Read: Isaiah 35
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (v. 10 NIV)
As we approached the small group of believers near the village of C’ancuc, we could see a mixture of welcome and concern. Four years before, their homes had been burned by the villagers. They had rebuilt nearby. Now they were concerned that our visit might incite the villagers to attack again.
Our portable organ was placed on the dirt floor of the half-finished church. The pastor asked me to play a hymn on the organ. We sang the words: “Once and for all, give yourself to Christ. Don’t be afraid, for he will help you. Don’t be afraid of sickness, Don’t be afraid of death, You are in the hands of Christ . . .” As we repeated it, the C’ancuc men started to sing with us.
After the singing, one of them shared, “Here we are, singing words which tell us not to be afraid but my heart is full of fear. I am afraid that the people in C’ancuc will hear the organ and our voices, and will come to harm us again.”
We understood their fear, but we also encouraged them. The pastor told them that God was with them and would care for them. When we left the next day, they were less fearful, and they had learned a new song that would help to increase their courage. —Helen Hofman
As you pray, share your fears with God and thank him for delivering you from your fear.
About the Author
Helen Hofman is a retired missionary. She and her husband Sam worked with the Tzeltal and Tojolabal Indians of Chiapas, Mexico for more than forty years. In their work, they helped set up a Bible School to train the Tzeltals, taught in the Bible School, prepared Sunday School materials, textbooks, hymnals and audiovisuals. They also coordinated the translation of the Amatenango Tzeltal New Testament and the revision of the highland Tzeltal Bible.