(US – CA, 28 June)

A remarkable, humorous story from the Monterey County, CA cluster (A-stage) that illustrates what far-reaching effects an earlier positive impression can have on people, and especially children as here, further down the road!

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If it hadn’t been for the dog . . .

Last summer in [this cluster], two of the friends held a children’s class in their neighborhood, and they planned to offer the class again this summer. But apparently the children were not going to wait a whole year! . . .

One recent Sunday afternoon, __’s husband [a Bahá’í] was out walking the family dog. All of a sudden a little boy pointed to the dog and said “Hey, I know that dog!” The boy remembered that this was the “teacher’s” dog. The next thing __’s husband knew, an army of children was following him home! When the children saw __, they said, “When are we having the class again?” So she told them that she and the other teacher would come the next day!

When the 2 teachers arrived the next day, they found the little boy and his sister, who then helped them round up another 15 or so children. One of the teachers explained to the children that because of her new work schedule, she would not be able to come to class every week, so that another co-teacher would be needed to help out. She asked the children to raise their hand if they had an older brother or sister in high school that might like to help teach the class; one of the children said her older sister might be interested. So she was invited to come the following week.

When the older sister came, one of the teachers gave an overview of the children’s class and invited her to join a training—she came to the __ home the following weekend and started Book 1!

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A Baha’i children’s class in Toronto, Canada

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…as men and women of various ages move along the sequence [of institute courses] and complete their study of each course with the help of tutors, others must stand ready to accompany them in acts of service undertaken according to their strengths and interests—particularly the coordinators responsible for children’s classes, for junior youth groups and for study circles, acts of service crucial to the perpetuation of the system itself. …

…the vitality of the spiritual and social life of [a] community…—a growing community that welcomes the constructive contributions of both those who are formally enrolled and those who are not[—is to be the measure of its strength].

— The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 2010 message, § 12 & 22

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(From the teaching blog http://teaching.bahai.us/2010/06/if-it-hadn-been-for-dog.html. Photo reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í World Centre. View it here.)