Valerie met Humphrey in church. They fell in love and were married.
A few years into their relationship Valerie became a Buddhist and Humphrey also joined the SGI.
They moved to the island country of St. Maarten and started introducing their friends and neighbors to the practice of Buddhism. Within a few years there were over 200 people practicing the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin.
The rapid growth of the SGI on St. Maarten alarmed the established religions on the island and soon the SGI was being denounced from pulpits and in editorials in the newspapers.
About one-third of the SGI members left the organization, due to the pressure that they received from their jobs, friends, and family.
Valerie and Humphrey were not swayed. They received guidance to show actual proof and become great citizens of St. Maarten.
Valerie went on to become the Minister of Education for the Children and Humphrey went on to become the second ranking police officer on St. Maarten.
In June of this year, the SGI of St. Maarten held its Victory over Violence campaign.
At one of these events, representatives of all the churches on St. Maarten came to hear Arun Gandhi of the M. K. Gandhi Institute, Lawrence Carter Sr. of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and Orlando Cepeda (more details here).
Arun Gandhi spoke about how active violence comes from passive violence.
Lawrence Carter said: "The strength to love must propel an interfaith movement to end violence. Unconditional love is Soka — the creation of value. Everyone here is a value creator. We have that chance every moment we breathe."
Orlando Cepeda spoke about how the practice of Buddhism made him a less self-centered and more caring person. He could honestly say that he is happier than he has ever been in his life.
The representatives of the churches of St. Maarten had nothing but the highest praise for the SGI. This led to the formation of a Victory Over Violence Foundation supported by the churches and other community groups and headed by the SGI.
Valerie and Humphrey have shown great actual proof and have become outstanding citizens of their country.
They have won not only for themselves but also for their country.
[There are photos and
more details in the June 23, 2000 World