Photo of entrance to Sai Home
In June 2015, nine devotees from Chihuahua, Mexico, travelled to Encinitas, California to be in the presence of Swami in His subtle body. The trip confirmed our belief in Sukshma Baba and we returned with our hearts full of joy and eager to serve Him again. During the Encinitas conference a member of our group invited Swami to visit us in Chihuahua; to which He replied that He would come.
Upon our return from Encinitas we began weekly meetings to plan for Bhagawan´s visit. Swami approved the house where He would be staying during His visit: Sai Home. Our preparations began and a group was formed of devotees and non-devotees to rehearse bhajans, meeting once a week at Sai Home to sing in Swami´s future room.
Morning Satsang at Sai Home
The venue for the conference seated 300 people with half of the attendees being non-devotees. People came from all over Mexico and several foreign countries; many of whom commented on the incredible experiences they had that day. We are very happy and grateful to have been able to share that experience with so many people and to know that they experienced the love that filled that theatre.
Photo of Conference in Chihuahua June 22, 2016
During the visit we were instructed by Baba to “…find something to do for Seva that will strengthen and expand the group.” And of course, Baba immediately guided us toward a man who has been doing wonderful things with youngsters in a humble community. Rene, a reformed drug addict and ex-gang member, after working all day at a construction company, dedicates every afternoon, Monday through Friday, to giving free boxing lessons to children in his community, ages 6 to 21. The gym known as “Salvando Angeles” (Saving Angels) was named so because he wanted to save his two children, Angel and Angelina, from the gangs.
The Saving Angels Gym
Rene and a young student
We are advising Rene on how to legally structure a non-profit NGO and are also helping him to visualise a short-term and mid-term growth plan, in order to integrate other activities. At first glance, people might think that Rene is teaching the children to be aggressive, but in reality the opposite is true. He teaches them to defend themselves while living in an environment where there are gangs that prey on them, offering them drugs or alcohol, and where only the strongest survive. Rene teaches them to overcome their fear. His teaching method is surprising, since he has never studied values. Any challenge or difficulty the children face during their training routines is related naturally and precisely to a certain value. He is convinced that the values that a boy or girl needs to master in any defensive training routine are the same needed to achieve any goal they set in life. That is why he dreams of adding more activities and demonstrating to his students that this vision for achievement can apply for meeting any challenge or reaching any goal in their lives. Our commitment is to offer values classes and yoga for the children who attend the gym. In a second phase, we plan to provide Human Values classes to parents as well.
Angelina, Rene´s daughter.
Many of the students in the gym are girls who come to learn to box.
Classes on values and yoga take place in the gym.
The short-term work plan has three objectives: first, to help him have a flexible legal structure and make the gym self-sufficient. Second, provide support through Medical Screenings to detect and prevent drug or alcohol use, as well as to identify any malnutrition problems. Third, enlarge the premises and integrate new activities that will allow him to attend to other areas of developing the gym that are of interest to the youngsters.