Evidence Not Seen

Roger Carswell pushed this book into my hands at a recent event: Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II. It many ways, it’s a classic missionary tale. Darlene Diebler spent four years in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp in 1940s New Guinea. Starved, widowed, tortured and oppressed, it’s a wonderful account of how Christ strengthens His people. There are many instances of how God wonderfully provided for her and kept her going. I’ll spoil the story only once for those who wish to read it. Eating nothing but a small bowl of worm-infested rice while in solitary confinement under the Kenpeitai, the imperial Japanese secret police, she asks God for a banana. She then scolds herself for asking too much, not knowing how on earth such a thing could be brought to her in that six-foot prison cell. Within a week, a guard unexpectedly brings her a bunch of 92.

The real highlight of the story for me, however, was Commander Yamaji, the murderous brute in charge of the camp, slowly but surely accepting Christ as his Saviour, as a result of her witness and prayer.

In-between her interrogation sessions and accompanying beatings, she recited a hymn by Annie Flint (He Giveth More Grace):


When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done;

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,

Our Father’s full giving is only begun.


The book is a real encouragement and reminder that although God allows us to go through dark, unpleasant and dangerous times, we never go through them alone.