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 20170904鋪路救濟護乾坤 Paving the Path for Relief for Hurricane Harvey

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發表主題: 20170904鋪路救濟護乾坤 Paving the Path for Relief for Hurricane Harvey   周五 9月 29, 2017 5:05 am

20170904鋪路救濟護乾坤 Paving the Path for Relief for Hurricane Harvey

In this world of impurities, there are many sufferings and disasters. Right now, our Earth is in a crisis. So, we need to be more mindful. In my Dharma talk this morning, I talked about having right faith and right mindset. Now is the time to bring forth our right faith and establish the right mindset. It’s been nine days since the Hurricane Harvey hit the U.S. Some people are still stranded by the floodwater whereas some people want to stay in their flooded houses, refusing to leave.

So, the government is now imposing mandatory evacuation. Residents must evacuate. For thenext ten to twelve days they cannot clean up their house. One concern is that residents living inside such houses might get infectious diseases.

Lack of clean water is another concern. There are many difficulties, including power outage, lack of water, etc. Even though the U.S. is a wealthy country, it cannot prevent life’s impermanence from happening. That is the situation in the U.S. now. When the flooding started, I videoconferenced volunteers in the U.S. In the first meeting, now is the time for everyone to be vigilant and sincerely pious, and go vegetarian.

If people in the U.S. do not start reflecting, no one will know what this disaster will become. It is truly worrying. Everyone must do their part. The Tzu Chi volunteers there take in my teachings and have started to promote vegetarianism there.I also hope that, everyone can act with love in whichever ways they can, and inspire others to do so. We want to bring together everyone’s kindness. We need to reach out to people with sincerity.

So, I urged them to raise funds on the streets. I’m very grateful to see that they have been doing so for the past few days. It is such a devastating disaster, but it has also inspired many people to act with love. I am very grateful to volunteers all over the U.S. for helping with the disaster relief. This weekend is the Labor Day long weekend. I’m truly touched that many volunteers are willing to give up their time and raise funds for disaster relief on the streets.

Many people responded. Upon seeing our volunteers in blue uniform, some stopped their cars and opened their doors to donate. They even said to our volunteers, “Thank you, thank you so much.” They were so touched, so they stopped their car to donate. Some people also took the chance to educate their children. They gave money to their kids and let them put it into the donation box, teaching them how to give and how to pray sincerely for the affectees.

These are ways to inspire love in them. As long as they are provided with the opportunity, they can be inspired. In fact, one of the moving fundraising efforts came from Ecuador. Everyone remembers the earthquake that hit Ecuador last year. Tzu Chi volunteers in the U.S. were in charge of the disaster relief in Ecuador. When they went and carried out disaster relief, they also sowed Tzu Chi’s seeds of live there and build rapports with the locals.

And now, these seeds have sprouted. Not only did they suffer from last year’s earthquake, they also suffered from a flood in April this year. Tzu Chi volunteers went there again to help and thereby sowed the seeds of good affinity.
In June this year, local volunteers from Ecuador came to Taiwan for a training camp. They vowed that they would start doing Tzu Chi’s work there. With local Tzu Chi volunteers there, after I talked about fundraising for hurricane relief, they began fundraising on the following day, carrying donation boxes in their community.

In addition to the volunteers, Catholic nuns also took part in fundraising by carrying donation boxes, which were made exactly the same as those used in Taiwan, even with the Tzu Chi logo on them. Regardless of religion and nationality, they fundraised for the relief. Among all the countries with Tzu Chi volunteers, Ecuador is the first one to start fundraising for the U.S. See how mindful they have been for these few days.

I have also mentioned that Ecuador is the first country to held a Buddha Day ceremony this year. Ecuador is a Catholic country and the first country to held a Buddha Day ceremony this year. Over a thousand people took part in the Buddha Day ceremony in a church. This is the result of our sincere love, which they reciprocated with pious and grateful love.

The priest of the church also supported the ceremony, as well as the nuns. Look at the ceremony, it showed the spirit of Tzu Chi. I am really grateful. Volunteers in Los Angeles and other parts of the U.S. are promoting vegetarianism and conducting prayer events.

For the relief work this time, volunteers from various states are gathering in Houston, Texas. When Tzu Chi volunteers from other states arrived, they assumed tasks and started surveying disaster areas. They went to remote areas and saw many destroyed houses. There were many of them. It has been so many days, residents have yet to receive aid. There is no electricity or water in some areas. People are in suffering.

All in all, the U.S. suffered great losses this time. To date, the loss is esti ated to be around NTD 6 trillion, or close to USD 200 billion. That’s a huge amount. Furthermore, there are tens of thousands of people displaced. There will be work ahead in providing shelter. There are also housing issues for people in illegal housing situations as well as people without legal residency.

All in all, our world is full of suffering. Impermanence can happen at any moment. The crisis there is not over yet, people are still living in anxiety. Especially the weather there is getting hot. Our volunteers are in Texas now. I wish everyone can be safe and well, and they can carry out disaster survey and distributions smoothly. We will be carrying out a disaster relief in Texas.
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