(Minghui.org) I started to practice Falun Dafa in Germany in 1996 and I moved to Sweden in 2013. Our team has been preparing food for Shen Yun artists for 15 years since its first European tour in 2007. During the process we experienced ups and downs, and gradually became mature and professional.
This May, the German professional caterers magazine “Chefsheads der Magazin” reported how our western chefs cooperated with our catering team to provide services for Shen Yun’s European tour. Here, I would like to thank Master and fellow practitioners for giving me this opportunity to share our cultivation experience on behalf of all fellow practitioners in the German catering team.
This year, three Shen Yun groups toured Europe for six months, making it the longest Shen Yun tour in Europe in history. Starting from the first show in Germany at the beginning of the year, our team followed Shen Yun to France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Spain. We managed to provide catering services in 20 different cities. During the time when two Shen Yun groups were performing simultaneously in different places, some chefs in our team also needed to provide services to the other group. Such an intense level of work, from one’s physical strength to one’s cultivation state, is a challenge for every practitioner on the team. When facing some unforeseen situations and interference, it is only through righteous thoughts, righteous actions and the cooperation between practitioners that we were able to come through.
Saving People with Righteous Thoughts During the Pandemic
The first stop of Shen Yun’s European tour this year was Cologne, Germany. In early January, when Europe suddenly experienced the COVID outbreak, many countries implemented very strict pandemic prevention measures, which made it difficult for Shen Yun to come here. For example, people were asked to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight or other public transportation or entering a theatre. In order to avoid the inconvenience caused by the COVID prevention measures of various countries during Shen Yun’s tour, our team members started to discuss this based on the Fa two months before the tour began. I realized that our primary mission is to cooperate with Shen Yun to save people. As a result, most of the practitioners in our team completed their vaccinations before Shen Yun arrived. This was a cultivation process of letting go of oneself, cooperating with Shen Yun, and helping Master to save people.
In order to allow the practitioners in charge of the catering in each region to have enough preparation time, I usually start communicating with them and make plans in the first half of the year before Shen Yun’s arrival in Europe. I confirm the details related to kitchen facilities, staffing, transportation, shopping and accommodations, etc. Due to the impact of the pandemic and the (Russia-Ukraine) war, there have been problems in the supply chain in many countries, which made our work more difficult. Especially during Shen Yun’s performance in Germany, some of the main cooking ingredients such as cooking oil and flour were suddenly out of stock. To ensure the normal operation of the catering team, we really tried our best.
There are two Vietnamese practitioners in our team. They do not understand Chinese but work very hard. After learning about our difficult situation, they quietly brought many items that were in short supply in Germany from other countries, thus ensuring the smooth operation of the entire catering team.
In addition, I would also like to thank fellow practitioners from other places for their selfless dedication and active cooperation. They spent a lot of time and energy to prepare goods for us in advance, provide warehouses, and ensure the logistical supply for Shen Yun.
Pushing Ourselves to Complete the Mission
This year, Shen Yun toured throughout Europe for six months, and most of the practitioners in our team followed the entire tour. This meant giving up the comforts of home and staying away from loved ones, which is not easy! This is a test for every practitioner involved, especially those with jobs and families. Take the two chefs from our team as an example, they are the core of the kitchen team. After more than ten years of doing this job, it would be easy for them to find stable and well-paid jobs with their skills and work experience. However, they know that Shen Yun needs them, and that this was also their responsibility and mission in life, so they resolutely gave up their personal gains. To make a living, they can only rely on doing part-time jobs for six months and are devoted to serving Shen Yun during the other six months. Other practitioners also made breakthroughs from the pressure of family, economy and work, and spent as much time as possible contributing to our team. All of these are difficult to achieve without a solid cultivation foundation and strong righteous thoughts.
Nothing is Truly Impossible!
This year is the first time we used the restaurants and kitchens of some theaters, and it was inevitable that we encountered some unexpected situations. I remember when we were in a theatre in Prague, Czech Republic, we found that the kitchen had not been used for a long time. There was insufficient electricity supply and firepower, which made it very difficult to use. Facing an underprepared kitchen and outdated facilities, we didn’t complain given the tight schedule and heavy workload but worked together to clean and prepare the kitchen. A practitioner who is knowledgeable in electricity installation helped to set up the high-voltage power supply overnight to ensure the normal operation of the kitchen. This is how we got the work done in a very difficult situation.
This is the first time we cooperated with so many local practitioners, but we all share the same goal, that is, to fully cooperate with Shen Yun and help Master to rectify the Fa and save people. During the whole process, I truly felt the overall improvement of our team and elevation as a whole. For this reason any difficulties we faced were easily resolved. In fact, many things cannot be achieved by human beings. Master and divine beings were helping us, but the process (of doing these things) reflects our cultivation state and our willingness to save people.
