Born November 15, 1912, West Stayton, Oregon
Graduated from Madras High School, Madras, Oregon
in 1931. Enlisted on February 26, 1940 at Fort McDowell, California.
Attended Bombardier and Airplane Mechanics Schools. Was captured by
the Japanese after the Tokyo Raid and spent 40 months as a prisoner
of war. Released on August 20, 1945 and separated from the service
on October 15, 1945. Graduated Seattle Pacific College, Seattle, Washington,
on June 7, 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in preparation for
a life as a missionary. After completion of his missionary training,
he returned to Japan on December 28, 1948 to fulfill the vision he
had while a prisoner. Decorations include the Distinguished Flying
Cross, Purple Heart, and the Chinese Breast Order of Yung Hui.
Finding forgiveness: Former Doolittle Raider,
POW shares experiences
By JOSN Geraldine Hawkins
Pacific Fleet Joint Information Bureau
Cpl. Jacob DeShazer, United States Army Air Corps, was a bombardier
on the historic mission April 18, 1942 in which Gen. Jimmy Doolittle
and his crew attacked Tokyo and turned the tide of the Pacific war.
For the next three years, he paid a heavy price for his bravery as
the Japanese beat, tortured and starved him as a "war criminal."
Why then did DeShazer, who spoke at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel
May 18, spend the next 30 years of his life as a Methodist missionary
The courage of Gen. Doolittle and his Raiders -- who did not expect
to survive the bombing raid over Japan -- is vividly depicted in the
motion picture "Pearl Harbor," which premiered May 21 on
the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). DeShazer, 88,
and his wife Florence were in Pearl Harbor for the premiere and to
share how that "Date of Infamy" led to a chain of events
that changed their lives.
DeShazer was subjected to unbelievable cruelty, including being forced
to watch helplessly while one of his friends died of slow starvation.
"My hatred for the enemy nearly drove me crazy," he said.
"My thoughts turned toward what I had heard about Christianity
changing hatred between human beings into real brotherly love. I begged
my captors to get me a Bible, and when the emperor of Japan told them
to treat us better, I got one."
"I begged my captors to get me a Bible, and when the emperor
of Japan told them to treat us better, I got one."
Doolittle Raider, POW
The sentence that changed DeShazer's world was "Father, forgive
them for they know not what they do."
"I realized that these people did not know anything about my
Savior and that if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel,"
DeShazer was liberated in August 1944 by the 442nd Regiment Combat
Team when they parachuted into China. One of his liberators, Dick
Hamada, joined DeShazer at the chapel service.
"They were emaciated," recalled Hamada, now 79. "The
Japanese didn't even consider them prisoners of war. They were 'war
DeShazer returned to the United States where Gen. Hap Arnold promoted
him to staff sergeant. "General Arnold said I became a sergeant
the moment the wheels left the deck [before the raid]," DeShazer
His experiences as a prisoner of war influenced him to go to Japan
as a missionary.
"When I was a prisoner, I was afraid I was going to die and
I told God 'I don't want to go up there with empty hands; I want to
do something for Jesus." He attended college, then seminary to
prepare for his new mission as an ambassador for Christ.
Before he arrived in Japan, DeShazer wrote a tract entitled "I
Was a Prisoner of Japan," that was widely distributed throughout
Japan. One person who read this tract was an embittered Japanese ex-pilot,
Capt. Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. The
message was completely different from anything the officer had ever
heard. All of his dreams had been shattered, and he was ready to consider
the claims of Christ.
In one of the strangest and most inspiring stories to come out of
World War II, Fuchida, the Japanese pilot who bombed Pearl Harbor,
and DeShazer, the Doolittle Raider who bombed Tokyo, became close
friends. Fuchida became a Christian in 1950 and, like DeShazer, spent
the rest of his life as a missionary in Asia.
When DeShazer and his wife Florence went to Japan in 1948, they found
a fertile field for missionary work. "MacArthur told them [Japanese]
that they ought to be Christians," DeShazer recalled. "They
wanted to find out what was right. A lot of the young people committed
suicide when the emperor told them he was just another human being.
They had been brought up to believe the emperor was a divine person.
When we told them about the Lord, they said 'We never heard anything
like this before!"
Hamada recalled the first time he and DeShazer met since the rescue
over half a century ago. Hamada wanted to find out what became of
the men he rescued.
