"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Facing My Fears Never Stops

Over the past few months, I've been struggling once again with one of my biggest fears. There is a job possibility that involves something I thought I’d never do—travel to Southeast Asia especially VietNam, Laos, and Cambodia.

My dad disappeared over there during the Viet Nam War while working for Air America, a CIA proprietary essential for covert operations such as search and rescue and photo reconnaissance.  He told me before leaving the States that if he was captured by the enemy, he’d be shot as a spy. 

A couple of days ago one of my sisters gave me documents that had previously been kept confidential by the Department of Defense. These reports disclose more details than we’ve ever seen before. One of the summaries alleges that the crewmembers on my dad’s plane survived the crash, but were killed by the Pathet Lao. Another report also claims my dad was executed.

Vivid memories of the cruelty experienced by POWs haunt me whenever I think of that area. The 1966 North Vietnam television interview with Jeremiah Denton, Jr.when he blinked out the word “torture” in Morse code remains clear in my mind. Seeing that may have been triggered my fear of being in SE Asia, because even though my dad offered me a free trip to come visit him before he disappeared, I declined.

So why would I consider working in a situation that could take me someplace I really don’t want to go?  It's because there’s something more important than my comfort level, something worth the risk.

Corrie Ten Boom took a far greater risk when her family hid Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Her family committed to living their lives in service to their fellow man. Corrie was a ring leader in the Dutch underground. When caught by the Nazis, her family was shipped off to several different concentration camps. Corrie lost her father, her brother, her nephew and eventually her beloved sister, Betsie. Yet Corrie realized her life was a gift from God and she needed to share the lessons she learned in the infamous Ravensbruck, that: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still," and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies."  Corrie was 53 years old when she began a world-wide ministry that took her into more than 60 countries! Everywhere she went she testified to God’s love and encouraged everyone she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor."

Though I'm a super chicken who read her book The Hiding Place, several decades ago, its message resonates today. Life wasn’t meant to be lived according to our own pleasure. The Creator has plans and purposes for each of us. Perhaps mine will include helping an organization dedicated to the people in SE Asia, who need to know their Creator. Who also need help to get out of the kind of poverty that can lead to human trafficking. My life is a gift from the Creator. Doing whatever work He has planned for me should be a privilege and an honor. And, my willingness to do it satisfies my soul even when genuine suffering is involved. 

Barry McGuire, the rock singer who sang "Eve of Destruction" thinks this type of surrender is one of the greatest "weapons" we have. That story, tomorrow.

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