(Reprinted by permission from www.wisdomsedge.com)
As German power increased during World War II, many people were trying to leave France. Donald Caskie, however, was trying to stay.
Caskie was born in 1902 on an island off the coast of Scotland. His parents were believers and Caskie shared in their faith. Even as a child, he would climb up on a stool and "preach" to his siblings.
This childhood antic would later become a way of life. Caskie became a preacher and followed God's call to Paris, where he served as a pastor. Caskie used his position to speak out against the ideas of the Nazis. This was a dangerous subject in 1940, and Caskie knew the risk he was taking.
In June of that year, Caskie decided that he needed to escape from Paris while there was still time. He reached the British consulate in time to catch the very last ship. But then he hesitated. He didn't want to take a spot from someone else. And he knew that God had called him to minister in France. He didn't want to let the Nazis scare him off.
So Caskie stayed. Soon after he made this decision, he found out that France had surrendered to Germany. Caskie knew that things were about to become much more dangerous for him.
Things were also dangerous for British troops who had escaped from the fighting. Caskie knew that many of these troops were in the port of Marseilles. So he headed there to see if he could help them.
Caskie worked with the American Consul to help many British soldiers escape back to England. He set up the British and American Seamen's Mission, where he took in soldiers and preached the Gospel.
Caskie's faith helped him solve many difficult problems. His frequent prayer was "Dear God, you think this out for me please. I'm beaten." He believed that God gave him the wisdom and courage he needed to outsmart the Germans.
Eventually, however, the Germans caught up with his activities. One of the men who was helping the soldiers escape was actually a double agent. Caskie was arrested but released. The police warned him that he would serve two years of imprisonment if he was caught again.
A British officer came to Caskie and offered him a way to return to England. But Caskie refused. He knew God still had more work for him in France.
For two years, he preached and taught English at the University of Grenoble. He also visited prisons to serve as a chaplain to British soldiers. He brought them not only words of encouragement but also tools for escape â€“ files, scissors, small crowbars, and false papers.
Caskie was becoming worn out with the stress of his work. Yet he turned down another offer to return to England.
Not long after, Caskie was arrested. He was imprisoned and spent a long time in solitary confinement. Of this difficult time, Caskie said, "It was my knowledge of the Scriptures that saved me." He spent hours repeating the Bible passages he had committed to memory.
Caskie's knowledge of Scripture saved another man as well. Caskie spent time carving the words of Isaiah 43:1-3 on his cell wall. After Caskie was moved to a different cell, another man was held in his old one. This man was afraid of being tortured and decided to kill himself to avoid it. But when he read the verses Caskie had left behind, he turned to God for comfort instead.
Caskie was sentenced to death, but a friend intervened on his behalf and the sentence was lifted. Still, Caskie remained in prison until the end of the war.
Yet even after the war, Caskie chose to stay in France. He visited his home briefly in 1944, but he lived and ministered in Paris until 1960. He then returned to Scotland where he continued to minister until he retired in 1968. He enjoyed 15 years of retirement before his death in 1983.
Though he was retired, he continued to share about the love of Christ. A friend wrote of him, "Donald Caskie was a delightful man, well-known and loved in the city." The love he had for others stemmed from the love he had for Christ and his desire to see everyone share in that love.
(Ed. Note: Donald Caskie wasn't the only Christian war hero. You can read more fascinating stories about Christians who changed war in the book War and Grace . Even Christians who aren't war buffs will be inspired by these incredible true stories.)