Member Recalls Early Struggles
by Sayako Coldwell, Atlanta, GA
My husband and I were married in Japan. I introduced him to this practice and prayed that he would become a capable person for kosen rufu. In 1964, we moved with our child to Atlanta, GA. There was no SGI in Atlanta. I never dreamed that Atlanta would become a joint territory with its own community center.
Mr. Williams encouraged us to not
wait for an organization to be established, so I contacted three other
Japanese ladies and started having discussion meetings. None of us could
speak English very well, so my husband became the central figure. We fought
to spread Buddhism among the American people.
On one occasion, we prepared a meal for the priest and took it to his hotel. The priest scolded us, saying the amount of donations was not big enough. He asked, "Is this Mrs. Snelling's instruction?" (Mrs. Snelling was the WD chief at that time.) We said that it was not and tried to explain, but he was too angry to listen.
For almost 20 years, I assisted priests patiently, but never once did I receive a single word of gratitude.
In 1972, we attended the opening of Myosen-ji temple in Washington, DC. We donated all the money we had saved to the temple and did not receive a single word of encouragement from the priests.
It has been 30 years since I came to the U.S. I have seen those who became danto members become miserable, but those who fight for kosen-rufu with the SGI become happy.
[From Voices of the New American
Renaissance, Vol. 5, pp. 8-12]