Monday, February 14, 2005

Up at 2!

"The brick-making program is proceeding full-speed!" Krishnammal tell me, shining with joy. So now I understand what has been going on in the last couple of days very early in the morning in LAFTI’s courtyard. The Army of Compassion is made up by an ever-increasing number of volounteers coming from different village. They are given food under the large, shady shed in LAFTI’s courtyard. and the women in the kitchen are working incessantly to cook mountains of rice and fill buckets and buckets with sambar and vegetables, as well as producing hundreds and hundreds of idlis (steamed rice and lentil cakes) in the morning, whilst lodging is provided in the adjacent workers' house.

Immediately after sunrise, the Army corps members board the truck that takes them to the brick-making site. They will return only after sunset, when tasty and abundant meals will again be served to them by those kitchen angels that never seem to get tired of working. I woke up today to the workers' voices, getting ready to board the truck, and found out that Amma had been out at the villages since 4 o' clock in the morning. Now that she's back, I sit with her in the breezy verandah in front of her house to listen to all that she has been living, experiencing, and doing since last night.

Sometime before 2 a.m. she woke up and couldn't possibly go back to sleep . So she prayed God and asked Him what was there so urgent He wanted to tell her to prevent her from sleeping. She sat thinking and praying and meditating for a while until finally at 4 o' clock she decided to go to Palankallinedu, where LAFTI has organised a brick-making unit. When she got there, she found out they were waiting for her to help them solve the fuel problem: what could they fire the bricks with?

Just then, Natraj turned up from a nearby village, bringing the good news that the Sub-Collector is giving them a large piece of bushland to be cleared, so that there will be wood for them to bake the bricks. Krishnammal had visited the Sub-Collector a couple of days ago and he had indeed mentioned the piece of land he intended to give her to get wood, but she hadn't yet been informed that this had actually happened. So there is she, arriving at the brick-making site just at the right moment to announce the good news and give the people powerful motivation and inspiration to carry on with the job so that, with LAFTI’s support and God’s blessing, they will soon be able to live in decent and solid homes.

"You see," she says, smiling with joy, "I've always sought divine guidance in my work and always believed that nothing is impossible. Anything is possible as long as you have faith!"

But her faith is proactive in nature. She is definitely not sitting and waiting for miracles to happen and for gifts to be dropped from heaven. She is taking the challenge, constantly, daily, unshakably with the amazing energy and determination which are indeed the gifts God provided her with. And, in days like this, she feels and is indeed rewarded and once again confirmed in that radiant and inspiring faith that keeps her "running, running, organizing, organizing" non-stop, every day and night, all along her generous life which we all wish will go on forever!


(maybe a little bit of it could rub off on the rest of us? David)


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