Born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Oakland and Berkeley, CA, Stan earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968. The following year he obtained a Certificate of Completion from the Institute of Biblical Studies, Campus Crusade for Christ. He has also completed the required coursework for the Master of Arts degree in Missiology from the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary.
With more than twenty-five years of experience in cross-cultural training and the contextualization of ministry, Stan has held national and international positions with Campus Crusade for Christ, directed Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) of the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS) and served as a consultant to churches, denominations, and ministry organizations such as Evergreen Baptist Church, Pacific Coast Japanese Conference of the Free Methodist Church, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Stan has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, spoken at retreats and conferences across the United States, and published articles in periodicals including Christianity Today.
Stan and his wife Janie have two daughters: Heather, who is a student in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Joelle, who is now with the Lord. Stan, Janie, and Heather are active members of First Presbyterian Church, Altadena, where Stan is an Elder.
Cyril Nishimoto Executive Director
Cyril with his grandnephew, Dylan
Born and raised in Gardena, CA, Cyril lived on the East Coast for 24 years. With a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and a J.D. at Columbia Law School, he co-founded Japanese American Social Services, Inc. (JASSI) in 1981, and served as Director, helping people of Japanese ancestry in need of social services in the New York area, until he came to Iwa in 1997.
Active in New York’s Asian American community, he served on the Board of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund from 1980 to 1990, on Governor Mario Cuomo’s New York State Asian American Advisory Committee from 1990 to 1993, and as chair of the annual New York Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival from 1991 to 1996. A member from 1994 to 2002, he served on the U.S. Census Advisory Committee on the Asian Populations as Chair for two different one-year terms.
Serving through various other organizations as an advocate for the well-being of Japanese Americans in the areas of mental health, aging, and World War II redress, Cyril gave much of his time to his church in New York—Japanese American United Church—where he served as the advisor for the Youth Fellowship for over ten years, as a Bible teacher, and as Board Chair. He now attends the church where he grew up—Gardena Valley Baptist Church—and serves on the Evangelism Committee.
Cyril's current community activities include The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program Planning Committee, 2003 to the present, for which he serves as Recording Secretary; Ties That Bind (Japanese American Community Planning Committee), 2002 to the present, for which he had a key role in organizing the annual Nikkei Community Day from 2007 to 2009; and the Nikkei Federation, January 2011 to the present, for which he serves as a Vice President.
Read about how the Lord called Cyril to work at Iwa here.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, family and basketball occupied most of her time. Then she met a man who changed her heart and mind. Now the biggest part of her life is Jesus Christ—oh yeah, family and basketball too. After playing basketball over half of her life, she found coaching to be a natural progression. She coached high school basketball as well as her niece’s team at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center. She also makes jewelry and craft items out of polymer clay. Ellen is so thankful for her home church, San Fernando Valley Holiness church, where her love for the Lord continues to grow and mature under the wisdom and guidance of wonderful pastors.
The majority of my family and relatives are among the 97% unreached Japanese Americans. It makes me sad as I observe the way they strive to achieve a “good” life. I know their lives would be more satisfying and fulfilling if they knew the Lord. We all have an eternal life. Christians are privileged to spend it in the wonderful presence of God. It scares me to imagine my family spending eternity without Him.