"My daughter got on the internet and found Jacob DeShazer of
the Free Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon. I called, told Mrs. DeShazer
who I was, and she shouted 'Jacob! Jacob!"
Hamada and DeShazer saw each other again after 55 years at a reunion
of the Doolittle Raiders in Fresno, Calif., three weeks before the
movie premiere. They had corresponded, but never expected to meet.
The chapel service marked only the second time the two men have met
While the movie "Pearl Harbor" introduces a new generation
to the events that led America on a journey from defeat to victory,
DeShazer's message focuses on a personal journey from hatred to love
and how that experience turned him from an agent of revenge into an
ambassador of reconciliation.
This article was found at the following link...
The objective of the mission had been met. The Doolittle Raiders
in plane No. 16 had dropped four incendiary bombs on a group of oil
storage tanks and a factory in Nagoya, a manufacturing city about
300 miles southwest of Tokyo. But now, trying desperately to reach
free China, they encountered a dense fog, closing in fast. Their B-25
had been slowed by a large hole in its nose -- inadvertent damage
sustained prior to their takeoff from the USS Hornet. Their fuel supply
nearly gone, they parachuted one by one into the night. Unfortunately,
they were over Japanese-occupied China, and within a couple of days
the five army airmen became prisoners of the enemy.
The bombing of Japan by the Doolittle Raiders on April 18, 1942 --
featured in the closing minutes of the movie Pearl Harbor -- was only
the beginning of an incredible saga that gives testimony to the power
of God's love in a world of men determined to hate. And while the
Raiders in the movie waged a fierce gun battle with the Japanese,
in the "real story" none of the eight captured men (from
two planes) fired a single shot after ditching their aircraft in Japanese-held
China. Unsure of the loyalties among the people they met, they didn't
want to mistakenly shoot nationalist Chinese soldiers or civilians.
Almost without preamble, the men found themselves in the hands of
the Japanese. An intense period of interrogation, torture, extended
isolation and despair followed. Three -- both pilots and a rear gunner
-- were executed by firing squad; another died of slow starvation.
Only four lived through it, !nd only one determined to return, Lord
willing. First he had come with bombs; now he would come back again
-- armed with the love of Christ for his "enemies."
Jacob D. "Jake" DeShazer -- an exceedingly charming 88-year-old
with an engaging smile and striking blue eyes -- currently resides
with his wife of 55 years, Florence, in his home state of Oregon.
But between 1942 and 1945, this gentle patriot endured 40 months of
brutality and deprivation, 36 of them in solitary confinement. The
weight on his 5-foot-6-inch frame dropped from 160 to 128 pounds;
at times his body was covered with boils. "The only feeling I
harbored was that of hatred, bitter hatred," he recalls.
Given access to a Bible for three short weeks in 1944, DeShazer experienced
a divine transformation. He made peace with Christ in his lonely prison
cell, returning to his Christian roots and thereby answering his mother's
prayers that his life be spared -- both for now, and for eternity.
And while his conditions didn't change, his heart did.
Upon his release from captivity at the close of the war, DeShazer
revealed that God had called him to return to Japan -- taking the
love of Christ to that defeated, disillusioned people. In obedience
to God, DeShazer, his wife and the first of their five children arrived
in Yokohama on Dec. 28, 1948, to begin 30 years of service as Free
Many thousands of Japanese responded to their former prisoner's invitation
to receive Christ as Savior; perhaps most notable among them was Mitsuo
Fuchida -- commander of the Japanese air fleet that devastated Pearl
Harbor, and made famous in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. Fuchida's conversion
came as a direct result of his reading "I Was a Prisoner of Japan,"
a tract written by DeShazer, translated into Japanese and widely distributed
by Bible League International (BLI). Fuchida's subsequent intensive
study of the Bible and discovery of the truth was quite similar to
DeShazer's own conversion experience, and the two men spent many years
evangelizing together in Japan and around the world.
Train Up a Child ...
DeShazer's formative years were spent in Madras, OR, where he and
his family faithfully attended the local Free Methodist church. But
during his high school years, he slowly drifted from his Christian
Perhaps that's why, as his parachute carried him down toward a very
uncertain future on that foggy night in 1942, DeShazer thought it
would be "dishonest" to pray. So he didn't. (He was not
without prayer cover, however. At that very hour, his mother awakened
suddenly with a strange feeling of being dropped down through the
air. She prayed, in great distress, until the burden was gone and
sleep returned. She had absolutely no knowledge at the time -- nor
did most of the United States -- of the Doolittle Raid or her son's
participation in it.)
