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Today in OPC History

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October 22

Bruce Hunt

On October 22, 1941, OPC missionary Bruce Hunt was arrested and imprisoned in Manchuria by Japanese occupying forces.

As his prison memoir, For a Testimony, recounts, Hunt's sufferings included solitary confinement, the lack of food and water, and the discomfort of sleeping on a hard floor in freezing weather with a cloak as his only blanket. The 38 year old father of five was released on December 5, after 45 days of imprisonment. While reluctantly preparing to return to the States, he was arrested again two days later, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. He was then sent to a concentration camp, where he grew weak and sick from semi-starvation. Six months latter he was finally freed as part of a prisoner exchange.

Throughout his ordeals, Hunt kept his mind sharp and focused by composing hymns. One of his compositions was "Give Thanks unto Jehovah," which began:

Give thanks! Give thanks unto Jehovah!
For he of kings is king.
Let every nation, race, each tongue and tribe,
Unto him praises bring.
He rules the earth with power and righteousness;
The waves obey his will.
Give thanks! Give thanks unto Jehovah!
Your work of praise with joy fulfill.

Picture: Bruce Hunt on the right translating for a Korean brother at a General Assembly in the 1970s.

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