Thank you so much for your prayers. A few weeks ago, I sent out a “Special Prayers Needed” email informing you that I was going to lead a short biblical devotional during the memorial service at the Crystal City Internment Camp Pilgrimage.
I wanted to share a brief update about the weekend. There were over 130 people in attendance: there were several survivors from the camp, a few community dignitaries, researchers, but mostly descendants of interned family members. There was even a contingent of descendants of Japanese from Peru who were unjustly deported and sent to the U.S.
In addition to the Japanese from the U.S., there were 1,500 Latin American Japanese confined in Crystal City during the war, almost 80% came from Peru. The “Peru-Kai” hosted one of our evening’s entertainment.
I met so many people who were connected to our family in one way or another. If I were to give an overview of those connections, this would be a very long prayer letter! You can ask me later!
For me, it was especially fun to have a former incarceree, Moto Kubota who was born in camp, share his family stories as he traveled with Mika and me. Moto and I go to the same church and it is quite possible that my father, who worked in the Crystal City Hospital, took care of him or his mother after he was born.
THE MEMORIAL SERVICE
The focal point of the Pilgrimage, was to be able to participate in the interfaith memorial service to remember those who died in camp. I participated in the service with two highly respected Buddhist ministers, Rev. Dr. Duncan Ryuken Williams (Soto Zen) and Rev. Ronald Kobata (Jodo Shinshu).
Being potentially the only Christian minister who is a descendant from Crystal City, I was able to briefly share about my grandfather’s history. It turns out that he was a ‘No-No Boy” and spoke out against serving in the military while being unjustly incarcerated. He was then sent from a civilian (WRA) managed camp, to an Army camp run by the Department of Justice before being sent to Crystal City Internment Camp.
My message centered around grace and forgiveness through Christ, and I told the story about Joseph from a“historical ancient text.” (Genesis 50)
This is what Joseph said…
“You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.” (Gen 50:20 NIV)
And before the closing benediction, I said “The only way to see that good can come out of this tragic part of history is to be mindful of grace. Only by grace we are forgiven. By grace we can forgive.”
I trust the Lord was honored through Bible centric teaching, in the midst of a traditional Buddhist service. I had several people comment that they appreciate the message and having a Christian minister participate in the service.
Please pray for seeds that were planted to grow into a relationship with the almighty Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers and support that enable me to bring the hope and light of Christ into creative places in the community.
In His Service,