Transcription

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Debi Pearl: Papa and I are going to record, so y’all go ahead and shut the door.

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[children laughing]

Announcer: Welcome to our vintage archives collection. For a special treat, we are releasing the inspirational testimony of missionary and former prisoner of war Darlene Rose, in five nice little bite-size pieces. Here is this week’s offering.

Darlene Rose: Today I had a nice experience. I was taken out to get a dress. Isn’t it lovely? I’ve received so many lovely gifts since I’ve been home this time. Someone asked me if I was color-coded; I really didn’t know what that meant. But, when they explained that it is the colors that best suit you, they said, “Have you been color-coded?” And I said, “Yes, I have.” They said, “What are your best colors?” I said, “Whatever my Lord sends.”

I thought it was nice that the gentleman who prayed for your offering mentioned “the young lady.” And he’s right; I want you to know that this is young blood you’re looking at—it’s just in an old container.

If I were to choose a text with which to preface what I would like to say to you tonight, it would be the words of the Psalmist, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.”

So often people say to me, “Wasn’t that a terrible experience?” Oh no, beloved. Have you ever thought how special it was that God took so much time to teach me the things I needed to know? If I could change anything of my life, and I can’t, but if I could, I don’t know of anything that I would want changed. One of the gifts that my God has given me is found in the words of Paul, “For it is given unto you, it is a gift; not only to believe on him, but also to suffer with him.” If I could go back to my people in New Guinea, no matter what I was going through, or they were going through, we could kneel down together and I could say to them, “Beloved, I understand. I’ve been there. I also have suffered that, too. But let me tell you what God can do for you.”

I had already been up in New Guinea, was the first woman from the outside world that those people, on the western half of the island, have ever seen. And I shall never forget that day, after crossing fourteen mountain ranges, and we came to the top of the last of the mountain ranges, and I looked down into the valley. All day the carries had been hurrying me. And they’re good psychologists; they didn’t say, “Hurry up,” like that. They just turned around, looked at me, and they’d say to one another, “Look at that thing back there. No legs at all on her.” So I started to go the more rapidly. That’s exactly what they wanted me to do.

I got to the top of the mountain and I looked down, and I saw those people coming out of the gardens, and out of houses, and they were coming up the mountainside to meet me. Someone had run ahead and said, “The woman is here.” And when I got to the top and looked down and saw them and heard them yodeling to me—half of your crowd says, “Whoo!” and the other half answers, “Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!”—I was so excited that I began to wave my hands at them, and I was running down the mountainside with the tears running down my cheeks, and I was singing to the top of my lungs, “I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!” And for forty-six years, that was home to me.

We came back after Holland had been run by the Germans, and they said we had to abandon our post there in the interior of New Guinea. And so we walked back down the trail to our headquarters on the island of Sulawesi, in Makassar. I had been there while I was waiting for the opportunity to join my husband, who was the first missionary who ever went into the heart of New Guinea. And he had lost over sixty pounds in just eighteen days on that trail. We walked back down, leaving our people there, and when we got to Makassar I began teaching again in the Bible school. I had learned the Indonesian language; it’s a very beautiful language. And one day, after Dr. and Mrs. Jaffray—Dr. Jaffray was our field chairman—they had come back from just a very short trip up to the Philippines, he had had a letter from New York headquarters to say that he should think about retiring. I was acting as his secretary at that time, and I remember the letters saying, “Retiring—that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m putting on new tires and I’m rolling ahead for the Lord.” And, believe me, if—I know, because, at my age, they would like to put me out to pasture, but I’ve put on new tires and I’m rolling right ahead for the Lord.

That man was such an example to me—a man of God, who had spent over thirty years in China. Then he came down and opened the first evangelical work in Vietnam. Then he went on to the Indies. He saw the great stretch of islands and knew that there were multitudes there who had never heard. And then at the conference my husband was chosen as the assistant to Dr. Jaffray, so that meant we had to remain in Makassar. When Dr. Jaffray and Margaret arrived back from a short visit up to the Philippines, that morning I turned the radio, and we heard that Pearl Harbor was being bombed.

