Gabriela Francisco – Philippines: “Don’t Be Afraid! It is I!”

On the plane coming to the Philippines, I was journaling my volunteer experience thus far. I had just cried so much saying goodbye to my parents and in my journal speaking to God I said, “…but it’s just me and You for a little…I wouldn’t mind if You let me know in some small way that You’re here with me.”

The next thing I did was open my Bible to spend some time with God. I opened to the book of John, because Pastor Dwight had told us at vespers before I left how to DIY (Do It Yourself) Bible study. I was reading how Jesus was walking on water and how the disciples were afraid, and he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” At first, nothing stood out to me because this is a story I have heard/read so many times. But I kept reading it over and over again until it hit me. “It is I; don’t be afraid.” God was speaking directly to me.

The song Oceans by Hillsong has been replaying in my mind, specifically the beginning that says: “You called me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.” I was feeling (and sometimes still feel) like the disciples in the boat, with the waves crashing against them, scared of what may come next, when Jesus comes and tells them to not be afraid. Why? Because it is Him. Not because the storm isn’t as big as it seems, no. But because Jesus is above the storm, Jesus calms the storm, because Jesus is exactly who He says He is. Our Rock, our Defender, our quiet place.

So, I am reminded every day that I have no need to fear simply because: It is Jesus!

Gabriela Francisco, a Student Missionary from Andrews University, is serving as an Assistant Health Worker in the Philippines.

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