Later, DeShazer recalls, before fellow captive Lt. Robert J. Meder
died of malnutrition in December 1943, he said, "Jake, Jesus
Christ is the key to all of this."
DeShazer continues, "And I thought, so what does that have to
do with it? Jesus Christ was a long time ago. I couldn't understand
it. But when I became a Christian, I knew what Meder was talking about."
Life Sentence: Solitary Confinement
Bombardier Cpl. DeShazer and the other fliers from his plane (pilot
Lt. William Farrow, co-pilot Lt. Robert L. Hite, navigator Lt. George
Barr and engineer/gunner Harold A. Spatz) were beaten and interrogated
in Nan king, then flown to Tokyo. There they learned of the three
other captives, survivors from plane No. 6: pilot Lt. Dean E. Hallmark,
co-pilot Meder and navigator Lt. Chase J. Nielsen. (Their two other
crewmen had drowned when they crash-landed off the coast of China.)
Mistreatment was constant. On one occasion, DeShazer was forced to
kneel and was beaten severely during an inquisition. Nielsen was handcuffed
and hung for about eight hours from a peg on the wall with his toes
barely touching the floor. Others were stretched out on boards with
towels over their faces. Water was poured over them repeatedly, nearly
After two months, they were transferred to "Bridge House"
in Shanghai, back on mainland China. Already in poor physical condition
from beatings and a lack of food, DeShazer and his compatriots were
thrown into a 12-by-15-foot cell with 15 Chinese prisoners, two of
them women. The eight men received only a cup of boiled rice soup
for breakfast each day, 4 ounces of bread for lunch and dinner and
approximately 2 quarts of water to share among them. The room was
so small the entire group couldn't even lie down at one time.
Meanwhile, the Japanese military leadership couldn't agree about
what to do with the captured Raiders. One group wanted them treated
like other POWs; the other considered them "war criminals"
and wanted them immediately tried and executed. A compromise was reached
(no one knows the specific rationale behind it), and three of the
captives (Farrow, Hallmark and Spatz) were executed on Oct. 15, 1942.
The others were sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement
-- though none of this was officially communicated to the eight men.
Following 70 days in the horrific environment of Bridge House, a
mock trial was held and the men were transferred to another Shanghai
prison where they were placed in 5-by-8-foot cells with small slits
in the doors. They were not allowed to speak out loud except to say
"hello" to each other when they cleaned their cells. Their
first inkling that something had happened to three of their members
was when they failed to show up during these times. Later, they learned
of the executions from one of their guards.
They had no books, no paper and pencils, no news from outside. The
summers were severely hot, the winters bitterly cold. DeShazer became
increasingly fearful of physical disease and of losing his mental
Heaven Comes Down
When they were transferred to Nan king in 1943, things got better
-- although this is where Meder eventually died.
DeShazer remembers, "One day they called us out of our prison
cells, and we didn't know whether we were going to be shot, or what
was going to happen -- they were always promising to execute us. But
instead, they had an interpreter who told us that the emperor of Japan
had written a letter saying he was ashamed at the way they'd been
treating us prisoners of war ... and they should treat us better.
So they gave us bread to eat with our rotten potato peel soup."
They also promised to give the men some books and a Bible, but DeShazer
-- who had been doing a lot of thinking and was most anxious to get
his hands on a Bible -- was the lowest-ranking of the group and was
forced to wait. When his turn finally came, he could only keep the
coveted volume for three weeks.
"When I got that Bible," he recalls, "I thought about
how the Christians believed the Bible -- believed it was the Word
of God. And God didn't lie. And so I read that Bible to find evidence
that it is the Word of God. And right away I found the evidence."
In his dimly lit cell, DeShazer read the entire Bible several times
through and the Prophets six times. He spent many hours tracing prophecies
to their fulfillment and memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, the Epistle
of 1 John and other verses that spoke to his quickening heart.
He must have gotten the Bible again later because he remembers that
on June 8, 1944, he received assurance of his salvation when his eyes
fell once again on Romans 10:9. "Boy, that hit me! It was the
best news I'd ever heard in my life. There are just two things: you
confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. And I did! I believed
at that time -- and I do yet -- it's God's Word. I believe heaven
came down there in that prison cell."
