Oct.9, 2022: Worship Service Testimony Series No.17  The Lord's Blessing Abroad, Argentina (3) "The Joy of Being Together"


1 Corinthians 12:26-27
”If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”



Not long after I arrived in Argentina, we were invited to dinner by a couple who attended a service at a Baptist church. They were Adrián and Bambina, a young couple who had just gotten married. My husband's mother had accompanied us when we were assigned there, so all our family went out together. We were very happy because we did not have any close friends yet.


Their church had many young people, and although we did not understand Spanish well, we sometimes attended their prayer meetings. One of them was Ruben, a young man with severe physical disabilities, who was very much cared for by everyone.


His wooden wheelchair was made by his fellow youth and had been broken.

Adrien and Bambina asked us if we could help him because they wanted to raise money together to buy a new wheelchair. However, they did not want a regular wheelchair, the wanted to get him an electric wheelchair.  We hesitated because it was made in Germany and its cost was about $4,000.  When we asked them why he didn't want an ordinary wheelchair, they replied that Reuben's long-held dream was to operate a wheelchair by himself, even if it was just once without the help of others. I could understand that anyone would want that.


It was made in Germany, so we were concerned about whether it would be repairable in Brazil if it broke down. Their desire was strong and we decided to collect money to support the project anyway and made a final decision.


When I mentioned this to a Japanese mother whose son attends the American School, she immediately agreed and said she would talk to her Japanese friends if they could help. She was a good cook, especially with cakes, so she came up with the idea of having someone from the Japanese school buy the cakes.

And another lady, an embassy staff member, was as good as a professional baker making homemade bread. She helped to make bread and donate the proceeds to us.


Michio had learned to play the Quena, and his teacher was also going to give a free concert. Another teacher of Charango also helped us.

Vertical flutes originated in Peru and Bolivia.


A stringed instrument of 40 to 60 cm in length is used in folk music and folklore around the Andes region of South America. Originally developed from the vihuela de mano, a predecessor of the guitar brought by the Spanish in the 16th century, it is estimated to have originated in the northern region of Potosi, Bolivia.


A Japanese pianist, who was there as a volunteer (JOCV), was fascinated by the harp called Arpa of South America and she had studied it. I had learned the Arpa from her. She also helped us. Center is the Charango Teacher Ms Maria and paeron sitting on Wheel Chair is Mr. Ruben.


Quena: Our teacher Mr. Raul Plarte

Arpa:Ms Yoriko Hirayama

Ms Hirayama's latest concert:https://www.odette.or.jp/seishunkan/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/11.3%E3%81%B2%E3%82%89%E3%82%84%E3%81%BE%E3%82%88%E3%82%8A%E3%81%93%E3%82%B3%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B5%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88%E3%81%A1%E3%82%89%E


The harp is called Arpa in Spanish.

It is a popular instrument in Latin America and is also played in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and other countries. The Paraguayan Arpa is particularly popular for its perfection as an instrument, beautiful tone, and gorgeous repertoire. This Arpa was ordered and brought from Paraguay by Michio.

Students of Mr. Raul played " El Condor Pasa!"


A third-generation Japanese who owned a Chinese restaurant also offered us special tickets. We rented the restaurant for the night and donated its proceeds.


The wife of the Minister to Brazil of the Japanese Embassy also donated a bonsai tree that she had grown. We also collected used clothes and other items for a bazaar.


One day, a lawyer who ran a facility for the disabled invited our family to dinner at their home. He invited my family to their villa.

They had a large farm where people can play games like Polo.  Our sons were learning to ride horses, so that day we enjoyed riding horses in the field.


Note: Polo
It is a kind of ice hockey played while riding horses. Each team usually consists of four members, who ride horses and hit a ball with sticks called mallets. The ball is scored when it reaches the opposing team's goal.


Then I got an idea! I told Michio about the possibility of renting this place for one day and selling tickets for BBQ and horseback riding.

I expected to cost a fortune. He was surprised to hear this idea but asked about the possibility of doing this with the lawyer. The lawyer said that he could not make the decision on his own and that he would hold a family meeting to discuss our desires.


We prayed daily for God to make this happen.

 A week later, He called us, and not only did he  allow us to rent the place but also suggested that he can donate luxury items like a lottery.  We sold a ticket each for $25 for the proceeds. It was truly an amazing miracle.


I told Japanese people about this plan and decided on a low price of $15 per ticket for horseback riding with BBQ. I was sure that there would be a large turnout. However, I was disappointed to find that only 15 people showed up.

This would not a very profitable business, butwe were determined to do this fundraising even if the number of people was small because God had made it possible. After a little bit though more people started to show up, and I can’t remember the exact number, but with two large buses we got were not big enough, so we had to ask some people to drive themselves.


We bought a lot of BBQ meat at a cheap market with some ladies who volunteered to help us. We gave the tickets to Reuben and his fellow young men.

The men from the farm built a fire and cooked the meat for us, and we enjoyed it with them and they helped everyone to ride the horses.


The total donation was so far $3,000. We were so grateful.


However, we were still short $1,000. Then a problem arose.

One of the Japanese volunteers complained to us, "We work so hard as volunteers, but those Argentinean youths just stand by and watch. Why is that? If this is the case, I can't help anymore.” We thought what she told us was true. I thought that since they were really poor, we could not ask them for anything.

However, this meant that there was no cooperation or sense of unity between those who donated and those who received. We realized that we were in the wrong, so we mentioned this to Adrienne and Bambina. They listened to us in silence, but seemed to understand and said they would tell their friends.


After a while, they reported to us they had decided to do an event that was a "circus" and they gave us the date and time. It was supposed to start in the evening. Japanese people would not go because the place was not safe, so only the lady who baked the bread and our family attended.


I was nervous about what kind of circus they would perform. But the entertainment was so good that I wondered where they had brought professional performers from. They set up a large tent in a field and the audience filled it.


They asked a radio station to advertise the date and time of the circus, and on the day of the event, they rented a car and went around the area advertising the circus with a megaphone. They also went to a bakery and explained the purpose of the event, and they received 100 hot dog buns.  They also sold coffee.

The proceeds amounted to $700 in one day, which they handed over to us. The youth did an outstanding job!



After that, we joined the Japanese again for a dessert and tea party to raise the remaining $300, and finally, we raised our goal of $4,000 and got the electric wheelchair we had been hoping for.


It should not be one-way goodwill from those who can afford to give money, but if each one of us, no matter what our circumstances or position, dares to show our actions for a good deed, we can surely make it happen.


If we do not immediately conclude, "I can't do it," but instead say, "Please let me do something," we can always do it.

I was given the assurance that if there is a heart that wishes and seeks, "Let me do something," then something unique to that person can be achieved.


We left Argentina and headed for Zambia, Africa with the knowledge in our hearts that building something together in an interactive way is a joy that cannot be replaced by anything else.



The next time, we will move and talk about Zambia. Please stay tuned.