This poem was written by E. H. Hamilton upon hearing of
Missionary Jack Vinsen's martyrdom. See below for more background on this.

"Afraid? Of what?"

To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?

When living in an area where, and at a time when, kidnaping for ransom was not uncommon, what did one do? Wealth is comparative, but to the Chinese bandit of that day, the average foreigner appeared wealthy.

Our Mission Board made it a policy never to pay ransom. That policy spread rapidly by word of mouth. As a result, none of our missionaries were ever held for ransom.

Uncle Jack Vinson, however, was captured and killed by bandits in cold blood. (To the children of missionaries, most fellow missionaries are "aunts, uncles, or cousins.")

Uncle Jack was recovering from an appendectomy when the village of Yangchiagih (a village in which a number of Christians lived) was pillaged by bandits. Uncle Jack insisted on going to check on the Christians. While he was there, the bandits returned. Uncle Jack was captured, and after being roped together with a long line of prisoners, was ordered to start walking. Because of his recent surgery, he was unable to keep up. A bandit threatened to shoot him if he did not hurry.

A young Chinese girl heard the threats and Uncle Jack's reply: "If you shoot me, I shall go straight to heaven." The soldier shot him.

When Uncle Ham (the Reverend E. H. Hamilton) heard the account of the shooting, he wrote this poem which reflects, I think, the feeling of all those missionaries under whose influence we grew up.

This entire page was received attached to a missionary prayer letter and contained no attribution. I will be happy to list full credit when supplied to me.

Prayer Concern | Pray for Persecuted Christians | Alpha Index | Uganda Mission Home