DeShazer recalls one opportunity he was given as a new convert to
"try out" the principles of Scripture, in particular the
command to love your enemies. "I was supposed to put the food
into the cells, and when I finished the job, the guard said, 'get
back in your prison cell and hurry up!' He slapped me on the back
and was kicking me, and I was trying to get away from him as fast
as I could. But I had to pull my shoes off before I could go into
the cell and I got one foot inside when he slammed the door and caught
my other foot in the door jamb. And he was kicking my foot with his
big old shoes. I didn't know what to do at first -- I'd been in solitary
confinement and my thinking was so slow. Finally I pushed back on
the door real hard, got my foot free and got in.
"The first thing I thought was He's too mean! Jesus doesn't expect
us to love those real mean ones. But Jesus says in the Scripture I'd
memorized, 'love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'
So the next morning, I was all ready for that guard and I wanted to
show him I didn't have any more resentment or bitterness about his
treatment. I could tell by the way he was walking who he was. And
when he came by, I went up to that little slit in the door and I smiled
and said, 'Good morning!' in Japanese."
DeShazer kept up his efforts at kindness and recalls what happened
with a chuckle. "About the sixth day after he'd kicked me and
been so mean, he slid back the little door where we got our food and
handed me in a boiled sweet potato. So I thought, boy, this way really
During the final months of their captivity, in Peking, the men were
in poor conditions once again. Each prisoner had to sit all day on
a small "bench" -- essentially a 2-by-4 about 8 inches long
-- facing the rear wall of his cell.
It was here, on Aug. 10, 1945, that DeShazer heard the Lord audibly
directing him to pray for peace -- without ceasing. He did so, until
precisely 2:30 p.m., when he sensed he was to stop. Unknown to him
and his comrades, atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
within the previous five days, and the emperor's surrender would be
broadcast on Aug. 15. God was at work. The war was over. The captives
were set free.
Return to the Land of the Rising Sun
Less than a month later, DeShazer was attending Seattle Pacific University,
where he earned his bachelor's degree in three years, met and married
Florence Matheny of Toddville, IA, and had the first of his five children.
The DeShazers' arrival in Yokohama on Dec. 28, 1948, was greeted with
much curiosity and interest from the Japanese. DeShazer recalls their
eager questioning: "What happened to you? Why did you come back?
Didn't they hit you and spit on you and treat you mean? Why do you
want to come back here? ... And I started to tell them all about Jesus."
And tell them he did! After their emperor disavowed his divinity
in 1946, DeShazer found the Japanese eager to learn about -- and respond
to -- the God of Christianity. It is estimated that there were some
30,000 conversions during DeShazer's first year in Japan -- as many
as 10,000 during one 10-day campaign. Included were many of DeShazer's
former prison guards, even the one who had delivered the Bible to
the prisoners in Nan king.
In his second year, greatly burdened for revival, DeShazer undertook
a 40-day fast. The miraculous conversion of Fuchida took place at
this time. Soon thereafter, DeShazer and his longtime interpreter
Kaneo Oda, president of Osaka Christian College, traveled extensively
as revival spread through the nation. During 16 days of meetings in
coal mines on the island of Kyushu, nearly 4,000 decisions were recorded.
In 1959, just returned from their first furlough and at the request
of Japanese Christians, the DeShazers settled in Nagoya (where
his bombs had fallen 17 years earlier). English classes and Florence's
flannel-board presentations attracted young and old alike, and a church
The DeShazers started several Free Methodist churches during
their years in Japan, and Jake's humble-yet-powerful testimony helped
strengthen and expand many more.
War and Remembrance
Every year on April 18, the surviving Doolittle Raiders gather somewhere
in the United States for a reunion. Eighty individually engraved silver
goblets line the table. Those of the men who have died are turned
over; those of the living are turned up. (There were only 25 remaining
as of June 2001, and DeShazer was one month shy of being the oldest.)
A toast is given "to those who have gone." DeShazer drinks
his with water, but his story is really one of blood -- the blood
of war, and the blood of Christ: that precious blood that covers every
sin, enables the forgiving of enemies, sustains hope, brings love.
... And that is why the true story of Jacob DeShazer -- the Doolittle
Raider who traded bombs for Bibles -- will always be better than anything
Hollywood could devise.
