On September 21, Kyoshu-sama, his wife Mayumi-sama and Masaaki-sama attended a friendly gathering with members of the Nagano Church. Those who participated had a chance to speak face-to-face with Kyoshu-sama, Mayumi-sama and Masaaki-sama, spending a precious moment with them and being able to do such things as ask various questions and chat with them close to their seats.
The next morning on the 22nd at the Shinanoki within the city of Nagano, the Ohikari (Sacred Focal Point) Receiving Ceremony solemnly took place with approximately 130 people assembling. Kyoshu-sama himself presented the Ohikari to new members.
Next, at the same venue, the Membership Meeting for those who share the same spirit as Kyoshu-sama was held. With Kyoshu-sama leading, all participants prayed the Amatsu Norito. After receiving Johrei from Kyoshu-sama, he read aloud the Opening Words.
Then, Rev. Kato, Regional Director of the Chubu Region, expressed words of gratitude and pledged to Kyoshu-sama, “The message that we receive from you today, we will etch into our souls and bring them to life in our next learnings and practices. As training to be born anew as a true child of God, a Messiah, I pledge to go forward with courage together with you, Kyoshu-sama.”
Then, President Shirasawa stood to give a greeting and said, “Members who submitted consent forms for the transfer to Izunome Group has now reached more than 40,000. And still now, the Central Offices are receiving them. I sincerely thank all of you for your sincere faith…Let us receive Kyoshu-sama’s message deep into our souls, and in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, surrender our everything and let us cheerfully, joyfully and boldly serve in this entirely new phase of divine work we have entered.”
In the continuing question and answer session, Kyoshu-sama took his time to give thorough guidance in response to the questions of five people.
“Due to illness, my older sister can no longer see for the most part and can no longer go out. I am praying but nothing has changed.”
Kyoshu-sama’s guidance (excerpt):
“God has chosen your older sister and is using her, saying, ‘I need you to take on this role.’ He wants to forgive and save all humanity. At all costs, she has that role to fulfill. ‘No one else can do this but you. Won’t you take on this role for me?’ Besides the eyes we have to see the world, we have also received spiritual eyes, a spiritual body and a spiritual mouth. We have received God’s eyes, ears, and mouth. These eyes are actually eyes to see God. Our ears are to hear God’s voice. We have been granted these things. There are many people in the world who cannot see and who cannot hear. It would be sad if there was no salvation for those people. And so actually, I believe God is saying that within you, the eyes that you see with are the spiritual eyes that can see God, your ears the spiritual ears that can hear God.
“On the surface, there may not be any changes but without exception, God is making us grow inside. He is welcoming us as children of God and trying to have us experience true joy. Inside our body, we are gradually growing in order to be born anew as a true child of God. We may not be able to feel it but I would like for you to think in this way.”
“I have many negative feelings from my mother-in-law saying and doing things to me for many years. I surrender these feelings but I cannot accept her as a reflection of myself, or often times I get so angry, I can no longer surrender and end up in distress. I no longer know what to do about it. In this case, could you guide me as to what I should do?”
Kyoshu-sama’s guidance (excerpt):
“God knows thoroughly well [what you are going through]. He is making you feel that you are better than other people, that you are different from other people, and feel what is good and what is bad. This is for the purpose of salvation, for the salvation of humanity that you are being used.
“When you are feeling something, through that feeling, through you, God is facing us and asking us won’t you surrender this to me as one who has been forgiven and saved? He isn’t forcing us. Actually, before you surrender, Meishu-sama who is within us has been surrendering this feeling for you. If you can feel that he is doing this for you even just a little, think, “Meishu-sama, thank you. I also surrender.” This may seem like something small, but this is not just your matter, it is a matter connected to the salvation of all humanity.”
To a question to Masaaki-sama, “Could you tell us what you felt in Germany, and what you would like to do from here on?” he answered,
“Meishu-sama said that he himself was ‘the light from the East’ and came into this world at the farthest end of the eastern limit of the Far East in Hashiba (district in Tokyo). He said that his mission was to receive western civilization in the east and return it back again to the West. Should it be said in one phrase, I believe that the civilization from the West ultimately meant the holy name of Messiah. And in the last years of his life, Meishu-sama said ‘Messiah was born.’ That is to say, the light of Messiah has reached the very limits of the Far East and this time, returns to the West—that, I believe is the mission of ours, we members of the church who have succeeded Meishu-sama. In going to Germany, while a number of Japan’s youth went, I believe it fulfilled one prototype of the move from Japan of the East to Europe of the West, carrying the holy name of Messiah.
“Speaking of the Berlin Wall, it was a situation where East and West were separated for a long time. The holy name of Messiah has reached Meishu-sama but as a church, we did not bring our focus there. I believe that the holy name of Messiah that Meishu-sama finally received was locked away in Japan. That being said, it is symbolic but with the Berlin Wall, perhaps the holy name of Messiah could not return to the West. But then in 1990, the wall was knocked down and the border between East and West disappeared. Within God’s divine plan, perhaps the holy name of Messiah really returned to the West and perhaps there is such thing as humanity—east and west—becoming united as one.”
And in this way, shared his feelings on what he felt on his visit to Germany.
The question and answer session ended and after Kyoshu-sama said the Closing Words, a member gave a greeting expressing their gratitude. Then all the participants proudly sang “Goin’ Home” with lyrics set by Kyoshu-sama. After taking a commemorative photograph, Kyoshu-sama and his family exchanged handshakes with everyone, friendlily addressing participants, and suchlike. For participants, it was a day that great emotion and learning was allowed.
Afterward, Kyoshu-sama and his family made their way to visit members in Gifu Prefecture.