Friday, November 16, 2007

Aurora IL03 - A profound teaching experience!

One team in the Aurora, IL (A) teaching project had a teaching experience that really brought home for them the power of prayer and calling on the Concourse. After participating in an intense, hour-long group session of prayer and calling upon the Concourse for assistance, they went into their assigned neighborhood to teach. The team of three began walking up the street just to survey the neighborhood a little bit and then work their way back by knocking on doors. They walked no more than a block up the street when they spotted a man across the street, sitting on his front porch and enjoying the afternoon sun with his dog. The man waved and said hello cheerfully, then motioned to them to come over as he asked with genuine curiosity, “What are you guys doing?” This was the opening for a profound teaching experience.

A two-hour conversation followed in which Anna’s presentation was shared. When the man learned that the teaching team was in the neighborhood to tell families about a virtues class for children, he told the team that he was a single father of two boys, ages 10 and 12, and was very interested in knowing about the classes and in learning more about the Bahá’í Faith. He said he had made an effort to learn as much as he could about different religions and wondered, “Why haven’t I ever heard of this Bahá’í Faith?” He asked question after question about Bahá’u’lláh and His teachings and nodded in agreement with everything that was shared with him. At one point the team asked if he would like to share some prayers with them, and he readily agreed. He read one himself and commented on how beautiful it was. A member of the teaching team said another prayer, and after this the man invited the teaching team in to his house for coffee and further conversation. By the time the team left at the end of the two hours, the man was asking, “Where can I find books about this Bahá’u’lláh?” The team’s offer to visit again was received with enthusiasm, and they will be following up with home visits in the days and weeks ahead.

This encounter alone was an amazing teaching experience, but there was more. Once the team left this individual’s house, they realized it was time to reconvene with the larger group back at the project headquarters. They began walking back down the street but got no more than two houses down the block before they encountered another man on a porch who was equally friendly and receptive. He, too, was very interested in learning about the Bahá’í Faith and indicated he would very much like to be visited again the following weekend so he can learn more about the neighborhood children’s class for his children and grandchildren.

In short, the teaching team was overwhelmed with divine confirmations throughout the afternoon. They had set out with the goal to do some direct teaching and never even knocked on a single door! Although it is too soon to tell what the results of these two initial contacts will be, the critical role that prayer and calling on the Concourse played in bringing the team into contact with these two extremely receptive souls is so obvious that it cannot be ignored.

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