The Words of the Shiokawa Family
When True Father gave us the direction to fulfill the 430 books distribution, at first I was just an observer. It was on Sept. 2010 when I felt that I have to start giving even just to my immediate family. I requested Ate Cathy Quebral (who was a big part of helping me giving/sending out the book regularly to my list of contacts) to send by mail to my immediate family members the big English book in the Philippines and at the same time I sent to the immediate family of my husband the big Japanese version of the book.
Since I could not rely for my husband to write the addresses of his uncles and aunts, I asked the help of my oldest daughter to read in the new year's cards (nengajo) we received yearly the addresses of my husband's relatives. She typed and printed the addresses and I pasted each address to an expack envelope with the big book and a simple hiragana note in the book that it's our family's gift to them.
Every month I allotted money for the book to send even 10 pcs to my Philippine friends and relatives and 10 English books to my Filipino friends in Japan. I mailed books to those in the USA, Canada, England (thru the help of my cousin Richel Baloro) and sent to those in Middle East and Hong Kong. I gave out too Japanese books to my Japanese friends and acquaintances. There were no small English books and Japanese books yet at that time.
When the small Japanese book came out, I joined one time the Japanese members in knocking to the doors of the houses near our local church. That was the first time I experienced blatant rejections in the Japanese land and felt how the Japanese perceived negatively the Unification Church. My heart cried but I saw the determination in the eyes of our Japanese members and we continued knocking despite the hurting words thrown to us and doors shutting to our faces. That experience made me more believed that we need to spread the truth about the Unification Church to all Japanese by letting them have the book.
I told myself that maybe as a foreigner in this land I could change the approach and won't receive that kind of persecution so I gathered my courage and knock alone to the doors of my mission area. True to my thinking, the Japanese did not shout at me when I told them I'm a missionary from the Philippines but still they declined politely. It was difficult to break through because we were advised by the church to introduce first that we are from the Unification Church and we are giving out for free this bestselling book. The culture of the Japanese is that they don't receive easily any free item and once they receive something from someone, they have to give something in return. So by this approach I was able to give away only 2 or 3 books after 2 hours of knocking on doors.
When I heard from a Japanese member how she got good result in the train station, I encouraged one sister that we do it and I prayed and planned for the day. I was in 21 day skip meal at that time of Dec. 2011. The sister called in the morning that she was sick and could not join me. I was about to cancel too but my mind was telling me to go alone, for that day was offered already and the train station where we planned to go was included in the prayers too. I gathered my strength and carried 20 books in the Soka Station. I stood in one corner of the station for 5 minutes just looking at the passersby and didn't know how to start, then moved again to another corner, could not do a thing but kept on looking at the passers- by.
I swallowed my pride and bring out 3 books at a time and started giving out to people passing and through my simple Nihonggo repeating the same phrase that we are giving out for free this great book about a man of peace. After 7 minutes, a person received it and my spirit was lifted, and the more I got the power to continue and in a happy voice kept repeating the same phrase. Some people declined by bowing their heads and some received them thankfully. It was winter time and I could feel my hands were numb inside my thick gloves and my feet were frozenly cold but it never stopped me until I reached my goal. After 2 hours, the 20 books were given away and I still remember until this day the faces of those people who received the books.
The next day I went back to the same station and I was able to give away 20 books in the morning and 20 books in the afternoon with just an onigiri (rice ball) to break my skip meal. Before the end of the year 2011, I went again to a different station giving away 30 books. At the start of New Year 2012, I encouraged one Japanese member to join me in Asakusa Shrine to do book giving.. One time my 15 year old daughter accompanied me and she helped bringing out the books from the bag and handing me because she was so shy to give out herself. Another time, my friends Lala Hasegawa (who was one of my inspirations in witnessing), Arnold Heramis and I went in front of Waseda University to give the books.
I felt that these people who received the book will have the foundation to receive the Divine Principle and our True Parents if not now then later. It was like before I met my spiritual parent, I remembered buying many times pack of peanuts from fundraisers without realizing that it was my very first step in meeting the Messiah. I encountered different experiences in book giving. I met one Japanese who was so negative to the church that she told me to stop what I was doing because most of the passersby will just run away from me and explained to me how bad the image of Unification Church in Japan is. I was so polite in telling her that the image of Unification Church in other countries is not bad at all. And I talked to her for almost one hour just standing there while passersby were looking at us.
I told her amiably about the Philippines church and culture, my blessing, my marriage, my children and answered her questions truthfully. At the end I encouraged her to read the book and find out for herself the truth and not just listen to the report of media in Japan. She got the book and we parted ways like old friends. One time, I met a philosophical man asking me if I bought the books I was giving away. And confidently I told him yes. Well that's why the book was claimed as bestselling because the members were buying it to give out for free, he told me bluntly. And I told him that people like me who would like to build a peaceful world would spend money and do this great effort to stand in the street to give the books for free because this book is a guidance for people how to build a better world, so if all people will just think the same and do the same then we could achieve world peace. He smiled and received the book.
I went back to Philippines to attend a college reunion and gave out to my college friends the book. Those who got it before by mailing told me that they read the book and told me that as a follower of Rev Moon, they believed that my spirit is prepared anytime to go to the other world. That was so touching. I technically finished the 430 on July 28, 2012. And the next day, I received a report from the mobilizers in the Visayas area. Sister Jamela told me that they were able to talk to my relatives in Antique and they are holding a seminar for them on Aug. 4th. I could not help but cry really hard. I never had time to witness directly to my relatives in the Philippines and for 15 years I was focusing in life in Japan and how I can help in my own small ways in the providence here. But God is alive and He is working hard and He knows my heart and desire to do tribal mission so He sent other people to my tribe to witness to them.
My reflection is that 430 is just a figure and what really matters is on how we reach out to as many people as possible in order for them to know who True Parents are. We should never stop at 430 but as long as there are still people who don't know True Parents', then let's share to them the breaking news by giving them the book.
If some of us can fulfill it, then everyone can do it.