Middle East June - 2020
The nationwide lockdown had indeed slowed down Seva activities in the Middle East during the previous few months. Nevertheless, the need to engage in Seva is actually much more essential during these times as many people have either lost jobs or are affected with COVID-19, with no one to help. So, it was an inner call for the volunteers in the Middle East to jump into action.
It began initially by finding out the needs of the previous labour camps that the devotees used to visit regularly; which they had temproraily stopped due to the pandemic. So, the first spot directed by Swami to Sai Hrudayam was the Ladies Labour Camp which houses around 125 ladies. Most of them work as school nannies or cleaners and had no work as a result of the lockdown and were unable to meet their needs or send any money back home to their families. After understanding their needs, the team planned for a collection of grocery items to last a month for the ladies and two other camp staff. It must be noted that when the message of the Seva was passed to the group; the devotees, their families and friends rushed in to donate groceries for the camp! It was as if each and every individual was waiting for the opportunity to serve the Divine.
In just three days’ time, the monthly provisions for the ladies camp was ready – truly the Sai Hrudayam was set into action, amazed by the Divine Leela!
Next came in the volunteers to pack the items in cartons for the 127 workers. Time was precious and the need was urgent, so the group had to work fast. Children and youth guided by elders – around 8-10 volunteers burned the midnight oil and worked throughout the day and night, so that the items reached the workers at the earliest. Are words required to explain the joy that one received on seeing the smiles on the faces of the workers on receiving the ‘Love Kit’ from Bhagawan? The Manager of the company was impressed with the Seva done and requested a similar service for their men’s camp whose condition was no different from that of the lady workers.
Thus, Swami ensured that the Seva activities continued and gave opportunities to Sai Hrudayam to make the best use of it. The men’s camp was 200 in number! From where to collect the provisions was the next question? Why fear when SAI is HERE! A philanthropic group in the Middle East that had heard about Sai Hrudayam and its Seva activities, wished to be a part of the service and offered monthly groceries for the 200 men workers. It was Swami’s Leela getting unfolded one after the other. Work was undertaken again at jet speed and in about a fortnight the items were collected, the packing team once again volunteered and the ‘Love Kit’ was ready for distribution.
This time around, the new non-devotee Seva group of friends joined Sai Hrudayam in the distribution. Words cannot express what one experienced at the labour camp when the items were delivered. Brothers waited patiently in a queue, offering silent prayers and hoping that a Kit would be there for them. There was a loud, celebratory applause when the first package was handed over, filling the hearts of the volunteers with Divine bliss - a clear union of hearts for all. How could this joy not transform! Everyone, including the new Seva group, the company management staff, felt inspired by Swami’s works and wished to continue to be a part of the Seva activities that the Middle East group undertakes. Yet another manifestation of Divine Leela! It is indeed Swami who brings forth the ones to serve and be served, bringing together like-minded people when He deems right.
Swami works tirelessly for the sake of His devotees and He now wanted Sai Hrudayam to follow His footsteps, for the compassionate Lord cannot see His children in distress. So, in order to provide aid to His children, Swami directed Sai Hrudayam next to individuals, families, working groups, patients suffering from COVID-19. The fastest way that news spreads, that can beat the internet hands down, is the Word of Mouth. Swami’s Seva activities conducted by Sai Hrudayam are gradually spreading across Middle East and many have begun to approach or direct the volunteers to people, places or families that need help. In this way, the group has been able to serve seven families including positive COVID-19 patients in quarantine and 14 cleaning staff. Volunteers even took the extra step by purchasing shopping vouchers for them for their future personal needs.
At every step, when the need arose, the volunteers became ready and the offering or item for distribution just materialized naturally or can one say, miraculously from either a known or unknown source, without even asking for it! To state an example, living in the hot and extreme conditions in the Middle East without air conditioning facility is difficult and quite impossible even. A family that could not afford an A/C requested the volunteers for the same. About the same time, one of the devotees offered his air cooler, which was not being used at his home, without even having heard of this need/requirement. Such was the magnificent and grand work of Sai that one witnessed, working across many sections, so that individuals rose from Swaartha (Self) to Paraartha (Society); so that one day he/she realizes the Paramaartha (God).
Just as significant as doing Seva, the volunteers also stayed in touch and followed up with the families about their welfare so that no leaf was left unturned. A ‘Joyous June’, for Sai Hrudayam collectively felt Swami’s Divine hands pulling their chords at each and every step. They are ever grateful!