Facing a tremendous battle with PTSD, the Olympic athlete turned World War II hero Louis Zamperini found immediately healing in a way he never expected at a Billy Graham Crusade in a Las Angeles in a tent referred to as the Canvas Cathedral.
Zamperini was struggling with demons after being a prisoner of war. He turned to alcohol and his marriage was headed towards failure. A neighbor who knew of the couple’s struggle encouraged them to go to Graham’s revival.
Louis stormed out angrily the first night, but something brought him back the second night. That’s when Graham’s preaching of God’s word went straight to his heart, curing the veteran of his PTSD immediately.
“Of all my near-death experiences my life never passed before my eyes,” Zamperini said. “But when Billy Graham quoted Scripture, my life did pass before my eyes.”
“My life passed before my eyes, and I saw an ugly life,” he continued. “Yes, I had a lot of great times. A lot of great experiences, and a lot of escapes from death, but I still didn’t like my life after the war. It was terrible.”
That night at the Canvas Cathedral forever changed the course of Zamperini’s life. It healed the divisions in his marriage, saving him from getting divorced, and it also put his demons to rest. His entire life changed in a matter of moments.
“That was the first night in all those years I’d never had a nightmare, and I haven’t had one since.”
Zamperini’s son Luke confirms that Christianity saved his dad. It all started with being encouraged to attend a Billy Graham Crusade.
“He couldn’t fix his PTSD,” Luke Zamperini says in the video below. “That took the work and person of Jesus Christ to do that. So the night that he walked into [Billy Graham’s] tent in Los Angeles, that all changed for him.”
Unbroken: Path to Redemption premieres on Friday. While the first Unbroken movie focuses on Zamperini’s battle to save his life during WWII, this movie deals with the battle for his soul. A trailer for the movie is in the video below. We have so many veterans struggling right now. Perhaps Christ’s message will heal them, too.