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Old 01-27-2010, 03:52 PM
177point5_Gunny
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Angel Flying Sword Ty Clr Death no longer had the last word at Chungkai

I was given permission to post this excerpt from a book titled "Facing Your Giants" by author and Pastor Max Lucado. Good read.
Semper Fi & God Bless,
Den

Ernest Gordon groans in the Death House of Chungkai, Burma. He listens to the moans of the dying and smells the stench of the dead. Pitiless jungle heat bakes his skin and parches his throat. Had he the strength, he could wrap one hand around his bony thigh. But he has neither the energy nor the interest. Diphtheria has drained both; he canít walk; he canít even feel his body. He shares a cot with flies and bedbugs and awaits a lonely death in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.
How harsh the war has been on him. He entered World War II in his early twenties, a robust Highlander in Scotlandís Argyle and Sutherland Brigade. But then came the capture by the Japanese, months of backbreaking labor in the jungle, daily beatings, and slow starvation. Scotland seems forever away. Civility, even farther.
The Allied soldiers behave like barbarians, stealing from each other, robbing dying colleagues, fighting for food scraps. Servers shortchange rations so they can have extra for themselves. The law of the jungle has become the law of the camp.
Gordon is happy to bid it adieu. Death by disease trumps life in Chungkai. But then something wonderful happens. Two new prisoners, in whom hope still stirs, are transferred to the camp. Though also sick and frail, they heed a higher code. They share their meager meals and volunteer for extra work. They cleanse Gordonís ulcerated sores and massage his atrophied legs. They give him his first bath in six weeks. His strength slowly returns and, with it, his dignity.
Their goodness proves contagious, and Gordon contracts a case. He begins to treat the sick and share his rations. He even gives away his few belongings. Other soldiers do likewise. Over time, the tone of the camp softens and brightens. Sacrifice replaces selfishness. Soldiers hold worship services and Bible studies.
Twenty years later, when Gordon served as chaplain of Princeton University, he described the transformation with these words:
Death was still with usóno doubt about that. But we were slowly being freed from its destructive grip.Ö Selfishness, hatred Ö and pride were all anti-life. Love Ö self-sacrifice Ö and faith, on the other hand, were the essence of life Ö gifts of God to men.Ö Death no longer had the last word at Chungkai.

References:
Ernest Gordon, To End All Wars: A True Story About the Will to Survive and the Courage to Forgive

Max Lucado: Facing Your Giants.
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chungkai, courage, ernest gordon, forgiveness, max lucado


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