ILL. Mitsuo Fuchida was the pilot in charge of one of the most successful aerial attacks in recorded history. Under his command was a squadron of 360 specially selected pilots, & on Dec. 7, 1941, Fuchida’s squadron bombed Pearl Harbor.
He quickly became one of the most highly decorated pilots in the Japanese air force, & the one most hated by the American forces. That included Jacob DeShazer, a young B-25 bomber pilot who longed for the day when he would be able to pay Japan back for what they had done.
One day that opportunity arose as DeShazer became a part of the very first bombing raids over Japan. But after dropping his bombs on the city of Nagoya, DeShazer lost his way in the heavy fog & was forced to bail out when his plane ran out of fuel.
He was quickly taken prisoner, & for almost two years, DeShazer suffered from hunger, cold, dysentery, & watching his fellow prisoners die. And the more he experienced this treatment the deeper his hatred of the Japanese grew.
Then, in 1944, someone gave DeShazer a Bible. He started at Genesis & read on & on, barely sleeping. And by the time he had come to the Book of Romans he had surrendered his heart & life to Jesus as his Savior & his Lord.
Immediately Matthew 5:44 became a crucial challenge to him, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you & pray for those who spitefully use you & persecute you.”
Because of it DeShazer’s attitude toward his Japanese guards began to change. His hostility evaporated & every morning he greeted them warmly. He prayed for them & sought to witness to them. Slowly their attitude toward him also changed & some of them even began bringing him extra food & supplies.
Finally, the war was over & DeShazer was free. Returning home he studied for the ministry & decided to return to Japan as a missionary. After establishing a church in Nagoya, the very city he had bombed, he wrote a pamphlet entitled, “I Was a Prisoner of the Japanese.” It wasn’t long until thousands of Japanese wanted to see & hear the man who could forgive & love his enemies.
Meanwhile, Fuchida, the Japanese hero, had come out of the war a very disillusioned man....Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
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