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  Volume 3 - Issue 11
NOVEMBER 2005
 
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GLIMPSES OF WORLDWIDE SAI SEVA

To commemorate Swami's 80th Birthday, we at Heart2Heart thought it would be interesting and inspiring to give you a glimpse of Sai Seva that is happening all round the world! The Sai Organisation, you would know, is active in more than 175 countries spreading the Light of His Love and sharing His love. When a Sai worker puts his/her hand to the field of service it is an expression of His love; it is the guarantee that God is working to salvage our world and that His instruments are ready and willing to play their part.

The Sai Global Mission of Service is helping to bring about the Golden Age and we can all be a part of this renaissance. We bring you below accounts of Sai Seva from a representative 15 different countries here; space is too small to bring you all their details but we are sure your hearts will be warmed from reading them. None of the reports reach the newspapers - but they should reach you. You will be enthused when you read the kind of service being done even in the poorest of African nations like Zambia, Malawi, etc. You will notice that we have not covered India and similarly many other countries, lest the article becomes too long. We plan to feature them in subsequent issues.

ARGENTINA

Did you know that a wonderful Community Centre has been builtby the Sai organisation at Noccan Kani, Argentina?! The 200 squatter homes theer comprise an Indian settlement which does not attract many outside visitors. But the people that society ignores due to fear and ignorance, are just those whom Swami has taught us to render service to. The Sai Organisation there has been helping in incredible ways.

They hold periodic Medical Camps where activities include haircuts and even removing lice from the children's hair! The latter practice really shows the dedication of the volunteers. The ladies from the community have been taught to sow from donated material, and now they make all the clothes for their children and families , and thus they are helping to help themselves. This service has really led to transformations in the people's lives.

 

 

BRAZIL

Water is a problem in most parts of the world, we know. But, did you know that some Brazilian volunteers have come together and constructed a water pipe to deliver clean water to a very poor community?! Their inspiration, undoubtedly, was Swami’s massive drinking water projects. This pipe line required clearing two kilometres of roadway grass (among other tasks), as shown in the picture. It was accomplished by devotees and members of the community.

Just imagine all the planning that went into this project and the commitment that the Sai workers had to have to see it through. In the beginning the villagers just watched, but enthused by the sight of this Sai Seva, the villagers later joined in the pipe laying work. How wonderful for the volunteers to reflect on, that a whole community can have running water thanks to them willing to be Swami's instruments.

COLOMBIA

Did you know that some Sai Youth from Colombia have been lovingly visiting an old people's home regularly, singing for them and bringing cheer to their lives?!

We know there are so many lonely and forsaken elderly people waiting to receive care and love. Instead of wasting their time, the splendid Sai Youth from Bogot , the capital of Columbia, regularly visit a home for the aged that bears the interesting name “Fingerprint of the Grandparents”.

What has endeared the youth to the senior citizens is the fact that they not only serve but also sing for the old people, bringing joy and cheer into their otherwise dreary lives. For their part, the elders narrate interesting experiences from the past to the enthralled youth. Altogether, it is a sweet two-way traffic. Giving love costs nothing and the benefits ripple out to others in so many ways.

 

 

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Did you know that Swami's followers in the Dominican Republic have been developing a refugee camp and serve breakfast everyday of the week to the school children?!

What you see beside is a scene from the refugee camp set up to assist those who fled from Haiti some years ago. The devotees have accomplished some noteworthy improvements to the facilities of the camp. They have built bathrooms and carried out refurbishments to the primary school.

That is a lot of time and energy commitment but then serving itself gives the needed inspiration. If only more people knew this and put it into practice!

EL SALVADOR

Did you know that the Sai Organisation in El Salvador, the smallest Central American country (roughly the size of the U.S. state of Massachusetts), has helped to rebuild a Catholic church, after an earthquake!

El Salvador , you might not know, is in an area which is very much prone to earthquakes. In fact, in 2001 when Gujarat (in India ) was hit with a massive quake, El Salvador had to face the brunt of two. Inevitably, Sai volunteers rushed to help, and among other things conducted six Medical Camps with the help of several doctors and volunteers.

In the months that followed, they also made arrangements for water supply to three communities where the existing system had been destroyed. Just think of all the man-power hours that accomplished all that work - incredible!

 


 

GREECE

Did you know that Sai devotees in Greece have helped to stave off many an empty stomach? God is Love and since God is Omnipresent, so is Love. And since Swami’s message is Universal, it is not surprising to see the words LOVE ALL SERVE ALL, all over the world on banners, on scarves and of course on T-shirts as in this picture. We see here devotees in Greece preparing for a Narayana Seva (feeding the poor). You can see the care with which the food is prepared in the ladies' expressions.

Such scenes have become quite routine and standard in all continents, and thus many can receive at least one good meal that day. This is the power of Swami’s Message and example. Yet consider this small point - how many people would have gone hungry but for Swami’s example? One can extrapolate this in so many ways in the other fields of His mission, such as those who would have gone without clean drinking water. The numbers run into millions!

 


JAPAN

Did you know that Japanese devotees have answered some of their own less fortunate countrymen's need for food?

There is a popular belief that hunger is a problem found only in poor and developing countries.

Not true, as this picture taken in Japan show. Japan is the world’s second largest economy, but due to disparity in wealth distribution and income there are people living on the streets here as well and people often go hungry. But how happy they become when served hot meals as we see Sai volunteers doing in these pictures? They are bringing some cheer to at least a few people, warming other's hearts with the love from the Lord.