None of us, I’m sure, none of you, ever realized how well prepared Japan was for war. You see, we had had a Japanese there in Makassar who was a barber, and almost ten years that man had been there. We did not realize that he spoke a word of English. Everybody communicated with him in the Indonesian language. We had two variety stores, called cenacle, and those men had been there a similar period of time. And every Sunday we would see them on their bicycles, going out in different directions. Around their necks were beautiful cameras, and they were photographing every inch of that island, especially the coastline.

When we heard that they had invaded Manila, we all held our breath, and said to one another, “Well, it won’t last very long.” But beloved it was not long ‘til Hong Kong had fallen. China had already been invaded, and Vietnam. They were going through Thailand into Burma. They were moving down the peninsula of Malaya, and then into Singapore. They had those beautiful ships of war there, the Prince of Wales; they thought that could never be sunk. But they did not count on the kamikaze pilots—those that met their death by diving into ships. And then we realized it was very near us. We could even go up to the top of the mountains of the interior and see the ships coming down the Makassar straits.

All of our students that we could get shipping for, from our Bible school, were sent back to their islands. Those that could not get back, we made a camp for them. And then I went out into the storehouse and I took up my five drums of wedding presents, and I just laid them aside, and knew that probably I would never ever be able to use them. We took just some kerosene, some rice, and other items of food, some soap, and with just a few things we went on up into the mountains to get away from the shock troops. We had heard the stories of what had happened when the shock troops moved in, to terrify the people. We remembered listening to Manila, the broadcast, that young man that was talking, and he was telling about what was happening there. He said, “I think this will be my last broadcast,” he said, “They are bombing the city of Manila.” And you could hear the sound of the bombs exploding, and suddenly he cried, “I must go,” and he screamed out, “Come on, America!” And you could hear the sob in his voice as the radio went dead.

When we were in the mountains we were about sixty kilometers from the coast. We had there a conference place; we could accommodate quite a few people at one time. But Dr. Jaffray and Mrs. Jaffray had built a house there; Mrs. Marsh, one of the Britishers, had also built a house. And so we divided up and we were staying in these two houses. We were in the midst of the Bugis people—now they were the pirates of the islands, they were feared by other people because they built beautiful prows. Their boats could skim through the water, and they looted and plundered other ships. And we knew that they were there and very much aware of the fact that Japan was nearing the island of Sulawesi. They had caught four Dutchmen just down over the mountain from us, and those men had been knifed to death. And they were running, the Bugis people were running away when the Dutch police finally caught them. They were covered with blood, and when they went to find the other Dutch people they had been badly brutalized by these Bugis people.

There was a woman, whom I later learned to know, who was trying to get up to an area just five kilometers further inland from us, at a village called Manila. Most of the Dutch people were there. And this woman had in her bag just her identification papers, and she did not have money. And out of the jungle came a group of these Bugis people. They wanted that bag, thinking that it contained money. And when she held onto it, one of them ripped out his machete and almost severed her hand from her wrist, and she, of course, let go. They tied up her girls with her—she had four daughters—and they finally made their way up to Manila. Those were the kind of people among whom we were living.

We knew that if the war lasted very long we were going to have to have some gardens, so we began immediately to plant some gardens. We listened to our radio, we went to the top of the mountain again, we saw the battle of the Makassar straits taking place and we knew that within a matter of just days the Japanese would be landing on the island.

There was a Dutch police officer who came to our place on a Wednesday just before the landing of the Japanese, and he said, “We have one ship, down on the South coast, lying at anchor. We’re going to evacuate all the women and children that want to go and all the foreigners.” And when Dr. Jaffray heard this, he said, “We will pray about it.” And the man went away saying, “I will be back with a truck on Friday to pick you up.” Dr. Jaffray was a wise man; he said, “I don’t want you to talk with one another about this. I want you to go to your knees, and you wait on God, and you see what the Lord would say to you; so that if you go you will know that it is God who has directed you to leave. But if you stay, no matter what happens in the months and maybe years ahead, you will know that you are exactly where God wanted you to be.”

We came together on the Friday. There was not one person among us that felt we should leave. And so the truck stopped, and Dr. Jaffray said, “We have chosen to remain.” We heard, through our radio, that that ship had been torpedoed three days out, and, as far as we know, there were no survivors. So in the years that lay ahead of me I knew that I was right where God wanted me to be.

