This excerpt is part of Nobuko Lillian Omi’s story included in the Nisei Christian Oral History Project, book 2, page 100. At the onset of the US involvement in WWII, the Japanese and Japanese Americans on the US West Coast were removed from their homes, put into “Assembly Centers” (read: horse stables and rustic cabins at fairgrounds and rodeo grounds) before being transported and contained at “Evacuation Camps” (read: incarcerated at US prision camps in violation of their civil rights). In this personal history, the inteviewee was held at the Santa Anita Raceway “Assembly Center” in Southern California, and at the WRA Camp at Jerome, AK.
Nisei Christian Journey –its promise and fulfillment
1988: Nisei Christina Oral History Project,
page 100, Nobuko Lillian Omi:
“I’ll always remember when Stanley Jones came to speak to us at Santa Anita. He talked about the eagle in Isaiah 40:31 and our experience. He said, “Don’t let this experience destroy you. Use it like an eagle to lift yourselves up. The eagle doesn’t go against the storm clouds, it uses them to rise higher, giving it strength and this is what you people will have to do so you won’t be destroyed.: That has always remained with me and I passed this story to the parents in the Parent Teachers Association in Jerome. I would tell them what Stanley Jones had said to use this experience to rise above, so that everyone would be better than before.
“I felt that God went with us and didn’t desert us. As for our church, we could always build another one. I felt that there was a wall between American (White) churches and the ethnic churches, that we were deserted at a crucial time.”