Andrew (Andy) Arends

I wish to thank you for your interest in the various areas of service in WWII, especially in prisoners of war. No one sees honor in surrendering to the enemy, especially we who surrendered. However, the hell we endured and the hate they exhibited gives us a survivorís reason to exalt the Lord for seeing us through that terrible ordeal.
     At the age of 22 I entered into the U.S. army. I was a gunner in an Anti Aircraft Battery. I was captured on an island in Manila Bay, interned in a POW camp in northern Luzon. I was shipped to Japan on a rusty old freighter used for transporting horses. It was very filthy inside. It broke down in a typhoon storm. It took 63 days to get to Japan. I lost 63 pounds. Upon arrival in Japan at camp #17 where I was assigned to slave labor in a coal mine. It was a very dangerous coal mine, and it often caved in, many men were killed.
     We were forced to pray to an idol for protection. We injured each other to get out of the mine. I ran from many cave-ins and was spared by the grace of God. I had a guy break my arm to get out.
     We were forced to dig two graves, each six feet deep, ten feet wide, and thirty feet long; they swore they were going to kill us.

     A total of three and one half years was spent in POW camp where we labored.

     At that time of my life I cared nothing for religion God or anything of that nature, but after getting back home and assessing those experiences and how God spared my life more than 14 times, I changed my mind about the reality of God and His love for me.                          

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