Will Graham, son of Franklin and grandson of Billy Graham, provides a fascinating story of the late Louie Zamperini, featured in the recent movie “Unbroken.”
Hear the story … in Will Graham’s own words.
Zamperini, a past member of the US Olympic team, was later survivor of weeks of drifting on a life raft in the Pacific Ocean and, then, a World War II Japanese prison camp. His mistreatment and abuse by a Japanese prison guard produced in Zamperini hate and murderous intentions of revenge on the guard, even after the war.
The literal nightmares from the vicious prison experience … and the severe bodily pain … led to Louie’s heavy drinking as an escape. His wife made plans to divorce him. In hoping to save the marriage, Louie “gave in” to his wife’s urging that they both attend the 1949 “Los Angeles Crusade with Billy Graham, going on at the time. He hated the experience, but, with his wife’s urging, attended a second time with her. At the end of the evening after hearing Billy Graham present the Gospel of Jesus, he was about to leave and headed to the aisle to do so. Upon getting there to the aisle to depart, he instead walked forward toward the front platform, joining those “making decisions” to turn to Jesus Christ in faith! He did receive Christ! He did … and never again had a nightmare born from the cruelty of the Japanese prison camp.
He toured the country, sharing his story of turning to Christ … and included the Saturday night Youth for Christ rallies in Jackson, MS in the 1950’s, the movement and location where I received Jesus by faith in my life!
Fast forward to the 2015 Rose Bowl Parade: Louie Zamperini, whose life was featured in the movie, “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolene, was to ride in the parade. Having died and gone to Heaven a short time before the parade – with it widely known that Louie had received Christ and been transformed in the Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade, Will Graham, was asked to ride in the parade in place of his grandfather and Louie Zamperini.
Additional radio … recorded on the same day as the account above … titled …
”Will Graham: grandson of Billy Graham, son of Franklin; visiting Ferguson, helping in ‘We Are One’” … can be read and heard by clicking on … http://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/624/5/.