The War Is Over . . . Koichi and Nana Are Married
When Koichi and Nana first met or when they were married, I'm not sure. I am pretty sure their meeting had to do with the School, but she's younger than he. They felt God leading them to plant a Church in Kyoto. Kyoto was an ancient capital city of Japan. It is also the seat of the Shinto religion.
Nana was pregnant with her first child. They were walking along the street looking for an apartment. They passed several, but the land lords were reluctant to rent to Christians. Koichi had some tools along and when he saw a rather rundown property, he stopped to repair the sagging gate and broken hing of an old fence. An old woman came from the house to ask what he was doing and why. He explained he saw the need and wanted to help because he was a Christian. She had never heard of this kind of behavior.
The lady had been unable to make the repairs due to little income and the long illness of her husband. He asked to meet her husband. There he lay on the mat. His legs stuck out like stiff chop sticks. The old fellow had lain like that for forty years and now he was almost stone deaf. Koichi shouted to him the story of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He believed God for salvation and began rejoicing in the Lord. When Koichi prayed for his healing, his hearing was restored. Koichi took him by his hands and lifted him up onto his feet. The old man's ankles, knees and hips began to work and he started jumping around. The couple happily rented a room to Nana and Koichi.
When Koichi asked why they were willing to rent to Christians, the old lady said, "We have prayed to our gods for forty years, they never gave help and took all our money." The Yamamoto's were running out of money and had very little food. They were singing and praying for God to guide and help. Nana's labor began and when the little malnourished boy was born, he was in trouble. Koichi wrapped him in a blanket and ran to the nearest doctor. Because they were Christians, no doctor would help. At his last chance doctor the answer was also, "No." As he turned to return to the little room, the little laddie died. With a breaking heart and the huge question of WHY? he walked back home.
The old lady said, "You were singing all day, we had no idea you had no food." Koichi got some pieces of wood, built a little coffin, made a cross and announced the funeral. When forty teens showed up for the funeral, Koichi preached and most or all those kids got saved. The teenagers wanted to carry the coffin and the cross to lead the way, but the cemetery would not allow the burial of a Christian. I think they were finally able to bury him on a mountain side.
Now it was known that the Christians had come to town. The challenge took place in the big courtyard of the great Shinto Temple. Koichi was there with a hundred Shinto Priest. I don't know how the challenge developed, but Koichi declared that God could light the gable end of the Temple on fire, there one hundred feet above the ground. While they watched, it began to blaze. Before the fire department could go into action, the hundreds of years old Temple burned a third to a half to the ground.
Not long after, the Lord's direction was to study at Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Oklahoma. They still had very little money and not much food. When they were ready to take the train out of Kyoto, an old man they had met, gave them a bushel of boiled eggs for the trip. What a great gift for hungry tummies. As they rode along they cracked and ate eggs.
When they arrived in Tokyo, they told the missionary of their calling to study in America. Of course, he wanted to know if they had enough money for the trip. Koichi - "No, we don't have any." Missionary - "Then, how are you going to get there?" Koichi - "We'll go to the end of the dock in Yokohama and if we don't have the ticket, we'll just step onto the water and walk across."
They continued on the train with their boiled eggs. But O they were beginning to smell like sulfur. They were giving them away every chance they had. Nearing the coast, they got off the train for the night. There they saw a Revival Tent and decided to attend the meeting. When the service ended they started out of the tent. The Missionary lady came rushing after them. She wondered who they were and where they might be going. She rejoiced when they told of their intention to study for the ministry in the United States. Her friend in the States had sent a letter. The message told of the young American whose husband had died in the war with Japan. She had received the widow's insurance payment. So enclosed was her tithe money from that payment. She designated it be given to some young Japanese pastor for further studies in the States.
With the miraculous gift they bought tickets for Los Angeles. Arriving there, they were virtually money free again.