Christmas Seva at Elder Care Facility
at Sagamihara City
Japanese youth along with regular devotees conducted Christmas Seva on December 24, 2018 at Elder Care Facility in Sagamihara City. 16 enthusiastic devotees with unique skills such as singers, pianist, flute players, drummer, dancer and Santa Claus gathered to serve elderly people who are lonely and in need of heartwarming communication.
For this Seva, they prepared Christmas gifts and handmade cards to be gifted to elderly people and staff of the facility, and practiced Christmas carols. As a Christmas gift, the youth selected small hand towels so the elderly people can use them in daily life. Many who could not join the Seva on Christmas Eve also helped and contributed by providing and wrapping gifts. The youth coordinated and made preparations for such work by requesting help from as many people as possible.
Christmas Seva started spectacularly by the presentation of the Japanese drum performance by one of the female devotees who carried a large, heavy, professional Japanese drum to the facility!
The youth then sang Christmas carols and Santa Claus, along with several reindeers entered the room with all the gifts that they distributed to all the elderly people. As they distributed, they made sure that they spoke to each elderly person and had quality interaction!
They did a story-telling of the birth of Jesus along with Flute playing and singing of ‘Silent Night’.
Then they moved onto singing of nostalgic oldies which are loved by all these elderly people. They sang together in Karaoke Style using a Karaoke Machine and invited the elderly people to request their favorite songs to sing together.
All the volunteers sang together, sitting by the side of the elders. Swami’s love touched their hearts, there were some who were shedding tears of joy!
During the break, the youth chatted with everyone and listened to their stories and concerns with love in their hearts. They then moved onto the next session with energetic Hula Dance along with popular songs that the youth love. The energy filled up the people in the entire room!
At the end, they closed by singing all together “We wish you a Merry Christmas” with all the musicians, and continued with the typical New Years’ Song which is customary in Japan.
The youth were able to see all the participating elderly people with smiles and happiness, and it filled their hearts with gratitude and love! Some sang so much that they forgot about their state and lost their voices, some took with them acrylic paper like treasure, and some approached the drummer to try the drum!
After the programme was finished, some of the youth visited the rooms of the elderly people who were not well and could not participate. They distributed their gifts, spoke and listened to them. One aunty was struggling from the pain which started several days ago. With her hand and body shaking, she spoke to them about how much she loves Shamisen, a Japanese string instrument, even though she cannot play now. She used to be a professional musician and was really good at it. She said that she will become better and join the youth programme next time, which touched the hearts of the youth!
They were able to share God’s pure love with so many people in need and were filled with much gratitude. They thank their Swami for giving them such a precious and sacred Christmas day!