Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

Recently, I read a fascinating article that reported the death of a Japanese soldier from World War II. This was no ordinary soldier. This soldier was noted for something that he did over the course of decades for a cause he truly believed in. His life of notoriety consisted in the fact that he continued to fight World War II even though it was over!  There had been reports a few years after the end of the war that there were still Japanese military men who had been hiding in the jungles, fighting a war that they never knew had ended. Most of these men however had been located and convinced that the war had ended a few years earlier with the surrender of Japan to Allied forces. Mr. Hiroo Onoda was a different story.

Hiroo was an army intelligence officer with the Imperial Japanese Army, who spent 3 decades hiding in the Philippines jungle, fighting a war he thought was still in progress. In his mind, surrendering was the ultimate act of cowardice and humiliation, and he had been taught that death was preferable to such sorry state. Relying on his skills in guerrilla combat and survival, Hiroo lived off the land with his cunning and his special skills, all the while believing the war was still in progress. It wasn't until 1974 that Hiroo had been contacted by his former commander and convinced that the war had ended that Hiroo was free to return back to his former way of life. Hiroo was given a hero's welcome back in Japan and honored as an example of faithfulness, perseverance and resourcefulness in the execution of one's national duties. Hiroo died on January 16, 2014 at the ripe old age of 91.

Hiroo Onoda, shown surrendering in 1974 after World War II ended 29 years previously, died Thursday at age 91 from heart failure.
(Hiroo Onoda)

Last Sunday, Downriver Christian Community Church was honored to recognize and promote a two men along with their wives who exhibit the same characteristics that brought fame and notoriety to Hiroo Onoda. Brian and Kristy Wilkerson and Dan and Marie Abraham were officially recognized for their public display of courage, faithfulness, diligence, and self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ and the advancement of His kingdom. Both these couples have served their King, not out of some selfish ambition to be recognized, praised, or promoted for their work. Instead, like Hiroo Onoda, they have served their King entirely from the pure motive of their love and dedication for Him.

Downriver Christian Community Church welcomes, recognizes, and honors Brian and Kristy Wilkerson and Dan and Marie Abraham to the office of the diaconate. Their specific giftings, fruits, and character have made them recognizable to all with eyes to see as strong men and women of God. Their leadership and example of a Christian life over the course of time have demonstrated their loyalty to their King and their selfless devotion to Him. In the ongoing war against the enemies of Christ, these men and their wives will rely on their special training, skills, and giftings to continue fighting the good fight of faith. May God bless all of you and strengthen you for the task ahead. It will be our pleasure to serve along side of you until the ultimate goal is accomplished. And just like Hiroo, may we consider surrender of our cause the ultimate act of cowardice and death preferable to any compromise! Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!  

Stay Holy, My friends!

Pastor Don

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