We heard through the grapevine some of our national workers, some of the natives who were bringing food to us, they would come during the night hours and bring us food, they had landed not where the fortifications were, but down on the beach of Burunbum (?). Not a shot was fired. They began to kill, indiscriminately, people, just to terrorize the natives. And then we waited, and we knew that it would not be long before they arrived in the interior.

One day I looked up from the garden and I saw Japanese soldiers coming. They were the kind that were off the ships and they wore the tennis shoes with the great toe separated from the rest of the toes so that they could climb the ropes of the ships. When they came to the first house, Mr. Presswood was sitting outside. And he turned and he put his hands up as anyone would do—a token of surrender. And the moment he put his hands up, they took their bayonets and they began to slash at his arms—because they didn’t want him to put his hands up—But Mr. Presswood didn’t know that. He was a very tall man and they despised tall people. I have seen them jump up to slap people on the face that were taller than they were. And then he came over to the house where we were staying, and of course they said, “Come over and join the rest of them.” And they had their bayonets fixed on their gun, and, I tell you, that’s a great persuader. We hurried! We got there. The one officer slouched down in the chair, threw his leg over the side, and he proceeded to tell us that we were now prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Army; that we were going to be imprisoned right there on the hillside; that if we ever were caught outside of the premises we would be shot on sight; that we were to have no contact with any of the natives; that we were to remain there until they came back again and told us what they were going to do with us.

Dr. Jaffray was asked what nationality he was, and of course he was as nervous as the rest of them, and he said, “C-C-C-Canada!” And the man said, “Where is ‘C-C-C-Canada?’” And he did not know where Canada was, so he just dismissed Dr. Jaffray. It was the Americans that he hated. And then he saw that Mr. Diebler had his hands folder together in front of him, and he said something to one of the soldiers, and he went over. And he had his bayonet, but it was inside of the sheath, and he began to pound on my husband’s hands. And he would knock them down and he would put them back up again. Finally Mr. Presswood spoke up, and he said, “Russell, he wants you just to put your hands down at the side.” Of course, it wasn’t… he couldn’t have told him that, and I watched and I saw how his hands were beginning to swell. And then they told us that we could go back to the other house, but never ever were we to leave the premises there.

I remember the day that it was just two weeks after the first time that they had come, we heard the sound of the trucks. And of course all of us immediately began to gather near the door so we could go out and not anger them. When the car pulled up in front of the house, out jumped the soldiers and two officers. The one officer came in and we of course greeted him by bowing to him, and he said, turning to me, “Get some clothes for your husband—not many, we’re only going to take them down for a few days to question them,” and he said, “No bags.” So I ran in and grabbed a pillow case, and I picked up my husband’s Bible, and put that in, and then a notebook and a pen, and then the clothes that were there close at hand. And then I ran out and I was going to say goodbye to him because I saw that he had already disappeared, so he must be on the truck. Then the officer said to me, “What’s wrong with that old man in there?” And I said, “Well, Dr. Jaffray has diabetes, he was in a coma just before we came up here, he has a kidney problem, and he has the beginning of Parkinson’s disease.” And when he heard all of the things that were wrong with Dr. Jaffray he just said, “Alright, go in and tell the old man he doesn’t have to go because anybody as sick as he is will never last anyway.” So I ran in and I said, “Dr. Jaffray, he said you don’t have to go; you stay with us.” And I ran out then and already they had started the trucks, and I thought I wasn’t even going to be able to say goodbye to Russell. But I ran over and I grabbed ahold of the back of the truck, and I handed up the little bag of things to him. And I shall never forget that day; it was Friday the 13th of March, and I have a bit of Irish in me but I’m not at all superstitious. I really believe that God means exactly what he says in Romans 8:28, that all things, all things work together for those who love the Lord. And as I reached up there and I put my hand hanging onto the tailgate, he reached down and he took my hand and he said, “Remember one thing, dear: God said he would never leave us, nor forsake us.” And immediately he was taken away. I watched the truck until it was out of sight, and then I turned to go. I thought it was one of those days when God had left me, had forsaken me, and I looked up, and there stood my Lord on the parapet of heaven. And I knew that never for a moment would I be out of his sight. I knew he would be there.

