This past week we heard the tragic news that on the island of Maui, the famous and historic tourist town of Lahaina was eighty percent destroyed by fires and 80 deaths to date. One of the historic landmark buildings that went up in flames was the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, built in 1933. I am sad not only for the people of Lahaina who are suffering but also about this Shin Buddhist temple. This is the temple where my mother and father became Sangha when they retired to Maui at my brother’s invitation in 1982. My mother played the piano there until she couldn’t anymore and was an active Fujinkai member until she passed in 2010. My father attended services and enjoyed the island. He said, “I will never leave here.” He died in 1991. My brother organized and helped build and finance a new Nokotsudo (mausoleum) where members’ ashes lay in rest, including my mother, father, and brother, who died in 2015. The temple people are family; whenever I visit, they say, “Welcome home, Hoshina.”
My father, Rev. Hozen Seki, established the Arizona Buddhist Temple, New York Buddhist Church, and the American Buddhist Academy (now American Buddhist Study Center). We would not be here if it weren’t for him. The ABSC is setting up a Go-Fund-Me page where all donations except Go-Fund-Me fees will go directly to Rev. Ai Hironaka, the Head Minister of the Lahaina Hongwanji, to use the money to help Sangha members and build a new temple.
Many donation sites are being established to assist, but this one is personal.
Please click to donate to the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission and its Sangha Members.
From all of us, including our ABSC Board of Directors, Team ABSC, Rev. Ai Hironaka, and Lahaina Sangha members, we say thank you so much for your support.
American Buddhist Study Center