Farewell Message from Rev. Kenji Oyama
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for the warm support given us during our tenure at Mantokuji. Your love and kindness made our stay so very special. I can say with confidence that the time spent here in Maui with the Mantokuji Ohana has been the best time of my life. It has been so very fulfilling and gratifying and although it was just a short time, it is packed full of many wonderful memories.
I feel as though the easy going island style of Maui, the sugar cane fields and beautiful ocean by Paia, and the relaxing and fun Mantokuji Sangha all fit perfectly with my personality and nature. So you can imagine the great sadness that both my wife and I feel as we move on to our next assignment.
Although we are very sad to leave, we are focused on our future and are determined to do our best in a new environment with a bundle of new challenges, and I know that the experience we gained here will help us wherever we go and whatever obstacle we face. Whenever we are in a jam, we just have to remember the many bazaars and o-bons, and the hard work that we did together, and that should give us courage to go forward.
I feel very fortunate to have had the “hoen” – a karmic relationship that brought us to Maui by pure chance. It has been a blessing for us to have met so many extraordinary people who took us in and instantly made us feel at home and be a part of this big family.
It was an important time in our life also as we had just gotten married and for the first time we were out in the world on our own. At the beginning, we practically did not know anything and had to really rely on everyone’s help, and find our way through making mistakes, asking a lot of questions, and carefully listening and watching our seniors who have a wealth of knowledge and an amazing work ethic.
I know that the new minister and his wife will also go through a period of major adjustment as they will be living in a land that has a culture and language entirely different from where they were born. I ask for your patience and understanding and I know that the Mantokuji Sangha will embrace them as you did us.
The valuable time spent in Maui will never be forgotten and will always have a special place in our heart. As we leave, we wish for the very best for Mantokuji and all of you and hope to stay in touch and visit often. Please come to visit us in Yamagata if you have a chance to make a trip to Japan.
With Love and Gassho,
Rev. Kenji Oyama
Farewell Message from Okusan – Naoko Oyama
１１年前、ハワイに来る飛行機の中で「何で ハワイに行かないといけないんだろう？」と沢山泣いてハワ イに到着しました。
Translation of message:
Eleven years ago, I remember crying in the airplane on the way to Hawaii, wondering to myself, “why do I have to go to Hawaii?” But today, it is hard to believe that it ever happened.
I did not think I would fall in love with Mantokuji so much.
Each day, each week, and each year passed by in a flash.
It was an eleven years that passed in a blink of an eye.
I was able to live to my fullest each and every day.
Each and every day was a happy day with a lot to smile about.
I was given the opportunity to learn many things and grow as a person.
I was able to experience many things that I would have otherwise not been able to if I were in Japan.
I was able to meet many wonderful people.
For me, Mantokuji is my furusato (kokyo), a special place in my heart.
I sincerely wish that this special place, Mantokuji, will continue to flourish and be full of energy.
I thank everyone for the many smiles and aloha you shared with us during the last eleven years.
Even after I return to Japan, I hope to live each day to my fullest with the Mantokuji “spirit” that is in my heart.