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In this year’s Ridván message the House of Justice directs our attention to “the qualities that [must] distinguish our service to the peoples of the world,” qualities that will determine the success of our teaching efforts:

So free must be your thoughts and actions of any trace of prejudice—racial, religious, economic, national, tribal, class, or cultural—that even the stranger sees in you a loving friend.

So high must be your standard of excellence and so pure and chaste your lives that the moral influence you exert penetrates the consciousness of the wider community.

Only if you demonstrate the rectitude of conduct to which the writings of the Faith call every soul will you be able to struggle against the myriad forms of corruption, overt and subtle, eating at the vitals of society.

Only if you perceive honour and nobility in every human being—this independent of wealth or poverty—will you be able to champion the cause of justice.

Finally, the House assures us: “As you press ahead, be confident that the Concourse on High is marshalling its forces and stands ready to come to your aid. Our continued prayers will surround you.”

The Seat of the Universal House of Justice on Mount Carmel. This building houses the international governing council of the worldwide Bahá’� community.

Is there any more “time to lose”?

* * * * * * * *
Lord!
Feeble are we, strengthen us to diffuse the fragrances of Thy Holiness;
poor, enrich us from the treasures of Thy Divine Unity;
naked, clothe us with the robe of Thy bounty;
sinful, forgive us our sins by Thy grace, Thy favor and Thy pardon.
Thou art, verily, the Aider, the Helper, the Gracious, the Mighty, the Powerful.
The glory of glories rest upon them that are fast and firm.

—‘Abdu’l-Bahá, (BP, 202)

* * * * * * * *

(Ridván 2008 message)

(Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community)

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(US, WA, April)

Report from a teaching campaign in this “A” stage cluster:

A team of one Adult and one Youth knocked on a door. [A mother opened, and] the youth immediately began praying from his prayer book! The TV was on and a 3-year-old played close by. The team stayed focused on giving all of Anna’s Presentation. When asked if she had any questions, she replied, “No, but I like what I am hearing!” When the last page of the presentation was given and she was asked, “Do you believe in Bahá’u’lláh and His message?” She said “yes” and the teacher quickly began filling in her card with name, address etc. She took the card and corrected the date and signed her name. This was a third attempt to follow up. Persistence, love, and prayers for Divine Assistance = Declaration! A follow up visit included 2 friends, having just completed Ruhi Book 2, who gave the first deepening theme on the Eternal Covenant.

* * * * * * * *

With hearts overflowing with the love of God, with tongues commemorating the mention of God, with eyes turned to the Kingdom of God, they must deliver the Glad Tidings of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts to all the people.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

(http://www.bahai-library.org/compilations/guidelines.teaching.html)

(Report from Pierce County – Metro Tacoma IPG, “The Hilltop Teaching Campaign”. Used with permission)

Olive trees in the gardens around the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh

The power of prayer (USA, Southern region, 28 April)

Here is a moving story from one of the friends in an A cluster in the southern region, during a collective teaching project. This account of a couple’s declaration is a testament to the power of prayer, patience and confidence:

As my teaching team partner and I were walking around the complex we kept running into a man who was very friendly. Then we saw him in his house and my heart guided me to say “Hi” since his door was wide open. So we then introduced ourselves and very enthusiastically, but respectfully, said to the man and his wife: “We are here to share a beautiful message with you on unity and love and I would be most happy to give you this wonderful presentation.”

They welcomed us into their home. The couple sat in their living room while I started the presentation. While I spoke, my teaching partner silently recited the Tablet of Ahmad. This is an important learning for me. Prayer is the essential component because it helps one find receptive souls and be in tune with them when teaching.

During the presentation, the husband said, “I love this because Bahá’u’lláh championed the cause of justice, helped the poor, and the goal is unity.” With the help of the Concourse on High and my teaching partner’s prayers, I gave the rest of the presentation. I then invited both of them into the Faith—and then invited them again. I showed them the enrolment card and explained that joining the Faith is a simple process. “If you feel that Bahá’u’lláh is the Manifestation of God, you are a Bahá’í.”

We welcomed them into the Faith as they both signed their enrolment cards. We presented them with a copy of a prayer and invited them to join a Ruhi 1 study circle. Before we left, at the couple’s suggestion, we shared a prayer together.

(http://teaching.bahai.us/2008/04/here-is-moving-story-from-one-of.html)

(Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community)

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