Look at our Living Bodhisattvas who have formed aspirations all over the world. Tzu Chi volunteers are everywhere, in so many countries. Some are in poor countries that are full of hardships. Take South Africa for example. Life is very difficult there, and public safety is not good. Yet, there is a group of people spreading the spirit of Tzu Chi who willingly remain there to serve others.
Without fear of hard work, our Living Bodhisattvas willingly go to places where many different people live. There is a language barrier, and more challenging still, the roads are difficult to travel on, and the surroundings are often filthy and dilapidated. There is also a high concentration of people suffering from AIDS.
However, the volunteers bravely enter those communities, undaunted by AIDS, the difficult roads, and the filthy homes.
(Story: South Africa Tzu Chi volunteer Zhang Minhui had an encounter with some robbers. Except for a bullet that grazed his face, he escaped unharmed.)
I asked him, “Were you scared?”
He replied, “Yes, I was afraid. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. I was terrified.”
I said, “After experiencing such a scare, did you want to move back to Taiwan?”
He said, “No. There are still so many people who need our help. How could I move back just because of that?”
I said to him, “You must consider how bad public safety is over there. Won’t you consider it?”
He said, “Master, I will consider it, however those people really need us.”
“The affinities of bodhisattvas are with suffering sentient beings.”
I asked him, “There are many suffering sentient beings there. They need you, but aren’t you afraid?”
“I do get scared.”
“You all have to work so hard. Why do you still want to live there?”
He said, “Master says that the affinities of bodhisattvas are with suffering sentient beings.”
He has taken the Dharma to heart. As long as the suffering of sentient beings endures, so will his aspirations. With this power of love, even now that he is over seventy years old, he still travels back and forth between Taiwan and South Africa. He is still so resolute, and he does this willingly and joyfully.