In July 2002 I began to get regular e-mails from a 25 year old Japanese girl named Chinami. At first I could not recall when or where I had first met her but presumed it was during one of my hitchhiking adventures. Later I remembered that she was the girl who together with her father picked me up from Ueda city in Nagago when I was hitchhiking to Tokyo.
Chinami wrote many short e-mails asking me to come and visit her at the hospital in Tokyo where she has been staying. She had been hospitalized for some weeks, but only on weekdays! Saturday and Sunday she went home. From the picture above she doesn't appear at all to be ill. It was not until I visited her at the hospital I realized the seriousness of her condition.
Chinami was so glad to see me again she gave me a big hug! This is very unusual for a Japanese girl to do with anyone, let alone a relative stranger.
Chinami has anorexia! She thinks she is fat and has developed an aversion for food! This explains why she can go home on the weekends but stays in the hospital on the weekdays.
I read something about anorexia last year and so already knew what NOT to tell her. I told her of God's wonderful love for her in Jesus and showed her Bible Scriptures. She readily prayed with me to receive Jesus Christ into her heart as her Savior! This shows how desperate she is to get well. Many Japanese are satisfied with the things of this world and have no spiritual hunger.
I stayed in touch with Chinami on and off since the time I visited her in the hospital in the summer of 2002, and some of my friends also went to see her. She invited me to come visit her home in Nagano and so I got to meet her parents and stayed overnight a few times. In spite of relapses, Chinami is much better. She reads the Bible on her own and prays. Since 2004 she developed a relationship with a boy from her town named Shinobu.
On Feb. 8, 2005 Chinami and Shinobu came all the way from Nagano to visit me in Niigata. I shared the Gospel with Shinobu and he came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ! They will have a formal marriage ceremony this month (Feb. 2005) Yours truly will lead it!Here are the photos I took of Shinobu and Chinami at their wedding party!