This article was found at the following link:
I Am the Praying Mother of Jacob DeShazer
Taken from Missionary Tidings, April 1957
My story is not one of boastful pride, but of witness to the goodness
of the God who ever hears and answers the intercessory, pleading prayers
of a Christian mother. My son, Jacob DeShazer, is a living example
of what the Lord can do for any mother who really "gets hold
of God" for the solving of every trial and problem in the rearing
of sons and daughters.
My son became a soldier of the United States, and was assigned to
duty in the air corps. After basic training at various airfields,
he was in 1942 assigned to secret duty in special training for one
of the most dangerous missions on which American airmen ever flew.
I saw Jacob in Portland in March 1942, little realizing what the
future held in store for him and the family. From Portland he returned
to a southern training base, and a few letters were received from
him. Then one day the letter and pack ages I had sent him were returned,
and we knew not where he had been transferred.
After Jacob had been gone several weeks, I awakened suddenly one
night with a strange feeling like unto being dropped down, down, down
through the air. Oh, the terrible burden that weighed upon my soul!
I prayed and cried out to God in my distress. Suddenly the burden
was gone, and I drifted off into an untroubled sleep, something unusual
for me. (Comparing the time here with the time in occupied China,
it was just the time when Jacob had had to parachute from his falling
plane.) How I praise the Lord now, but of course then I didn't realize
or know what was taking place so far away. When we heard in the war
news that our airmen had been over Tokyo dropping bombs, little did
I realize that my own precious boy was in the crew of one of the planes.
The next thing that happened was when Portland Journal news men called
us to find out something about our boy, and asked for his picture
as one of the men taking part in the Doolittle raid over Tokyo. No
one can realize the agony, pain and sorrow we suffered as we heard
that the Japanese were holding him as a prisoner, for the stories
of the barbarous cruelty of the captors had been told again and again.
One day when I was at home alone, I started to offer thanks for my
little lunch when suddenly a terrible burden gripped me. I walked
the floor praying, and then knelt beside a chair and cried unto the
Lord, "O God, my heart just can't stand this any longer. Oh,
give me something as a witness or comfort. Oh, if Jacob were only
saved and ready for heaven!" Then in a most wonderful way I heard
God speak, "I took care of him in this country; I can take care
of him wherever he is." I said, "Yes, Lord, 1 know Thou
canst do it." And then, O praise the Lord, the burden was again
lifted, and I was sure all the Japanese in Japan could not kill him
if God wanted him to live. O wonderful, wonderful Savior! He is a
God who hears and answers prayers; a present, living, eternal, heavenly
But a little later there came the renewal of another burden--the
burden for Jacob's soul. If I could only know that he was saved, I
could give him up if it should be God's will that I should never see
him again. Again a promise came from God: "For as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and
my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9. (It was about this
time that God spoke to Jacob in his prison cell in Japan, and Jacob
surrendered his life to Christ, as is recounted in "l Was a Prisoner
Another burden concerned Jacob's daily food. We knew not whether
he was being starved, though the reports of the cruelty of the Japanese
military indicated that no prisoner was ever given enough to more
than maintain life in the body. At times we would sit down to eat,
and someone would remark, "I wonder if Jake has anything to eat,"
and we would leave the table with our food untouched.
One day there came the awful news -- the prisoners were all to be
executed. I cried again unto the Lord, and again He spoke to me, saying,
"His angels do watch over him." Well, I thought, what better
company could he have? (Quote from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted
Law- son: "The Japanese captured two of our crews. Later, when
they bragged about it over the air and said they had convicted our
fellows of 'inhuman acts,' they mentioned only four men. They mentioned
Bill Farrow, Dean Hallmark, Sergeant Harold Spatz and Corporal Jacob
DeShazer. The Japs said at first that these men would be put to death
if Japan were bombed again." The first three were executed by
a firing squad, but Jacob DeShazer was spared through a miracle of
Finally in August, 1945, the news flashed over the radio that some
of the Doolittle men had been found alive, and that our boy was one
of them. Oh, the boundless joy! God had heard and answered my every
When Jacob was returned to the United States, very thin and weak,
I learned that God had not only spared his life, but had saved his
soul in his prison cell, and then had called him to preach the everlasting,
glorious gospel of redeeming love to the people of Japan. Yes, my
every prayer had been answered: prayer for the preservation of his
life; prayer for the salvation of his soul; and prayer for God to
use him for some useful service in life. Glorious, wonderful, loving
God-He is the ever dependable trust for the heart of a praying mother.
