Love in Action


Report from the United Kingdom

Bringing Hope and Christmas Cheer to the Less Fortunate

By the London News Group (Originally in English)

On Saturday December 17, initiates from the London Center visited a day shelter for the homeless in South London called Ace of Clubs, which is run entirely by volunteers except for the cook who prepares hot meals. The shelter is open 365 days a year and provides lunch and evening meals, laundry and shower facilities, housing, welfare and healthcare counseling.

Next, the practitioners decided to offer the Ace of Clubs patrons a grand Christmas luncheon so on Christmas morning, they set up a table decorated with tinsel and loaded with fruit, non-alcoholic wine and beer and an assortment of chocolates, sweets, cakes and crisps, and also entertained the homeless with popular Christmas songs played on a portable stereo.

At noon, when the shelter opened, the attendees first stopped at the hot food section and then proceeded to the initiates' "happy table." Most of the participants were so delighted to see the treats that they took extras for later when they had to go out into the cold winter night. Some initiates spoke with the diners about their lives, and one man was so touched by the practitioners' sincerity and kindness that his eyes welled up in tears each time he saw them.

In the sitting room where the homeless normally go to relax after their meals, the initiates played the videos Walk the Way of Love and Face Life with Courage and also displayed Master's sample booklets and News magazines on a nearby stand. After finishing their lunch, most of the guests went to the TV room, where one gentleman said that he had been meditating on his own, and after the initiates spoke with him he agreed that the Quan Yin Method was what he had been looking for and was interested in learning the Convenient Method of meditation.

Later one brother dressed as Santa and carrying a bag full of Christmas gifts consisting of wool hats, gloves, socks, toiletries and sweets, greeted the diners, and their faces lit up in anticipation. Everyone then received a gift and it was obvious from their smiles that it meant a great deal to them that people cared about their well-being.

The highlight of the event was a raffle in which the bearers of winning tickets received a sleeping bag, blanket or jumper. Thus the diners were given numbered tickets, causing much excitement, anticipation and happiness, and the winners were congratulated and applauded.

When all the gifts had been distributed and the initiates had finished packing up their belongings, one man came to ask a sister if he could have a jumper for his wife. Seeing the disappointment on his face when he was told that all the jumpers had been distributed, the sister took off her own jumper and gave it to him.

Thanks to Master's ever present love and grace, during the luncheon and gift distribution activity at the Ace of Clubs shelter, the London initiates were able to serve the homeless over the festive holiday season and thus reap the blessed reward of love from their less fortunate brothers and sisters, whose appreciation was immense and felt like precious gold to all who participated.