Larkin Spivey Finding Faith In War

Monday, March 18, 2013

Faith of Our Fathers

With warmer weather in South Carolina our attention is turning to spring and new life. A story from my soon-to-be-released book, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Korean War, seems appropriate for this season of reawakening. It tells of men in miserable circumstances looking up for comfort and renewal:

"The prisoners at Camp No. 5 endured the horrendous North Korean winter, suffering from malnutrition, untreated sickness, and exposure to extreme cold. The coming of spring seemed to bring a ray of hope with the warmth. Sixty men slowly gathered at 6 a.m. on March 25, 1951, to watch the sun rise and to celebrate Easter. The half-starved, foul-smelling group gathered on the steps of an old, partially destroyed church with stark Korean mountains as a backdrop. As they sang a beautiful old hymn, the words seemed to pour out, expressing their deepest feelings:

     Faith of our fathers, living still
     In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
     O how our hearts beat high with joy
     Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
     Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
     We will be true to thee till death.

     Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
     Were still in heart and conscience free;
     And blest would be their children’s fate,
     If they, like them should die for thee;
     Faith of our fathers! Holy faith!
     We will be true to thee till death."

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. ~1 Peter 4:12-13
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. ~1 Peter 5:10-11