Much joy from the Northwest! Here is a report from Whatcom and Skagit Counties, WA (A), which is nearing the end of the expansion phase of the first cycle of its intensive program of growth. The confidence of the believers, the enthusiasm of the children and youth to teach, and the receptivity of their neighbors are all reasons for rejoicing.
The launch of our first intensive program of growth took place on Saturday, the 19th of April, starting with a wonderful cluster meeting where we broke up into teaching teams that will span the length of the cluster. The teams devised their plans and by lunch time everyone was ready to get teaching.
We are now at the half-way point of the campaign and reports have come in showing the dedication and enthusiasm spreading up and down the length of the cluster. The first day saw a very positive start of the teaching campaign, with two teams reporting visits to homes on an Indian reservation. One of the team members had long-time associations there and connections were rekindled. While presenting the Faith to a two members of a family, another member, who was listening nearby, was visibly moved and enrolled right then in the Faith! Follow-up visits later in the evening reinforced the growing warmth and love with the family!
At the same time, a group of children and youth began a two-day service project visiting a neighborhood. At two homes, although they were not able to share Anna's Presentation, they were able to have long conversations about the Faith, and at another home offered healing prayers. An appointment was made to share the presentation with another couple later in the week. In all, the children's class team introduced the Faith to people in 35 homes, having shared prayers and information with some, made appointments to return to give presentations to others who so requested, and with the children and youth coming away with a strong sense of empowerment to tell who they were and what they believe.
The idea that this is an intensive teaching period is apparent throughout the cluster. Reports have come in sharing that the friends have brought family and friends to the children's classes on Sunday; individuals are breaking through their fears and concerns and contacting those family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to finally share with them in a loving and direct manner the healing Message of Bahá'u'lláh; communities are coming together for prayers (some on a daily basis). The spirit and energy are growing stronger and stronger every day! Though we may not yet be seeing large numbers of immediate enrolments, the responses to the presentations are positive (one man's response was "You really need to get this message out!"). The experience of teaching in this way has been described by one participant as an "exhilarating and lovely" experience.
No doubt more reports and stories will be coming in as the week progresses!