Wednesday, September 3, 2014

At age 13, he investigated the Bahai Faith online using words from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

When he was 13 years old, Marcus investigated the Baha'i Faith online using particular words that resonated with him from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas!  At 16 years old, he went to a youth leadership camp and met a Baha'i there who presented an overview on the Baha’i Faith.  When he was 18 years old, he returned to the camp and met the sister of the Baha’i he met previously who also presented the Faith to her fellow campers.  At 19 he returned to the camp again and met another Baha'i, with whom he became good friends. 

Marcus shared that on the seventh day of his visit to a summer session at one of the national Baha’i schools, it was then that he realized that all the spiritual ideas which he carried within him were brought by Baha'u'llah, and with this realization, he decided to become a member of the Faith.   

Marcus and a Baha'i are studying together “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” and he continues studying the Baha'i writings and prayers online.  Marcus is 21 years old.

At age 16, he explained, "we're trying to change the world, and I want to help"

Jay grew up in a Baha'i home.  He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and when he was a young child he lived in Uganda.  He remembers attending Baha’i children's classes and classes as a junior youth at the Temple in Uganda!  He said it was very peaceful there with large flowers.  

"The Baha'i Faith has been a part of me all my life.  I like the Faith so much.  We're trying to change the world and I want to help," he explained.  

Jay is participating in a study group on “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit”.  His mother also just declared her belief and became a member of the Baha’i Faith.  Jay currently lives with family members who were pioneers to Tonga and are tutoring a study group.  Jay just turned 16!

He found the Baha'i Faith "captivating" at age 17

Jake is a senior in high school who also plays the baritone sax.   He was an atheist for a few years and was looking online and came across the Baha'i Faith. He shared with me that the Faith makes sense to him and is what he has believed all his life.  He shared that there is truth is all religions; one is not better or more important than another.  He found the Faith "captivating" and he is happy to be part of something. His mother is very supportive of his discovery.  

He understands that Baha'u'llah is the most recent Manifestation and that another will come "ere a thousand years".  We discussed the importance of prayer and reading from the Holy writings.  We discussed the three obligatory prayers. I told Jake about the youth gathering scheduled for his area, and encouraged him to attend.

He is now enrolled as a member of the Baha'i Faith.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Of all places . . . she learned about the Bahá’í Faith at a garage sale . . .

Becky who lives in Kansas shared her experience in learning about the Bahá’í  Faith . . . while at a garage sale. 

I went to a garage sale this morning and wanted buy a bookshelf type cabinet but didn't have a way to get it home.  The husband of the couple having the sale offered to deliver it for me, if I decided to buy it.   I thought that was very very kind of him.   Upon purchasing and delivering it, I had a conversation with him and found out that his name and he shared with me about the Bahá’í Faith.  



Monday, August 25, 2014

"How My Faith Keeps Me Sober" - a fireside that attracted 11 seekers

This story was shared by one of the Baha'is in the southern states who attended Tony’s prayer gathering and informal discussion (a “fireside”) about the Faith.

Tony’s prayer devotional and fireside were phenomenal!!!  There were 11 (yes, eleven!) people who attended who are not yet enrolled Baha'is. There were 4 Baha'is who also attended.   Tony included quotes from the holy writings that dealt with the commonalities of the Baha'i Faith and the 12-step programs, such as gratitude, overcoming self, and powerlessness.  Following reading prayers, everyone sang We All Associate.”   I was surprised to see so many people singing!

The fireside was titled “How My Faith Keeps Me Sober”.   No sooner did Tony start, when one of the guests, Lucia started asking questions. Though the questions took him off topic for a little bit, it was fine because he wanted to answer her questions.  It was really cool ... The coolest part was when one of the newest guest, Samuel, and a guest who had been coming to the gatherings for a while, Terry, started answering the questions!!!   Terry hasn't been around in a couple of years, but that didn't stop him from telling everyone how great this Faith is and how it's the best Faith he's ever found.  He even said if he had the time to belong to any religion, he would choose Baha'i.  

Everyone was invited to join a study group being held on Mondays on the topic of Releasing the Power of Junior Youth (book 5), and another group that is starting on Tuesday on the topic of Reflections on the Life of the Spirit (book 1). 

Before he left, Samuel mentioned that he plans to join the study group on junior youth.  He also mentioned to me at the start of the meeting that he had been reading one of the books a Baha'i had given him.  He shared with me, "I've been reading it, and I gotta tell ya . . . I was born a Baha'i." 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Renee, a new believer, is now a tutor in her community

This is a story about Renee who wanted to not only learn more about the Baha'i Faith, but wanted to help build a more vibrant community. 

This story is shared by those who met her . . .  

I called Renee and she said she came across the name Baha'i through Facebook under a Baha'i in Washington DC named Kathy.  Renee did not know Kathy, but she was intrigued about the Baha'i Faith and decided to go online to and investigate it.  The more she read the more she liked.  She said she registered her declaration online and a local Baha'i near her contacted her and together they went to an introductory talk about the Baha'i Faith.  Renee mentioned that her mother heard about the Faith in the 1960s, but never pursued it; she is looking into the Baha'i Faith for herself now too.  She is now an enrolled member of the Baha'i community.

A recent update shares how Renee is now involved with her community. 

Wow!  Renee just finished taking the study book #7 which taught her how to facilitate a study group with another tutor.  She even went back to re-study “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit” so that she could be an even better tutor!   She has not stopped reading other books including some of the Holy Writings, and she attends prayer groups in her community once a month.  She’s made several friends.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

She made her declaration by his bedside

Song and friendship brought Carry and Guy together!  

This is an amazing story of friendship, love, and how songs during childhood can bring friends together.  The story is told through the experience of a Baha'i who traveled to her home and who visited with Carry on several occasions. 

When Carry  was a young child, her mother (not a Baha'i) played children's songs written and sung by Red Grammer.  As she got older, she came to understand more about the messages in the songs which included lyrics on unity, oneness, respect, love and more.  And though she agreed with the messages, she did not have a source to learn more about the origins of the principles.   

Carry later became an ICU nurse.  She met Guy who was also a nurse who worked the same late-night shift with her.  One evening, Guy began singing one of Red Grammer’s songs, and spontaneously, Carry  began to sing along too. They turned to each other and asked (almost in unison) "How'd you know that song!"  They laughed and continued to sing other songs together too.  Guy shared that he had learned the songs as a Baha'i.  Over time, their friendship grew, and the songs remained a part of their relationship; they became very good friends, and gradually, Carry  learned more about the Faith from Guy.  

Later in life, Guy became very ill and Carry became his caregiver; she was always by his side.  As Guy became more ill, he moved to the coast to be closer to his family (some of whom are Baha'i too).  As Carry  learned of Guy's failing health, she arranged to visit him at his new home.  She decided, however, before arriving that she wanted to surprise him and make her Baha'i declaration by his side.  Fortunately, she had told me in advance, so I brought along a declaration card with me when I drove to see them both.  I gave it to her, and as she said, she filled it out and signed it while she was by his side.  

It was amazing, totally absolutely amazing!  Guy was also "very moved by it" and felt very good about how Carry 's learning of the Faith had evolved over time.  Glen shared with me that he didn't push his faith; he simply answered her questions and remained a good friend. 

Today, Carry, age 30,  is involved with the Baha'i community, she attends prayer devotionals and plans to connect with the Baha'is when she returns to her home state.