Chris Boukaert's Stories
We share a special gene for the love of animals in our family. I have a dream of Love & Peace, this is how I sign my emails. I think, like Ghandi wrote: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated", and I adhere to this belief. The love of animals is a first and easier step into achieving Love in general and Peace, would it be internal or into our relationships.
With the idea of establishing an Animal Ministry in Westlake, in 2011 I organized a Blessing of the Animals with guest speakers, music and the blessing with the encouragement and under the supervision of Rev. Skip. I dedicated this event to my mother for her 90th birthday. She lives in Belgium where I was born. She has always been an advocate for animals. She worked as a volunteer for the Animal Shelter of Liege and also for a horse rescue center.
You will find underneath a passage from my speech at the Blessing that explains my belief, my dream, my hopes.
"I want to communicate today my passion for animals. How can we pass in front of a rose and not smell its perfume, nor see its beauty? Can we not understand that animals are a gift of God? God is giving itself through their loving presence, their beauty, their peace and their innate joy. We cannot ignore such a large part of the creation!
Particularly in this time of economic downturn, animals pay a price. They are abandoned on the street if not dropped off at a shelter! People in a dire situation are not happy, more aggressive, depressed. Animals are the first victims.
We can remind people that animals, with whom we share the planet or our lives, are living, breathing souls, not properties that one can unthinkingly dispose off. All creatures have feelings and emotions and yet in almost any circumstances, they can manifest unconditional love. We want to encourage you to share this love for animals with other people. Let's give our heart to animals so we can also give compassion to children and fellow human beings.
I dream that all of you today will leave this Blessing and Celebration, ever-more the advocates of the Animals. I am dreaming of a world where people and animals live happily and in peace, and I am not the only one!"
This work of sharing, teaching is continued in the daily activities of the Animal Ministry. After this Blessing, I found a lot of enthusiasm and support in the CSL Simi. We had in March last year our first "Pause for Paws" proclaimed officially by the Maire of Simi. We are working on "Pause for Paws 15!" Simi's Maire wants to proclaim a week of the animals for us. We haven't determined the date yet. In the meantime, we collect material to help our rescues, find volunteers, receive offerings. I also respond to letters published in the Acorn.
Last November I worked on the inauguration of "Zoe's No Fleas Market" on Thousand Oaks Blvd. I will start soon working on a "Poker Run" for vintage cars at the end of the year.
I have personally adopted a kitten "Ariel" in 2006, followed by my dog "Bear" in 2010. Bear was "foreclosed" in his house and found roaming on the street.
I am available for any questions. Please email me at Flikasailor@verizon.net