December 26th of this past year marked the second anniversary of the Asian tsunami. As some of you might remember, thirty two thousand people died in Sri Lanka and over one million people became homeless. From the very beginning, we were involved with many projects to help those who were affected.
Our relief efforts were mainly in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. Ten more families who lost their homes and who were living in refugee camps received ten houses on the anniversary day. The joy and relief experienced by the recipients as they receive their new homes was a special experience for all. Every time it is the same. I feel a great joy to see the smiles and sometimes even tears in their eyes when we dedicate these homes.
With the dedication of the houses, we closed the tsunami relief chapter of the Triple Gem Society. We have built two villages consisting of eighty new homes. From the day of the tsunami until now, we have done everything in our power to help the tsunami survivors to get back to their normal lives again. Although there are still problems, it is time for us to move on to other things.
We should all be happy that we were able to participate in making a difference in the lives of so many people who were affected by one of the worse disasters in our time. For a small organization like Triple Gem Society which has no paid employees Tsunami relief work was a very big challenge. The experience of the tsunami relief work for past two years was mixed with every possible emotion, including challenging, painful moments and happy and sad moments. It was a difficult time dealing with politics, corruption, dishonesty, and even cruelty.
As we walk away from all these experiences of hard and challenging times, we take with us the lessons learned and the memories of true compassionate service. As I always say, compassion alone is not enough to change the world. We need courage, dedication, and determination and common sense wisdom. We always are grateful to those who support the Triple Gem Society.
May you be blessed with compassion and love.