By Gunma Center, Japan (Originally in Japanese)
In 2013, our Association members in Gunma Center, Japan participated in the Center’s 17th annual Christmas gift distribution. This caring tradition was inspired by Master’s request to our Association Centers around the world to tend to the needs of homeless people, especially during the cold winters. On December 14, our Association members went to Takasaki City and Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture to share vegan pizza bread, snacks, candy, sweet treats and fruits, as well as winter items including hats, socks, gloves, pocket warmers, undergarments and long jackets with our homeless friends.
There were numerous meteors flying across the sky the night before the distribution. The next morning, a halo was observed around the sun. We felt a strong current of blessing power from Master. Filled with love and gratefulness, we looked for homeless individuals as planned.
It was a fairly cold winter this year. Many people accepted the gifts with smiles and said, “I have been expecting you this year.” One said happily, “The weather forecast shows that there will be snow and a cold spell coming tomorrow. It’s great that you come today. I’ve always wanted a long jacket. This is very practical for me.” Since he was still wearing summer sandals, his toes must have been extremely cold. Our Association members immediately went and purchased a pair of shoes for him based on his request. Some others were also waiting for us with excitement. The long jacket remains as a popular item this year. A person resting in a vehicle on the riverbank waited for us every year in the past. With the smile of an angel, he said, “I was thinking you might come tomorrow.”
At the Takasaki City train station, a man with a long beard and a cane told us, “I come here hoping to meet you. I’m glad you came here in spite of the cold weather.”
A woman who had been receiving our gifts for a long time told our Association members three years ago that she also wanted to help others. One of our Association members told her, “You can do it!” It turned out that two years ago, she was no longer homeless, and this year she is offering food to homeless individuals. We believe it’s a miracle blessed by Master. This woman always waits for us at the same place we go to every year. This year when she saw us, she said, “Thank you for your help during those times. When I went to the train station today, I met a homeless acquaintance. He has already happily received your long jacket. I often bring food to him these days.”
What a welcome reunion with old friends!
Even though there were some new faces this year compared to 17 years ago, the number of homeless people seems to have been reduced to less than half and their lives also seem to have greatly improved. They have received assistance from the local city government, which offers housing and employment opportunities. The social environment has changed tremendously, as Master uplifts our world.
We feel very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to be a tool of such a great Master, to serve others and to witness Her miracles. Thank You, Master, from the bottom of our hearts!
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association
for Winter Relief in Japan
|Snacks, candy, sweet treats, fruit and pizza bread||31,576||A|
|Long winter jackets, caps, gloves, socks and undergarments||76,656||B|
|Pocket warmers, hygienic masks, plastic bags and ribbon, etc.||9,650||C|
|Total|| JPY 117,882