Anchored In Prayer

It was 1938 when Darlene Deibler set sail with her husband for a new life as missionaries in Papua New Guinea. I can imagine she dreamt of what any young newlywed on such a journey would dream of: Accomplishing great feats for the Lord, learning the ins and outs of a new culture, starting a family. Little did she know that she would make a return voyage as a widow and former prisoner of war just a few years later.

As a child, only one year after her conversion, Darlene felt God’s call to missions while listening to an African missionary speaking at a church in Boone, Iowa. Years later she would marry a missionary named, Russell Deibler. Russell had pioneered mission work in unreached parts of Papua New Guinea and nearly lost his life doing it—several times! Darlene was a gifted linguist and speaker of several languages, and she loved her identity as a missionary. Darlene was living a dream by working with a great mission team to share the story of Jesus with those who had never heard.

Life changed when they heard the radio report of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As inhabitants of a small island in the Pacific, they soon found themselves captives of the Japanese Imperial army. Russell along with most other men in their compound were separated from the women and loaded into trucks for transport to a prison camp, As the truck pulled away, Russell’s parting words to his wife quoted Hebrews 13:5, “Remember one thing, dear: God said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.”

Those words are so easy read in times of peace and comfort, but standing on a road watching a truck fade into the distance with the love of you life inside as a prisoner of war gives those words a very different tone. How do we remain anchored when all we know is knocked loose and is adrift? It all starts with the strength of the relationship we have with Jesus Christ and his word. This week we’ll discuss that steps we can take to strengthen those connections.

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