I ran in to Dr. Jaffray and I said, “They’re gone.” And then I said, “That officer told me, anybody who needed as much medicine as you did wasn’t going to last.” I said, “What medicine was he talking about?” And Dr. Jaffray said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I just picked up this little black satchel that belonged to my father, who’s a very wealthy man, a senator, the owner of the Globe and Mail in Toronto, Canada. And he always kept that with him.” And then he said, “I knew that if they took us from here they were going to take us to the coast.” And he said, “You know how I like Eau de Cologne.” He perspired freely, he just loved to put Eau de Cologne on there, and it was very refreshing to mop up his face with. And I looked in that bag and he had about six bottles of Eau de Cologne. Now, Dr. Jaffray was a very wise man. He had a birthday on the sixteenth of December, and so many people gave him his Christmas and his birthday gift together, so he thought he had to put an end to that. On the sixteenth of January he would say, “Only eleven more months ‘til my birthday!” And on the sixteenth of February it was only ten more months ‘til his birthday, and so on through the year. So, none of us ever forgot his birthday, and we all knew he liked Eau de Cologne so he always got a lot of Eau de Cologne. And I love that, how the Lord fooled that Japanese officer; he thought that was medicine! And God knew we needed Dr. Jaffray there with us. We were then seven women and Dr. Jaffray, an elderly gentleman.

We tried to protect all of our food, as much as possible, because we had rats. Now, those houses, they looked very nice on the outside; but they were single clapboard houses and there were many places where the rats could come in. And, as the rain started, they invited all their country cousins to join them, so they all came in the house. If you left your shoes out, you could count on it, they would have gnawed on your shoes. So, we put everything into the closets, and we shoved the doors shut, and made sure that were no places that they could enter those wardrobes. Then, as it was getting dark in the evening, Margaret Jaffray and I would go through that house, starting at the back, and we would look under, and in, everything. And every rat that was there we would run it out into the hall; and we kept collecting them, and then we would run them out into the kitchen, because it was the only room in the house where you could shut the doors and shut off their exits. Then we joined them, each of us armed with a broom, and we fought those rats until we had killed every one of them.

I hate rats. They would run up the walls and they’d jump onto you, and we’d scream and yell and get them off and we would then start working on them with the brooms. And we killed them all. I said, “Someday, if I ever have time, I’m going to write a book on the rat and I.” In my missionary life, I have had rats. We had them in the Balim (?) that weighed thirty pounds. I have had rats in my bed. I have had them hanging on the screen, looking inside. And I said, after I had had that one in my bed during the internment, “That was it. They are no longer my friends, or my favorite people.”

One night, and it must have been around midnight, and I heard noise all through that house—you know how sometimes you’re just partly awake? And I could hear them, there rustling and rumbling around there, and there. Finally, I came fully awake, and I sat up in bed, and I thought, “Rats!” And I reached over and I shook Margaret Jaffray’s bed, and I said, “Margaret, get out of bed, because we must have left a lot of rats in the house.” I said, “I can hear them in all the rooms of the house.” She got on her bathrobe, and the two of us went to the door. When I opened the door that went into a hall that ran the length of the house, from the living room/dining room into a bathroom at this end—off of this hall were the bedrooms, and there was a bathroom there—and when I came out into the hall, I could see someone just rush past me and the dim light of a tiny little oil lamp that we had there for Dr. Jaffray who sometimes had to get up in the night hours. And I thought, “What a strange way for Dr. Jaffray to be acting!” But as I came out, and I looked down the hall, there stood one of those Bugis bannas—they always wore the black sarong—and he just grabbed that sarong, threw it up over his shoulders, and then he pulled out his machete, and there he stood. I don’t know why I did what I did—I’m really quite a coward—but I started down that hall after him. And I know he looked at me so shocked, I suppose wondering what that crazy woman was going to do. And he turned and he ran, and I went right after him—through that bathroom, across the porch, down over the mountainside. I don’t know what I was going to do. But when I saw several others join him out of the jungle there, I stopped dead, and I just said aloud, “Lord, what a stupid thing for me to do!” And immediately my Lord answered me; he said, “My child, the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth.”

Announcer: We hope you are encouraged and inspired by this portion of The Testimony of Darlene Rose. As always, don’t forget to check out our great weekly specials.

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