In the spring of 1980 I applied for and was
accepted to Level II of Summit University. I was very excited and
eager to move on to higher levels of study, thinking it would benefit
me as a leader of our Manila study group. But, upon my arrival I
was met with a different message. Mother preferred that I serve
on staff at the California headquarters.
The message did not disappoint me as much as
the assignment did. I did not come from a country as far away as
the Philippines to work in the kitchen! Coming from a fine lifestyle
in my own country, I could not imagine how to turn this unappealing
idea into an opportunity. However, I decided to accept the assignment
as a test of something that I just did not understand, and proceeded.
I wanted to learn, and that was all I had in
my mind. And so I did what I could, even if for some weeks I felt
totally battered with body pains and aches doing work I had never
done before. The kitchen fed hundreds of people and I was washing
boxes-full of vegetables and doing mountains of dishes, mopping
floors, and cleaning up. All this and more.
It was taxing beyond belief. But I kept going
and kept thanking the masters for the most restful nightly sleeps.
Without those extremely restful hours I didn't think I would be
able to carry on.
But carry on I did. And eventually I was asked
to attend whenever Mother was teaching, along with working. It was
as if Mother knew what I needed to do in order to grow. Was that
physical load meant to move me, to push me from a life of comfort
and down from my perch?
Whatever the test was, how I grew from those
experiences of chopping and mopping! And how I have also grown to
consider Mother not only my teacher, but also my sister and friend
on the path. Personal encounters with Mother over the years since
then have been precious indeed. And I have realized how truly human,
and how truly divine she is at the same time.