Is Your Faith Bigger Than Your Fears?

January 23, 2017 by

Last August my husband Chris and I attended the Surrender conference in Adelaide, South Australia. Surrender’s goal is to inspire followers of Jesus to live more radically in order to reach the least, the last, and the lost.

Because the conference was a series of workshops, worship, and fellowship over two and a half days, conversations began on Friday, continued Saturday, and deepened Sunday. We mulled over how to create more authentic community, what it means to truly love our neighbor, went on a walking tour with Uncle Frank to discover the indigenous history of Adelaide, and heard from a Cambodian brother about how he lives out the Sermon on the Mount in a country where violent retaliation is the norm.

On Friday evening after the main session was finished, Chris and I walked through the city. As we turned onto Rundle Mall, a pedestrian shopping zone, a clear voice singing “Mighty to Save” caught our attention. A young man, accompanying himself on guitar, was worshiping in the middle of the weekend crowd. He seemed oblivious to the people milling around him and totally absorbed in his song of praise.

a young man sitting and singing on the street corner

Besides the passersby who stopped to listen, we noticed a family group sitting on a nearby bench. “That’s my younger brother,” a teenage girl told us with evident pride, “and we’re here to support him as he witnesses to Jesus.” When I asked if they were part of a church they answered, “Our church is right here where we come to worship every Friday night.”

We stayed chatting while the song ended and the young singer began another.

I don’t remember the words we exchanged, only the obvious joy we shared as we encouraged each other along the Way. I don’t recall the young man’s name, either. But his unabashed singing carried a commitment to action, the community around him reflected the themes of our conference, and his solid confidence in the power of a Jesus who saves will stay in my heart for a long time.

Surrender will occur again in March, in Melbourne. It’s a conference every serious Jesus-follower should consider attending at least once. Shane Claiborne will be a main speaker. The Bruderhof will be there, too; will we see you there?


About the author

Norann Voll portrait

Norann Voll

Norann Voll lived in New York’s Hudson Valley until moving to the Danthonia Bruderhof in New South Wales, Australia in 2002...

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  • I would like to see ´Bruderhof´in action. I live near Helsinki in Finland. Where would be the nearest community which I could visit? Blessings and Peace to you and your work. Thanks

    Michael Derry
  • A person who has the strongh faith in God should not have fears. We all humankind has fears that is normal. But when we surrender to God, he leads our life and we dont need to worry for things in our daily life. Our life is in the hands of God . He has plans for us and God is always closer with all those who are suffering.

    metin erdem