Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"A lot of teaching" in Maryland, door-to-door style

"Cycle 10 starts with a lot of teaching!!!" was the title of the email that shared news of the Howard County-Laurel, MD (A) cluster's 10th cycle of growth, and what better way is there to start? This report shares the friends' experience in approaching neighborhood residents in a door-to-door manner, and the confirmations that they witnessed, despite some initial reservations. A note accompanying the email added that "In the two days since the launch of Cycle 10, we have heard from at least three other friends who have overcome their reticence about direct door to door teaching, and have agree to accompany the teaching teams, if only to stand back and watch what happens!! With action comes understanding, and greater passion for teaching!" Well said!

Dear friends,

We launched our 10th Cycle of our Intensive Program of Growth this weekend, and it was exciting! We started off with our Reflection Gathering, which outlined where we have been, what we have learned and where we are going.We studied guidance from the World Center and consulted about how to improve our method. We all learned a lot and if you weren’t able to make it I suggest you to talk to someone who did to get a highlight of the learning! We also had a lively skit by our youth and one community member on what to do and what not to do when giving Anna’s Presentation. The skit was so lively it may have cost him a potential client… Just ask him!

We kicked off our Expansion Phase on Sunday at the Nowbahar home. We had two teams go out door to door in their neighborhood – and what a success it was! We were all so surprised at how many people invited us into their homes to tell them about the Bahai Faith! We gave Anna’s Presentation IN ITS ENTIRETY to two different families and gave it partially to another seeker!Plus we many homes that asked us to return at another time when they would be available. Just to give you a sense of how it felt, let me give you a little anecdote:

“We just started going door to door and knocked on a lot of homes which no one was at. When someone answered the door we said something like ‘Hi, we are your neighbors and would like to let you know about a few activities we have in the neighborhood; a prayer gathering and children’s class. We are from the Bahai community and wanted to introduce ourselves and see if you would like to know more about the activities or the Bahai Faith.’ About the fifth door we knocked on was answered by a boy – his mom was sitting in the living room. She asked us what the Bahai Faith was. As we were explaining it at the door she stopped us and invited us in. She then offered us a seat and said to her two sons (who were playing video games) “boys – turn the TV off – we are going to listen and learn now!” We gave the hole presentation to her and her boys she loved it! She said she agreed with so much. She said she did not want to change churches at this point but wants to come of our activities. Additionally she said that she wanted us to contact her niece who is looking for a Faith Community. We got contact information for her and her niece and are looking forward to seeing them soon! In total we were there for over an hour!

After that we were so excited, but thought that was probably going to be our only chance to find a seeker that day. But we wanted to go through the whole building so we knocked on the next door. At this door a man said to us, ‘oh, you are Bahai? I know about the Bahai Faith. You believe in Baha’u’llah right?!!’ We asked him if he would like to know more, and he said yes and invited us in!We talked with him for another half an hour or so and said he wants us to come back when he has had time to read on his own and form his questions. He is very interested – he even asked us if he could be a Bahai and Hindu at once! :) We are returning next Sunday to follow up with him.”

Friends- this was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved. I really encourage you to come with us at least once. Even if you don’t feel comfortable knocking on doors or talking to strangers, just accompany a teaching team one time and feel the experience for yourself. It is truly a joy and is so exciting! Also, please, please pray and beg Baha’u’llah for assistance for the teams to find seekers. We know that we have found these seekers only through Divine Assistance! And if we rely on Divine Assistance we will surely find many, many more! If you don’t want to go door to door please come to one of the days to stay back and hold a prayer session and then hear the stories and enthusiasm when everyone returns. This is such a wonderful experience and we truly hope that as many people as possible will have the privilege of being part of it.

Also, remember that so much of our teaching during the expansion phase will happen on an individual basis – both planned and unplanned. Please send the Area Teaching Committee your teaching stories – both planned and spontaneous! We would particularly like to know if you have given Anna’s Presentation to anyone or if you have a seeker that you would like to give Anna’s Presentation to.

With much love and excitement,

The Area Teaching Committee

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