By Iona McCombie Smith | The BL

58-year-old George Alpert lives in upstate New York. He has been running a windows, doors, and architectural metals business for over 30 years.

Born and raised in Lithuania, a former Soviet Union country in Eastern Europe, Alpert followed his parents and brother to emigrate to the United States. After he landed in America, Alpert was amazed, as what he witnessed with his own eyes was far different from what he had been taught about the United States back in Lithuania. In Lithuania, from an early age, he was bombarded with the idea that in the West, unemployment was widespread, people were suffering—even starving, and were widely exploited.

Alpert said that when he first arrived in the United States, the government had various assistance programs for immigrants, and he had a sense of being welcomed. However, he did not take advantage of any of these programs and was able to get on his own two feet unassisted. He did not feel that it was too hard to make it in the United States alone.

“It was just a matter of hard work and just being diligent, persistent and making an effort,” Alpert explained.

George Alpert left the Soviet Union and built a successful career in the U.S.

During the following months, Alpert worked ceaselessly, as he enjoyed doing his job. Monday was his favorite day of the week.

However, overloaded with work for about 20 years, Alpert began suffering from chronic digestive illnesses. He was so exhausted that he felt hopeless and felt there was no answer.

“I tried probably for five years to go to various doctors. Some days, I remember, I just had to leave my work and go back home and lay in bed. I was just totally exhausted”, Mr. Alpert recalls.

One day, Alpert stumbled across an article about 10,000 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners who had gathered in Beijing to protest peacefully against the government’s harsh treatment of their practice. From his childhood experience living within the Soviet Union, he knew that 10,000 people gathering together and furthermore protesting from within the Chinese communist country was almost impossible. Impressed by the courage of the practitioners, Alpert wondered what Falun Gong was and began reading related books and writings.

George Alpert became aware of Falun Gong when he accidentally read an article about the peaceful protests of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China.

After his extensive research, Alpert decided to begin practicing the teachings of Falun Gong. About two months later, he suddenly realized that he was able to eat the types of food that had previously been the most upsetting to him. He was amazed, “I should not be feeling well right now. I should be feeling fatigued and experiencing all kinds of pains, my digestive problems suddenly, by some miracle, had disappeared totally—they were gone”.

George Alpert shared about how his life has changed.

Through the adoption of Falun Gong practice, Alpert’s health and spirit improved significantly. His body was full of energy and he felt refreshed. He was able to resume working at his office and dedicate wholeheartedly 100% of his attention and time.

George Alpert is working in his workshop and garden in upstate New York.

Furthermore, George Alpert discovered that the Chinese government has been horribly defaming and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners systematically over the past 20 years. Since he began practicing Falun Dafa, he has participated in various activities to help clarify the true situation of the persecution.

“I couldn’t believe that people are being persecuted for just practicing the exercises and following certain principles of Truthfulness, Forbearance, and Benevolence. These are just noble principles that nobody should object to”, Alpert said.

Left: George Alpert (upper row, second from the left) attended a parade of Falun Gong practitioners, calling for an end to the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China; Right: George Alpert is practicing a Falun Gong exercise.

This fortunate man who has received the many blessings that this peaceful Buddhist practice delivers believes that “the more people that know, the harder it is for the Chinese government to sustain this insane persecution. People in China certainly one day will be able to freely practice Falun Dafa”.

Finally, the message that Alpert wants to send to the world is that, “when things look very bleak, there is always hope. Because when things reach the extreme, they are bound to turn around. So, if things don’t look too bright in your life, just hang on. Things are bound to turn around. Ever since starting to practice Falun Dafa, it’s always sunny in my world. There are fewer cloudy days.”

(All Photos by The BL)