When we’re home, we’ve worked at going to one assisted living/nursing home place each month to share through music and testimony. This time we went to the V.A., which is a home for veterans. One of our friends who was in the nursing home transferred to the V.A., but his wife has faithfully continued coming to our little nursing home church, even though her husband is no longer at the home (she is very happy not to have missed a single Sunday yet!). Our afternoon has been much-looked forward to by dear, sweet Mrs. B. She and her husband were the first to greet us this afternoon with radiant faces.
Before we were to begin, I spotted three ladies in the back, which was a little unusual since this was more of a mens’ home. I went over to them, and found out they had come to the V.A. on an interesting errand. They had been told that several World War II veterans were living there. I asked Miss Marie to tell me her story, and here it is …
It was World War II, and the small island of Saipan had been invaded by the Japanese. As native islanders, eleven-year-old Marie and her family hid in a cave. Two Marines showed up and found them there. She described the Marines as having bayonets and rifles. She didn’t express fear about seeing the Marines. Of course, there was a language barrier, but somehow these kind-hearted Marines were able to make it clear that Marie’s family needed to come with them. Marie remembers being outside the cave, when she realized that she wanted to go back in to retrieve a small basket of items. They told her no, and that she needed to be quiet. There could have been Japanese near them. The Marines took them to the base camp, and there, Marie so strongly recalled the kindness shown. They had been two days without food, and the only water they drank was seawater (which was extremely salty). A Marine saw what a desperate situation they were in, and out of compassion, gave them HIS canteen of water. Another Marine gave his food rations. The look on Miss Marie’s face as she recounted this situation from almost seventy years ago was powerful. They saved my life. This gratitude led her to teach school in the U.S., because she wanted to give back to the Americans for saving her life. She wanted to come to the V.A. to express her gratitude to the Marines who had served in World War II, and who had saved her life.
That makes me think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us–He saved us from eternal death! For those of us who have accepted Him as our Savior, do we have the same kind of gratitude this dear woman had to her earthly “saviors”?!
Marie and her friends stayed for the entire time of music and testimony. Only the Lord Jesus knows if her heart was affected. Yes, she was saved from physical death, but hopefully she really considered her spiritual destiny!
This time of music was a great practice run for our six weeks on the road (and we’re now down to 3 weeks ’til we leave). Dad has a cold, so he wasn’t able to sing, but we were all blessed by being able to share Jesus!
“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee” (Psalms 5:11).