When the small task force in charge of protecting Gen. MacArthur‘s rearguard found itself surprised by the Japanese Center Force in Leyte Gulf on Oct. 23, 1944, they didn’t expect to win. Twenty-seven Japanese warships — including the largest battleship ever made, the fearsome Yamato — bore down on Taffy 3 U.S. Task Force to blast landed U.S. troop like sitting ducks.
The U.S., who didn’t expect the enemy to appear on the horizon, left land forces protected only by planes with depth charges and destroyers so light they were called “tin cans.”
Gen. MacArthur upon landing in Leyte
First they set up smoke screens to mask the retreat of U.S. aircraft carriers. While these light destroyers were doing this, Capt. Evans of the U.S.S. Johnston, without orders, broke ranks and charged the approaching ships on a torpedo run. Other ships watched incredulous what would surely be a suicide mission.
But the Johnston miraculously wasn’t hit as 27 Japanese ships trained their guns on it. It sailed to within five miles, fired its torpedoes, and scored a hit on enemy forces. Seeing this, other U.S. destroyers became brave to enter the fray. When the battle was over, the vastly superior
A forgotten hero, Capt. Evans
Japanese fleet retreated, American troops were safe, and history was written. The “greatest mismatch of naval history” was won by the underdogs.
Does this describe your church? You’re attacking futilely an enemy so large and fierce. You feel outgunned, outmanned, and outsmarted. You’re out-financed. You have practically no finances. Well, certainly not enough finances. But you have one potent weapon: daring.
You dare to continue serving the Lord. Finances are down to a trickle. Make a prayer run to torpedo the enemy and save the day!