Dear Children, Grandchildren, and Friends,
Here is another chapter from the book I am writing.TWO NEW YORK COLLEGE PROFESSORS VISIT US IN REUKE
From my diary July 26-28, 1975
We had a call from a town official that there were two tourists in town who wanted to meet us. We picked them up and brought them home and had a very interesting time with them.
Mom wrote to her parents about them and their visit:
"Ellis and Mary Blade are very unusual, intelligent people in their 60s. They live in the center of New York City in a 17th-floor apartment during the week where their work is close at hand. She, a university mechanical drawing and engineering professor, he a mathematician presently in the field of making up computer programs in connection with the air pollution problem. She is one of only two or three women in this same field in the United States. They have no children and so their lives are wrapped up in their careers and varied interests—music, art, etc., and traveling. They flee to the country on weekends where they rent a home beyond the sidewalks. They are the type of people that make you feel that you've known them all their lives. We were laughing and chattering away before they were barely in the house. We feel that their hearts were touched and moved because of some of the last comments they made. He told Ron that his sermon was the highlight of his visit and said that 4,000 people should have been here to hear it. She told me that she was very thankful for our help, especially spiritually. We witnessed to them straight and of course they also got it in our family devotions, church, and just being here with us."
The Blades spend their summers traveling to various countries around the world. They hike, climb mountains, and engage in outdoor activities. They told us that a week ago they were climbing a mountain on the Shiretoko Peninsula on the eastern side of Hokkaido when they came to a sign in English that told them the mountain was closed! Our dear friend Kamidate-san who lives over there met them at an inn where he picks up and delivers laundry. He speaks little English but was able to get across to them that the Hokkaido bears, which closely resemble our grizzlies, are coming out of hibernation and are a danger to mountain climbers.
Kamidate-san was also able to get across to them that he had a church in town and invited them to his services the next day. Dr. Blade described to us their reaction to the invitation. "I said to my wife, 'We haven't been to church in years and here a heathen Japanese boy invites us to his church. We should give it a try.'"
They made arrangements to be picked up the next morning at the train station. When it was Kamidate-san the pastor himself who came for them, they were surprised thinking that he would surely have someone else do the job. (Kamidate-san was just beginning a ministry there in his home city and didn't yet have a faithful group of believers.)
They then told us that when they went inside Kamidate's "home church" they waited for the congregation to arrive. After a few moments Dr. Blade said to his wife, "The church must be us." Kamidate San put a tape on the cassette player and they heard a sermon by Pastor David Yearick on the "Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin."
You see, Hampton Park Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, had been sending us monthly financial support and tapes of the pastor's weekly sermon. I had passed them on to Kamidate-san to listen to as a help in learning English.
Kamidate-san had called us, tried to explain about the Blades, and let us know that he had recommended that they meet us, thus precipitating their visiting us. He was anxious for them to hear the Gospel clearly from us.
They were a unique couple to say the least. They slept in one of our tatami-floor rooms. They were amusing. We got a kick out of how they told the above story. On Sunday they attended our services which we held in our home. I preached in both Japanese and English for their benefit. After our family evening service he surprised us by telling us that he knew the hymn we sang— "Yesterday, Today, Forever"—and he quoted the reference to the Bible verse for that hymn. Then he told us that his parents had been missionaries to the Mormons in Utah.
The next day when I took them to the train station where they were going to tour an island from which Russian islands could be seen (one which we had evangelized with Bibles and tracts), they told me that the best part of their trip that summer was the time they spent in our home. We prayed that God's Word would continue to work in their hearts. For a few years we kept in touch at Christmas time.
Note: Here is the link to some information we found about Mary Blade on the internet today: