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Classic Replay | A Visit with an American Hero: The Story of Louis Zamperini Part 1

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 2, 2022 3:30 am

Classic Replay | A Visit with an American Hero: The Story of Louis Zamperini Part 1

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 2, 2022 3:30 am

Today, we revisit a classic conversation between Pastor Greg Laurie and World War II hero, Louis Zamperini. Originally aired on A New Beginning in 2011, this conversation relates the powerful story of Zamperini’s youth and survival in the Pacific. It’s a riveting story of heroism and perseverance from a man who became a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. 


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You privilege to have you here tonight.

Thank you for coming to Florida. I you a couple of things you wanted to say to look a little bit about yourself. Well they'll love it.

Regulation exciting rises, but the most emotional run of my life not in our commander in the 90 and where 45 and video during open course with Japan incurring the talk alongside of my former slave labor camp was very emotional. The mayor elect to have sent an email when you come to Japan to carry the torch line. On one the place you can stand with Jeff for a mile and then he said can't come before the city Council and answer questions like that yeah well the final question came from him and he said it's only with separated anything good about the furthermore platoon after Japan I yeah prepare for 55 years of married life.

I was I was good as I enhanced my tolerance for pain.

But the truth of the matter is, when you look back. Although you work together for good, because the bird had been so vicious toward me for the long I would not have both of my stress as I did, I probably would've became an alcoholic and I probably wasn't going to the hologram meeting thought yes I can.

I can thank Mr. Joe Watanabe run for actually pointing me to the cross. Yes Lou you are, you were born with what we want all the young New York but you spent a good deal of your childhood in Torrance, California, correct, right and you are your brother, your older butter P was a runner and he got you running pretty soon you were winning races and you got a nickname given which a nickname, torso, or I'll Torrance tornado which you were also a little bit of a whole again. Weren't you going to some trouble in the police would chase you over why he wanted to get in trouble all the time I ever going about 10, my brother tolerated me try to help make a final tape of Lisa brought me to the jail and exorbitant guys locked up. This says is something you're going to be behind bars is those two guys at Loftus greater treasure of the life freedom and it really shook me up. My buzz about me. Gotta get them out for some kind of sport that you said about me. I suggest running with and chased him all over town, so you started running. Then he started winning races and soon you qualify to go to the 1936 Olympics in Germany and run an Olympic event. Yeah well I was too young for the Special Olympics but I just out of a large Koran against the second-best 5000 m runner of the country and I passing coming on the home stretch, but I collided with the guy. We were laughing I fell on the ground, glad to catch them again and they beat me about actually like it. As I qualify. But then again during the depression. I did know how to get to New York, got a ride on the Southern Pacific because my dad worked for the red cars and they had association with the Tryon, but every time I went to a different state like module 40 country and in New York we had to team up and get rooms train hard and you either make the table you don't is the hottest day in New York. It had about 90 years of letters were collapsing about the finely in the 5000 m of running against the world record holder for the 2 mile, my brother said get behind him and keep your eyes on the back of his head and then make your your final Sprint.

The last 220 well I kept my eyes back of his head, and I waited too long to passing what he is is a world champion for a kid like me. I couldn't have to work shift, but that finally I hit it was in front of the first minute, but he was in effect when I had to run the last 220 in the third lane with me and I ran about 12 hours further but I caught him and became a dead heat The team I from the hotel to the boat. The vision thing about the hotel was.

I vote my mother card which I still have not evolving you won't believe that they have a radio in every room. You ran so fast in that event, though you got eight ran so fast Adolf Hitler wanted to meet you and you shook hands with him that, but it's amazing. I haven't finished the race, I gained 14 pounds and it gonna get on a boat you're going to get what have I couldn't go to the waiting time to find out they had all the different considerations for the different nations and I had to try them all and so I couldn't keep up the pace. The last lap I was about 50 yards behind the letters in a pack of runners not funny decided to do my brother told me to do the mudflap comes everybody's tired but is it one minute of pain with a like type of flooring left second is reached up and he said that students represent the boy with the best finish. That was it. In unit we had no idea really. Who this man was going to turn into at that point. While we don't know all of government were numbered.