As the saying goes, “Logistics goes before marching the army.” We often go from stop to stop and need to get everything ready before Shen Yun arrives. I remember that on the afternoon of May 13, when Shen Yun arrived in Brno, Czech Republic. In order to allow the Shen Yun artists to celebrate this unforgettable day with Dafa practitioners around the world, we had to leave for Brno that night right after finishing our work for the previous stop (where Shen Yun performed). Everyone was tired, and I was really in a sweat. With the cooperation of the local practitioners, it only took 3 hours for us to cook a sumptuous hotpot for Shen Yun artists. The western chef even made a giant cake that was enough for 70 people to share! On the 30th anniversary of the spreading of Dafa, it is such a great honor to have the opportunity to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day with Shen Yun artists on their busy journey!
Believing in Master and the Fa and Eliminating Interference
A month before Shen Yun arrived, a Chinese chef in our team tested positive for COVID and was hospitalized. Meanwhile, another chef was sent to France to help another Shen Yun group. What should I do? Under the great difficulty of time constraints and manpower shortage, the only Chinese chef in our team, who is relatively young, had to be trusted to take the lead at this critical moment. Under this extreme circumstance, if one more chef was interfered with, the entire team could not function. This incident sounded the alarm to everyone about how crazy the evil is and how serious our cultivation is. Therefore, we made the best use of our time to study the Fa, exchange experiences, look inward, and increase our efforts to send righteous thoughts every day. At the same time, we strove to strengthen the cohesion of the team. With the cooperation of all the practitioners in the kitchen, the young chef got started. The amount of food was accurately controlled without any waste. With Master’s blessing he made a miraculous breakthrough in his cooking skills.
It is worth mentioning that since the practitioners who served in the kitchen and restaurant have to work continuously for at least 13 hours a day, plus the time on the road, if they cannot keep up with their cultivation, they will suffer from physical exhaustion. In order to maintain a good state, everyone seized the time to study the Fa every day and used the lunch time to do the exercises while Shen Yun artists were eating.
Cooperation between the kitchen and the restaurant group within the team is also very important. Whenever there was a problem, no one complained but made up for it silently. For example, there was a time when someone in the kitchen team forgot to add shredded cucumber to the noodles with fried bean sauce. The practitioners who served in the restaurant found out in a timely manner and made up for it. Although the matter is small, cultivation is no trivial matter, and any detail cannot be ignored.
This year, we were fortunate to provide services to three Shen Yun groups. These Shen Yun performers come from different ethnic groups and countries, and their eating habits are quite different. During the six-month tour, many Western performers could not fully adapt to Chinese food. Although the performers never demand anything, our kitchen team found various ways to meet their tastes and formulate appropriate recipes for the artists. Besides traditional Chinese food, we also made classic Korean food, Japanese food and Vietnamese food. In addition, homemade dishes were specially prepared for the Western performers, such as Ukrainian roast chicken, Czech and French roast duck, German pork knuckle, Austrian pork ribs and Russian soup. In addition, coffee and bubble tea made professionally were also very popular among the Shen Yun artists.
Countless miracles have happened while validating the Fa, and all the wisdom of Dafa disciples comes from Dafa. Master saw our willingness to help Shen Yun to save people, so he arranged everything that helps us to accomplish our mission.
Maintaining Righteous Thoughts While Facing Interference
I remember when Shen Yun was performing in Berlin, a technical issue suddenly occurred in the second half of the show, and the audience and theater staff were at a loss. When I heard about this, my first reaction was: We can’t let the audience leave the theater until they’ve been saved.
I went to the theater lobby and saw an elderly couple walking out. I rushed up to greet them and learned that they had to leave because they were worried about being fined for overtime parking. I asked for their license plate number, found the car and extended their parking time so they could watch the entire show.
After the show, I ran into this couple again at the door, and when they found that I was a staff member, they excitedly said to me, “The performance was so wonderful. We have been waiting for 3 years to see Shen Yun! Today we drove from Rostock, although the round trip took five hours. We wanted to introduce Shen Yun to our children and friends and asked them to watch this must-see show.” From their reaction I truly felt the joy of a person being saved after watching Shen Yun, because this is what they have been waiting for lifetime after lifetime!
This incident also made me realize that everything that happens around us is closely related to our own cultivation. Can we selflessly consider others? Under any circumstances, a practitioner’s righteous thoughts and righteous actions play important roles in the salvation of lives.
Although I am the coordinator of the catering team, I know that no one is superior or inferior, and they are all essential elements in the salvation of people. Each practitioner has their own strengths and weaknesses. As a coordinator, one must make good use of their strengths. As long as we cooperate with each other, learn from each other’s strengths and overcome our weaknesses, and remind each other, we will surely be able to do a good job.
This project cannot be accomplished without the cooperation and selfless dedication of each practitioner in the team. At the same time, being part of our team provides a good cultivation environment for each practitioner involved, during which they can establish their own mighty virtue. If one cannot do it well and doesn’t take the responsibility that one should take, it will be an eternal regret and a loss that will never be made up!
Fellow practitioners, when we feel tired, when things are painful or difficult, please remember Master’s words: “The eons of hardship were all for this day” (“All for This Day,” Hong Yin III)
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Submitted to the 2022 European Fa Conference)
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