Several years ago, I had the privilege of reading the inspirational story of American missionary Darlene Deibler Rose and it was an amazing testimony of faith in action. She was serving as a missionary in Papua New Guinea during WWII and found herself imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp for four years as well as separated from her husband. Her story inspired me in my own faith tremendously.
Darlene Deibler Rose was born Darlene Mae McIntosh on May 17, 1917 and became a Christian at the early age of nine. About a year later, during a revival she felt called to missions work and promised the Lord that she would go anywhere He called her to go, no matter what the cost.
She married Russell Deibler on August 18, 1937 at the age of 19. He was twelve years older than her. After they were married, they returned to his missionary work in the interior jungles of New Guinea ministering to a primitive tribe there. She was the first white woman they had seen.
When WWII broke out and the Japanese took control of the island, they were placed under house arrest. Later, however, they were both sent to separate internment camps where the conditions were very brutal.
Conditions at the camp included torture, near starvation, serious illnesses such as Beriberi, and solitary confinement. Rats and flies were rampant and carried all kinds of diseases. Often, prisoners were beaten for small infractions as an example to other prisoners.
At one point, after she found out her husband had died, she was transferred to a maximum-security prison and accused of being a spy. When interrogated, she would deny the accusations but they would beat her on the back of the neck or on the forehead above her nose. At one point, she thought they may have broken her neck.
However, God sustained her through it all just as He promised. She would never weep in front of her captors, but when she returned to her cell, the tears would flow. When she finished she heard the Lord whisper:
Over and Over again, God proved His faithfulness to her.
Once, when she thought she was going to be beheaded as a spy, she was sent back to her original camp and was delivered from death.
She managed to survive her time as a POW in Papau New Guinea. Afterwards, she remarried in 1948 and returned to the missions field with her second husband Jerry Rose. They returned to New Guinea in 1949 and spent nearly 30 years there before relocating to the Australian outback.
She died on February 24, 2004
Her story is one of faith in action. When bad things happen to us, it can often be a test of our faith. We see that repeatedly in the Bible with Job and Joseph and others. We all have the choice to exercise our faith even when we may not feel like it. However, I believe that it is the one thing that can see us through anything that may come our way. God will always honor faith. He is faithful.
Darlene chose to be faithful to God- no matter what it cost her. It almost cost her life. However, God sustained her and was with her no matter what.
God is always faithful to his promises even if it isn’t in a way that we expect.
For more about the inspirational story of Darlene Deibler Rose, check out her biography called Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II. It is well worth the read.
For more inspirational stories, see my post about Wilma Rudolph.
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