by Yoshi Ichijo

June 16, 2017

I arrived in the US 44 years ago yesterday with the third group of Japanese missionaries.

Somehow I wanted to come to the US as I was growing up. Of course, I didn’t know that I would come here as a missionary then.

From day one on this soil, I felt at home. I came to know many American brothers and sisters.

I hope I helped some. If I hurt anybody, I hope I’m forgiven. There are so many memories, good and bad.

Three most memorable things in those days: IOWC, witnessing in NYC and UTS.

This journey still goes on…

Today, May 31, 2017, is my 48th spiritual birthday. I joined the church when I was 18 years old.

I attended a 2-week w/s after the first 4-day w/s. At the end of the long workshop I pledged to walk this road. Then I headed back to Tokyo on a night train the next day. By the afternoon after a short nap I was in the middle of a VOC kick-off rally.

We continued stump speeches from the rooftop of a mini bus throughout the city.

I was a freshman in college. During the entire summer after I continued to study DP, I went out to the street and gave VOC lectures, using flip charts at a train station near the HQ.
One time I was surrounded by a group of North Korean communists. A brother who was nearby came over to rescue me.

I came to the US as part of the third missionary group in 1973.

I have done so many different things in the church since 1969.

It’s been a long journey, sometimes rough, sometimes rougher with some fun here and there.

But still I feel that I have been blessed with my life.