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New believer: “I tell them who Baha’u’llah is”
(US, DC, 17 May)
Here is a prime example of the practice and outcome of consolidation reported about a new believer that truly speaks for itself:
C__ embraced the Faith during the expansion phase, and at the same time enrolled her young son. Right away she was invited to begin to study. Within a week of accepting Baha’u’llah, she had been visited twice and was studying Book 1 (Reflections on the Life of the Spirit), and has been doing so regularly since then. She is now in the middle of the second unit of the book, and understands that this is a sequence of courses, and she is excited about moving through the sequence and carrying out the practices.
When she completed the first unit, the tutors (who also were the teachers who presented Anna’s presentation to her during the expansion) gave her a gift of the Hidden Words. She was thrilled with the book, holding it carefully in her hands, saying how it is “so beautiful on the cover and what’s inside”. She understood that the practice of the first unit was to read from this book or from some of the Baha’i writings every morning and evening. And when she came the next week to study again (and join her tutors for dinner at their home), she had obviously gone beyond her personal reading and had begun to share the Writings with others.’
Over dinner, we asked her if she might want to share some thoughts with the cluster about her experience over the past weeks. She talked about how during the last week “friends have asked about Baha’u’llah, and I tell them who Baha’u’llah is. I have shared prayers with friends and co-workers. One friend commented how nice the Hidden Words are. One of my friends had a difficult day and had a problem, a test, with another coworker and I shared with her ‘when a thought of war comes, replace it with a stronger thought of peace’ and my friend really liked that.”
She also talked about how she is using the Baha’i Writings now rather than making up her own prayers. She said, “I’ve always been in the habit of saying my own prayers, short prayers that I make up, now I am beginning to develop the habit of saying these prayers from Baha’u’llah.”
She has begun to teach the Faith – arising immediately to share with others the Message she has embraced. She told us, “I’ve told several peple about the Bahai Faith and people seemed interested.” Also she said that some family members have asked, “Who is Baha’u’ll’ah, who is this person?”, showing a little bit of reluctance about the “new religion” she had accepted and begun to promote. She said that when they spoke to her like that, she told them that, “The Baha’i Faith is about love, it’s about unity, it’s about the oneness of all religions.” And with this response “…they calm down, they even begin to get interested.” She has a plan to share Anna’s presentation with one person who has expressed interest, and, together with her tutors, is thinking about other people she can present the Faith to during the next few weeks.
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The most important thing is to polish the mirrors of hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light. One heart may possess the capacity of the polished mirror; another be covered and obscured by the dust and dross of this world… Therefore our duty lies in seeking to polish the mirrors of our hearts in order that we shall become reflectors of that light and recipients of the divine bounties which may be fully revealed through them.
– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá BWF 218
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(Report from the “A” stage Washington DC cluster) (http://teaching.bahai.us/2008/05/following-stories-from-atc-of.html)(Image reproduced with permission of the Bahá’í International Community)
(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.
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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.
(Report from Pierce County – Metro Tacoma IPG, “The Hilltop Teaching Campaign”. Used with permission)