In conclusion, I plead with you parents -- pray, pray, pray for your
children. Hold them up daily at the Throne of God. He will not fail
you if you have first given yourself wholly over unto Him.
This article was found at the following link:
I Was a Prisoner of Japan
By Jacob DeShazer
I was a prisoner of war for 40 long months, 34 of them in solitary
When I flew as a member of a bombing squadron on a raid over enemy
territory on April 18, 1942, my heart was filled with bitter hatred
for the people of that nation. When our plane ran out of petrol and
the members of the crew of my plane had to parachute down into enemy-held
territory and were captured by the enemy, the bitterness of my heart
against my captors seemed more than I could bear.
Taken to prison with the survivors of another of our planes, we were
imprisoned and beaten, half-starved, terribly tortured, and denied
by solitary confinement even the comfort of association with one another.
Three of my buddies were executed by a firing squad about six months
after our capture and 14 months later, another one of them died of
slow starvation. My hatred for the enemy nearly drove me crazy.
It was soon after the latter's death that I began to ponder the cause
of such hatred between members of the human race. I wondered what
it was that made one people hate another people and what made me hate
My thoughts turned toward what I heard about Christianity changing
hatred between human beings into real brotherly love and I was gripped
with a strange longing to examine the Christian's Bible to see if
I could find the secret.
I begged my captors to get a Bible for me. At last, in the month
of May, 1944, a guard brought me the book, but told me I could have
it only for three weeks.
I eagerly began to read its pages. Chapter after chapter gripped
my heart. In due time I came to the books of the prophets and found
that their every writing seemed focused on a divine Redeemer from
sin, One who was to be sent from heaven to be born in the form of
a human babe. Their writings so fascinated me that I read them again
and again until I had earnestly studied them through six times. Then
I went on into the New Testament and there read of the birth of Jesus
Christ, the One who actually fulfilled the very prophecies of Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Micah, and the other Old Testament writers.
My heart rejoiced as I found confirmed in Acts 10:43, "To Him
give all the prophets witness, that through His Name, whosoever believeth
on Him shall receive remission of sins." After I carefully read
this book of the Acts, I continued on into the study of the epistle
Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome.
On June 8, 1944 the words in Romans 10:9 stood out boldly before
my eyes: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved."
That very moment, God gave me grace to confess my sins to Him and
He forgave me all my sins and saved me for Jesus' sake. I later found
that His Word again promises this so clearly in 1 John 1:9, "If
we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
How my heart rejoiced in my newness of spiritual life, even though
my body was suffering so terribly from the physical beatings and lack
of food! But suddenly I discovered that God had given me new spiritual
eyes and that when I looked at the enemy officers and guards who had
starved and beaten my companions and me so cruelly, I found my bitter
hatred for them changed to loving pity.
I realized that these people did not know anything about my Savior
and that if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel. I
read in my Bible that while those who crucified Jesus had beaten Him
and spit upon Him before He was nailed to the cross, on the cross
He tenderly prayed in His moment of excruciating suffering, "Father,
forgive them for they know not what they do."
And now, from the depths of my heart, I too prayed for God to forgive
my torturers, and I determined by the aid of Christ to do my best
to acquaint these people with the message of salvation that they might
become as other believing Christians.
With His love controlling my heart, the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians
took on a living meaning: "Love suffereth long, and is kind;
love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth
not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in truth;
beareth all things, believeth all things. Love never faileth."
A year passed by and during that year the memories of the weeks I
had been permitted to spend with my Bible grew sweeter and sweeter
day by day. Then, one day as I was sitting in my solitary confinement
cell I became very sick. My heart was paining me, even as my fellow
prisoner had told me his was paining him just before he died of starvation.
I slid down onto my knees and began to pray. The guards rushed in
and began to punish me, but I kept right on praying. Finally they
let me alone. God, in that hour, revealed unto me how to endure suffering.
At last freedom came. On August 20, 1945 parachutists dropped onto
the prison grounds and released us from our cells. We were flown back
to our own country and placed in hospitals where we slowly regained
our physical strength.
I have completed my training in a Christian college, God having clearly
commanded me: "Go, teach those people who held you prisoner,
the way of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ," and
am now back in that land as a missionary, with one single purpose--to
make Christ known.
I am sending this testimony to people everywhere, with the earnest
prayer that a great host of people may confess Jesus Christ as their
Jacob DeShazer - 1950