Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Children Helping Stage a Neighborhood Devotional Meeting

Here one friend from the Omaha, NE (B) cluster describes some of the elements that led to a successful and well-attended neighborhood devotional meeting. Prominent in the story is the unique role that her children played in establishing the activity.

“I just wanted to share a bit of our success story. We just held our first prayer gathering in my neighborhood after delivering over 40 invites on Labor Day with my kids. They were such troopers in the heat and very brave going up to homes by themselves (me across the street or on the sidewalk). All 3 kids had helped roll the invites into scrolls and we tied them each with pretty white and purple ribbon. While working on the invites we discussed that this prayer gathering was an opportunity to let others hear Baha’u'llah’s healing words. I compared it to sharing candy and how happy people are to receive a piece of candy and how great we feel after sharing that candy. I explained how we could prevent people from being truly happy if we did not to share our candy (Baha’u'llah) with people.

The neighbors warmly received the invites from these 3 sweet children, but once we were all home, collapsed on the couch soaking up the air conditioning, we couldn’t help but wonder “Who will come?” “Will anyone come?”.

Tonight we dragged lawn chairs and several prayer books and prayer cards over to our neighborhood lot. The kids and I were prepared to pray alone, but quite pleasantly we were joined by 4 other neighbors! They were all very inspired by the invites and thought they were a great idea. After brief introductions and I shared I was a Baha’i and that I brought prayer books if anyone was interested. There was a comment and nods of recognition in knowing about the Baha’i Faith. Then kids got us started, and then my son exclaimed “Oh yeah! We forgot to pass out the prayer cards!” and he proceeded to pass each person a beautifully decorated prayer card that has a quote/prayer on either side of the card. Everyone graciously accepted his offer, and I KNOW had I passed them to folks they would have been politely denied).

One of the neighbors commented, “It is refreshing to see children so enthusiastic about their prayers.” That had to be the best compliment ever!”

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