On the way home, hungry, tired, and a bit sooty, we talked about the day and Elijah said, “I’m kind of excited to see what God has in store for us. He wouldn’t just take half of our business away without having something in mind.” — by Brenda Kaneshiro


On August 28th of this year we were watching the Anger Resolution DVD series by Bill Gothard for our morning worship and part of our homeschool program. On this day, he gave an example of a man who lost his business, put these principles to practice, and within a day or two got not only his business back, but more.

Mr. Gothard gave an acronym to use to remember the principles. In short, here it is: When you are faced with a trial (great or small) remember to be GREAT.

  • G ive thanks immediately! You don’t have to know why or really feel thankful, just give thanks knowing that God has a purpose for everything.
  • R ejoice in all things. This is where you begin looking for possible benefits like teaching a lesson, drawing you closer to God, putting someone specific in your path, etc.
  • E ngraft Scripture. Romans 8:28 is good for this one, but you can also apply one that fits your situation.
  • A sk God to give you added grace to get through. Realize that He wants you to succeed and be happy and healthy. It takes a good character, and this is sometimes what it takes to develop our character.
  • T riumph in the victory! When you follow the prior steps, you will triumph and know it was God’s victory in you!

So, we learned this, and I gave it to the children in the children’s story the following day at church. As we were there in the church service, we saw a fire engine race past the church with its siren on. After church, we could see smoke coming from the hills behind the hospital. By the end of lunch, the fire had gotten bigger. On our way home that evening, we stopped by one of our apiary sites that was within 3 miles of the fire to see if it might be in danger. We had 33 of our oldest and strongest hives there. That was about half of our production hives. We drove in, and it was apparent that the fire was moving in the other direction. We asked one of the neighboring residents to call us if anything changed, and then we went home.

The Kaneshiro FamilyAt 5:00 the next morning on Sunday, August 30, we got a call from the neighbor saying the wind had changed, and our bees may be in danger. We woke the children, got everyone dressed and in our bee suits and jumped in the truck to race to the apiary which was about 30 minutes away. On the way there, we discussed how we had given those bees as well as our other assets to God. We reminded each other that He is the one who has blessed our business, and He can remove the bees if it seems best to Him.

When we arrived, it was obvious that the bees would soon be in the path of the fire. There was no time to move them all. Each of the 33 colonies weighed an average of 300 pounds! We had to make a quick decision. We could save a few. Maybe we had enough time to load 4 or 5 onto the truck and get out, but the problem would be with the rest of the bees. There were approximately 1.5 million bees in that apiary. As soon as the fire would approach the hives, the bees would fly out. The only clear airpath for them was right into the line of residential homes where the occupants and firemen were already working to put out the fire. One neighbor in particular is deathly allergic to bee stings. This could possibly create a bigger disaster than the fire.

The only thing to do was to take the minutes we had to close the entrance of each hive to make sure the bees did not fly out. We broke into teams. Father and Mother got busy using duct tape to close up the entrances on one side of the apiary, Elijah and Tabitha teamed up to tape up the entrances of the hives on the other side of the apiary, and Elisabeth and Esther stood in the back of the truck watching the fire closely and letting us know how close it was getting.

The FirePretty soon, both Elisabeth and Esther were all excited telling us we needed to leave now! We could feel the heat, and the flames were big, loud and close. We had to get out while we could. We drove around to the street and helped one of the homeowners keep the fire from his house. We used hoses, wet towels and sheets, and shovels. Every once in awhile we would see a cloud of black smoke go up. It was another hive going up in flames. The water carrying helicopters came over us with their buckets and dumped as much water as fast as they could on the residences. We were so thankful that none of the houses got burned, and no one got stung, even though the fire burned over 8000 acres with 17 fingers to monitor at the same time.

The AftermathWhen it was over, all that was left of our bee hives were little piles of nails and metal queen excluders where each hive had been. As we walked through, we remembered the people whose homes each of those hives came from when we removed them as wild bees. We thought of all the honey we had harvested at this site, and how blessed we had been.

On the way home, hungry, tired, and a bit sooty, we talked about the day and Elijah said, “I’m kind of excited to see what God has in store for us. He wouldn’t just take half of our business away without having something in mind.” Tabitha said, “Well, we don’t have to move those bees any more or harvest their honey.”

Sure enough, a few days later on September 3, we were invited to speak at a retreat in Canada. We had been asked earlier during the summer, but we declined because we knew at this time we would be busy harvesting honey and moving bees. Now we had only a few weeks to get our talks ready and get passports and tickets, but God blessed, and we had a wonderful time! Those people in Canada told us the things we presented were just what they needed to hear.

We just arrived back home two days ago, and God is still blessing. Now we’re just arranging for a new account with a large order. Praise God, He is so good! When the children have a disagreement between them or we’re tempted to feel like we’ve been wronged, we can look back and remember, “Oh, G-R-E-A-T!!”


The entirety of this condensed article was originally published in the Utmost Way Magazine: http://www.utmostway.com/current/the-g-r-e-a-t-fire