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Peace is peace only when it's accepted ::

Drawn from the harsh reality of war, a useful illustration for us accepting God’s offer of peace through Jesus.

Source: Perspective Vol10 No2 © Perspective 2002

Peace can only be experienced when it is accepted …

I wonder if you’ve heard of Lt. Hiroo Onada . He was the last was the last World War II Japanese soldier to surrender. Onada had been left on the island of Lubang in the Philippines in 1944, with the command to “carry on the mission even if Japan surrenders.” Four other Japanese soldiers were left on the island with him. One soldier surrendered in 1950. Another was killed in a skirmish with local police in 1954. Another was killed in 1972. Onada continued his war alone.

All efforts to convince him to surrender or to capture him failed. He ignored messages from loudspeakers announcing Japan’s surrender and that Japan was now an ally of the United States. Leaflets were dropped over the jungle begging him to surrender so he could return to Japan. He refused to believe or surrender.

Over the years he lived off the land and raided the fields and gardens of local citizens. He was responsible for killing at least 30 nationals during his 29 year personal war. Almost a half million dollars was spent trying to locate and convince him to surrender. 13,000 men were used to try to locate him.

Finally, on March 10, 1974, almost 30 years after World War II ended, Onada surrendered his rusty sword after receiving a personal command from his former superior officer, who read the terms of the ceasefire order. Onada handed his sword to President Marcos, who pardoned him. The war was over. But he continued it long after he needed to.

Grant Thorpe is the minister of the Randwick Presbyterian Church, Sydney

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