Tales of Love and Service: Stories From the Heart
Are you among those who have wondered how to fill their life with greater meaning, happiness and value? If you are, read below the summaries from a number of the stories found in Tales of Love and Service: Stories From the Heart.
In this book, we meet the Grandfather who takes the role of Storyteller and offers to a younger generation tales and insights of what life was like living in very different societies and at a different time. One such story, A Dream Deferred but Not Forever follows an idealistic college student Juri as he speaks out for freedom during the Czech Spring in 1968 and is placed in prison for a year. With his hopes for a free society deferred for 21 years, the reader will meet Juri and his family and find a key to how he was able to forgive his captures and move forward to become a professor and teacher to an upcoming generation.
In a story that takes you to a refugee camp in the Balkans, A Coffee Pot of Hope shows how a simple act of kindness serves to open the heart of two women refugees who along with coffee, pour out their heart about a missing husband and child. Young volunteers who had wondered if their efforts to help were of much meaning discover how meaningful sincere service can be for those who feel abandoned.
The opening story of this book, Buckets of Teeth offers contrasting images of a team of professional Japanese dentists from affluent Tokyo visiting and operating on patients outdoors, on a poor, insect infested basketball court in the Philippines. The reader will discover that the three buckets full of bloody teeth that they had extracted that day meant relief from pain and suffering to many of the villagers. This unusual result from a days work gives these medical volunteers a deep sense of accomplishment, way beyond the ordinary.
The Beautiful Power of the International Bridge of Love provides readers with an example of how international volunteers work with a community and draw together residents from the Christian and Muslim parts of town. The power of their love and service is recorded in the ceremony of the bridges opening, a time when the Bishop, Imam and Governor cut the ribbon and the once divided community seems to melt into one.
Overcoming desperate situations, From Scavengers to Prize Winners shares about the life experience of young girls caste as being ‘untouchable’, and whose families worked as scavengers in garbage dumps Follow the heart moving story and learn how with a helping hand coupled with their passion for dance, they rose to become prize winners, taking with them a new, unshakable sense of pride and accomplishment.
What a difference time can make as we discover in the story, This time the Japanese are Invading with Love. Young Japanese soldiers came in 1939 to conquer Mongolia by force of arms but with the passing of time, young Japanese men and women return as volunteers in 1999 to offer selfless service. This story illustrates that we do not need to be trapped by history and can help set the future on a better path.
Overcoming resentment is one of the greatest challenges we face in our imperfect world. This is dramatically illustrated in the story, And this is why I hate you. In daily life, people often greet and share a simple, “How do you do”, this was not the case with two of the volunteers, Bilial from Jordan and Ezra from Israel. After a brief introduction, Bilial started his talk with a 30 minute outburst of all the reasons why he hated Ezra, Israel and the Jews. With this as a start, was their any hope that these two outstanding young men, learn to mutually respect, trust and even befriend each other? If so, how? Find out .
In the close knit society of Tonga the royal family and the traditions they follow and set have a major impact on the people. The story, Royal Example provides us with an example of how an honored member of the Royal family sets the example of taking care of the environment and the impact it has on the islands young volunteers. Good leadership begets good results.
The power of resentment can entrap us in a web of hate and mistrust. What happens when historic enemies from the North of Ireland and Great Britain meet in a Peace Garden in Belfast surrounded by well meaning international volunteers? You will discover in God Bless the English?
When held in the right hands, a shovel can speak louder and clearer then the speeches of politicians. Discover Tak and how the power of hard physical work can bridge barriers of culture and language in The Man Who Spoke With His Shovel.
Good politicians, some would say are a rare but precious breed. In the Politics of a Mothers Heart --- Momma Betty Style we discover the tenacity, good will and boundless energy of a Ugandan lady whose love helped her people put down their guns and literally pick up their plow sheds.
Aboriginal Societies around the world represent a long line of human history and they own many stories that are filled with tears and tell of mistreatment and broken agreements. The story, Aboriginal Angst and Revitalization walks us across some of the history of the Aboriginal community in Australia. In telling the story of Michael Jarret and his extra-ordinary efforts, the reader will discover ways in which a new generation of Aboriginal leadership is working to achieve greater security and blessing for their community and others.
Our home and what it represents, is so important to our life. One of the things that is most precious about the home is that it is where family gathers and shares. In the story, The Starting Place we will see how the efforts to build a house by Habitat for Humanity needed to be coupled with the heart to make it a home, the place for family.
The family is much like a school, and in it we can learn so much about love and life. In contrast, outside the family, a young women can feel and perceive the eyes of young men as being like the eyes of a hunter. In You Treated Us as Sister’s, a women volunteer from South Africa shares her appreciation for the way male participants treated her as a sister.
Walking the Path of a Peacemaker introduces us to David Earle, a man who knew what he wanted to do, looked at situations from a fresh perspective and had the determination and persuasive personality to establish an interfaith orphanage in an area noted for religious conflicts. Read how through a commitment to love and serve an Englishman becomes an honorary citizen of the Republic of India.
Religions, cultures, great teachers, men and women of good will all have spoken in one accord of the moral mandate to take care of widows and orphans. How we respond to those real situations is part of our share human responsibility and is expressed in the story, Our Human Family.
It is a challenge to see someone for who they are, rather then for who we expected them to be. To be humble enough to judge each person by the content of their character, or willing enough to change one’s initial point of view, is a quality that can lead to healing, reconciliation and genuine friendship. In the story My African Sister, discover how Samual from Ethiopia and Christine from South African go through a process while offering work service that helps them grow in respect and appreciation towards each other.
The reality of one out of every four children in Lira, Uganda dying from malaria is a shocking reality that is presented in Malaria Bites when the author recalls his own bout with the disease.
The life of middle class teenage American students is rarely weighed down by the life and death struggle for survival. In the story, To Some Her Parts Were Worth More than Her Life the young volunteers met with street children and caseworkers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and discover how merchants of death value their body parts more then their lives.
In Death as a LessTerrible Alternative we meet a family that tried to fight off starvation and failed. The mother of a dead child shares how her infant cried so much from the pain of hunger and to lessen the pain she would feed the child moist newspaper. The mother’s story awakens us to the desperation some families face each day.
Melinda’s Heart shares how one young American women took a frail, struggling child under her wing and through a scholarship program, let the power of that love grew to link rural communities in Iowa and the Philippines.
A Closing Note from the Author
Through the eyes of the author, Love, is the end goal of all religion. Love is embodied and expressed through acts of selfless service. It is a love without boundaries or borders, a love that is the hope of the world. These stories offer a record of how inter-religious cooperation has led thousands of volunteers on a journey known by some as the RYS experience. The Storyteller's hope remains for you to create your own stories of love and service and pass them on to those generations still to come.