52- Our Next Endeavor
Returning to Reno from Japan (by way of visiting my parents and sisters in Oxnard) we stayed with Dan’s Auntie Yvonne and we were thankful for her gracious hospitality. We had once again stored our belongings in Gramma Fern’s garage across the road and we were soon able to transfer everything to a cute town house on Manchester Street in Sparks. Timmy and I settled in while Dan went back to work for his friend Dale’s construction company.
This time, returning from overseas, we had 8 weeks of prep time until baby’s arrival, with a due date of the 4th of July. Like Timmy, Stephen was born three days past due date. My good friend, Dana, gave us a very nice baby shower. My mom and dad came to visit and to meet their new grandson.
Timmy was elated with “deeda” his name for Stephen. I had liked the name (Stephen not deeda!) when I was reading Acts in Tokyo. Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people(6:8), had the face of an angel (6:15), being full of the Holy Spirit (7:54), and at his stoning death– after He called on God for himself–cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” (7:60) He was a true hero of the faith. Stephen means loyal, and Daniel means God is my strength.
Of course there was no such thing as a cell phone, or we could have taken a family selfie!
My journal Aug 15, 1980:
My three goals and my focus in each: 1) Bible study for personal faith and to know God- 2) Prayer for thanksgiving, intercession, and personal needs- 3) Exhortation gift to serve others, serve God, be useful to Him
Sept 15, 1980 So seldom I write in this book lately, not really wanting a legacy of my thoughts, I guess, certainly with less time to pen with two babies to tend. But still daily seeking Him.
Sept 19, 1980 Father, Dan is so often my example of Christ. Uncomplaining. So loving, so forbearing toward me. Giving beyond human possibilities. You are glorified in his life, in his smile, in his consistency. It can only be You. Of himself, he previously failed as a marriage partner. But with the life of Christ Jesus, by Your Spirit, I see Christ. Please help me Father to be filled with Jesus’ love for him and the boys. I would be honored for Christ to live in me the way He does in Dan.
Dan recalls that while we were in Japan at Yoshimi’s home, set to leave the next day, he “could not picture tomorrow.” Dan thinks in pictures and his habit each evening is always to picture the day ahead. He concluded that he was dealing with spiritual oppression because of the Japanese custom of idol worship which his friend practiced. Each day a bowl of rice was placed in a small cupboard called a butsudan in order to honor the family ancestors. Adding to this revelation, after departing Shikoku, we had an experience at our next missionary stop in Nagoya in which Timmy became very ill with a high fever. We were frantic, crying out to the Lord, immersing Timmy in cool water but feeling completely helpless. We felt we had no access to God’s power. The enemy proved to be a formidable force against us in a land that gave him access to their hearts.
Jack Hayford, we found out later, said prophetically of Japan (this is by Dan’s recollection so I am not quoting it): Jack saw curtains around Japan, like a wall or a barrier, keeping Christian influence out of the country. Then he saw it come down all at once, falling to the ground, and then the country was able to be influenced by Christians. We look forward to the day when the missionaries will reap from the years of sowing into their friendships with the Japanese people.
These two instances, Dan’s surprising experience of having no hope for the next day and our impotence in affecting Timmy’s illness with our prayers–showed Dan that we were not ready for the mission field. Dan was just three years old in the Lord, and we recognized that we had a lot to learn about living victoriously in a foreign country.
So, with no money to pursue further training at that time, Dan turned to following one of his life dreams and began drawing plans for a solar house that he wanted to build on a piece of property he shared with his brother. He counseled with our new pastor, we prayed, and Dan felt he got the go ahead from God to proceed.
That building project became our next endeavor. And then…..
On the afternoon of our third anniversary, I had a positive pregnancy test! Timmy had just turned two years old and Stevie had just turned one year old. I would tell our friends that Dan was building a house and I was making a baby.
Timmy wore glasses for a year to correct a lazy eye. And it worked!