Denise, Junko and I boarded the ship in Tokyo, Japan for a 25-hour trip to the Ogasawara Island. By the grace and mercy of God we did ‘not’ get seasick. This has been a common problem for me at sea but not this time!
We arrived at the gorgeous jungle island of Chichijima and stayed at a beautiful little inn in the main village. Everyone we met on the island was friendly and welcoming. Many of the Japanese do not even know where the islands are and few have been there. With us on this trip was Junko Winningham. She is pastor of a Japanese speaking church in the Los Angeles, California area. She is a wonderful friend and great, great interpreter. We came to call her the ‘bionic woman’. Oh, can she ever walk!
Just three or four ships a month visit the island. We talked and prayed with many people there. I remember at the inn where we stayed, one morning some of the staff were there to see us off with the cross. One lady said, “Here is a flower I call ‘the grace of God’ flower . It’s purple with the stamen in the center of it in the shape of a cross. Never saw it before and Denise put one in her Bible to dry. No problem here – only warm and welcoming people.
The main island road is only about 6 miles long. We got up early and Denise rented a bicycle. She carried water and some snacks. It was a glorious walk along the sea and up and down the mountains. People were very friendly and we had a great day. The following days we carried the cross around the town and back roads in the mountains.
My wife Denise and I had a great time and the cross was welcomed and well received. The local newspaper did a story also.
God bless the people on these lovely islands of Ogasawara.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt
Junko Winningham, our interpreter