MIDDLE EAST YOUTH ACTIVITIES
DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2017
It was that month of the year in the Middle East when schools reopen and business activities are at its peak post-summer. However, the youth of Middle East who are committed to the cause of Loving All and Serving All miss no chance to bring a smile or two, here or there. No wonder they are able to inspire like-minded colleagues and friends to join their weekly service activities in the Middle East.
As usual, a couple of youngsters got together on weekend mornings sacrificing much precious weekend sleep, only to share more happiness and joy with fellow brothers and sisters who are less fortunate to have even the basic necessities of life.
Vegetables, Fruits and Toiletries Seva
A group of youth also distributed vegetables, fruits, and toiletries as Bhagawan’s Prasadam on weekends at two different work sites in the region. Close to 350 people are being served every weekend, helping them save whatever little amount they can to ensure their families back in their home country meet their basic expenses.
Construction Site Seva Anniversary
This month was special for the youth who were blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve labourers at a construction site, for, they have completed one year of serving their blue-collared friends from other countries. It was an unending flow of Bhagawan’s love through both parties that made this possible.
A special cake was prepared by the energetic and enthusiastic youth members to mark this occasion, followed by home-made fresh lunch for the tired workers. With an added flavor of Pure Love into the recipe, the food brightened up their faces and souls.
No amount of words can do justice to the oneness experienced by the youth and the labourers. The cake and the lunch came as a surprise to the labourers adding even more joy.
When served with the secret recipe of Love, it was accepted with all the more joy and happiness. There was no them or us. All are one family. It was an occasion to remind about the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of mankind.
Women Empowerment Initiative and Diwali Celebrations
It was Bhagawan Baba’s divine and direct guidance to alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions that they need to focus on empowering blue collared women covering every aspect of their personal and professional lives. The will power of these young and determined Sai students helped them make the women empowerment initiatives more streamlined and structured.
The month of October was even more special for the women at the labour camp as the alumni decided to celebrate the Indian festival of Diwali with their sisters who were living on a hand-to-mouth existence in this part of the world.
Their joy knew no bounds as they were greeted with a Tilak (sacred mark) on their forehead by the alumnae on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Sweets and savouries were distributed to everyone at the labour camp.
After the brief celebrations, the women at the camp were engaged with special English language coaching. Special charts/posters and short skits were organised for easy and practical learning. The following weekend was dedicated to training the women on basic computer skills, Microsoft Word to start with. In addition, vegetables and dry ration were offered with love to everyone as Bhagawan’s Prasadam.
A couple of alumni families and youth joined this initiative, only to find fulfillment in their lives by dedicating a most precious aspect of human life, that is, time.
Saturday Special – Liquid Love ‘Laban Seva’
Come Saturday, and it’s time for sharing love in the form of cool and fresh laban (buttermilk) with those toiling under the hot Middle East sun. Be it winter, autumn, summer or spring, the weather conditions during the day in a typical Middle Eastern city remain warmer than those in the tropical countries. And there is nothing more satisfying that sipping few drops of that elixir called Laban after working for almost half day. The joy is double when Laban is gifted along with a banana.
It was a heartening sight to watch young boys and girls coming together on a weekend only to serve their fellow brothers and sisters who barely manage to meet their ends. Truly one need not retire to forests to experience oneness with Divinity. It is available at one’s doorstep! All is needed is to just step outside the homes and look around for opportunities to experience oneness with His creation, which is nothing but Himself.
Love is addictive, so is Selfless Service. It just takes a heart full of compassion and love for fellow beings to push and to come out of personal comfort zone and help someone in need. It was so inspiring to have more people join the group for this Seva. People with diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, traditions, and so forth, who have been brought together by the Oneness of Humanity.
An interesting episode from this Seva melted the hearts of these young Sevaks. Apparently, the youth had distributed ice-cream among the construction workers at their work site. The labourers were moved beyond words. After partaking Bhagawan’s Prasadam, a couple of them came to the youth to express their happiness when one of them said “Aaj hamara dil bhar gaya” in Hindi, which means “Today our hearts are full too”. When Swami says true happiness lies in the happiness of others, we understand what He means.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba always says Self gets and forgets, Love gives and forgives. Baba has in fact taken a step further to say that there is no ‘giver’ or ‘taker’, in its real sense, as the Lord owns it all. The youths are mere trustees transferring His Love back to Him. After all, man comes into this world empty-handed and goes out of this world empty-handed too. What matters is the time spent between these two events.