The following is a translation of an excerpt from Ishizue: Kashihara Genjiro no shinko to shogai (Cornerstone: The Faith and Life of Genjiro Kashihara) by Teruo Nishiyama. Note: This translation is a provisional one and may need to undergo further revision.
The Miracle of 1910
After the matter that involved Nadaka led Genjiro to make this resolution, he left on a mission tour to Kyushu in early November with Terunori Shiina, the second head minister of Kunina. On this mission tour, Genjiro witnessed a great blessing that finally gave him the confidence his efforts could bring about instances of salvation.
In those days, it took three days to travel from Tokushima to Oita. Genjiro and Terunori immediately headed to Yutaka Propagation Office. When they arrived, they discovered to find that the sanctuary construction there had come to a stop. When Genjiro asked Head Minister Iwatake about it, that he had no choice because his church officer Sakutaro Eto, who he relied on to supply the sanctuary pillars, was stricken with paralysis.
Genjiro sat tight in Yutaka. The first thing that came to his head he could not have Sakutaro to pass away for rebirth. Now, how was he going to help him be saved? Genjiro compared the situation to what happened at Nadaka. He thought that there was no way but to have Sakutaro resolve to quickly resume the stalled construction.
Sakutaro promised and Genjiro administered the Sazuke, whereupon he was able to get out of bed. Genjiro then visited a church officer named Aoki who was bedridden three days before he arrived because of a headache. After having Aoki make the same resolution as Sakutaro, his headache cleared.
Genjiro clearly saw with his eyes that a construction did not involve a construction of a building, but amounted to the construction of the spirit and a construction for saving others.
Genjiro also visited Karatsu. It was the place where he dedicated his sincere blood and tears engaging in missionary work after his expedition to Iwamatsu in Iyo. After Genjiro had to leave because of his severe disorder, Hidetaro Takeda from Kunina came and cooperated with Chosaburo Aki in spreading the faith and established Funamiya Propagation Office. In spring of that year, the sanctuary construction was finally complete.
However, the funds were 600 yen short and no one volunteered to cover it. Head Minister Fukutaro Ide grew anxious and became confined to his bed from a headache and shoulder pain three days before Genjiro’s arrival. Fukutaro’s home was located about 12 kilometers (7.32 mi.) away from Karatsu in Kitahara Village.
Genjiro spoke about God’s teachings to the ten church officers who had assembled there. He told them that God’s tending of their head minister was caused by the shortage from the sanctuary construction. “Now that things have come to this, do not consider the debt as someone else’s problem but your own. Cover it as soon as you can and bring joy to God.” The ten church officers resolved to cover the debt. At 10 o’clock on the night of November 24, they prayed in the sanctuary.
On the next day, Rev. Ide came wearing a pair of straw sandals. He was greatly overjoyed, saying that his head and shoulder stopped aching at about 10 o’clock a night. Needless to say, it was a cause of tremendous joy for the Genjiro and the ten officers.
After this, Genjiro went on a mission tour alone to Hofu’s subsidiary churches. He stopped by at Tsuno Auxiliary Church (Tokuyama City) on December 12.
When Genjiro visited a year earlier, Tsuno was having problems and things almost came to a standstill. At their previous December monthly service, they didn’t even have enough people to fill all the service assignments.
Distressed, Genjiro gave a sermon to ten church officers who stayed behind. The wife of Head Minister Inekura then suddenly fainted. There was a great commotion. Genjiro felt that God was at work.
He gave a stern lecture on the teachings to them and administered the Sazuke. She then came to. Further blessings then sprang forth from this knot. When Genjiro visited again a year, later, the church overflowed with 200 worshipers.
Earlier that year in March, Genjiro gave a sermon at the home of Kinjiro Akiyoshi located near Yutaka and 50 people came in the rain. That night, someone led Kitaro Iwashita, a man suffering from loss of vision, to listen to God’s teachings for the first time. While listening, he shouted, “I can see that lamp!” He then was later able to see people’s faces.
The next day, he was able to walk 8 kilometers (4.88 mi.) by himself to worship at Yutaka.
1910 became an unforgettable year for Genjiro.
- Next installment in this series: Lifelong Core Beliefs