Mother-Daughter Relief Duo
They were among more than a dozen Volunteer Ministers from Tampa Bay-area Churches of Scientology who flew to Tamil Nadu. It was something of a reunion, as just a few months before, many of them had participated in Florida's massive volunteer relief efforts in the wake of the record 2004 hurricanes.
Among the survivors Jessica aided was a woman who, more than three weeks after the catastrophe, still refused to leave her battered home. Jessica heard about the woman from a concerned neighbor who asked if the Volunteer Ministers could help. "She was terrified the wave would come again, and said she could still hear the rushing, roaring water, an incessant noise which haunted her day and night," Jessica said. "She was completely gripped in the past moment that the wave came crashing onto the shore, smashing into her village."
The young Volunteer Minister gave her an assist known as a "locational," directing her attention outward to her surroundings. Soon the woman began to brighten. She realized she no longer had the tsunami's overpowering noise rushing through her head and that the wave itself was gone. She started to laugh, then to talk. And then, for the first time in weeks, she stepped outside her door. She looked around, smiling, and told Jessica she saw there was more life to be lived.
One villager brought a 3-month-old baby to Lisa. Injured in the chaos following the wave, the boy was unable to move his left arm or leg, or open his left eye, despite medical care.
"His mother heard we had helped others and brought him to us, not knowing what to do," Lisa said, "So I gave him a series of assists with his mother bringing him in each day. After several days, we began another assist. Halfway into it, he began to move both his arms up and down together, and then both legs. He had regained the use of his limbs. I ended the assist and he smiled up at me. But something else was different. He was looking at me with two eyes — the closed one had opened, too."
And then there were the village children who were afraid to go near the water, fearing another wave. "We administered yet another kind of assist called 'Reach and Withdraw' and after 15 minutes these kids were splashing and playing in the ocean," said Cummins.
"Every day when we would arrive at the shelters, more and more people would come up to us and hug us and make us feel welcome," said Jessica. "These people made me feel like I was a lifesaver. I was so happy to help them."
And when the teams departed from each village, they would leave an invaluable gift — a legacy of help. "We would teach the villagers how to administer the assists themselves," said Lisa, "to ensure they could continue to give help to one another after we left to the next community."
As Freedom went to press, hundreds of thousands of people in the affected areas had received this aid.