34 – A Required Separation!
We arrived in Friedrichshafen several days before the term began, expecting that we could stay at the school. We wanted to set up housekeeping and become familiar with the village while Dan practiced his high school German on the shopkeepers. I guess we hadn’t read the small print. There was no provision for early arrivals because the facility was in constant use for conferences and was not available to the students until the first day of the term.
The first night, I became very seriously ill, from the flu, food poisoning or too much greasy pizza. I can still remember our fears about our baby’s well being as we rode nervously in a taxi, driven by a man that would not be hurried, from our small pension to the hospital in the middle of the night.
The German-speaking doctors were apprehensive that I might have carried a contagious disease from America or from the international flight. I was put in isolation. One entire wall of my room was glass. Dan could commiserate with me by phone from the other side of the glass. It was a lonely time for the newlyweds, but all that really mattered was that we did no lose our baby. I believe that jet lag and being in the first trimester of pregnancy contributed to my sluggish recovery. It became a time of soul searching for me, a healing time of letting go of the past, a time of deeper surrender to the Lord.
When I was released after six days, we moved into our room in the dorm on the very small campus of the Capernwray Bible School. As we pushed the twin beds together and made our tiny cell homey, we understood the reason for the baggage restrictions.
The majority of the 100 students were 18-20 year old recent high school graduates from the US and Canada. There were two other married couples (from Canada and Holland), as well as several male foreign students–from Kenya, India, Morocco, and Afghanistan. A young lady from Hong Kong arrived a month late.
Dan and I were put in charge of a team of students. Each team had daily cleaning duties and kitchen duties. After a slow start we all bonded wonderfully. I was tired but only missed a few classes during the term. The young girls all seemed pretty and flirty, whereas I felt dowdy and frumpy in my loose blouses and large pants with expandable elastic across my midsection (the old-fashioned maternity garb). Vanity and jealousy reared their ugly heads inside me many times and I had to go to the Lord….
October 7, 1978 One week we have been here at Bodenseehof. I must make a transaction with You. My sorrow, my burden, is a jealous heart. Satan condemns me and accuses me, but the bondage is squeezing the life from me. I hereby transact to lay this jealous heart on the altar. No longer can I struggle under it. It vies constantly for attention and steals my joy, my love, my giving. Deal with it after Your own fashion, Savior, and set me free, I pray. There can be no prayer for revival, no usefulness to You, until I can abide in You. Let me please be a vessel for Your love. That is my desire. Remind me to thank You a thousand times for freedom, for the gift of my husband, for eyes that see, ears that hear, a mind that is healthy, a body strong, and a baby growing strong–healthy, secure in his/her hiding place! Show me Your faithfulness, so that I can boast of Your goodness, attest to Your calling me–and Your doing it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you who will also do it.