Oceanographer sees bigger picture

Insight from above saved crews off Japan, says Navy Officer

Davis George Moye
Davis George Moye in Mississippi by the Gulf of Mexico aboard the aircraft carrier USS JOHN C. STENNIS.

Insight from above saved crews off Japan, says Navy Officer

As the tsunami hit Japan in March 2011, oceanography officer Davis George Moye was serving his second year at the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) outside New Orleans when he learned of a serious threat to US Navy ships stationed off the Japanese coast.

“As radioactive waste left the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” Moye recalls, “we realized it could have been contaminating the water near the ships delivering emergency supplies to the affected areas, putting the crews in grave danger.”

Alarmingly, scientists at NAVO were initially unable to determine which part of the ocean would be more or less contaminated.

As a born again Christian, Moye asked Christian friends and family to pray about the life-threatening situation, and the next morning, as he drove to work, Moye recalls that God gave him the breakthrough.

“I realised an easy way to view information from NAVO’s world-wide model of the ocean on one of its supercomputers, which would show us how the radioactive water was moving.

“Many of the staff including scientists I had never met praised me for the idea. It helped keep an aircraft carrier and several other ships out of the most contaminated water.”

Mindful to remain humble and honour God first, Moye remembered the words of John the Baptist in John chapter 3: “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from Heaven...He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”

“I am no more responsible for the great idea than anyone else is: It was God’s doing,” Moye explains.

As a child, God was not high on Moye’s agenda, even though his devout Christian parents had taught him all about the Bible.

During his middle school years, he was more concerned about fitting in with his classmates, and he began swearing and breaking the rules in order to be considered “cool”.

“I was horrible to be around,” Moye admits, “but even on those rare occasions when I showed the other boys I could do things like them, they would have no part of me.”

Realising that he would never be like them, Moye recalls feeling like he had opened a door he was unable to close.

“Finally, I faced what I had worked so hard to deny: I needed God. I gave up, and tearfully prayed for the first time, ‘God, I can’t do this on my own. I will do whatever you want now. Just take me.’”

After deciding to put his faith in Jesus Christ, receiving His forgiveness and assurance of eternal life, Moye says that the Holy Spirit began living in him and guiding the choices he made.

As he was finishing high school, America’s War on Terror began. Wanting to care for the men who were enlisting, Moye decided to join the US Naval Academy where he could become an officer.

However, after graduating, he was devastated that his orders were to serve on a relatively tranquil ship. Eventually, he decided to trust God’s wisdom because, he says, “I realised that any deviation would have been for the worse.”

Over the next six years, God’s plan became clear, especially during service at the Al Basra Oil Terminal, located off the Iraqi coast.

“On at least one occasion, my life was clearly saved by God from a danger I had no idea existed,” he remembers.

“After that deployment I realised that I had done everything I had set out to do in the Navy.”

In 2009, he joined the Meteorology and Oceanography Corps for a new challenge, where, through God’s wisdom, he was able to help the US Navy to continue to provide relief to victims of the 2011 tsunami.

The wisdom of God’s plan, Moye says, is explained in Romans chapter 8, verse 28: ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

“Exactly what the greater good that came out of this tsunami is, I do not know. But I do know from verse 27, ‘in all these things [tribulation, distress, etc. (vs. 25)] we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.’

To sum up his life, Moye points to a well-known Bible proverb: “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

“This has been so true in my life,” he concludes, “and many times I have seen how His plan really is for the best for those who love Him.”

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