Tribal Messiahship in Los Angeles
Following a visit to Japan and Korea, where she was able to meet True Mother, TP magazine requested Mrs. Hiraki’s testimony. She was busy supporting True Mother’s efforts but agreed to update a testimony she had given in 2015, providing more details about her witnessing breakthroughs on college campuses in Los Angeles.
By Naoko Hiraki
Los Angeles Kodan decided to work together on their tribal messiahship efforts. We met together, sixty-eight families, and each counted who was already in our tribe. We counted our physical sons and daughters, and then our spiritual sons and daughters. We tried to conclude the count by June 30 and on August 30, we determined to make at least one tribe together among 68 families. With Dr. Kim’s leadership, we made it.
I had gone to Korea for the second anniversary of True Father’s ascension last year. After that, I had the chance to attend the World Leaders’ Summit. At that time, I heard testimonies from Unificationists in Asian countries. Tire testimony of Kang Deok-lae from Korea struck me. She had been reaching out to one person at a time for a long time. She took care of her spiritual children, and then she married and had son and daughters of her own. So she had a big community; she was taking care of her spiritual and physical sons and daughters. She reached 430 couples with consistent effort over thirty years.
I was shocked because she had been doing this for her whole life. I felt that I also should have been doing this. Then I heard testimonies from Unificationists in the Philippines, Thailand, and Nepal. They believe that in their country if even twelve families could each establish 430 couples, together as a result of heavenly tribal messiahship, their country would move and they would be able to make Cheon II Guk real in that country. They believe in this that strongly. I was shocked.
If I can strongly believe in starting tribal messiahship in this country, we can build Cheon II Guk here in America, I thought. I want to do that. I came back to Los Angeles and reported to all the Kodan brothers and sisters in Japanese. They were so inspired. I teamed up with the Kodan leaders. We had thirteen leaders altogether, and we dedicated ourselves to pursuing tribal messiahship until the next anniversary of True Father’s ascension.
It helped to know we could work together as a group. True Mother told us many times that it is difficult to work as just one person. As just one family, it’s also difficult to find 430 couples. She has told us we can do it as a group, or as a church. We can make it together. So I spoke to Kodan in Los Angeles, and they decided to do that.
Then I counted my spiritual tribe, and still I had only 189. Our circumstances now forced us to witness to college students because we wanted to make CARP stronger, which is True Mother’s desire. Since 2014 we have witnessed to college students.
True Parents lived in America for forty years, loving and investing in America. True Parents wanted the best from America, which is in the position of the eldest son nation, so we have to build Cheon II Guk here quickly. True Mother told this to us strongly, but behind what True Mother said, I saw many tears in her heart. I want to make this nation number one in building Cheon II Guk.
Our Japanese sisters are doing campus outreach in Los Angeles. To date, we have eighty students who have finished reading Divine Principle reading and A Peace-Loving Global Citizen or Cheon Seong Gyeong and eighty students who consistently come to our center.
We started our outreach activities at Pasadena City College. Now we have spread to seven other colleges to do witnessing activities. More than thirty mothers in Kodan are witnessing, and now thirty second-generation Unificationist students help with the reading and witnessing. This year, we will establish CARP chapters on seven more campuses. We are using the college cafeteria, and we have a study group. We’re just reading Exposition of the Divine Principle with guests. One-on-one Divine Principle study is our reading style. True Mother asked us to use this method in 2013. (Everybody needs to do it this way.) Since she first asked us to, we have used this style.
To begin with, we just ask people to look at a questionnaire, asking which questions are more important to them. Some of the questions on our questionnaire include: “What is the purpose of life?” or “Does God exist?” and “What is the spiritual world?”
We then ask them to express themselves in comments. They’re thinking a lot. Most of our team consists of Japanese mothers. We cannot speak English well, which means we listen a lot. (Now, though, second-generation members or first-generation native speakers witness with us.) We heard from many students that when they ask pastors about the Bible, the pastors tell them not to question it but just believe it, so they tire of going to church but they do not lose their faith in God or in Jesus Christ.
Based on the questionnaire, I tell them, “We have a study group that addresses these questions, and we will read a book called the Divine Principle and discuss it together.” On the spot, we show them a simple two-page summary of an introductory lecture. We ask them just to read it, and the student reads it. Then I explain about True Father a little after that. I ask, “Are you interested in studying with us?” If they say yes, I say, “We have a study group at the cafeteria on campus.” Then we make an appointment and they come by themselves. Using the whole Divine Principle, starting with the introduction, they read the red parts and yellow parts, and we read the blue parts.
Then, when they finish, they write their names on the back of the book for that chapter. Seeing other students’ names already there turns into something of a competition. “Oh, this person is ahead of me! I want to come more often and learn more. Who else is ahead of me?”
We make an effort to get to know the people and learn about their lives. For each student, we made a file. Each time they came, we wrote in detail in the file about what we talked about, everything. We write everything. I report everything and then keep the records. I wrote down things like what internal problem a person is struggling with or what a person’s goal is.
Using a notebook, we keep track of who’s coming. Almost twenty-five students come every day. We also have daily staff meetings. Mothers are coming from morning until 7:00 pm, Monday to Friday, spending all day in the cafeteria.
For those of us who witness on campus, it has been very difficult. Once they begin to witness with us, many members of our team seem suddenly to face challenges in their personal lives. One sister’s husband lost his job. Another sister’s daughter had surgery. Another sister’s brother died. Every member of staff had a problem, but they were determined never to give up.
Some endured challenges within the outreach work itself, being unable to bring even one guest for the whole year, but then their motivation changed. Every time we met,
I reported about True Mother’s heart. When they first came, they thought that they wanted to witness. At some point, they realized that the desire to witness does not come from us. Once we changed our perspective, we wanted to do this to help True Mother, to give joy to True Mother, and our spirit changed. Right after that, everyone began to meet good, curious students. Now everybody has brought several guests.
Strong relationships are vital
I have twenty-five spiritual sons on campus, plus their families. They come with their families to Sunday service. Every student has some challenges and receives persecution from family or friends or from the internet while they study Divine Principle. We strongly connect to them, though, so they strongly stand up to their parents, and then bring their parents to church. We now have a foundation of a hundred and twenty students.
Recently, we went on a trip to Japan and Korea for the second time. While we were there, US CARP students gave speeches on North Korea and South Korea at the National Assembly complex in Korea. They studied True Parents’ teachings so hard and they found out that CARP’s entire purpose is to restore this nation and restore North Korea and South Korean unity. The students inspired us. After that, we were able to meet with True Mother. It was unbelievable occasion.
True Mother’s great love and heart are so amazing! Every student could feel so much love, which no one else had given but for which they had been waiting. Especially when we offered to sing a Korean song, (Hyo Shim), everybody cried. Because True Mother was there, they7 had wanted to prepare a song to offer to her.
Later, True Mother asked us to go to Madison Square Garden perform a popular Korean dance (Mujokeon). For that, they practiced very hard. Their hearts toward True Mother embodied the famous song lyrics (“I’ll Be Around” by the Spinners), Wherever True Mother call us, we’ll be there; whatever True Mother asks for we will do.
As CARP Los Angeles together with Kodan will reach 360 students next year, and we will hold a rally of ten thousand students at UCLA, a famous university in the US. Each of us is determined to do this in order to build our confidence to restore America. We love you so much, True Mother.