Monday, April 5, 2010

America My Land

At our senior home, we have a 104-year-old woman named T-san. She and I have worked together to write her autobiography for the past 2 years. Finally, it was completed a few days ago. The book was written by me, but was told to me by T-san. This book was written in both Japanese and English.

My compositions are not rhetorical even in the Japanese parts. However, for T-san’s descendants, this book contains enough information to trace their roots back in Japan. I think that if we were to take more time we would find more interesting stories, but we must finish up now, in deference to her age.

This cover photo was taken when T-san was 21 years old , 3 years after her first arrival to America in 1924.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I have friends, Ana and John, a Christian couple, who are old friends. They live in San Francisco. About a decade ago, I guess Ana saw our newspaper ad and called me saying "Please visit my parents in San Jose. They are Japanese. They don't know Jesus". So I visited Ana's parents, Rick and Nancy. Actually they are Nisei (second generation Japanese-Americans), but Nancy especially spoke Japanese with no accent. Nancy soon accepted Jesus and went home to be with the Lord about 8 years ago.

Then Rick sold his house and moved into his daughter's house in San Francisco. Ana sometimes would call me and ask for prayer for Rick's salvation. Rick had never confessed his faith in Jesus. A while after Rick moved to San Francisco, he entered a skilled nursing facility in San Francisco's Japantown.

Recently, I received a phone call from Ana, so Cynthia and I visited Rick. This time we were accompanied by T-san, the 103 year old lady.

We found out that Rick is now a Christian. Ana and John were there too. I introduced T-san to them. They were so surprised upon learning T-san's age, even though Rick was 97.

Actually Rick was under hospice care. I think he will pass soon. However, I asked him, "Rick, do you remember me? I am the Japanese pastor, Abe Ishihara. I used to visit your home in San Jose. Your wife was still alive in those days." Then it seemed he remembered me.

T-san was great. She spoke to Rick, "You are only 97 years old. You are younger than I. Gambare, gambare! (Have confidence to live!)"

I mentioned T-san's salvation to Ana and John. They were quite amazed.

We were at peace knowing these seniors are under the care of our Lord Jesus.

On our return, we went to San Francisco Japantown and had fellowship with some coffee and cake. It was another wonderful day.

(Photo: at San Francisico J-town with Ana, John and T-san)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tsan Baptized

Our 103 year old T-san was baptized last Sunday. Our home is Christian-oriented as we have stated. However, participating in all religious activities are on a voluntary basis. As a pastor, I think that residents' spiritual care is also very important. Recently around us a couple of people have passed away, so even a 103 year old lady might feel something heavenly drawing her in.

She accepted Jesus as her Savior, so I baptized her.


In San Jose, we have a Japanese American Community Senior Service called Yuai-Kai.

Our seniors usually go to Yuai-Kai twice a week. However, our 103 year old lady T-san recently does not want to go anymore because most of her friends have already passed.

Last week our church hosted Japanese musicians, Miho Yoshimura, a renowned soprano singer and Kazuko Chen, a talented pianist. We asked them to perform at Yuai-Kai so they did. In front of about 30 seniors, Miho sang and Kazuko played the piano. The seniors enjoyed the performance very much.

I asked T-san, "Why don't you go as well?" so she also went to the Yuai-Kai concert. Others were also glad to see T-san.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cynthia's mom is now with the Lord

( Abe and Cynnthia singing hymns for most of the attendees who are not Christians, Tama & Isao's wedding, 1939, Tama & Isao's 70th anniversary 2009)

At the end of January, Tama, Cynthia's mom, had a stroke and had been in the hospital all of February. However, she went home to be with the Lord on March 1, 2010. We immediately left for Japan so I could officiate her funeral. Tama and Isao, Cynthia's father had their 70th wonderful wedding anniversary last year. For us they are a model couple. Isao, after losing his lovely wife, needs lots of comfort though, although his greatest need is His salvation. Her funeral was conducted at Shinohara Assembly of God. Over 150 people gathered together but most were non-Christians. My mother-in-law gave me the best opportunity to preach through her death. I simply preached an evangelical sermon. In Japan, usually there are two times to preach because they not only have a funeral service but also an 'eve of funeral' service. I spoke about resurrection and the cross. I knew some of the attendees wouldn't like these messages, but I still gave them. I think that for many, it was the first time to hear the Gospel directly. I think even in Tama's passing God was able to be glorified.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

103 year old woman Kakizome (Japanese calligraphy)

Look at this! A 103 year old woman did Japanese calligraphy on this New Year's Day. I have a license to teach calligraphy.

Mexican Church needs a new (used) keyboard.

Food program & Mexican Church
We've been helping a tiny Mexican church since 1993. This week we went there and helped their feeding program. Then we found out they need a new (used is ok) piano keyboard. They like to sing and dance during their services, but their very old keyboard has been broken for a month. Please help them have a new keyboard. Maybe we can buy a used one and give it to them if we have several hundred dollars. If you can give, please send us checks, we will do it immediately.