Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Review of "Evidence Not Seen"

Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II – by Darlene Deibler Rose. Published by HarperSanFrancisco in 1988

This is the most powerful Christian book I have ever read. My introduction came in a friend’s letter. She mentioned this “inspiring and challenging” book and said about it; “Oh, to love Jesus like that!” I ordered a copy immediately and have ordered many more to give to friends.

Four years spent in a POW camp in the jungles of Indonesia don’t make for comfortable reading. After you lend it or recommend it you hope that the other person can stand to read the awful details of deprivations and hardships endured in such a location. Food was always scarce and insufficient, but somehow they coped.

Darlene Deibler only had a few years of married life before she and her husband were separated and confined in different camps. Russell Deibler did not survive. Darlene became a very young widow. She had been gifted with such a cheerful spirit and leadership qualities that she was chosen to be the leader of one of the women’s barracks at the camp. Her enthusiastic Christian spirit brought solace to many around her.

So this is the kind of book which could change your life. Certainly life will never be quite the same.

Before war interfered, that small group of missionaries were preparing, to bring the Good News to the primitive tribes in the vast interior of New Guinea. This would have been only 70 years since earlier missionaries had discovered that the people they were planning to work amongst had a culture of cannibalism. This was “hardship” missions in every way: isolated territory, no medical resources, difficult terrain and climate. Their faith had to be strong. The prison camp experience was a traumatic testing ground of that faith.

You sense the gift of love for those New Guinea tribesmen. After the war the mission work resumed and Darlene returned as Darlene Deibler Rose. You may ask if this kind of mission work had any noticeable results. Consider this news story which came to our attention just as I was preparing this review.

The Papua New Guinea tribesmen wanted to apologize publicly for their ancestors having cannibalized Methodist missionaries 129 years ago. What a thrill then to read: “Thousands of villagers attended the apology ceremony in East New Britain province and listened to words of praise for the English missionary who had brought the Gospel to their region. The apologetic Papuans, led by the Governor General of Papua New Guinea, offered their apologies to the High Commissioner of Fiji. Four Fijian missionaries, under the command of Rev. George Brown of the London-based Wesleyan Missionary Society, had been slain and eaten in 1878 by Tolai tribesmen, directed by their warrior chief Taleli. "We at this juncture are deeply touched and wish you the greatest joy of forgiveness as we finally end this record disagreement," Fijian High Commissioner Ratu Isoa Tikoca told the apologetic tribesmen at the August ceremony. Fiji itself had practiced cannibalism but gave up their meal habits under the influence of earlier missionary efforts.

The power of God so evident in Darlene’s life story is evident on a larger scale in the new nation of New Guinea.

Read Darlene’s story and let the Lord work in your life.

by Shirley W. Madany


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