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Jiro’s Dream

Photo by Kanko*

Photo by Kanko*

By Wendy Choy-Chan

Last night, I watched a documentary about an  85-year-old Japanese sushi chef, Jiro. He has worked non-stop for 75 years, from being an apprentice to running his own sushi restaurant, doing the same routine day in and day out.  What keeps him going?

At the beginning, it was work or nothing. There was no other choice for him, no school or even a home to go back to.  I could sense his dedication in making sushi and running his restaurant in this interview.   It was like watching an artist perform on stage with the movements of his hands and the expression on his face.  He takes rice, fish, wasabi and molds them into pieces of edible art.  What is his secret?

It is his dreams. He explained in the documentary that he would come up with new sushi recipes in his dreams.  When he woke up, he wrote them down and brought his ideas to work.  In his restaurant, he would then re-create the sushi from his dream.  For Jiro, his dreams are important, not only to give him new ideas for his sushi menu, but they are also a big part of what gives him energy and motivation to get up in the morning and go to work.  It is an expression of his passion to make better and better sushi, to bring enjoyment to his customers, and to raise up the next generation of sushi chefs by passing his skills (and his passion) to his apprentices.

Everyday, after Jiro finishes working in his restaurant and heads home, he looks forward to getting some rest and no doubt, dreaming of creating new sushi recipes.  And tomorrow, he will get up and do the same routine as he did today.  And I bet, his passion will not be any less than today’s.

Sometimes, as I am going through yet another deck of flashcards for Hebrew class, I too wonder if I have the stamina to go on – Is there any more space in my brain for more Hebrew vocabulary?  As I am studying for my degree parttime, sometimes it feels I have been in school forever – week after week, quarter after quarter, year after year.

And then I remember, I too have woken up from dreams, feeling elated — like a dream in which I was teaching Bible seminars, or another dream — I remember quite vividly — in which I met Abraham in the Holy Land, and I spoke with him in Greek (that was before I learned Hebrew and only knew Greek, so maybe next time, I will speak to him in Hebrew!).

Jiro’s story reminded me of my dreams — that I still wake up smiling after one of those dreams, and that I do have the energy and motivation to tackle my flashcards or my paper research, knowing that I am pursuing my passion.  It is good to rest and dream a bit — whether to literally take a nap and dream, or just to pause and remind myself of the dream that God has put in my heart, to study His Word through which to get to know Him more.

Wendy Choy-Chan came to North America from Hong Kong when she was 15.  She is now a full-time mom and part-time student at Fuller Northwest studying for her MA in Theology.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Seattle, WA.

Meditation

Photo by Kenny Loule

Photo by Kenny Loule

By Tina Teng-Henson

Psalm 131 

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

Continue Reading »

Photo by Steve wilson

Photo by Steve wilson

By Liz Chang

Only recently have I become quick to notice the number (read, lack) of people who look like me at conferences and professional events. At the most recent professional conference I attended for work, I spotted no more than three or four Asian Americans out of over 300 people present. Continue Reading »

Photo by Luigi Morante

Photo by Luigi Morante

By Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

When I started managing Chinese National employees while living in the industrial city of Shenzhen, China, the biggest challenge to my cross-cultural relationships was not language, as I expected it to be. Nor was it my ignorance of Chinese labor law or typical business practices. It was, to my great surprise, the concept of face. Continue Reading »

Running the Race

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie

Photo by Josiah Mackenzie

By Jerrica Ching

On Saturday, October 4th, I ran a 5K in Portland.  Three months before this run I had told myself that I would run every single day to build up my stamina and to ensure that I would not burn out for the actual race.  Continue Reading »

Photo by Marcie Casas

Photo by Marcie Casas

By Melanie Mar Chow

In 1977, as a college student, the Lord had grasped my attention about what it means to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind…” and more.    Though I was my grandmother’s constant companion to church at a young age, I rededicated my life to Jesus in my latter high school years, and sought to serve and follow Him to the best of my capability.

During college, I participated in several campus ministry activities and went through a personal call to leave my grandmother’s church and then attend the church of my great-grandmother.  Continue Reading »

Warrior in Pink CoverBy Vivian Mabuni

When I finally made it home, I headed straight to our bedroom. I lay on the bed, pulled the covers over me, and closed my eyes. I tried to rest, but my mind couldn’t settle. My prayer in the food court about letting people in came to mind. I found myself at the same crossroads of deciding whether to muster up self-sufficient strength and go all Christian Rambo—just me and Jesus—or take the braver route to open my heart and let people into my fear. My Asian heritage and cultural value of “don’t rock the boat” or “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” amplified my struggle of not wanting to bother people with my problems. I saw this dynamic played out over and over with my family and my Asian friends. One friend tweaked her back so badly she could barely walk. We had planned to have people over for a luncheon. I suggested we order out for pizza so she could rest.
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