During WWII, in 1944, Japan had invaded China. The Mission School in Inland China, where my parents were stationed, was ordered to evacuate.The Burma Road, normal route out of China, had been cut off by Japanese troops. Our only option was to fly "over the hump" to India.
The "Hump" is a high Himalaya mountain range between China and India. This was a very dangerous and perilous endeavor. That area has eight months of torrential, tropical downpours known as monsoons, which are followed by four months of violent, turbulent windstorms, capable of lifting or dropping a plane 6,000 to 8,000 feet in a minute.
The planes used for these flights were C-46's or C-47's (known as the "Gooney Bird"). They were still vulnerable to attack from Japanese zero fighter planes.
We were flown out in different planes. My Mom was flown out first, because she had just had major surgery and was still recuperating. The second plane load was full of children from the mission school. I was scheduled to go on the third flight. My Dad was to stay behind and close up the compound. On these flights, there were no parachutes and the ride was bumpy, with many frightening downdrafts.
The second plane encountered a severe storm and had to navigate through it, using up much of their fuel. Arriving over India airspace, they encountered a "blackout" because of enemy aircraft in the vicinity. The airfield was dark, and pilots were not to break radio silence. After circling for awhile, the pilot finally had to break radio silence and ask them to turn on their lights. He said he had a plane load of children and was almost out of fuel. The airfield complied. When they landed, there was not a drop of fuel left in the plane. The pilot got out and kissed the ground!
I was on the next plane, flying through the same bad weather conditions! I'm sure my parents were both praying. I remember the sudden drops, where I thought for sure the plane was crashing. One of the boys had a lemon lollipop (a rarity in those days, where we did not get many "sweets"). He passed it around, and everyone took a lick as it went by. That was our only distraction from the perilous flight. We landed uneventfully. I remember going to my Mom's room where she hugged me tightly, and gave me some M & M's. I think that was the first time I had ever had them.
I have since thought of my Mom's faith during that time. She did not know if she would see either me or my Dad again, all of us coming out on different flights through such dangerous conditions. My father made it out, also, and we were reunited as a family in India.
I am so thankful, as I look back, that the Lord had His hand on us and took care of all the circumstances. Even today, as problems come, we can trust the Lord to hold us in the palm of His hand and take care of us in our circumstances!!!
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