Love in Action

Report from Au Lac

Master Always Takes Care of All Beings

Summarized by Brother Hung Ngo, Los Angeles, California, USA
(Originally in Aulacese)

At the end of October 2005, Au Lac’s seventh typhoon of the season played havoc in the country’s central region, causing extensive flood damage and loss of life, especially in the area of Binh Dinh City. Local initiates immediately reported the tragedy to the Hsihu Center, which provided 10,000 US dollars for relief work. In addition, initiates from Au Lac and the USA also contributed a similar amount to help the flood victims.

Then in the first week of November 2005, a group of initiates from the USA quickly flew to Au Lac to join the local initiates in the relief project. At that time, the season’s eighth storm touched down and increased the flooding problems. However, its destructive power was minimized as it miraculously moved out along the coast. At this surprising turn of events one TV weather forecaster commented, "The storm has taken a weird path." And the initiates silently thanked Master for blessing their homeland and helping it avoid further disaster.

On November 5, the US relief team members traveled to an affected area in Quy Nhon Province where they met with local initiates who had already begun aid efforts. The sisters and brothers assisted families whose relatives had died in the flooding and helped the elderly, the poor, the sick, young children and all others in difficult circumstances. The support included financial aid along with sugar, instant noodles, cooking oil, food seasoning, soap, shampoo, milk and other daily necessities.

To save time, the relief workers rented a fifteen-passenger van to reach the affected cities in central Au Lac, including Quang Ngai, where they were met by local initiates who enthusiastically greeted them as though they were old friends. There the group made plans for their relief mission and agreed to begin working at seven o’clock the next morning.

From Quang Ngai the initiates traveled in motorcycles to reach the flooded areas because the local rural roads were extremely muddy and ridden with potholes. The homes in these regions were heavily damaged due to their simple construction, which consisted of leaves for the roofs and woven bamboo walls. Thus, even a light gust of wind was enough to make a house sway back and forth like a spider web. In addition, the structures were crowded with young children and visually impaired old women. When the victims received their money and relief items and learned that the aid was a gift from Supreme Master Ching Hai during their difficult time, they cried and felt as if they were in a dream.

The initiates also helped victims in Quang Nam, near Quang Ngai, and were touched and overwhelmed by their experiences there. For instance, when the storm hit, the size of a house of one impoverished family with ailing parents and four young children was reduced to two square meters.

After leaving Quang Ngai, the relief team headed to the city of Da Nang where they set up a base to reach neighboring disaster-affected areas and government officials enthusiastically helped in the aid effort, providing a list of those needing help and guidance to the devastated zones. The team first provided monetary aid to the local elementary school to help reconstruct the building’s roof, which had undergone damage, and the principal showed her gratitude by wishing the initiates much luck on their next mission.

Then the relief team provided support and aid to residents of two nearby villages, where community representatives greeted them warmly and informed them that any money received would be shared equally among the villagers as they all abided by the principle of equal rights for all. In fact, a young boy who guided the practitioners to their next destination did not accept the money they offered him and simply said, “We just help each other.”

After the mission in Da Nang was completed the team immediately headed to the ancient Aulacese capital of Hue, arrived at night, and were treated to loving hospitality by the locals, who expressed their gentleness and refinement by serving the initiates food on small, delicate plates.

The next morning, local government representatives led the practitioners to other hurricane-ravaged areas, where they provided money to families that had lost many of their possessions in the storms. There the sisters and brothers heard many heartbreaking stories about the victims’ experiences so they prayed to Master for Her blessings and thanked Her for loving and caring for the people.

The team also traveled to the provinces of Quang Tri and Quang Binh, which had experienced relatively minor damage compared to other places, and provided monetary assistance to those in need. While driving from Quang Tri to Quang Binh, the initiates experienced a memorable moment as they crossed the historic Hien Luong Bridge above the Ben Hai River, which once divided Au Lac into north and south regions.

Then after resting at their base in Hue, the initiates reviewed their activities and decided to extend more help to the residents of Quang Ngai and Quy Nhon. So the following morning they set out for a return trip to Quang Ngai.

Throughout the relief effort, the team’s driver behaved in a gentlemanly manner and sincerely respected the Quan Yin practice. For example, he never smoked in the vehicle, always searched for vegetarian restaurants for the initiates before having his own meals, and gave descriptions of historical landmarks. Also, during the trip he was never bothered by the flooded roads and potholes, and supported the practitioners wholeheartedly since he knew they were on a relief mission to extend help to his flood-affected compatriots. Thus, the initiates silently thanked Master for arranging such a devoted helper for their long journey.

In Quang Ngai the team was joined by local initiates who helped with the relief work, while in Quy Nhon they met with the local Red Cross and joined forces in coordinating the distribution of much needed aid to the inhabitants of Nhon Hai Island.

Back at Quy Nhon the team was informed of another flood-affected area in the Tuy Phuoc District, about half an hour’s drive from Quy Nhon. So after a quick lunch break the initiates hurriedly left for this district, where the local representative took them to meet the affected families and offer Master’s love and monetary support.

Upon completing the typhoon relief work in central Au Lac, the US initiates flew back to Saigon with mixed feelings of joy and grief as they recalled tearful flood victims happily receiving Master’s loving gifts, and the experiences of helping families overcome their suffering. Since the typhoons, the flood-ravaged areas remain in poverty, and the local levee systems are not yet effective enough to prevent future deluges from rushing down the mountains each year. So the initiates pray to the Most High to bless Au Lac as it is still stricken by many hardships.

The Aulacese initiates are deeply thankful to Master for arranging a chance for them to return to their birthplace after many years of long separation. Thank You, Master, for the happiness You bring and for the coming day when all souls are able to return to their beloved Origin.

Postscript: We are impressed by the friendly assistance provided by the Aulacese Government and Red Cross to our Relief Group.