"I will never leave thee" was the title to the Focus on the Family radio program narrated by Darlene Diebler Rose. In it she tells about her incredible trials and experiences while a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp. After listening to the program, and buying the CD, I wanted to know and learn more from this tremendous woman, so I bought the book.
Darlene was a young missionary bride when she arrived in Dutch New Guinea to win untouched tribes to Christ. She and her husband had around one year in the field, winning a few converts but ended up imprisoned in separate prison camps. Darlene endured tremendous hardships yet kept her wits about her and walked by faith, always asking God for guidance. Whenever she lost faith and cried to God, He answered her by giving her His peace and assuring her that He would never leave her nor forsake her. He also gave encouragement and answers to her prayers, such as the time she was starving and dying in the dungeon in solitary confinement and she prayed for just one single tiny banana, and God brought the Japanese camp commander to visit her and gift her 92 bananas! [The story of the camp commander Mr. Yamaji is interesting in its own right, and without giving it away, I'll just say Darlene's living right with God had a great effect on him]. While in solitary confinement, Darlene spent her time walking with the Saviour, talking with Him, and playing in her mind the scripture that she had memorized as a girl. She had psalms, hymns, and even entire chapters memorized, and the right line at the right time seemed to pop into her remembrance and give her the answer she needed at that time. God's Hand could be seen protecting her, as there were several circumstances where she could have lost her life had she not followed God's prompting.
What I learned from this book is that no matter what the circumstances, no matter how dismal the situation, those who know Jesus are never alone. I also learned that a Christian's testimony and the way they walk with God is observable by even the hardest and cruelest heart and can allow the Lord to change them.
This book was very hard to put down, and I definitely will want to be rereading it in the future for all of the inspiration and hope it gives. I only wish she had a sequel telling about the rest of her life in New Guinea [yes, she actually went back after the war].