Love in Action

Report from France


A Loving Trip to ‘French Romania’

By the Paris Relief Team (Originally in French)

In October 2005, at Massy Palaiseau RER (express metro) station in Paris, two Parisian sister-initiates encountered a Romanian woman in need, who spoke neither French nor English, but through physical gestures communicated that she needed blankets. So after group meditation on Sunday, October 16, the sisters brought the woman some warm clothing and blankets and thus began their journey to discovering ‘French Romania.’

That day the lady took the practitioners to an area set aside by the government for immigrants, which was like the woods outside Paris but not as beautiful. After fifteen minutes of walking and climbing, the trio entered a camp of huts inhabited by Romanian nationals who had left their country due to poverty.

After spending some time with the destitute camp residents, the sisters decided to discuss their situation with fellow initiates from the Paris Center and subsequently appealed to the Hsihu Center for US$3,500 in financial aid.

Then after receiving the funds, on the following two Sundays the initiates revisited the camp and through Master’s grace gave the occupants blankets, warm cooked vegetarian food, cheese, bread, vegetables and medicine. However, it was difficult to communicate with the people to learn what other supplies they needed because the only language besides Romanian they spoke was Italian, and they were also wary of revealing too much about themselves. Then on November 6, after much perseverance, the initiates found a way to get through: This time before distributing any items, the sisters spoke about Master’s dedication, work, love and compassion for all beings and thus Her desire to help them without asking for anything in return.

Then a miracle occurred! Some of the Romanians began to cry while praising Master and allowed the practitioners to enter and count the number of inhabitants and dwellings in their camp. They also discussed the other supplies they needed and spoke about their hopes and dreams. The relief team next presented the community with the list of items they had noted. And to the team’s amazement, the residents began cheering Master. The initiates also promised to take the camp inhabitants who needed medical attention to a free clinic.

In addition, the team said they would find ways for the immigrants to send their youngest children to learn French so that in a year’s time, when Romania enters the European Community, they can get jobs and improve their lives.

As the team members departed from the campsite they were deeply touched by the warm farewell and applause they received, and experienced once again how Master’s love always wins out in the end, providing hope and happiness, opening all doors, purifying all hearts and healing all wounds. The next day, as promised, the initiates went to wholesalers around Paris to buy what was on their list, including hats, gloves, sweatshirts, women's shoes and various personal hygiene items and then planned the distribution project. By chance, several fellow disciples from Spain were visiting the Paris Center for its monthly retreat that weekend and were more than willing to participate in the relief operation.

When the relief team returned to the Romanian immigrants’ camp on Sunday, November 20 to distribute the supplies, the residents were friendlier and more openhearted than previously. The initiates first distributed photos of our beloved Master, explaining that the gifts were from Her and that most importantly Her loving help and support would be with them each time they prayed to Her because She is a great living Saint and answers all prayers. Upon hearing these words the residents were deeply touched and some even wept.

Then, on December 4, in lieu of taking the immigrants to a free clinic as promised, a French physician who was an initiate’s friend visited the Romanians to conduct medical exams. At the same time, the initiates brought items the immigrants had been unable to obtain such as canvas to cover their huts and carts to carry water. After examining those in need of medical attention, the doctor found no major diseases among them, only ailments due to the cold, moist conditions. He then dispensed the required medicine, and concluded that overall the residents were in very good health considering their harsh way of life.

To comfort their souls, the initiates also distributed some of Master’s publications in Romanian and prayed to Her that Her words would bless the immigrants and uplift them to a higher standard of thinking and living. The women in the camp were so touched by the practitioners’ kind demeanor that they affectionately embraced them, and a man wept silently while reading Master’s teachings.

At the time of this writing, to obtain extensions to their visas, which last only three months, the Romanians were in the process of returning to Romania, taking with them the initiates’ hopes that they have a smooth journey and prayers to Master that She will be with them forever.