Charles and Cora Keith Warren
My grandparents, Charles and Cora Keith Warren returned to the U.S. just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Their many Japanese friends tried, but could not convince the government that they were truly peace-loving foreigners even though they had given 40 plus years of their lives as missionaries and were loved by the Japanese. How could they continue to answer God’s call? They moved to Seattle the summer of 1941 and found a mission, right in their midst!
Charles and Cora had met and married in 1899. My mother, Jean was the third of their four children. Grandfather Charles became fluent in Japanese by taking lessons form a Shinto priest every morning five times a week throughout most of their time they were in Japan. His pastoral message was always inclusive and appreciative of the culture. Grandmother Cora founded a “kindergarten” (elementary school) for girls including those with blindness and other disabilities.
They were deeply touched when they found how much was confiscated by others when the Japanese of Seattle were forced into internment camps. Because they cared so much, they came up with the idea of helping them place their lands and homes in the safe hands of others to guard until the Japanese could return. This brought peace and hope to the deported and gave my grandparents satisfaction to still be used by God.
As a four year old, I first met them in their tiny apartment in Salt Lake City. They had followed the Japanese who had moved there and continued to serve in Utah as peace-making-go-betweens with them and the wider community.
When the war ended, they came to live near us in Pasadena. Because of their influence and my parents’ deep appreciation for things Japanese and the cause for peace, I dressed as the folk figure “Momotaro” for Halloween. Our neighbors, both children and parents, treated me with ridicule. But, that prepared me for the outpouring of anger the following year when my parents sold our home to an African American family. I learned even more deeply that actions of peace and justice were often uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous.
I learned even more deeply that actions of peace and justice were often uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous
In 1949, exhausted but unbowed from their long service as teaching missionaries of God’s grace and peace in Japan they entered Pilgrim Place. Later, my parents, Felix and Jean Manley, came to Pilgrim Place. Now my wife, Judy and I are Pilgrims, too.
– Jim Manley