 

 

KENYA

Did you know that devotees from Kenya are taking the message of Educare to their younger brothers and sisters?

Many imagine that rendering service consists of distributing food, running Medical Camps and so on. Not entirely so; yes, food and clothes do have to be distributed to the needy but grooming young minds is an equally valuable service. Swami has stressed that the 'End of Education is Character' and that character gets developed only when students adhere to the Basic Human Values.

As the picture shows, students and teachers in Kenya are taking Human Values seriously and with great joy too, thanks to dedicated service by Sai devotees. Consider that these children are probably learning about human values for the first time in their lives.

MALAWI

Did you know that thousands in Malawi (one of the poorest nations on Earth) have received medical care from Sai devotees?

It is Swami's Love that directed the medical team to go there to serve the most needy. The picture was taken during a 5-day intensive Medical Camp run by a group of UK doctors and paramedical staff, consisting of about a dozen people - this being just one of the group's regular service activities. The Camp was run in two local hospitals with wonderful co-operation from the local medical staff.

Those who benefited must have wondered at the unique care and love they were shown, which was simply Swami's Love expressed through His instruments.

 

 

MEXICO

Did you know that Sai Youth in Mexico spend their valuable time picking up rubbish!

God gave us a wonderful and beautiful planet to live on but, through carelessness and thoughtless actions we are polluting the planet in innumerable ways - throwing garbage is one of them. People crowd to the beaches because they are beautiful and inviting but having gone there, they carelessly leave rubbish. Thanks to technology, most of the polluting material is non-biodegradable, which makes matters even worse.

But instead of viewing the beach solely as a place of fun, the Sai Youth in Mexico have ideas more of their civic responsibilities and collect the garbage littered on the beach. A group of twenty or so collect about 40 bags of rubbish during the weekends and leave them at a designated area for garbage trucks to pick them up on Monday mornings. If more people had such feelings the world would be a blessed place.

NEW ZEALAND

Did you know that elderly people need so much care - care that Sai devotees are keen to offer.

In olden times, elders, especially parents, were looked after in old age by their sons and daughters. But such is the nature of so-called progress that today, even the elderly have been forgotten. In rich countries, those who can afford to move into special senior citizens centres but those who are no so lucky face a hard time.

However, they are not entirely forgotten, for the loving God sends His devotees to serve such people and bring at least some cheer in their dreary lives. Such Sai Seva goes on silently in all parts of the world all the time, the picture from New Zealand being one example of it. Sharing one's time and energy with elderly people is possibly the most easy and rewarding seva to practice - have you found this to be true?

 

 

NIGERIA

Did you know that the Nigerian Sai Organisation have been regularly running leprosy camps for over TWENTY years now?

Leprosy is a curable disease but courageous people are needed to overcome prejudice and serve the sufferers. Sai volunteers in Nigeria are doing precisely that. Thanks to this many lepers have been cured and even rehabilitated.

Incidentally, when patients come to the clinic, not only are they bandaged and given medicines that are a part of Multi-Drug Therapy, but are also given fruits and snacks as a token of Swami’s Love.

RUSSIA

Did you know that UK Sai devotees have conducted medical camps in Russia?

What is now Russia was the centerpiece of the erstwhile USSR. The Soviet Republic was officially wedded to atheism, and the practice of religion in any form was frowned upon, as well as discouraged. The sudden collapse of Communism changed all that, and literally overnight, Sai awareness expanded dramatically all across Russia. This is indeed a miracle, especially considering that no one like Hislop or Murphet specifically took Baba’s Message to Russia. The deep yearning was there in Russian hearts and Swami responded in His own way.

One major benefit has been the Medical Camps now being conducted by UK doctors in Russia. Once, it was the State that provided health care but now the sick are left to fend for themselves as best as they can. Luckily, many have been able to experience His Love via compassionate service rendered by Sai devotees, as illustrated in the picture.

 

 

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Did you know that South African devotees regularly visit slums and serve the indwellers?

For decades, Swami has directed the attention of His students to rural service. There was a time when He physically used to take students and teachers to villages to join Him in doing such service. Since the year 2000, rural service has assumed a new format via the famous Grama Seva. As Swami says Grama Seva is Rama Seva, meaning that service to man is really service to God. Inspired by the wonderful Grama Seva now being done every year by Swami’s students, many devotees overseas have started doing the same.

Here we see an example where devotees in South Africa are bringing groceries, vegetables and blankets to the residents of a slum near Johannesburg, this being a regular feature of their service activities. This again needs time, energy and money commitment - all inspired by the Lord.

ZAMBIA

Did you know that the Zambian Sai Organisation has a big programme to help street kids?

Street kids are a problem even in affluent countries. It is no surprise then that Africa has it share, in fact more than its share, thanks to AIDS which has made thousands of children orphans. In Zambia, Sai devotees are caring for street kids in many ways, one of them being periodic distribution of not only food but such necessities as soap and toothpaste, quite scarce in Zambia, indeed in Africa in general.

Of course when winter comes, the kids all receive blankets, whereupon they break into a loud cheer.

 

 

There are many thousands of people who have been inspired by Swami's Love and are working for the good of the world. What we have collected are only snapshots in time. They were not performed for the publicity camera or done as a one-off. A multitude of service activities are continuing right now as you read this, all over the world, fulfilling a variety of needs. So let us not forget that when we are serving, thousands are serving with us!

If you know of such inspiring happenings in your town or country, please do share it with us at [email protected]

Jai Sai Ram!

- Heart2Heart Team



 
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Vol 3 Issue 11 - November 2005
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