On Fridays I like to share favorite verses. But I missed this Friday 😦 so am posting this on a rainy Saturday instead. Last week I posted Mr. Rogers’ favorite Bible passage and a really interesting picture of him with a gorlla. This week, we’ll look at two WWII heros from opposite sides of Pearl Harbor and the verses that lead them both to the safe harbor of God’s love.
First, let’s meet Jacob DeShazer. He was a young soldier on KP duty,
peeling potatoes when he heard about Pearl Harbor. Ironically, rotten potato soup is what he’d be eating less than a year later in a dimly lit cell as a Japanese prisoner of war…
Under the command of Colonel Jimmey Doolittle, 16 B-52 Bombers and a combined crew of 80 brave “Doolittle Raiders” made a daring fly-over attack of Japan in the dark of night. The plan was to rendevous after bombing key locations in Tokyo, factories and such, at a safe location in China, but the planes ran out of fuel forcing one to land in the Soviet Union, while the rest were “lost over China”. Deshazer and his crew were captured after parachuting from their planes over Japan-occupied territory. The angry Japanese took out there vengeance on the men who’d bombed their homeland with 40 months of repeated tortures, starvation, and solitary confinement.
Three of the crew members were executed and one died slowly of malnutrition.
Deshazer: “My hatred for the enemy nearly drove me crazy. My thoughts turned toward what I’d heard about Chrisianity changing hatred between human beings into a real brotherly love. I begged my captors for a Bible.”
Let’s leave Deshazer for a moment to meet our other war hero, Mitsuo Fachida, the Japanese pilot who lead the planes that bombed Pearl Harbor with that famous cry, “Tora! Tora! Tora! (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!)”. He was very near and dear to the hearts of the Japanese people after his exploits, but his heart was far from the Lord. Fachida was revered almost as much as the emperor, whom the Japanese worshipped as a God.
Here’s a short video intro to Mr. Fachido:
Now, let’s hear Jacob Deshazer tell in his own words how God miraculously brought these two men together, and the verses that touched their hearts:
Jacob Deshazer’s verse: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Mutsuo Fachida’s verse: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 KJV
You can read Mr. Deshazer’s story in more detail here and his mother’s sweet account of her faith and relentless prayer for her son at the bottom under the heading, “I am the Praying Mother of Jacob Deshazer.” (very sweet 🙂 )
Do you know the God of all men, Japanese, American, English, African… Click here to meet the One Who’s got the whole world in His hands.