FEED THE NEED
Lunch Seva - Texas Youth
As the New Year’s last Sunday of the month approached, Bhagawan showed the Young Adults of Texas yet again that they were not alone in carrying out HIS mission. On January 29, 2016, six Young Adults gathered together at the usual abode, with all the necessary ingredients for the 108 lunch bags in place - bread, flavored tofurkey slices (vegetarian tofu), mayo, mustard, pickles for the sandwiches along with a carton of juice, crackers, and a nutritious snack bar. But this time, something seemed different. These Young Adults had always had an eye on the future, gaining inspiration from all the other Seva activities being undertaken around the world, to see how they could more effectively and sustainably serve their own communities. This time, however, that mindset could not be bottled up any longer.
The Young Adults channeled their inner Bhagawan with a heartfelt chanting of 21 Aums while packing the lunches, and almost immediately, a palpable change in energy could be discerned. The Young Adults were inspired to infuse more love, not only when preparing the lunches, but when handing them out to the homeless as well. “We can’t just hand out the sandwiches and be content with a ‘Hello’ or ‘God Bless’ – thought the Young Adults – but let’s actually put ourselves in their world and ask them, ‘How else can we help you?’ or ‘What do you need most?’”.
And so the group departed in the love mobile, intent on changing the conversation within and without. Their first stop to the streets of downtown and under bridges began like all the others, but in addition to smiles and lunch bags, this squadron of love was now also equipped with disarming questions. The squad made quick work of the hunger-smitten souls who were eager to relish their first meal of the day, but after covering more ground in the underpass, they came face to face with heavy fortifications – those who called this area home and knew the territory better than anyone else. It was here that the Young Adults got to understand what these folks really need.
It turned out that there were other groups who provided meals to these homeless people, but they did so only at the beginning of the month and by the end of the month, when the goodwill ran out, so did these folks’ hopes. The group looked at each other, surprised that many months ago they had “randomly” chosen the last Sunday of the month without having any knowledge about this need at the end of the month.
Through conversation with those being served, the YAs learned that in addition to meals, sanitation (wipes, hygiene, sanitizer) and undergarments (underwear, socks) were also in high demand. “These items now needed to be part of our munitions,” the squadron agreed. The group was pleasantly surprised when a particularly accommodating soul who recently became homeless volunteered her phone number so that the Young Adults could reach out to her regarding when/where to distribute the items in the future. She knew exactly where the spots are that people stay- places where they have absolutely no one to help them
Before long, the love mobile was emptied of lunch bags, but the YAs’ hearts were overflowing. As soon as the squad regrouped at base camp, energy flowed and plans were made and responsibilities were assigned. It was becoming apparent that this journey of Seva was every bit for their sake as it was for the beneficiaries’. One of the youths felt so much happier overall as a result of doing this Seva. Any problems or worries that he had seemed to just melt away through service. He realized that if, as Bhagawan says, “Happiness is Union with God”, and Happiness comes from doing Seva, then Seva is Union with God! The YAs counted their blessings, and as they closed this chapter of their journey from I to We to He, and caught a glimpse of the next chapter, they couldn’t help but smile knowing they were authoring and playing along with Him, instrument and master, the same incredible story.