Love in Action

Report from Japan

Practicing the Christmas Spirit by
Sharing the Love of Christ

By the Gunma News Group (Originally in Japanese)

In 1998, Master reminded disciples around the world that Christmas is a time to share their love and concern with the needy, and each year since then Gunma Center initiates have followed Her suggestion by distributing Christmas gifts to their homeless friends in Gunma and neighboring prefectures. This year’s gifts included warm underwear, long coats, pants, socks, scarves, gloves, hats, flu medicine, hand warmers, blessed food, fruit and fortune cookies containing Master’s aphorisms, with the most welcomed items being the coats, which had flannel linings and hoods to keep wearers as warm as a sleeping bag.

Since they are constantly on the move, it was difficult to locate the homeless, even though the initiates had obtained information on their frequent haunts a day earlier. Fortunately, however, as in all of their other charitable activities, Master successfully guided the disciples to those most in need.

For example, by the riverside under Gunma’s Tone Bridge the initiates encountered a man who had been disabled by two leg fractures sustained in a hit-and-run accident, and his bones had been left to grow back together without medical treatment. Upon seeing his condition the practitioners gave the man a crutch and many hand warmers, which he accepted with an unforgettable, childlike smile. Another homeless man was overwhelmed by emotion when he acknowledged the initiates’ gifts and kind gesture because they were so new to his experience. The sisters and brothers found yet another recipient squatting outside the local county hall without food or shelter after his recent release from prison. Also, an old woman who had gone without food for three days who was sitting on a roadside bench around midnight received gifts. Master’s grace led the brothers and sisters to these people one by one, so that they could obtain Her donations of love.

Next, in a park, two shabbily clad volunteer workers who were busily sweeping fallen leaves onto a handcart received presents and exclaimed, “As soon as we do something good, God sends us gifts! Starting tomorrow sweeping leaves will be an even more enjoyable task.” They then repeatedly waved goodbye until the practitioners were out of sight. Particularly impressive, however, was one homeless friend who did not care about his own poverty and generously gave his gift to a needy man who was even more miserable, and being extremely touched by this saintly action the Gunma initiates gave the first man another gift.

The brothers and sisters then set out for their next destination as scheduled. However, their guide led them in the wrong direction, bringing them to a homeless friend whose condition was the worst they had seen in eight years. The initiates were shocked at the appearance of the man’s red, swollen hands as he reached out to accept his gift, and they asked, "What’s wrong? Are you sick?" "There’s something wrong with my heart," he answered. His face and feet were red and swollen as well, his shoes looked too small and tight for him, and his feet hurt at even the slightest touch. Thus, the practitioners rushed to the nearest pharmacy to seek medication for the man, returned with the advice that he should see a doctor and also gave him money to cover his doctor’s fees. The man then donned the long coat, pulled up the hood and slipped his swollen hands into the gloves given to him by the initiates. “This is really nice,” he said with a cherubic smile, and was already out of sight when the practitioners briefly looked back. However, they were concerned about his condition and immediately telephoned the local group taking care of the homeless, to state their readiness to provide further help. Their visit to where the homeless man lived was the first time the initiates had visited the area, and so it was obvious that Master had guided them to him. In similar fashion, She showers Her all-encompassing love on every child of God in every corner of the planet and Her immense compassion touches all beings.

During the 2005 Christmas season the holiday spirit was evident in the resplendent lighting that decorated the streets of Gunma, but to the homeless it was just another freezing and lonesome time. Thus the Gunma practitioners are grateful to Master for Her guidance and the chance to serve as tools in sharing Her divine love with the needy.

Recently more people around the world have been coming together to help the less fortunate as a result of Master’s elevation of Earth’s consciousness. And this year during the holy time of Christmas, God’s divine light shone into the darkest corners of society, reminding us of the true meaning of the holiday. Master, we thank You from the bottom of our hearts!