Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
New Vrindaban Hosts Four-Day Devotee Care Training Led by UK devotees
By Thomas Haribol   |  Apr 15, 2023
nw

Participants of the Devotee Care Training held in New Vrindaban. All photos are courtesy of Bhaktin Beverly

Fifteen members of the New Vrindaban community recently participated in an intensive four-day Devotee Care Education and Training Course led by Jai Nitai Dasa and his wife, Bhava Bhakti Devi Dasi. Previous to their Devotee Care service, the presenters served in the ISKCON London temple for 25 years. Fourteen of those years, Jai Nita served as Temple President.

The course is a ministry of Devotee Care International, an initiative of the GBC. Its goal is to “embed the culture of care” within devotee communities worldwide. To date, they have trained over 1,100 devotees from over 15 countries. “The most enriching experience of the service is meeting and interacting with devotees from around the world who need someone just to listen to them and show a little bit of simple care,” said Bhava Bhakti. “Hearing many of the stories of a lack of devotee care over the years is sometimes heartbreaking, but we feel we are planting seeds for a brighter future for ISKCON,” remarked Jai Nitai. Both were asked to take up this service by their spiritual master, Radhanath Swami, who felt this was a primary need within our society.

The four main topics explored in the multi-day event included – what devotee care is, how to apply devotee care, who is responsible for devotee care, and the practical implementation of devotee care. Remarking on his key takeaway, New Vrindaban Temple President Jaya Krsna Das said, “Each devotee is responsible for devotee care—devotee care cannot be delegated to a department.”

Bhaktin Beverly and Jaya Krishna serve participants, with Jai Nitai in the background.

Participants found the course very interactive. Although structured presentations shape the training, the days offer ample group discussions, break-outs, and even skits. Key learnings gleaned are then formed into strategic plans for implementing the ideas locally.

New Vrindaban has one of the most developed Devotee Care initiatives in the world, offering free notary services, haircutting, transportation, living will and medical power of attorney assistance, government application and health care assistance, transportation to community events, cleaning & prasadam delivery for older adults, grocery runs, recycling, and a newly opened “gently used” boutique where everything is offered at no cost. “New Vrindaban was a surprise for us because they had a devotee care office that had been functioning for two years with significant financial investment from the leadership, support from the community, and a person designated to head the project up,” said Jai Nitai. 

Bhaktin Beverly, who leads the Devotee Care program at New Vrindaban, said of the four-day experience, “I left the training feeling optimistic and inspired moving forward. I enjoyed the small group/team-building experiences. They were fun, but they also gave others insight as to what’s included in my service,” Beverly continued, “No matter what your service or role is, in a Krsna-centered community, this training is impactful and helps us all to integrate ‘devotee care’ into all our relationships.” 

Additional North American training is being explored with possible visits to Alachua, New York, Ohio, and Michigan. For more information on this vital training, please visit www.devoteecare.org. To discuss bringing training to your community, email Devotee Care International at dco@krishnatemple.com 

More Topic
en_USEnglish