Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 19, 2016

Jesus Dispels Fear

In the Amazon

The Amazon rainforest is beyond amazing. Traveling by boat out of Manaus along the Rio Negro is like venturing into the land that time forgot. The endless varieties of plants and trees crowding the wide banks have been super-sized by the nutrient-rich soil, constant rain, and intense heat of this mesmerizing place. The vistas in every direction are reminiscent of Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs.

Munduruku Child
The indigenous tribes that live along the rivers and tributaries have great respect for their environment. Dangers that lurk beneath murky waterways and in thick jungle canopies are not unfamiliar to them. These riparian village dwellers have learned to coexist with difficulties and to utilize the resources around them. They could easily teach Bear Grylls a few things about survival.

Amazon Hut
The Amazon rainforest is also a place of deep mystery and intimidating fear. Animistic beliefs are woven into the culture of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon. As a result, the people here resort to practices they hope will placate, appease, and manipulate unseen and capricious powers to act in their favor. They must, after all, look for ways to live in peace with the unseen forces that surround them.

Child's Amulet
A leader in a Munduruku village explained to me that parents will use amulets to protect vulnerable babies from harmful spirits. Some people, he continued, surround their homes with plants they believe have the power to keep evil spirits at bay. These and other magical rituals are intended to ward off evil influences.

Munduruku Christ-follower
Unless Christ-followers are willing to deal with the fears that keep them from going to the ends of the earth, those who live in fear-saturated cultures will continue to be enslaved to what frightens them. That same Munduruku leader explained that those who are Christians do not share the same fears as their animistic neighbors. They do not use amulets or charms or fetishes of incantations or plants to protect themselves. Jesus has dispelled their fears.

Jungle Cross
Jesus changes everything for those who live in fear. He stormed the domain of darkness to effect the greatest rescue of all time. His death on the cross dealt the death blow to death itself. He disarmed and humiliated dark powers and authorities. He alone is capable of transferring those He rescues into His own kingdom — the kingdom of light. As we walk with Him, He gives us daily victory over fear and renders dark practices spiritually futile.

Jay Baptizing
Over our days in the Amazon we found great openness to the good news about Jesus. The message of His victory over darkness resonated with those who have spent a lifetime living in fear and trying to placate unseen forces. Many embraced Him as Savior and committed to follow Him as Lord. In Him they found their champion over the darkness and the fears that formerly held them captive. They now know that Jesus alone dispels fear.


Responses

  1. The “Fear Not” Flotilla !


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