The following is a translation of Part 58 of the series “Senjin no sokuseki” (Footsteps of Our Predecessors) from the October 2007 (No. 466) issue of Taimo, pp. 34–35. This translation is a provisional one at the moment and may require further revision.
Part 58: “God the Parent Will Prepare Everything for You Beforehand”
Sakujiro and Tsushi Ueno left for Hawaii in 1929. They decided to dedicate themselves to the overseas mission when they were nearing their 50s. While a normal couple may have had trepidation about the future, Rev. and Mrs. Ueno had faith in the words of the Rev. Yoshizo Katayama, the head minister of Honjima Daikyokai, who told them that, “God the Parent will prepare everything for you beforehand,” and they left for Hawaii with only enough money to cover immediate accommodations on their arrival.
As soon as they arrived, they met a young Chinese sweets confectioner who sought relief from his debilitating asthma. Rev. and Mrs. Ueno immediately left to administer the Sazuke on this young man. Although they could not communicate with him because of a language barrier, with their diligent administering of the Sazuke, the young man could see how they were fervently praying for him and he clasped his hands in prayer together with them.
As they commuted to his home over the next two to three days, his bouts of asthma became less frequent. After a week had passed, the asthma that had troubled him for as long as he could remember disappeared without a trace
The young man, seeing how Rev. and Mrs. Ueno had lived in a severely cramped room ever since their arrival in Hawaii, expressed his gratitude by saying: “Thanks to you, I completely regained my health. I am now able to go out to work anywhere I wish. I’d like to offer my room for you to live in” and gave them his room for them to use.
In just a month and a half, Rev. and Mrs. Ueno were blessed with a single room to live (roughly 9.2 square meters or 32 square feet in size). However, in a year’s time their followers began to say that this room was too small, so they moved into a house.
Another time, a woman whose doctor told her that she needed to have an operation to save her from stomach cancer saw Rev. and Mrs. Ueno’s Tenrikyo Honolulu Church mentioned in the newspaper and came to visit. Sakujiro instructed her on the mistaken mindset that led to her condition and administered the Sazuke over three days and three nights.
At noon on the third day, Tsushi offered the woman rice and sautéed root vegetables. While she first declined, saying, “Nothing can pass my throat,” Tsushi said: “Don’t worry. Entrust yourself to God.”
The woman thus decided to eat a bite of vegetables. Then, miraculously, the pain which would always strike her stomach whenever she ate did not occur. Tsushi encouraged her, saying: “Look, you have already been granted God’s protection. Be sure to have joy in any situation,” and the woman ate all the rice and vegetables she was offered. In this way, the woman received the blessings of a complete recovery with the administering of the Sazuke over three days and three nights. The woman lived until the ripe age of 92 without ever undergoing stomach pain again for the rest of her life.
Rev. and Mrs. Ueno lived through every situation imaginable, entrusting themselves to the loving intention of God the Parent. Further, they instilled courage in everyone they met so they would not lose hope, urging them to believe in the providence of God the Parent. The mission in Hawaii, which had until then been transmitted slowly to person to person, began to spread widely after the arrival of Rev. and Mrs. Ueno.
Reference: Iida Teruaki. Hawai dendo no akebono.
- Next installment in this series: 59. A Church Construction Lays the Basis for Salvation
*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.