On March 28, 1947, Mom and Dad (Helen and Walter Jespersen) sailed from San Francisco, California to Shanghai, China. They were accompanied by their daughter, Margaret (now my wife), who was 1 ½ years of age, and her sister, Carol, three months old.
The ship was crowded with passengers and everyone slept dormitory style; with men in one section of the ship and women in another.
The communist were on the move in China and there was much concern. In fact, the communists took over the complete country in 1949. Mom and Dad, along with two more children (Dave and Linda), left China in 1951after being held by the communists under house arrest for over one year.
On the morning they left from San Francisco to Shanghai, Mom and Dad read the following from the “Daily Light” scriptural devotional booklet.
Even today, at 99 years-of-age, Dad remembers what a great encouragement the following scripture was when he took his little family and sailed into danger.
March 28 (from Daily Light)
Be strong and courageous!
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?― He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.― What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?― The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?― Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.―
Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. “Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.”
Joshua 1:8; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 40:29-31; Psalm 73:26; Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6, 44:5; Romans 8:37; 1 Chronicles 22:16 (nasb)