With the purpose of meeting Kyoshu-sama and to participate in the Birth of the Messiah Service: Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of the Grand Ceremony, 16 members of the African pilgrimage group including president, vice president and director of international affairs of the Church in Angola, Afonso Quifuta Pereira, Flávio dos Santos Cabuço and Alberto Quifuta Pereira, respectively; president of the Church in Democratic Republic of Congo, Albert Mayombo Ngalamulume; and vice president of the Church in Mozambique, Eugénia da Assunção Miguel, came to Japan on June 10.
On June 11, the day after their arrival, the pilgrimage group went to Kannon-ji Temple in Tokyo to pray at the grave site of the Okada family, having received special permission from Kyoshu-sama, Mayumi-okusama, Masaaki-sama and Mami-okusama. Kannon-ji is Meishu-sama’s bodaiji, or family temple, where generations of family’s ancestors are cared for through burials and other ceremonies. We of World Church of Messiah are the only group out of all in the world who have faith in Meishu-sama that are allowed to pray at the grave site with permission from Meishu-sama’s family. Everyone in the pilgrimage group prayed with pious expressions.
On June 12, the group came to pray at the World Church of Messiah Headquarters. Afterwards, at the Central Office, they observed the SEMES trainees in a Japanese language lesson. They were happy to reunite with the trainees who had been devoting themselves to their training in Japan since March.
On June 13, the group attended a welcome gathering in their honor at Nara Church, with over 150 members coming together to receive the group. Executive Director Keizo Ono delivered a greeting, and afterwards, president and vice president of the Church in Angola, Afonso Quifuta Pereira and Flávio dos Santos Cabuço; president of the Church in Democratic Republic of Congo, Albert Mayombo Ngalamulume; and vice president of the Church in Mozambique, Eugénia da Assunção Miguel, respectively, gave a greeting. The Japanese and African groups each presented songs and suchlike, filling the entire place with great joy. After the reception, the pilgrimage group members stayed at members’ homes until the 14th and enjoyed interacting with each other.
On June 15, the group participated in the Birth of the Messiah Service, and after the end of the service, they came together in one place and had an audience with Kyoshu-sama and Masaaki-sama. With great emotion and joy in their hearts, they made their way back home on the 17th. President, vice president and director of international affairs of the Church in Angola, Afonso Quifuta Pereira, Flávio dos Santos Cabuço and Alberto Quifuta Pereira, respectively, continued their stay in Japan.
From the 17th to the 19th, President Afonso and Vice President Cabuço made visits to a total of six churches throughout Japan, passing on their passionate faith to roughly 800 people total. Overcoming barriers of country and language, many members of Japan who came in contact with the leaders’ sincere thoughts and feelings toward Kyoshu-sama were deeply moved.
On June 20, President Afonso, Vice President Cabuço and Director Alberto had a meeting with Kyoshu-sama, Mayumi-okusama and Masaaki-sama at Hekiun-so. During their visit, Mami-okusama, Mei-sama, Miyu-sama and Mikoto-sama also came into the room, and gifts from the African pilgrimage group were presented to Meishu-sama’s family members.
On June 21, the Angolan leaders departed Japan. With the deep emotion of having met Meishu-sama’s family and the guidance that they received in their hearts, they boarded the airplane headed toward the growing salvation of Africa.