Our usual speakers for church were all going to be unavailable for our own service, so Samantha Venegas told her husband (our pastor, Daniel Venegas,) that she would speak in his place. I am so glad she did. I am so sorry that our phone was not working and our Zoom was out. I am sad that those of you who enjoy our online services missed her talk. She presented a well-planned and beautiful message for us. She touched on several thoughts, but one of the things she talked about was fear. She talked about being afraid. and described some of her fearful moments. She told us that there are at least 365 verses in the Bible that tell us not to fear. One of my favorites of these is Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV); “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Here God is telling us that we are not alone. The entire Bible is a love letter about how His love for us will protect us and bring us home. He didn’t say we would never have trouble. He didn’t say we wouldn’t face a crisis, a pandemic or other unexpected tragedy. He just tells us not to fear because we are not alone.
Daniel and Samantha have only been living here for a relatively short time, but they have cheered us with their positive attitudes despite covid and other tragedies. Samantha is now a teacher at the Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School in Elkins. Both seem to enjoy activities they helped plan and they join in the happiness of things like crazy hat night, crazy hair night and other activities for all our church family and friends. Most Saturday nights include some kind of special activity. It is delightful to see the happiness in the faces of the young ones.
They have another activity planned to which all of you are invited. You can join us for our church service and picnic lunch at Holly River State Park on August 6.