How Do You Make Sense of Life When Tragedy Strikes?

Interview with Danny Yamashiro, Danny Yamashiro Ministries

Danny YamashiroDanny Yamashiro at 18 was a popular captain of his football team in Hawaii.  Accepted to business school.  Positioned to take over his father’s real estate business.  Until the mountain climbing accident.

Trying to save his girlfriend from a 20-foot fall, Danny fell off the famed Pali Ridge 300 feet.  And then another 100 feet.

He suffered a coma.  Traumatic brain injuries.  Skull fractures.  A shattered ankle.  Smashed organs.  Extensive lacerations.

He was unrecognizable—even to his own family.  And he wasn’t expected to survive.

Thirty years later Danny is an ordained minister.  The author of nine books.  The president of Danny Yamashiro Ministries.  And host of The Good Life Hawaii, the most-listened to Christian radio talk show in Hawaii.

I sat down with Danny at Proclaim 16.  Here’s how Danny found his purpose after the accident.


God can do marvelous and miraculous and amazing things. … He sometimes, certainly in my case, began to reveal his purpose in the midst of my brokenness. …

The purpose for me came in the midst of brokenness and utter surrender. “If you can make something out of a broken person like me, have your way.” That was my prayer. “I’ll go wherever you want me to go. I’ll be whatever you want me to be. I’ll say whatever you want me to say. I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” In the surrender the Lord began to reveal purpose. …

In the brokenness, it became a renewal. Through the renewal God began to redirect and say, “Hey,”—this is how I perceived it—“I actually saved you. I’ve given your life back to you so that you could put your life back in my hands.” When people started coming to Christ as I would speak, I began see my heart change. As I felt my heart change, I began to want to see more and more people come to know Jesus. …

In our brokenness our hearts become more open to God than we would have normally been open because we’re no longer, at that point, as sufficient as we thought we were. … Things don’t look nice in the broken moments of our life. It is in the brokenness that I sense, personally, that God reveals himself to us the most. … He’s always there, it’s just that we are able at that period of life … to receive or to see or to be open to what he has to share with us what he wants to do in our lives.

In our brokenness we become so supple that we draw closer to him. As we draw closer to him and his heart and more intimate with him, he begins to reveal things to us. In the process of that revealing we change. Our desires change. Our insights change. Our perceptions change. In the brokenness, his spirit moves more powerfully through us because when we are weak He is strong.

You can learn more about Danny Yamashiro at

Question: What have your learned about yourself during times of brokenness? You can share this article on Facebook by clicking here.


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