The challenge with God is to keep working with Him in every area of life, and to stay submitted to desiring His will. He wants us to get real and not profess high and lofty spirituality when we don’t mean it. I’m struggling to be true to my husband and to what I think the Lord wants, and yet wrestling with real-life concerns.
July 4, 1983
I must not be fully committed to Christ’s way because I feel fear for my life, my children’s lives. [I was very apprehensive about “selling all” and about the possibility that God would ask us to leave everything familiar to go to another country forever….and maybe die there.]
But I need to continuously affirm that –
-“I am going with Christ to the END” –my flesh screams: “not to the END!”
-“I will go the way of the cross” –my flesh screams: “argh! not THAT way!”
-“I will deny MYSELF and follow after Jesus My Lord” –my flesh screams: “oh no! He’s a fanatic!”
Of course our trip to Japan would not have been complete if it had not included a reunion with Yoshimi san.He had married and had one son, Hironori, the same age as Timmy –and his wife, Mihoko, was pregnant with their second child! We were all amazed at the similarities in our lives. His mother lived with them in the generational family home on the island of Shikoku.
We had taken a train from Tokyo to Osaka, a ferry to Shikoku. There were delays and we found ourselves arriving very late. A hot meal was waiting for us, and we ate it sitting on the floor with our legs under a traditional low table covered with a heavy a quilt and a heater underneath. The wooden house was unheated, drafty, and chilly, even though it was springtime. We welcomed the warmth. Timmy had slept on the journey and was wide awake and ready to become acquainted with our hosts and sample the interesting foods.
We were loaned appropriate Japanese shoes as well as a light vest for me and a Japanese jacket for Dan. Timmy was given a traditional baby jacket (as well as one for our new baby, due in one month).
We felt very welcomed as we toured the fish hatchery and admired the trees that Yoshimi was carefully growing that would be used in the religious shrines.
Traditional Japanese homes have three Shinto shrines: one by the entrance of the home for the children, one for the water source–at the well or the spigot, and one in the kitchen. They also have a Buddhist shrine where they honor and worship their ancestors. They believe that if they take care of their ancestors their ancestors will take care of them. Yoshimi confessed: spiritually we are very confused people.
October 9, 1979 We listened to a message on KNIS by the radical Christian, Art Katz: “What are your Isaac’s that you need to lay on the altar to be able to do God’s full will?” They are: my family, our meager, but cherished, possessions, our new washing machine, our popularity here in Reno, humiliation of moving again, possible pregnancy. Then he asked: “And, do you fear God or man?” I told God, I fear man!!!
God is speaking to us! Dan was re-inspired while attending a church meeting in which missionaries serving in Japan were speaking. And yesterday we met the lady who owned the antique store on the corner—Yoriko!! She is from Japan!
My worries: We don’t have a lot, but we’d need to store everything and let go of this house. Where would we stay in Japan? We need money for plane tickets and money to spend when we get there. How about Timmy’s well-being on the long flight? And health considerations for him once we get there?
Oct 11, 1979 My devotions: Matthew 17:27 Take up the fish…MONEY inside!! and v 7 Jesus told the disciples to not be afraid. Message on KNIS by Bob Mumford–die to self, and God will resurrect you!
Oct 14-Ps 96:1 Let the isles be glad! (Japan is an island) v10 Say among the NATIONS that the Lord reigneth.
Oct 18-I confess, dear Father, that I am impressed with the daily faith-building messages of truth that You are bringing us! I desire to stop calculating, doubting, worrying, being embarrassed. But Islip back into not believing that You spoke to Dan that You would work out the Japan vision!
I know me, Lord, and YOU know me: I don’t like to suffer! I am not a martyr! I enjoy a measured amount of adventure if my pocket is full of sufficient funds and I know where I am going. With You there is assurance of suffering and hardship in the exploit; there’s always a possible chance of martyrdom. Only YOU can give me the faith, courage and joy to do Your will. I am definitely willing to obey when I am assured of what You are asking me to do. Jesus take glory, take honor, be magnified through this. HERE WE GO, DOWN THE ROLLER COASTER!
Dan’s adventure story is that after college graduation in 1971, he decided to see a chunk of the world. He traveled on a Japanese freighter from San Francisco to Japan, with the goal of arriving in time to witness the season of the cherry blossoms.
