On December 2, Tenrikyo Mission Center in the Philippines held a service commemorating the 20th anniversary of its founding. With Overseas Department Head Yoichiro Miyamori attending as a guest of honor, 161 followers gathered for this memorable occasion and spiritedly performed the service in unity of mind.
After the commemorative service, Rev. Miyamori delivered the sermon. Looking back on the days leading up to the establishment of the mission center on December 13, 1987, he reaffirmed the reasons why the mission center came to be established. “It was to meet the needs of the followers in the Philippines that the mission center was established as a place where–regardless of their church affiliation–they could share their faith, practice the service, deepen their understanding of the teachings, and engage in hinokishin,” he said. He went on to say: “It is not so easy for you to return to Jiba because it takes a great deal of time and money. Even if you have a wish to return to Jiba every day, it is almost impossible to actually implement that wish. Returning to Jiba once a year is still very difficult. Moreover, most people in this country have cultural and religious backgrounds that are non-Tenrikyo, a fact that does not make it easy for you to be Tenrikyo followers here. Even in such circumstances, however, you are following the path in adoration of Jiba and Oyasama.” After quoting an anecdote entitled “Offering with a Sincere Heart” from Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, he encouraged the listeners by saying, “You can bring the greatest joy to Oyasama when you follow the path with a truly sincere mind in the face of difficult circumstances. . . . Jiba is far away. Yet you can visit this mission center. Today, I would like to ask you to make as much use of the mission center as possible, which, I believe, will go a long way toward making up for not being able to return to Jiba.”
Rev. Miyamori closed his address by asking the listeners to make continued efforts to help and support the mission center so that Oyasama’s teachings will spread widely in the Philippines.