July 15, 1969 >We had no telephone and when I tried to get one I was told I would have to buy stock in the company which was very expensive and required at least a 2-year wait. We had to go to a neighbor and use his phone and he would have to come to our place if we got a message. I prayed and reminded the Lord that we were here to be a Gospel witness and a phone was very important if we needed to contact family in the USA or if they needed to get in touch with us. I said that it was a burden for our heathen neighbors to have to come to our place especially in the dark and sometimes in stormy weather.
Japan is ahead by 13 hours EST in America. I had a .22 rifle, one of the few in Japan, and the neighbors wanted me to help them by shooting the crows around our place because they were stealing their fish that were drying on wooden racks. They were even boldly attacking women as they carried their groceries in shopping bags. I was glad to comply and shot crows around our house when I was outside reading or working. The kids would run and get them and some times when they fell in the ocean they would wade out and retrieve them. The neighbors offered to buy a dead crow so they could hang them up to scare the others away.
One day when I was shooting at them above my house I shot one off a telephone wire, but the bullet made a funny sound. Soon after that a group of men in suits came to our door and asked if I had been shooting above the house. I was the only one in the area with a gun so they knew right where to come. I told them I was shooting in that direction and pointed to the area where I had heard a strange sounding shot. They said they were glad I was honest and they would be able to repair the telephone wire I had shot through quickly since I told them where it was.
I found that "Quickly" was 3 full days that a repairman hung up in a bucket about 150 feet in the air splicing wires together, and I prayed that he would not fall out of his bucket! Ten thousand people from a near-by town had no phone service during that time!
After the phone service was restored the men came back and the man in charge of the phone company spoke to me in fluent English. He said that ordinarily they would expect compensation but since I was honest about it I would not have to pay anything. He politely asked if there was anything he could do for me? I told him about the 2-years waiting time it would take me to get a phone. Then he said in clear English, "Maybe God brought this about." He said he would like to come to our church services. He and his wife began to attend our Sunday services, but that soon ended when he was transferred to a large company in N.Y. City.
On November 14th I received a contract with stock in the company with a new phone! It turned out that the reason a man of his standing was in an isolated place like Rumoi was that he had lied in his job application and his punishment was to be sent here to serve for a few months’ time. On September 19 I had a long talk him. His father was the head of the largest Buddhist temple in Japan. Truly the Lord works in mysterious ways in answering our prayers!
Several years later the town decided to offer about a dollar for every crow we killed. Marlene and one of our boys took the first basketful to the town hall. A man in a suit put on a pair of gloves and gingerly took them out and counted them. When he paid her he shyly said, "Next time just bring the legs."
Soon after that I was called into the police station and the police chief, who had become a friend of mine, regretfully informed me that a new law was passed and all .22 rifles in Japan had to be surrendered to the police. The reason given was that they didn't make a loud noise when fired and could easily be used in a murder. I didn't turn mine in until a year later. He was patient with me.