"Evidence Not Seen" by Darlene Deibler Rose
I knew this was going to be a hard book to read (meaning emotional and heart wrenching) when as I read the preface I cried. I have read several books on the Holocaust, Nazism, the war in Europe during World War II, I have also read the book which then became a movie, "Flag of Our Fathers." I had not as yet read any books on POW's in the Japanese occupied areas of the Pacific. Darlene Deibler Rose was a POW on the island of New Guinea from 1942-1945. She and her husband Russell were newly married and missionaries, on the island of New Guinea, in the south Pacific when the Japaneses invaded and became the occupying force. All of the women and men were separated and interned at different camps. The women were an eclectic group: wives of business men, women from Holland-America-Australia-England, women of many different religious belief's-including Jewish women, women with children, nurses, missionaries, teachers. All of the women had to learn to live together, survive together. Darlene was put in charge of her barrack, this was a tedious and solicitous responsibility, she would often have to communicate to the Japanese commander's the needs and problems of her group. The women persevered through roundworms, hook worms, pin worms, flies, mosquitoes, malaria, dysentery, hunger, sparse clothing, lack of medicine, habitation in a hostile environment, and torture that often led to death. Darlene herself was sent to a separate camp for the purpose of torture and interrogation. The Japanese believed she was a spy, during this time she suffered also from beri- beri and cerebral malaria. She was eventually brought back to the original camp and recovered. Darlene found out her husband Russell had died and later she found out the circumstances of his death. When she and her husband had arrived on the island it was their first wedding anniversary, by the time of her release eight years had passed. It was the Navy that cared for her until her return to the states, her "rescuers" were appalled by her appearance, they were emotional. Darlene arrived home to her parents November 30, 1945. Later she re-married, had children, and went back to New Guinea, and later Australia to be a missionary. I emailed a woman that has taken on the responsibility of correspondence for Darlene, I received a quick reply thanking me for my "kind email." They are in the process of a "documentary film of Darlene's life." This is a memorable book, it is indeed a picture of perseverance, grit, determination, love, prayer, and most of all faith in God. Darlene always remembered that God had called her to be a missionary, she would persevere till the end. I will end this post with my favorite quote from Darlene in the book:
"I realized how little I knew of what makes a true missionary statesman; of a faith that never staggers at the promise of God, no matter how incredible to the natural man its fulfillment seem; of a trust in the unchanging one, who keeps the heart at rest and unperturbed in a changing world; of a burning love that counts not life dear unto itself, but is expendable for God; and of a vision that is never dimmed."