Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Round 2 starts off strong in Loudoun County

Here is a report from the area teaching committee for Loudoun County, VA (A), where the expansion phase of the second cycle of its intensive program of growth has recently started. The friends are working together in unity; there are lots of different tasks, and everyone is playing a part.

Whensoever holy souls, drawing on the powers of heaven, shall arise with such qualities of the spirit, and march in unison, rank on rank, every one of those souls will be even as one thousand, and the surging waves of that mighty ocean will be even as the battalions of the Concourse on high.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 260)

Reflection Gathering

Our second cycle of our intensive program of growth kicked off with a reflection gathering on Friday, July 18 at the NOVA Bahá’í Center. Beloved friends from Herndon, Reston, Loudoun and Leesburg gathered together to share prayers, hear about the plans for the teaching campaign, and consult on topics such as teaching, consolidation, and children's classes. It was an inspiring evening and quite a few friends, including adults and youth, volunteered to help out with the teaching efforts for the upcoming weekends. Also, four youth decided to sign up for the upcoming Ruhi Book 3 class to learn how to teach children's classes.

Teaching Efforts

On Saturday and Sunday, 15 adults, 3 youth, 1 junior youth and 1 child were formed into teams to go to two communities in the cluster. They spent time praying for the teaching efforts, training on how to present the Faith using Anna's Presentation, and going over logistics of which homes they would be visiting. Several friends volunteered their homes as a "base" for teaching, and also prepared food for the teachers. Also, several Baha'is came to participate in the morning prayers, and then decided to join in the teaching efforts for the whole day. Despite the intense heat, these devoted souls went door to door and taught the Faith to dozens of waiting souls. While this was taking place, wonderful support was given by many friends in the form of babysitting, making lunch, offering hospitality in their homes, and saying prayers.

Success Stories

1. Two Baha'i teachers knocked on an apartment door at the Fields Apartments. A woman was on the phone with a friend and called through the door, "Who is it?" The two teachers said, "We’re with the Bahá’í Faith." The woman excitedly said to her friend, "I have to get off the phone. The Baha'i Faith is here, and I've been trying to find out about this for a long time!" She let the teachers inside and they sat down and shared with her the entire presentation about the Faith. She was very excited and they set up an appointment the following day for continued discussion. As it turns out, this woman and another friend had contacted the Bahá’ís a year and a half ago for information, and had received an email about local activities, but had not followed it up further at that time. Now, a year and a half later, while randomly knocking on doors, this dear woman was in the very first building that the Baha'i teachers approached! She expressed her feelings that this was all "divinely inspired" and wanted to know "what the next steps were" since she's eager to study more. On Sunday evening, a Ruhi Tutor contacted her, and they arranged for a Ruhi Book 1 study circle to start in her home the following weekend.

2. Another two Baha'i teachers teamed up and began knocking on doors to present the Faith. After about 20 doors and no answer, they decided to stop and ask for help from the Concourse on High. They specifically called on Mírzá Mihdí (the Purest Branch) and asked for help. The very next door they knocked on was opened immediately by a gentleman, who gladly invited them in and asked them to be seated. He was receptive to learning about the Faith and a very friendly connection was made with this gentleman!

Upcoming Needs

Over the next two weekends, the intensive teaching will continue, followed by consolidation for several months (deepening, Ruhi Book 1, children's classes, devotional gatherings, etc.). We need the following assistance:

Spanish-speaking Baha'is


Meals to be prepared for the teachers

Homes to be made available for the teachers to gather before they go out teaching

Ruhi tutors available to teach a Book 1

Children's class teachers to continue the class that has started on a weekly basis

To offer your assistance in any way, please contact your ATC Secretary.


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