SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - Three more Tzu Chi St. Maarten volunteers made the commitment to continue giving of themselves to relieve the burden of others by becoming certified Tzu Chi Commissioners in Taiwan recently.
The three grateful volunteers, Regina Janga, Merlyn Schaminee and Hilda Carrasco, were personally certified as Tzu Chi Commissioners by Tzu Chi Founder Master Cheng Yen during the 2019 overseas Tzu Chi Commissioner Training Retreat held in Taipei, Taiwan from November 5 to 12. Also attending the training were Commissioner Sandra Cheung and volunteer Reinier Philip Maarten van Delden. The delegation returned to St. Maarten on November 14.
This is the second year since Hurricane Irma that volunteers are committing their vows into action by selflessly giving of themselves with great love to relieve the suffering of others. On November 21, 2018, St. Maarten volunteers Angela Heyliger, Saskia Amatdawoed and Jane Sanchez were also certified as Commissioners.
This year 26 countries participated in the training and a total of 370 volunteers from around the world were certified as commissioners.
By attending the 2019 overseas Tzu Chi Commissioners Training, participants learn about the dharma, follow Tzu Chi’s etiquette techniques and diligently learn the spirit of senior Tzu Chi volunteers. The hope is that participants are moved by what they experience and that they take a sense of mission back to their respective countries and pass on the Dharma and spread seeds of love in the hearts of others.
With no idea what Tzu Chi was about, van Delden accompanied his partner Carrasco on the trip. He was moved by what he saw, what he heard, and what Tzu Chi has done around the world.
“This trip was one of the best times I have ever experienced,” van Delden said. “I was reminded of what humbleness and compassion really means. All the people from different parts of the world - the way they unite, share, care, respect and love one another (as) one family (was humbling). We were taught how important vegan food is for our body; how not to waste resources such as food and water, and how important it is for us to recycle our garbage so that it becomes our treasure.”
Carrasco said she feels blessed to have been certified as a Commissioner for the Tzu Chi Foundation. “It makes me feel blessed and fortunate... Meeting Master Cheng Yen and the whole great Tzu Chi family from all over the world is something really big. My words will fall short. You have to live it and experience it,” the newly certified commissioner said.
“As I told Master Cheng Yen, her teachings are the salvation of the planet. Learning to love living beings, looking at them with love and compassion, helping the sick, the elderly and caring for the planet through recycling is beautiful. It is what humans need to make the world a better place. As the teacher says: A healthy heart can heal the earth. Seeing all that the teacher has managed to do with all the love, always thinking about how to relieve the suffering of others. It is seeing God, Buddha on earth. Seeing everything that the teacher and thousands of volunteers have done, makes me feel that I have not done anything yet, and as she says, “there is no time, we must seize time… It is time to fulfill our mission and make a better world.”
Carrasco said she is grateful to Cheung for trusting her and giving her the blessing of being in Tzu Chi, as well as her sister Angela, for putting her on the path to Tzu Chi. She also thanked her fellow Tzu Chi volunteers for translating for her, her partner for supporting her and her Tzu Chi family for their love and support.
Janga said this was her second trip to Taiwan with the St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation. She was very happy to have been involved in this healthy event where everyone feels as though they are one family in the world.
She said there is no discrimination; the mind, body and soul are purified, and participants learn to love and care for each other in the world. She returned to St. Maarten with a healthy body and mind. She was inspired about the story of how Tzu Chi Foundation started with 30 housewives. “When we all take this step, it is easy to purify the whole world, which is our home,” said Janga.
Schaminee described the trip as being very educational and inspiring. “My first encounter with Dharma Master Cheng Yen was very touching. It was the moment Master put my name tag on me. The name given by Master to me is “Ming Chung” (holding on to the moment). As a Tzu Chi commissioner, I am willing to work hard and always keep in all my doings: speak kind words, think good thoughts, do good deeds, and walk the right path. Thank you, Commissioner Sandra, to have seen the potential in me to become a commissioner.
And thank you for this unique opportunity,” Schaminee said.