Experience speech by Kentaro Inouye

I would like to thank all of you taking the time out to attend today’s monthly service at Tenrikyo Pearl Church. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really, really, really happy to see you all here today. My wife and I are very, very, very happy to see all of you today.

Experience speech by Kentaro Inouye

It has been two years since I came to this paradise of Hawaii to do missionary work.

     I was drawn to this island by church headquarters seminary office who appointed me to serve at Tenrikyo Hawaii Dendocho as a young man volunteer. Looking back over the past years, in this seasonal time I was able to understand the significant meaning of the importance of Oyasama’s anniversary. Although I was brought up and educated in Tenri high school and Seminary school (Dai II Senshyuka), I didn’t really understand much about it. I feel grateful to God the Parent and Oyasama that I was dispatched to Hawaii. This motivated me to do missionary work even more than ever. However I am learning that the missionary work needs lot of patience. The effectiveness of one’s effort cannot be seen soon, but rather world salvation is just like cultivate the fields with just a single needle instead of a rake. This is what the bishop of Hawaii Dendocho once mentioned and this is what I realize now.

     I would like to talk about some of my experiences during this past year of my missionary work at Pearl Church. May I ask for your kind attention for a little while? A few months after I came to Pearl Church Mr. James Katsumoto and his brother came to church to worship. To administer the Sazuke now and then motivates me to do more nioigake and missionary work. I was really encouraged by his visit and I wanted more and more people to come to this church. Pearl church has been in Palolo for a long time, so there are many people who know about Tenrikyo or who know Pastor Owen. Mr. Katsumoto’s house is also close to the church so I am able to visit often and bring the offered food and the Pearl church sermon. On those visits I administer the sazuke to Mr. Katsumoto’s mother.

     One day, Mr. Katsumoto called me and said that his mother is in Queen’s Medical Center emergency and asked me to administer the sazuke. Her urination was not functioning properly. So the very next day, Mr. Katsumoto picked me up and we headed for the hospital. His mother, Miyoko, unexpectedly looked good and I was able to talk to her and she responded to me. In addition she had a good appetite. She was able to be discharged from the hospital earlier than expected. I was really happy and relieved and I continued to visit her at her home to administer the sazuke. In early February, again Miyoko was sent to Queen’s Medical Center and I rushed to the hospital. She had same symptoms, however, this time even though I talked to her, she didn’t respond. She had a tube attached to her nose which supplied Ensure liquid food. It seems like her bodily functions were getting weak and I was very shocked to see this. That evening, Mr. Katsumoto called me and shared with me her condition that the doctor and social worker told him. There are two options, one is to connect a feeding tube to her stomach through surgery to lengthen her life and the other is not to feed her gradually she will die of starvation. Mr. Katsumoto wanted her to live so he asked that the surgery be done to connect the feeding tube. A few days later after the surgery, she moved to a nursing home in Makiki. Since then the Katsumoto brothers are visiting her everyday at the nursing home. At the nursing home, the nurses are taking care of her twenty-four hours and I also, visiting her once a week to administer the sazuke.

     Looking back over the past year, when I was visiting Miyoko for the sazuke, during the time I was at the missionary house, I remember that she always hissed at me. I was really depressed to receive such treatment. However, due to God the Parent’s working and the Truth of the sazuke, she gradually became very calm and began to receive me pleasantly after that. I miss the time when she was doing well in those days and at same time, I really want her to get well again.

     Since the younger Katsumoto brother, Richard, is suffering from an eye disease he is now practicing how to do the seated service. Mrs. Taeko visited him with me during this past few days and she explained to him the importance of the service and taught him how to perform the service. It is due to the missionary house past OB’s sincere efforts that I am able to continue their work and experience the joy of salvation work. Through these experiences, I have learned and now I deeply feel that we need a lot of patience, tenacity and it takes a very long time to nurture people in this faith.

     In my everyday life, I have also experienced the great and significant working of God the Parent and Oyasama, here at Pearl Church. In the beginning of January this year, one of the sons of Pearl Church, Lucas, hurt his back from wrestling practice and also Russell a live-in at Pearl Church hurt his arm during the YMA tree trimming hinokishin. I was surprised that it happened one after another. This happened only two weeks before Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary. I realized that since it was two weeks before Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary, this must be a message from God. After the morning and evening service, I administered the sazuke to Lucas and Mrs. Taeko administered the sazuke to Russell.

     On very day of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary Lucas’ back pain got healed. According to Mrs. Taeko, Lucas’ back was healed during the time Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary service was being performed in Jiba (church headquarters).

     Russell’s arm was red and swollen and he was in much pain without any strength even to make a fist. However, he took only one day off and went back to work on the following day. I now realize that God the Parent and Oyasama shows us miraculous blessings before our very eyes. In this seasonal time during Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary, I was able to see and experience the wondrous blessings of God the Parent. And I am very appreciative that I have experienced many different things in Hawaii. I feel that this is due to sincere hearts of my grand church head minister and his wife and my parents who have sent me to Hawaii.

     In addition, I wish to thank all the Tenrikyo members in Hawaii who have encouraged me in my missionary work. I want to do my best in missionary work until the last day. Thank you for your kind attention.

Announcements
1. I would like to thank you all for attending and helping at annual Hawaii Boy’s and Girl’s Association Spring Camp on March 25-27 (Sat-Mon) during the past Spring Break.
2. Our son Lucas departed on March 21st and is presently attending the English Shuyoka for April, May and June.
3. This month Mrs. Nakao will attend Oyasama’s Birthday Celebration service on April 18, the Women’s Association convention on the following day and Tengen’s April service on the 23rd. My father, Rev. Yoshinobu Nakao will be departing for Jiba on 4/20 on Dendocho business. I will be attending the Toden sampai in which all ministers are assigned on a certain month to attend the church headquarters monthly service wearing the service robe. I have been assigned for April.
4. The Boy’s & Girl’s Association will be conducting the annual Oyasama Birthday Activity this Sunday on April 16 at 9:30am. So I would like to encourage all of you to attend with your children.
5. Also the annual All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day at Honolulu Zoo will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 8:30am.
6. The Women’s Association will be having their annual General Meeting and Mini Bazaar on Saturday, May 20 at Dendocho. The proceeds from the mini-bazaar will be donated to help with the Children’s Pilgrimage this year, so please encourage your friends and family to attend and support the mini bazaar.
7. This year as one of the activities of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary, church headquarters will be conducting Tenri Forum 2006 from July 15-17 at Jiba. Everything will be done in English so I encourage all English speakers to take the opportunity to participate in the discussion which will broaden your understanding of the teachings and its application.
8. The Shinbashira has allowed us to observe the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama throughout the year and I encourage all of you to participate by returning to Jiba in 2006. We hope to form a pilgrimage group for the children’s summer pilgrimage and hope that many of you can join us. However, you can return anytime during the year. The next scheduled Jiba Pilgrimage is this April. If anyone wishes to join us on this trip, please let me know.
9. There is an essay contest sponsored by Dendocho with a 1,000 1st prize, $500 second and $300 third prize to encourage people to put their faith on paper.

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