Konnichiwa! That’s the sweet little salutation I enjoyed saying over and over on my trip to Okinawa, Japan, a couple of weeks ago. And some of the friendliest, most beautiful people I’ve ever encountered would smile, bow their heads humbly and counter my Southern American version of their word for “hello” with an authentic Japanese greeting.
Oh, how I loved my visit to Okinawa!
Except the excruciatingly long flights there and back. But I’ll not whine about that, since the days in between were some of the best I’ve ever had.
I was invited by the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) of Kadena U.S. Air Force Base to speak at their annual spring retreat March 9-11 at Okuma, a military resort on the island of Okinawa. So my traveling buddy Kim and I agreed to “make the huge sacrifice” *wink*wink* and fly around the world to meet some of the most lovely women you’ll ever encounter. These are the wives of our air force, army, navy, and marines serving in the far reaches of the world. These are the moms of our military kids, keeping the home fires burning in a foreign land, helping their children adjust to a different kind of life, and serving with optimism and gladness of heart while they are thousands of miles from the places they call home.
While I’ll tell you a little about my week in Okinawa, you need to know right from the start that the highlight of the week was simply making these new friends, or sisters as they call themselves. My life has truly been enriched from this experience and from becoming “sisters” with these brave, determined, lovely, and godly gals. They are not only serving their country well by remaining at their husbands’ sides, but they are serving as a light for the glory of God in a very dark part of the world. Their husbands are our national heroes, but these ladies are my heroines. And I know our Lord is pleased with their service as well.
Kim and I landed in Okinawa a couple of days before the retreat so that we could adjust to the time change before the big weekend. So on Thursday we enjoyed doing a little shopping with some of the ladies. We also visited the Foot Doctor where we had a unique kind of pedicure, as you’ll see in the pics below.