My Dad, A Hero and Martyr for the Lord Jesus
My father, William “Bill” Paul Hyde, was a humble man, but a great man. He lived his life quietly, unimposing and with gentleness. He had a passion though, seeing the Kingdom of God grow through the Philippines. Since 1978, first in Manila (and all over Luzon) in the north, then in the Visayas in central Philippines, and finally on Mindanao in the south, he and my Mom faithfully served the call of God. There is not a region in the Philippines that they did not go at some time. His passion though was Mindanao—the most unreached and difficult area of the Philippines, yet probably the most beautiful.
Regardless of background, denomination or creed my father sought that Jesus alone be proclaimed and glorified. It was this passion which stirred him, moved him and led him. I have been so blessed to hear of the places he had gone and the lives he had touched all across the Philippines. Regardless of the toils, hardship or danger which lied in his way, he would go. And if you know my father he was often quiet, but he was a passionate man who lived in the joy of the Lord. My father was always hurt for never being honored when he served his country in Vietnam, but now he is being honored by millions world-wide for dying in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love my father more than I can express and I thank God I am in his image. My looks, my voice, my thoughts, my laugh, my blood are identical to him. My father and I are so alike in that we knew each others thoughts. We could carry on a conversation without ever uttering a word.
After I received word that my father had been seriously wounded I began to pray and call everyone I knew to pray. I turned on the TV and they showed images of the blast taken from afar. There was a huge vertical plume of white smoke rising high into the sky. The Lord then spoke to me that the presence of the Lord God almighty was in that plume, as he was in the plume over the tabernacle of Moses. “Your Dad is in my presence now” the Lord gently whispered. Within minutes my brother and Mom informed me by telephone call that my Dad was indeed in the presence of God.
I know that Jesus will offer my Dad a mansion in heaven with the other great Martyrs like Paul, for which his mother named him and like Steven and John of whom he named me. But my Dad won’t take a mansion. . . he will ask instead for a simple cabin nestled in the woods, on a lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains.
Within the hours that past the Lord comforted me and spoke again. I heard God call me: “Son of the Martyr”. The call rang in my heart again and again. “Son of the Martyr, how I can use you as a tool in hand of almighty God,” again and again I heard God’s voice speaking to me.
My Dad did not die of old age, disease, or a traffic accident. My Dad died as the evil one worked his wickedness in the world. Satan wants you to be afraid and discouraged. Let this instead make you more passionate for the Gospel. Jesus came to save sinners and to make them righteous, but Satan tries to spill their blood. Zechariah 4:6 says ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.’ The Evil One knows only the use of power and fear to wreak havoc in this world: driving people into sin. To kill and destroy is easy, but only the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ can bring love and peace.
“Son of the Martyr you will follow in your fathers footsteps to bring glory to Me” spoke the Lord Jesus Christ. “You are to bring Christ’s love and peace and show sinful people the way to salvation from their sin.”
I will avenge my father’s death, but not like the plans of the Evil One. To kill and destroy is easy, but to love your enemy is God’s command. The plans of Jesus are peace and love through the forgiveness of sins. I will go and bring Jesus throughout this evil world and take the light of Jesus into the darkness. Please, all of you whose lives were touched by my father, who were motivated and encouraged by him in church planting, evangelism and the Kingdom of God. . . please join me in avenging my fathers death. Let us together go into every dark area, those hard to go places, those places that bring fear just by mention of their name. Go, as my father went. My Dad will not be the last martyr, but in the end the Lord Jesus Christ will have the victory. Take the light into the darkness with me.
The Bible says that life is in the blood. I will take my fathers body and bury it among his family in his hometown, but his life will continue to be seen in the Philippines, as this is where his blood was shed.
All across the Philippines Jesus will bring salvation from sin and transform this land. From the Philippines which my father so deeply loved, to Cambodia, and all the way to Jerusalem where Jesus will make his throne one day, and then “Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
I LOVE YOU DAD.
Written by Steve Hyde; Son of the Martyr Bill Hyde; March 04, 2003
Steve shared this at his father funeral on behalf of the family.
Since 2007 Steve has returned to the Philippines to train and equip local pastors on Mindanao. Since that time, other pastors and missionaries have been Martyred, yet the work continues. Through Steve’s Antioch Institute, currently more than 2000 leaders are being trained on Mindanao among more than 15 denominations and among more than 20 tribal groups. Each year, more than 300 new churches are planted and thousands of people saved and baptized on Mindanao each year through the students.