Ron Upton did forced labour on the infamous Thai-Burma Railway. He survived despite beatings, abuse and near starvation. Back home he received little help with coming to terms with his ordeal.
In 1998 Agape enabled Ron to join other former FEPOWs (Far East Prisoners of War) on a visit to Japan. In a remarkable way he came face-to-face with his former guard.
|Meeting him was a traumatic experience "I could not possibly describe the feelings inside," Ron recalls. Both men looked each other in the eye. Then the former guard
apologised personally for the actions he perpetrated.
"I was able to shake his hand," says Ron. "I thought, 'This hate can't go on any more. Let him get on with his life and I with mine'."
|Ron Upton is one of many ex-FEPOWs who with the help of Keiko Holmes and Agape is at last coming to terms with the legacy of those dreadful years.
Keiko Holmes believes it will be difficult for ex-FEPOWs to forget their ordeal. But with the help of Agape, many ex-FEPOWs, their wives and the younger generation, are finding personal healing through the power of reconciliation and forgiveness.