The Alaveddy Church is finding the Sri Lanka civil war trying. One member reports, "Life in Jaffna has moved to very depressing conditions. Even as I am writing this letter in the early hours of the morning, the booming of guns and the rattle of machine guns could be heard. I wonder what karma is at work? God knows. And what else could we do but seek refuge in our great God Lord Siva." The Church's Ashram in Alaveddy is still being held by Tamil separatists. Although the group promised to relinquish the property a few months ago, returning it to its use as a children's school and spiritual center, they have not yet done so...
The Mauritius Missions are quite active. The Chemin Grenier Mission has proposed to start a business of making and selling ground spices. They intend to make this a continuous source of revenue for the church. Flacq Mission is working on Saiva Siddhanta classes with Adiyar Chenganna, more training in bhajan, plans for a Thirumurai contest, pilgrimage to temples on the island, making T-shirts with a tripundra and selling Hinduism Today. They are also planning to organize a Youth Camp for the Saivite Children. Mahebourg Church is lamenting a temporary lull in activity, and is anxious to get its members re-inspired in Siva's work. Even so, A. P. Vythelinum reports fine Maha Sivaratri and Thai Pusam celebrations. The Goodlands Mission has been asked to take over the management of Aroul Migou Murugen Kovil, an estate temple, which was had fallen into neglect. The pujas are now conducted by Sivachariya Kyalassum.
The West Berlin Mission in Germany is remarkably active in adverse circumstances. They are holding their regular homas at their new Mission House, the home of Mr. Veerakathiyar. Saiva Siddhanta classes are conducted every Thursday by Mr. Chelvaraja.
Up in Canada, the Edmonton Mission is providing Maha Ganapathi Society's new temple with pandaram priests. Sadhaka Nitya Sivam and Jnanideva Cevvel, previously at the Tiruvadi Monastery West in San Francisco, have now formed the Tiruvadi Monastery North at this Mission.
The Madras Mission is photocopying Tamil literature for distribution. Their big challenge now is to inspire the new members to personally delve into Gurudeva's teachings.
Ramya Kumaran's new children's alphabet book has become popular among little souls in Canada. She created an illustrated A-Z alphabet in which each letter is a child's mini-lesson on Hinduism. As always, small changes are evident at the Kauai Aadheenam. A much-needed roof was put on the upper lanai, and the Koi Pond has been crowned with a lava rock retaining wall, making a special little corner of Chola Gardens overlooking the Wailua River far below. The work is being done by craftsmen from Tonga, who wear their sarongs (which look just like verthis) even when they are mixing mortar. Seventy-five tiny Rudraksha trees are being nurtured in the nursery.
The United Saivite Boys and Girls are busy in California raising funds for the new Saiva Dharmasala. Kumar Peruman is spearheading the boys' program based on selling Hawaiian honey in plastic bears. And Amala Katir is heading up the girl's project of making and selling pure beeswax candles and helping with the new bookshelf in the temple. They are showing a fine, industrious spirit which would make the hard-working bees feel proud.
The Gurukulam at the Piton Church has over 15 staunch members who are studying and training to be traditional priests - learning mantras, mudras, etc. Adiyar Vijaya Chenganna presides over the Gurukulam program there...