Unification News for October 2004

Mr. Machida in Danbury and Bridgeport, Connecticut

by Rev. Higashino

Mr. Machida arrived at his final destination, Danbury, Connecticut, 103 days after he began his walk across America at the Twin Peaks Holy Ground in San Francisco. He completed his walk on September 11, three years after the tragic attack on America that took some 3,000 innocent lives.

At 7:30 am on the final day of his walk, about 20 members gathered to begin the final 10 miles' walk. The day started with a prayer for America offered by Mrs. Erikawa. The local members and the students from the University of Bridgeport joined the walk, and about 50 members shared in the celebratory end of his walk across America at a school located close to the prison entrance. Mr. Machida arrived at the prison entrance at 11:30 am. He knelt down and offered a prayer together with Mr. Inokuchi and Mrs. Erikawa.

Mrs. Erikawa gave a short testimony and explained the three major purposes of Mr. Machida's walk across America: 1) to liberate True Parents' "han" by vindicating Father's name; 2) to bring reconciliation between Japan and America; and 3) to encourage and empower America so that she can fulfill her responsibilities. At noon we offered mansei together.

The group then moved to the University of Bridgeport, where the Connecticut Church community including some UB students gathered to celebrate the victory. UB Vice President, Dr. Thomas Ward gave a heartfelt welcome to Mr. Machida. Regional Director Rev. Byeng Chul Kim expressed appreciation for the way in which Mr. Machida brought victory to Connecticut by walking all the way from California. Mrs. Erikawa gave a brief explanation about the meaning of this walk. She then introduced Mr. Machida and Mr. Inokuchi, as well as the elder Japanese members who organized a support group for this walk. Mr. Machida tearfully spoke in a very humble but so powerful way about his intimate experiences with True Parents that had motivated his walk. He also shared how he had experienced God's love and support directly and indirectly through the very kind Americans who had helped him at different times as he made his way across the United States. He repeatedly emphasized, "This is not my victory. This is your victory."

Mr. Inokuchi, who completed his eighth forty-day fast in support of Mr. Machida and this walk, spoke and expressed a passionate heart toward America, urging all to stand up because the time had come. The commemorative meeting ended with the presentation of flowers and plaques, a cake cutting, followed by prayer and an enthusiastic mansei led by Rev. Joshua Cotter, the president of World CARP USA.

The group then enjoyed a home-cooked lobster dinner at the residence of Rev. Kim prepared by the mothers of the Connecticut community headed by Mrs. Kim. Then they left for their final destination-East Garden, then Israel.

The Connecticut family saluted and applauded Mr. Machida's success and the blessing that his sacrificial walk brought to America, including our community.

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