By Korea News Group (Originally in Korean)
On July 16, 2017, Cheongju City, South Korea and nearby areas were inundated with 290.1 millimeters (11.4 inches) of rain. It was a record-breaking amount there in July and people said they had never seen that much rain before. Seven people lost their lives in the storm and property damage came to approximately US$56.6 million. The city was flooded, including 686 houses, 14 schools and over 4,900 hectares of farmland.
Following Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving instruction, our Association members in South Korea visited the affected locations and carried out relief activities.
On July 21, our Association members began relief work in the Cheongju area. Upon discussion with the local government, we were assigned to a citizen’s house to help clean up a basement warehouse that was flooded. We moved everything outside and sorted the items into usable and trash, so that waste could be quickly collected and the owner could utilize the other items. After that, we cleaned up the basement warehouse. We tried to work quickly and efficiently. The house owner deeply appreciated us for thoroughly cleaning up his warehouse.
An elderly neighbor lady saw our team and asked if we could help her harvest soy beans from her flooded farm field. After lunch, we came to her field and finished the harvesting. That day was very hot, so just standing outside was a challenge, but we tried our best to complete the work, sweating like rain. The lady was greatly appreciative and felt sorry for us working in the heat, but we said it was our pleasure to help. We were happy to be able to share Master’s love with those in need.
On Saturday, July 22, twenty of our Association members joined the relief efforts. We were assigned to help with a flooded mill. The owner asked us to remove iron constructions in the flooded basement. Since some of our Association members there had the professional skill and equipment to deal with the work, we could quickly break up the constructions and move them outside. The concerned owner was very appreciative.
Next, we moved to a shop that sells electric-heated sleeping mats in the downtown area. We divided into two teams. One team moved flooded products, and another team cleaned up the flooded parking lot. As we saw quite a lot of volunteers, we decided to move to a more needed area. We quickly finished lunch and moved on.
After 30 minutes of driving, we arrived at a village that was in total disarray with waste and flooded home appliances. The village head guided us to a damaged house. Per the owner’s request, we moved all the furniture and items in the rooms to an area of the village where waste items were being placed, and cleaned up the house. The work was completed earlier than expected. The owner looked so sad and tired, but appreciated us for helping. We gave words of encouragement.
On July 23, we visited an apple farm, which was seriously damaged by a flooded river. In accordance with the farm owner’s advice, we carefully removed refuse from the apple tree branches. Unexpected rain came in the morning. Even though we did not have raincoats, we just continued to work. The farm owner was feeling very sorry for us, but we said it was better than being so hot like in previous days. Everyone got wet, but we all worked hard. At noon, as we had a warm vegan lunch and coffee; we felt much better and recharged ourselves. Then we went into the rain and completed the mission. The owner was very touched and kept expressing his appreciation.
Our deep gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for giving this opportunity to help each other and grow more and learn from each other as well. May all those affected by the flood be graced with comfort and a quick return to their normal lives.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Flood Relief Work in South Korea
|Fruits and vegetables||206,000||A|
|Water and ice||32,400|
|Gas for relief team||34,350||B|