Saturday, November 20, 2010

Departing from Asia Platteau to the fieldwork (Photo: Joo-pyin Ch'ng)Today AfL’s moved into another phase of ‘action’. Four teams began leaving Asia Plateau for ‘field work’ in various Indian cities. This preliminary action is a trial run of the longer ‘action teams’ in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Europe, starting in January. Watch this space. Here’s a list so that you can track teams members at each destination (more details of them are on the AfL website):

Jamshedpur, Jharkhand: Nigel Heywood, Yeon-Yuk Jeong, Jampa Dolma, Dana Lazar, Esita Seveti, Ajay Bhat, Rawad Raidan

Bhuj, Gujarat: Leena Khatri, Peter Heyes, Heejin Choi, Eunbi Lee, Khue Bui, Solomon Denboba, Killy Sanchez

Pune, Maharashtra: Alex Birnberg, Anna Pozogina, Nhat Nguyen, Mediatrix Masava, Mingling Xiong

Baroda, Gujarat: Suresh Khatri, Dmytro Prytulenko, Young Tae Kim, Min-Hui Na, Ya-ying Yang, Joopyin Ch'ng, Mike Muikia

RD Mathur sharing the story of his reconciliation with his father (Photo: Killy Sanchez)After all the training in facilitation, presentation skills, story-sharing and much else, the field work in India comes down to one thing: listening and caring for people. Two nights before leaving, we had a demonstration of that caring through RD and Prabha Mathur, pioneers of MRA-IofC in India. Their stories illustrated the care and vision of Frank Buchman, initiator of IofC, who RD Mathur first met when Buchman came to India in 1952. Both faced moments of complete surrender of their lives and ambitions to the greater cause of making a difference in the world. They are living examples of what Mahatma Gandhi has written: ‘God demands nothing less than the complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a person thus loses himself, he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives.’