Last week, our ATP Hawaii State Director, Fabian Loo, was invited to bring the Aloha Message before the Honolulu City Council. His brief message below displays the heart and dedication of our friend and partner in ministry. Fabian and his wife Mona faithfully minister to troubled and hurting youth.
MESSAGE OF ALOHA Honolulu City Council, 6-7-17
Good morning everyone. Thank you so much. Mahalo Chairman Menor, council members, staff and fellow attendees.
It is an honor and privilege to be here and to speak with you today. And I was thinking, how does this Kalihi kid end up in the council room? You know growing up. And I remember one of my stories growing up was, back in the day before 9-11 when ‘ohana (family) could come and wave at you at the airplane. I remember my parents decided to move to San Francisco and I was like 15 going on 16, attending Farrington High School under scholarship. And when your parents as a teenager tell you, “You gotta go” and you’re like, “NO”. And I’m thinking with about 50 or so ‘ohana there, waving us goodbye. And I remember some of my kupuna (grandparents), they used to say, “you know, aloha doesn’t mean goodbye. It means we’ll see you again.” There’s hope that you’re going to come back. And that really inspired me as a teenager because I spent six years in California. I finished high school and went to college. And six years later I returned home. And that story kind of kept in my heart and my mind that I need to press on. I need to go forth, see my family again, return back to my ‘aina (land), go back to the islands where I’m from. And it really inspired me to complete six agonizing years of being away from the islands…that I didn’t want to do.
And I kept that in my heart as I grew up; in my years in government and currently as a small business owner. And working with our incarcerated youth, not only in Hawaii but across the country, I’ve never forgotten those moments in my life where I kept the faith… and I pressed on. And as I stand here before you, one of my encouraging things with the definition of aloha is, remember that it’s not goodbye. We’ll get to see you again, we’ll get to do it better and more wholesome the next time. And as I look at you here this morning and the great capacity you have to make changes to our island community and the responsibility you have, I encourage you this morning as you go through volumes of paper in front of you… stay the course. Stay the course.
I remember as a trainer at the Honolulu Police Department I was in charge of tactics and self-defense. I remember taking civilians like round objects and trying to make square police officers out of them. And for some of them, they realized it wasn’t their cup of tea. And for others, they struggled and they persevered. But I remember telling them this: “A police officer should not be just for money or a career. It’s a calling. It’s a calling where your heart is in it, you have a passion for it. And then your career, when it’s done, it will have been worthwhile.” And I look before you today and I tell you as an officer, the words of “Protect and Serve with Aloha” meant a lot to me. Because I gave everything I had… how good or how bad it was, I gave it my all. But it was a special decision that I made.
And all of you on the Council, all of you and your staff, you made that decision to serve our people. That special decision. And you have given up many personal desires to embark on this journey. And I thank you for that. I encourage you this morning to stay the course… whatever it takes. Because our people and the ‘aina deserves it. Deserves your very best.
My wife has told me over the past weeks, “You know what honey? Hard is not bad, it’s just hard.” And I keep that locked up in my pocket when I go through my hard times. It’s not bad, it’s just hard, and it makes me stronger for it. I know without a doubt, right now, our islands, our state, our nation and this world need clear, honest and caring leaders like all of you here this morning.
I remember reading Margaret Thatcher. She said, “A great leaders isn’t someone who lights a fire under people. It’s a leader that lights a fire within the hearts of people. And that is my hope for you this morning. That you would light fires in the hearts of our people. We need it. We need clear guidance. There’s so much chaos in the world today. And you have the torch to bring clarity and hope to many of the people in this great state that we live in. Stay the course. Stay the course. Consider your responsibility from babies to kupuna. It’s all in your court here in this great building today.
I want to say a special prayer over you if you’d let me. And it was given by Moses the great law-giver. And he said this, “May the Lord bless you. May He keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you. May He be gracious unto you. May He lift your countenance up this day.”
I pray as you go forth with your great burdens of going through your work today, that the Lord would provide and guide for not only today in your session but for you and your family. And for the remainder of the time you have left on this earth. May you be blessed. And once again, I thank you. I thank you for your courage and your commitment to serve this great island that we live on. God bless you.
Fabian Loo, Hawaii Director – All Things Possible Ministries