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(US – IN, June 2010)
Thoughtful, seeking people exist in every community, we are assured of by the beloved Guardian and the Universal House of Justice. This story shows how they were found through the persistent efforts of one of the friends in an Indiana town neighborhood, using one of the core activities as a meeting point.
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3 adults and 4 children in my neighborhood enrolled into our Beloved Cause!
Weekly devotions proved to work better on Thursday afternoons; and it is through these devotions that the enrollments occurred. By being exposed to the Word of God at these devotions and through the [prayer] book, “Healing the Soul” that they took home, a married couple in my neighborhood responded with earnest and asked me to please teach them more about Baha’u’llah. So, the following week, I went through Anna’s presentation. They were so overwhelmed that they called a close friend of theirs to come and hear the presentation because this friend had been something of a spiritual mentor for them. He came and listened and said, “This is the truth. This is what I have been preparing you for.” They stayed a total of 6 hours; and left with books…
The following week they were both very excited and said that they believed in Baha’u’llah, but still had some residual doubts resulting from their continued attachment to some of the teachings in Islam. After this gathering, I started daily home visits with the friend (spiritual mentor). My thought was that he might be the one to guide them. At one point during the first home visit, I was inspired to share with him the fact that an entire world community existed that shared these ideals. He was not alone (as he thought). He did not seem to respond to this, but the following day he said that he had been thinking about this and told me that he knew in his heart that there had to be such a community, but he didn’t know where they were, and he never thought he would be blessed enough to see the day.
The following day, he arrived first at the devotions and said that he and his friends knew that they had found the truth and were overwhelmed by the joy they felt. When the married couple entered a few minutes later, the husband said, “I have been guided my whole life to this point. I cannot deny this truth. My heart knows this is true. Where do I sign?” I went to get three enrollment cards, and all three enrolled. The four children will also be enrolled as soon as I sit down with the mom to get this done.
This overwhelming experience of the past couple of months is proof beyond any words that anyone could tell me that by following the guidance of our Supreme Institutions, we will have the success that we long for in our hearts.
There is still much work to be done, and more fruit to gather. Hopefully I will write with more joyous news as the weeks and months unfold.
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Where a training institute is well established and constantly functioning, three core activities–study circles, devotional meetings, and children’s classes–have multiplied with relative ease. Indeed, the participation of seekers in these activities, at the invitation of their Bahá’í friends, has lent a new dimension to their purposes, consequently effecting new enrolments… These core activities, which at the outset were devised principally to benefit the believers themselves, are naturally becoming portals for entry by troops. By combining study circles, devotional meetings and children’s classes within the framework of clusters, a model of coherence in lines of action has been put in place and is already producing welcome results…
– The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 2002 message, § 4
Wherever an intensive programme of growth is established, let the friends… not lose sight of the remarkable receptivity they found—nay, the sense of eager expectation that awaited them—as they gained confidence in their ability to interact with people of all walks of life and converse with them about the Person of Bahá’u’lláh and His Revelation. Let them hold fast to the conviction that a direct presentation of the Faith, when carried out at a sufficient level of depth and reinforced by a sound approach to consolidation, can bring enduring results…
– The Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010 message, § 15
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(Adapted from a report on the US Teaching blog: http://teaching.bahai.us/2010/08/3-adults-and-4-children-in-my.html. Emphasis added.) (Photo copyright of the Bahá’í International Community – for source, click here.)