If there is one thing that we have learned from Baba about being a center, it is to never ask Him for something unless you are prepared to follow through! Our center has been here for over twenty years with Swami’s hand prompting us along the way.
Our service activities have centered on the same areas most of these years. Whenever we felt we needed a new service, Baba would inspire someone to recognize a new need in the community. We began our service activities when one of our members realized that there was a major lapse in time between applying for aid and getting it. There was a ten day waiting period and people were being left without food in the interim. We contacted Social Services and asked them to send people to our center for food until their money came in. We had no idea what a commitment we were making, but fortunately Baba did. We were never sent more people than we could handle.
Through Social Services, we learned that there was a group of churches in our area that wanted to band together to provide food for the needy. One of our members, who was very good at organizing things, agreed to take on the leadership role for the organization to get it started and now it is a major organization for the needy in our county. The men in our center constructed the shelves to hold the food in a local church and the poor of our town began to get food on a regular basis. We continue to give food to this organization. We recently received a letter from them addressed to Baba thanking Him for all of his help. We forwarded it to Swami.
ECHO is an organization in our town that provides meals and lodging for the homeless. Once a month we serve a hot meal to them and also bring bag lunches for the following day. They must like the food because they always come back for seconds and thirds. It’s great to see the sign when we walk in, “Sai Baba Serving.” This certainly reminds us that He is the doer. One year, our service coordinator and center were given an award for our service. The people there often ask us about Baba.
One service project we have keeps us very busy. We registered at the senior center here to be called if someone needs a ride to the doctor. This can be a big problem for the elderly. You have to be prepared to spend a few hours for this. It also opens the door for little repairs that need to done, a light bulb changed, etc. These things seem so small to us but can be a big problem for them. We are a small center of twelve people. We try to pull together as a Sai family and our goal is always to practice His teachings to the best of our ability. I think that all of our members would agree that through the years our egos have been sandpapered, and our hearts have opened beyond anything that we could have imagined before knowing Sai Baba, our mother, father, and best friend.