Evidence Not Seen
by Darlene Deibler Rose
- When Darlene Deibler had to clean her husband Russell’sfeet, which had jungle rot, it was a gruesome duty. The encouraging words Dr. Jaffray wrote about this selfless act helped her see Russell’s feet as beautiful in God’s eyes (p. 17). Can you think of a time in your life when hearing an outside perspective on a difficult task made the task easier to bear?
- Upon arriving in Kapauku land, Darlene ran to the village singing, “I’m home!” with tears streaming down her cheeks (p. 28). Has there ever been a place that felt like home the first time you went there? What characteristics of that place made you feel at home? In what way did the people around you make you comfortable?
- Early in the Deiblers’ ministry, Russell was nominated as assistant field chairman. He and Darlene accepted the appointment, even though they would have preferred to return to the mission field (p. 35). When have you experienced leading that was not the direction you wished to go? What are the benefits of following such leading rather than declining in favor of your own wishes and plans? the appointment, even though they would have preferred to return to the mission field (p. 35). When have you experienced leading that was not the direction you wished to go? What are the benefits of following such leading rather than declining in favor of your own wishes and plans?
- When they heard the news that Japanese troops were approaching, Darlene and Russell felt that God told them to stay. Later they learned that the boat they would have taken had been torpedoed and sunk. Darlene says of that incident, “We must be obedient, no matter what He says to us; it may even mean our life” (p. 41). Have you ever made a difficult decision that you were not sure about at the time, only to realize later that the choice was a very good one? How did that experience change your outlook about making difficult decisions in the future?
- Dr. Jaffray hid his watch and his flashlight every time the Japanese raided the house where he and the other missionaries were staying, and these precious objects were never discovered (p. 63). Darlene felt this showed how God protected the little things that brought them comfort in a difficult time. Why do you think God cares about the small circumstances in our lives?
- After the Kampili commander Yamaji beat a girl, Darlene felt prompted to pray for him (p. 91). How might praying for your enemies be beneficial? Why do you think doing it is so difficult? Who are some enemies you should be praying for?
- During her stay at Kampili, Darlene had the opportunity and the courage to share her faith with Yamaji. She told him that her love for God had helped her to not hate him (p. 111). What can we learn from Darlene’s example? How do we learn to better love our enemies?
- Darlene claims that through God, whom she calls “the Great Healer,” she was healed of dysentery, malaria, and beriberi without medicine while she was imprisoned by the Kempeitai (p. 146). What is your initial reaction to this claim? If you believe this was a miracle, have you, or someone you know, ever experienced a miraculous healing? If you do not believe it, what experiences have made you doubt God’s healing abilities—perhaps a time when you prayed for healing, either for yourself or someone else, and did not get it?
- When Yamaji comes to see Darlene during her captivity at the Kempeitai prison, she greets him warmly (p. 149), and in response, he has ninety-two bananas delivered to her cell. Darlene’s greeting benefited her outwardly, because God used him to give her bananas. It also benefited her inwardly, because she learned to trust God for small things. What can we learn from this story?
- Even though Darlene did not feel close to God during her stay at the prison, Bible verses and song lyrics came to mind, reminding her that her faith was not based on feelings (p. 156). How does Darlene’s choice to put aside her feelings in favor of faith in God differ from how our society treats feelings and faith? Has there ever been a time when you felt that God had forsaken you? What happened that made you think this, and how did you eventually feel God’s presence once again in your life?
- “I pray that, if I come out of this war alive, I may be ‘sweet-smelling’—not bitter or cynical,” Darlene prayed (p. 173). What things have happened in your life to make you bitter? How might you work to prevent future experiences from making you bitter or cynical?
- When Darlene prayed each night in prison camp, the planes carrying bombs did not come, and the women believed it was her prayers that kept the bombs away. Then one night, when Darlene was not there for nightly devotions, the planes did come (p. 175). How have you experienced the power of prayer in your own life?
- After the war, the Japanese chaplain confided in Darlene that he was thankful the Japanese had lost the war, because it made the Japanese people more open to hearing about Jesus Christ (p. 207). What are your thoughts about this? Are there positive sides to every terrible situation, even one as tragic and complex as war?
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