The Boy Scouts of a new him that the something that we pretty want to take a country not the world, and I think most of the world knew it, but nobody want to give all to light Sewanee with Germany you saw a Nazi flag in the pool that you wanted to get for yourself and and you would you do with that flat did you get it now.

The applicant only after pelican souvenir and with my teenage past time. It was easy for me to pick up stuff. How high up with this plan is the actual flag right here that they played on the wall in front of the Chancellor and the I was very careful of the time the garden they marked back of the actual flag but I couldn't reach it. When I got going and I killed time and I are started cleaning out a jump aside like good clustered line and hold down the target one shop like a shot in our words long. You need an interpreter. I the guard came up and spun around by the root until they saw the flag of my pocket. The American flag, and then they were more gentle than the one guard Ashley's book report English but I can understand it is a swastika.

We have two Jewish athletes on the team. I think I might've thought I was one of I just said I just want take the flight home to America will always remind me of the wonderful time I had the World War II is broken out. You enlisted the serve in the military. What was your position on the plane. I was a bombardier in the first plane you want.

It was called Superman to prevent but then you were transferred over to another plane kind of a rickety broken dumpling called the Green hornet and you were shot down over the Pacific. Act like my work shutdown waiver structure from another plane that had crashed north of Palmyra. They are sure that the plan? Nobody want a flat washer out the one more flip and other engineer friend questionnaire myself because the water and the plan target file for one more round to find that life water about 45 on three of the right. I was trapped like my job is to get around tripod mount now before the plane hits it when I got down low with the Leica shoulder and I have it up under the tripod's ability what I would like to move For mission went then to make matters worse details for wires who have tripod coverage for you: love all around him completely wires around my my hopeless situation under this present time and the place I Felt my rooftop thunder loved him 20 feet and then I can think deeper and deeper like head start again thankful that I felt a sharp pain in my forget how deep I would not make 100, 200 and then I lost count before lost consciousness. I pray to my mind, my heart and body. God help me pelican thing I'm out cold.

The next thing is on completely free for wires on the tripod and one great thing I just thought this is the afterlife and then I realize I was like for my breath until now my body is going the plaintiff. Thinking fast. I was surrounded by lunacy, not government, which would the pressure of my body floating up with something going down a bit of rain over the phone.

I put Michael's thing on my stuff down arch my back out, get off my back and my forever getting service following gas oil to what is I guess time and that was probably the nearest death I've ever been in my life gave now let me just say this several ministers and Bible teachers and sent me Scripture respond.

I think it was 18 and I just about died when I read it, the court death in the fourth of the structure overwhelming records of the grave clothes around the snares of death confronted in my distress I cried to the Lord.

I called my God for help from his temple on high alert my voice it came before him and into his ears.

He reached down from on high took hold of me and through me on the Deepwater so the pilot Russell Ellen Phillips.

The deal benefits is not the man you called Matt and you Louise Abilene survived it. Now you're in a wrath at seat you ended up being in that RAV4. How many days about 47 guard did you think you would ever get off that wrap about after 20 oh people failure, mostly young people, did you ever think about nine.

I said no I were to occupy thing about women know why I never thought about. Nine.

Another tailgunner died would very much be I have a lot of survival training and Mountaineer glacier climber of the electric survival courses and why I was an Eagle Scout, advanced first aid in college, I was prepared for an ordeal like that was just too busy not only doing what I was trying to do but improvising like an albatross came along and landed on your boat in and you are able to get a hold of that thing kill it, eat it and make fishhooks out of its bone well he he I he got over that utilities all the whites got a monopoly from the bird three different part you grab him by the leg. You have to get up there slowly take about a minute to get there that you grabbed by the legs and have a negative because your arm another shredded be with with the evil center to product was a collection like a wild animal is a light at the meeting on my hands but as you're on this boat is around this wrapped you would talk with your wrath makes about meals, you would have at home and you been your reason, an Italian home so you would talk in detail about how the meal would be made in the ingredients and this helped you along a bit while or help because when I was in college, my professor, that the brain is like a muscle. If you don't keep it active.