He made friends with the Americans on the ship– Casey, Martin, and a young couple. He says: “I learned to play shogi, a Japanese form of chess, learned to love ramen noodles as a bedtime snack–and how to eat them with chopsticks. I fell in love with the ocean and the albatross. There was ample spare time so, being fresh out of art school, I got a piece of 4×4 from the ship’s carpenter and sculpted a depiction of the albatross’s flight pattern swooping back and forth over the waves. I also began learning the Japanese language and the children’s alphabet.”
Dan hitchhiked around Japan for a month.In Kyoto he met some Japanese students in a park and Yoshimi san invited Dan to live with him, which he did for the remainder of his stay. He commuted by train two days a week to Osaka where he spent six months teaching English to Japanese businessmen. Deciding it was time to move on, he left on a ship from Yokohama, Japan, and traveled to Singapore (stopping in Hong Kong to explore with two Japanese men he’d met on the ship). From there he continued by ship to India. He went overland across India, but could not get to his destination in Pakistan because of their war and fighting with India, so he flew to Afghanistan, where he visited a family friend, Dave Mort, who was mapping the area for canals for an American company. After a week he traveled by bus over the Khyber Pass to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he was met by his mom and her husband (Beth and Al). Al was an American engineer, supervising the work on the Tarbela Dam. Dan lived in Pakistan for 6 months, traveling the length of it by car twice. He went overland back through Afghanistan by bus and then by train across Iran to Turkey. He became deathly ill in Istanbul. He remembers hearing the other hippies in the hostel discussing dividing up his possessions, because they were so sure he was going to die! He recovered because he was able to make his way to a nearby pharmacy where he purchased penicillin over the counter. He went by bus to Izmir then across the Aegean Sea to Thessaloniki,Greece. He traveled overland across Greece to Igoumenitsa on west coast, where he caught a ferry to Brindisi,Italy. He hitchhiked to Rome, Florence, and Milan, spending time in each city. He hitchhiked because he was running out of money and because hitchhiking was safe in Italy in those days. He hitchhiked across France and took the ferry to Dover,England. He arranged for a flight out of Heathrow Airport in London, but had to kill two weeks so hitchhiked around England, visiting Stonehenge, sleeping in parks. One early morning he heard a firm, “You can’t sleep here, mate!” from an amused bobby, and he happily moved on, after his good night’s rest. He landed in NewYork, hitchhiked across the US and arrived in Reno with 25 cents. He used a dime to called his dad on the payphone to pick him up. Walking those last few miles just wasn’t happening!
After a short and sweet honeymoon in Santa Barbara, and time with my family, we returned to the little brick house in Reno. We continued attending our church, and Dottie organized a wonderful wedding reception for us in a park. Dan worked at his construction job, and we prepared for our adventure. After a few weeks, I began to feel symptoms of pregnancy! When I went to see my MD, he calculated that I had become pregnant on the third day of the honeymoon. We were ecstatic. We had given our family planning to the Lord, and His grace flowed to us to celebrate.
My mother, Grayce, felt we should change our plans and not go overseas. She was concerned that since I was 33, I might have a high-risk pregnancy and might not be able to find a doctor I could communicate with. Being a worrier myself, I took her seriously. Continue reading “32- Stay Home and Be Safe or Forge Ahead”→
This story is back in sequence. It takes place the summer after I went to Europe with Rory.
Traveling in Europe had been such a great adventure, I wanted to go again. My sister Marsha was married and settled in with her husband and son, but my little sister, Connie, was just out of high school and glad to accompany me. It was 1972; I was 26 and she was 18. We planned to travel with backpacks and use public transportation. I was cavalier – “no problem, stick with me, kiddo!” I was the seasoned European traveler. She trusted me and our parents trusted me.
Transatlantic charter flights were inexpensive so that travel was affordable to the middle class. College students and hippies did not mind that the seating was crowded and cramped and that the plane was noisy and the food minimal. Everyone had their paperback copy of Europe on $5 a Day. It was a bare bones travel guide that covered the main cities of Europe listing budget-priced hotels and youth hostels, and inexpensive pubs and restaurants. There was advice about using the subways, trains, and other public transportation, as well as hints on ways to save money. Continue reading “15-Summer in Europe with Connie”→