A Call for Help
…by Chuck Graham
When Beverly and I were in New Zealand, our tour stopped at the farm of Simon and Claudia Nottingham. 1 Simon was born on the farm. Claudia is originally from Minnesota, USA.
They shared their gracious hospitality, love of New Zealand, and the beauty of their farm. Then Simon, a twinkle in his eye, told us a story of desperate times and a lasting friendship.
A friend is always loving and always loyal…
On June 8, 1942, Japanese forces landed on the island of Guadalcanal. 2 Their purpose was to build a command center from which to launch an invasion of Australia and New Zealand.
With much of the ANZAC 3 military abroad, there would be no defense against such an attack. 4 So New Zealand put out an international call for help. Yet no country responded…except one.
Even with its own battles raging, the U.S. answered the call and sent ships to Wellington. Grateful Kiwis took the young Marines into their homes, where they fed and took care of their boys.
…like a brother born to help in time of need. 5
In time the Marines left for Guadalcanal. They took control of an airstrip, but Japan retaliated. After 6 months of combat, U.S. forces drove Japan from the island, 6 and at great cost to both sides.
The Marines returned to New Zealand with orders to remain in camp for recovery. But on the docks stood hundreds of women who refused to budge unless they could take their boys home.
Naval command wisely turned the men over to them. And the young Marines, many wounded physically, all emotionally, returned to their Kiwi homes where they were loved and cared for.
If you ever need a friend, you have one.
After hearing the story, I met Simon and told him, “These days we in the U.S. are hated around the world. We are ridiculed, even by those we thought were friends. Thank you for sharing this.”
He glanced at the ground. Then with a humble smile said, “No. On behalf of my grandfather, father, and myself, thank you. Had it not been for your boys, we would not be here.”
Today a bronze plaque is displayed on a special memorial in Wellington. 7 A gift from U.S. Marines. Beneath the Marine insignia are the words, “If you ever need a friend, you have one.”
Sound familiar? This is the battle cry of those who follow Jesus and seek to love and encourage others. So always know, whenever you need a friend, you have one…and especially here in Ciloa.
Semper Fi, 8
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa , an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching others how to “encourage one another as long as it is called Today!” He is an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. You can learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org .
1. Shenandoah Farm, Porirua, New Zealand.
2. Guadalcanal is a part of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
3. ANZAC refers to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
4. Australia and New Zealand entered WWII in 1939, fighting from southern Europe to northern Africa.
5. See Proverbs 17:17.
6. The Battle of Guadalcanal lasted from August 7, 1942 to February 9, 1943.
7. Frank Kitts Park Memorial Wall, Wellington, New Zealand. Presented in 1951.
8. Semper Fi, short for Semper Fidelis , the U.S. Marine Corps’ motto which means “Always Faithful”.
Banner Photo: Porirua Harbour from Shenandoah Farm, Porirua, New Zealand….Chuck Graham
First Photo: Simon Nottingham, Shenandoah Farm, Porirua, New Zealand….Chuck Graham
Second Photo: U.S. ships in Wellington, 1942….New Zealand Ship and Marine Society
Third Photo: U.S. Marine at Guadalcanal, 1942….Associated Press
Last Photos: Second Marine Division Plaque to the People of New Zealand