It will atrophy and so I made sure that we did something metal everything on the left.

Another tailgunner was a total loss and without well hello Mr. Knight, but by doing the mental exercises every day reminiscing future memorizing worthless all teaching each other what we know about our profession and at the end of 33 days anytime. It was a shocker should have about life you were at sea drifted for was at 47 days and here's a description from your book written by Laura Hildebrand about what happened looking over the side of the route they saw swelling up from under the water came a Leviathan of vast white male abroad back porting the surface along the dorsal fin ghostly in the moonlight. The animal was some 20 feet long, more than three times the length of the wrath Louis recognize its features from a survival school training.

It was a great white shark so that wasn't the only shark the sharks work circling the work coming up underneath the wrapper. Pretty soon we were coming into the wrath but you took care of one of those charger account evidence nothingness.

I would never scared on the wrath except that great white because ataxia we were trying to sleep for a florets of the water and the rabbit got somebody on that little better than ocean start came up slackness on the bottom out of think I have the suffering as then I saw the shark coming around on the microphone.

Another sort was like a human being.

Every time a long long way the wrath would take his tail and one on see what we were they did that about eight or 10 time we just that found money disappeared like came that was scary as a well he was afraid of the bike the wrath and to take the fall. You would eat and the sharks were trying to eat you and so you decided to turn the tables on the sharks that we wait them. That was really ironic. I tell her to guide me. I was awake and I Walked in the phone was too short for some reason they kept circling her after all they do, so I thought I'd try to be like one with dish if I could talk to one of my him over his head when he went by my family over dorsal fin did have one with nature's eyesight and I did that the bull shark wife, and then all of a sudden this was unusual never have before the boat disappear always to short nothing scared him away, but these two disappear, my knees looking to see where they are just head comes up out of the water. Mouth open house like a demon hell bent just as I just inadvertently put my hands up when I had a high enough so the shark mouth.

When he opened his mouth, this note is about a foot ahead of his mouth.

Make sure that like I'm on top of his nose. Tailgunner having it woke up or our government more if you find well what that did to me. It made me really mad and being Italian I want to get even.

So I decided to make them change delivered to finding out more than we could chew. But, so I waited for small shark next day a 500 kB of the well pump small below 5 o'clock story came by the rest slowly circling.

I reached and grabbed him by the tail, but I didn't get his tail on the water fast and often he only and I got out fast. You so then I waited the next day for four there and I thought well still pretty big. All my try thought we have a cursive for cartridge. When you pull the shock of the water meter mouth open and so I somewhat reported, quickly limit the wrath before he liked the wrath of the cartridge in his mouth to happen perfectly and fully man in the pilot something chasing his mouth and down on Michael and then I had a pair of pliers on the left. Now 47 days we couldn't figure out with the fire have manufacturing to like a bicycle panting And use sandpaper to rough up the rubber make the best that's what they have sandpaper in the samples on the bottom of the paper was. Should I have waterproofed every couple.

Everything was going about this plan. So we began to look around for the trademark.

With all they had to be made in Germany or Japan go. I took a breath mirror that made freaky marks on the edge of the mirror I took me about 10 or 15 open a hole in the building that for four or 5 foot shark.

They are tough, so we had a lovely dinner 20% of the shark's liver though you don't love liver before World War II. All vitamin filter made from shark liver and I knew how her attrition was but survival school said you don't eat the meat about the scope it smells like ammonia I've done about a week later we call another shark a little smaller for border control plan we had to rush his meals on the round you can imagine there's much more simple reading. Next time you're on a new beginning with your more of this interview as pastor Greg Laurie talks to him about his rescue from the raft only to wind up in a Japanese concentration camp, and after the war ended, he found himself in a prison of a different kind alcoholism and posttraumatic stress disorder until he hears the preaching of a young man named Billy Graham that's coming up next time, along with some important words from Pastor Greg about the value of forgiveness. Everybody this is Greg Laurie and you've just been listening to a classic message from harvest ministries. This podcast is supported by harvest partners to learn more and to find out how you can become harvest partner. Just go to

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