Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Snohomish County moves into intensive HVs/Fireside invites

It was a wonderful, rich weekend of teaching and learning to share the message of Baha'u'llah directly with new-found contacts in Snohomish County WA (A). The friends consecrated their efforts, discovered reserves of courage, gained crucial experience, and bonded with each other in the sweet, melting way that only shared teaching can bring. Truly, the collective teaching experience attracted confirmations on a new level. There were no declarations during the two days. I think we can attribute this -- at least somewhat -- to having very little collective experience of this kind going into the weekend. The ad-hoc teams that formed relied on a precious few that had practiced Anna's presentation at least once. Only 2 individuals had multiple days of experience going into the weekend.

Nevertheless, the friends did an outstanding job! Intensity was achieved! Over 500 homes were visited and 60 names of individuals who require follow-up of some kind were collected; 38 are considered high-priority that will be re-visited throughout this week and next weekend.

Also, the intensive home visit and fireside campaign is taking place during the week. At the kickoff cluster reflection meeting on Saturday, the friends pledged 13 firesides and 13 devotional meetings for the week using the London model of inviting warm contacts.

The core team decided that with the 60 new contacts along with whatever comes from the intensive HS/fireside campaign this week, the goal number of new contacts will be attained. The team is hoping to add 25 people to the COI rolls and to begin a combination of 6 new study circles/children's classes from the intensive phase.

So many wonderful and intimate moments occurred. Here are only a few: One husband and wife, who recently arrived in Snohomish County as refugees from Iran via Turkey, spent every possible moment they could going door-to-door even though their English-lanugage skills are quite limited. They said that it had been their dream all their life to do this type of teaching in Iran and they never had an opportunity as it was never safe to do so. They were not going to let this chance go by! Oh, it was a bounty to have these dear ones with us!

Another woman joined the door-to-door effort only because she felt such a strong reaction against the idea of it! She said that she had to try this to "see what it was all about". At the close of the campaign on Sunday, she thanked many of the friends for the experience. She found it not only dignified but exhilarating and went away as a convert to the venue.

The friends encountered several Russian-speaking pure hearted souls on Saturday. As there were no Russian speakers among the friends, one of the teams recruited a warm contact, a native Russian emigrant who has come to several Baha'i gatherings over the past half year, as a translator and revisited a few homes on Sunday. Our Russian translator not only translated for the friends, but went beyond and began to teach the Faith himself, encouraged by the others.

Warmest Love,
Todd Kutches

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