me by preaching, teaching, and leading worship. By the grace of God, He has healed people when I laid hands on them. He has shown me open visions and has allowed me to witness angels. It is amazing what God can do through a willing vessel. Since He first laid His hands on me, pursuing the call of greatness in my life has become as essential as breathing.
I was made by God and for God, and for these reasons, I will serve Him. My hope is that God will do the most good, make the greatest impact, and reach the uttermost part of the earth through me . Then, and only then, will I be satisfied.
One day in prayer, God said to me, “No one can say what I can say, and if I keep it in, no one will ever hear it. No one can do the things I can do, and if I remain still, no one will ever see it.” We need God, and that means we need to be available for God to work through to reveal Himself to our world.
Serving the Lord with my whole life has become my passion. The mission of the UPCI is to bring the “whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church.” Now is the time for all who have the call of God on their lives to respond to that call of greatness and pursue it with all of their heart. Nothing will give you greater joy.
As for me, there is no turning back. I’m excited to know that after five years of God unveiling my eyes, working miracles through me, and renewing my mind, this is all just the beginning. I will be different because I want to make a difference. I will make myself of use because I want to be used. Jesus wants to reach the whole world more than any of us do, but He needs a vessel through whom He can work.
Five years ago, I could not have imagined being a part of something so great. I will do what I can to please God. Should He decide to only choose one, I want to be that vessel.
My name is Excel Barayuga, and I am from Honolulu, Hawaii. I am 20 years old, and I have been serving the Lord for almost 5 years now. I am currently going to school for a BA in Secondary Education. My passion is teaching.