Shuyoka Faith Experience Speech by Mary Wangari Mungai

God the Parent’s Guidance

I finished my college on July 14, 1994. In my college, I underwent a three-year course in clothing technology. I went to stay at my brother’s home far from my parents’ home. Since my brother’s wife had a sewing machine, I kept myself busy by making simple dresses for the neighbors, and they were very happy with my work.

After staying for some months at my brother’s home, I got bored and my heart desired employment. I started looking for a job at the neighboring schools, but there was no vacancy. Around February 1995, my brother brought information that there were Japanese looking for a technical school teacher. I talked with my brother, and we agreed I should go and ask for employment.

In March 1995 , I made a journey to Meru Norinohi Mission Station in Meru, Kenya, in order to be interviewed. I was very happy to meet Mr. Kokaji and Mr. Shiojiri. Then, one of them asked me, “What can we do for you?” I responded that I was looking for a job. He told me to wait for Mrs. Shiojiri, wife of one of them, who was dealing with the technical school. After about 10 minutes, a Japanese woman came, greeted me and entered the office. Then immediately, I was called inside. We talked for some time in the office but since there were many people entering the office, she decided we should go and talk in the worship hall. This was a worship hall belonging to Tenrikyo, of which I knew nothing.

A moment later, we entered the worship hall. What I saw is still recorded like a videotape in my mind. I saw a small mirror in the center, a photograph of a child (who I later understood was their daughter who had passed away for rebirth), pineapples, bananas, loaves of bread, cabbages, and other things. From inside my heart came a voice, “What the hell is this place!”

Deep inside I started feeling uneasy and I could not concentrate properly on the interview. All that I wanted was for her to finish talking so I could disappear from that place.

God the Parent’s guidance is powerful and nobody can say, “No.” I received a letter from Meru Norinohi Mission Station saying that I had qualified for the job and should report there on April 1, 1995. Since I was still at my brother’s house, I decided to go home and inform my parents. I thought my mother would discourage me after I told her about Tenrikyo, but she did not. Instead, she gave me a metaphor of the teachings of religions as follows: ‘The teachings of religions are like different paths going to the same destination which is heaven.” She also told me that churches are houses for worship. What matters most is the innermost heart. With her words, I felt encouraged though not fully satisfied.

I replied that I would work at the Tenrikyo mission station. We first went for prayers. My head started paining as I was totally confused what they were doing and saying. After prayers, we went to class, and the lessons were fine. I couldn’t decide whether to give up the work or continue, but God the Parent’s eyes were directed to me.

On November 25, 1996, I received a telephone call from my brother’s workplace. At that time, all the government institutions had closed for holiday. Therefore, my brother also was at his home. The message to my brother was very urgent, and I was asked to inform him that he was needed urgently the following morning by his principal at his place of work.

I asked Meru Norinohi Mission Station for permission to go to my brother’s home and I was given it. I had to run to the bus stop. Waiting a short time, a group of people entered a micro bus, and it was almost full. I entered also. After going for some kilometers, we heard something like a bomb blast. Some people started to scream. Dust started entering the bus and my eyes could no longer open. Since we were on a hill, it started flying like an airplane, then started rolling. It rolled several times, and silence permeated the bus. Though I could not see, I could hear the sound of the rolling bus. I could not think anything. Later, I was thrown outside, and the bus continued rolling.

God had a purpose for me to live because the bus did not crush me as I was thrown outside. One woman died on the way to the hospital and others were critically injured. I had dislocated my knee and had a crack on my ankle.

After we arrived at the hospital, I sent a lady to telephone Meru Norinohi Mission Station since I had to go back there on the following day. A big problem remained unsolved—the message had not reached my brother, and nobody knew that I was in the hospital.

To my surprise, at nine o’clock at night, I had people asking for accident victims. Oh my goodness, they were my employers, Mr. Shiojiri and his son Kazumichi Shiojiri, now studying at Tenri University. I could not believe my eyes. I was filled with joy. They administered the Sazuke to me and gave me food which I was able to share with the other victims in my room. They told me to draw a map to my brother’s home. Since it was at night and they were strangers around that place, I doubted whether they could reach my brother’s home. But I obeyed their request and drew a map for them.

The following day, at six o’clock in the morning, my brother and his wife came. This time, I could not hold back my tears. I imagined the love everybody had for me. From these acts of kindness, my heart was touched, my spiritual eyes were opened, and I started seeing the positive side of Tenrikyo unlike before. I came to believe that my employers were praying to the real God and I gradually developed an interest in Tenrikyo. Now I believe that we are all children of God the Parent and God the Parent uses different ways to guide us to the real truth.

Since God the Parent’s guidance is without error, I later got married, and my husband did not object to my faith in Tenrikyo. We now have a baby girl and a happy married life. I came to learn that actions speak louder than words. Even without saying things with our mouth, our good behavior can make others admire and respect our faith. It is our duty to be good examples to the world so that people may come to know the true and real God of this universe, “Tsukihi.”

My three months’ stay in Shuyoka has assisted me to grow spiritually, and I have learned that the true teaching is universal. I have learned to be tolerant of others as well as different cultures. In this way, I have been able to understand that we are all brothers and sisters whose true Parent is God the Parent.

I have also learned the spirit of hinokishin. It is the expression of gratitude to God for lending us bodies. Through hinokishin, I have learned to be selfless and forget greed.

When I go back to my country, Kenya in Africa, I shall endeavor to teach the Tenrikyo faith to my students. I will sprinkle the fragrance to many people who do not know about the Tenrikyo religion. As it is said that there is no better way to repay God for the divine blessings than to convey the teachings of God the Parent, I wish to share the joy of faith with others by spreading the teachings throughout the world.

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