By France Relief Team (Originally in English)
In November, 2012, Italy was deluged by unprecedented flooding. Upon hearing this unfortunate news, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly contributed €10,000 to assist flood victims. Furthermore, She instructed our nearby Association members to travel to the affected regions, bringing love and comfort, especially to the elderly and orphans.
Therefore, from November 14 to 16 a relief team of our French Association members visited the flood-affected regions of Massa and Carrara Province in western Italy and Orbetello in the south. Our team members witnessed the dignity, courage and solidarity displayed by the Italian people during these difficult times, which will forever remain in our memories. Organizations such as Associazione Nazionale Alpini, Protezione Civile, Confraternita di Misericordia di Albinia, the Red Cross, and Caritas, as well as many churches and individuals generously helped those affected by organizing relief centers and clearing mud from homes. The army was also mobilized as many roads could only be accessed by tanks due to the extent and depth of the mud and water.
Since the above-mentioned groups and volunteers had already met many of the people’s basic needs, we set out to find older people and orphans who needed more help. To avoid missing anyone, we needed God’s guiding hand, which came through people along the way. For example, in the severely affected city of Albinia, we were helped by a priest who provided us with guides to help find the sick elderly people in extreme situations. We gave the victims monetary assistance from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s relief fund, and also offered comfort. The recipients accepted the funds with tears in their eyes and brilliant smiles. Supreme Master Ching Hai’s unexpected gifts gave them immense joy and relief.
Then, after two days of searching, another priest guided us to the home of a man in the city of Follonica who had lost his life in the flooding, leaving behind a 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. The children were not at home when we arrived, but thanks to the owner of a local coffee shop, we found their grandmother, and left her gift bags and sweets for each child and an envelope with financial help for the woman’s daughter, the children’s mother. The grandmother was deeply touched and expressed her sincere gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai.
In the town of Polverosa, a freelance photographer volunteered to lead us to the most affected families. Through his guidance, we extended Supreme Master Ching Hai’s help to three families: an older couple whose farm and equipment had been destroyed by the flood; a young couple with an elderly mother; and a young woman with an elderly father. We gave each family a bag of food and some financial assistance from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s relief fund.
At a relief-aid center in Marina di Carrara of Massa and Carrara Province, we found an elderly couple and an older man whose homes had been damaged by the flood and provided them with clothing and monetary help.
Many miracles occurred as we were guided from place to place, and the courageous recipients of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s aid were always deeply touched by Her love. For example, a young volunteer named Valeria at an aid center in Marsiliana wept when she saw our van arrive with a large supply of food and personal hygiene products. She also guided us to two older people living with a young daughter who were in great need of financial help.
During the relief effort, through Heaven’s blessing, we were able to assist 21 people, and we are sure that Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love embraced everyone in the affected region. Many people told us beautiful stories of reconciliation, of those who had forgotten their quarrels to help one another, and of others who had sacrificed their lives to save their fellow citizens. We witnessed the extraordinary solidarity of the Italian people and learned the meaning of unconditional “love in action.” We thank God for this precious experience and pray that the world’s suffering will soon be reduced.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai
for Flood Relief Work in Italy
|Food, clothing and personal hygiene items||988||A, B|
|Cash contribution to affected families||9,000||C|
|Total|| EUR 9,988