Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Does it get any better than this?"

Stories about children’s classes always lift the heart. This story from an A-stage cluster in Central region about two children’s classes that have started recently is particularly inspiring. In both cases the children themselves are inviting their friends and family members to participate. The Bahá’ís come prepared to conduct the class, check in with parents and other family members to obtain permission for the children to join, and much happiness and joy follows. And if you thought accompaniment was something that only applied to teaching or tutoring, note how an existing student of the classes accompanies his peers who are participating for the first time!

Two children’s classes have recently been started in the Kansas City cluster. In one neighborhood, the friends met several boys and asked them if they would like to participate in an activity. The boys enthusiastically accepted, so arrangements were made with their parents and a meeting place was set for the first class. The teachers of the class also invited a boy in the neighborhood who was already attending another children’s class to join in this one. He happily joined the group and brought along some of his cousins. . . .

When the teachers arrived the next day, some of the children were already waiting for them. The class began with 12 children, but 5 more joined in by the end of the class. They went through the first lesson from Ruhi Book 3. The boy who had previously participated in another class shone like a star. The other kids watched him and followed his lead. The class was a resounding success!

“Does it get any better than this?” one of the teachers exclaimed. “Bahá’u’lláh gave us the perfect day with eager students and a team to work with.”

In another neighborhood, the friends were trying to find a way to start a children’s class in an apartment complex. While walking through the complex, a sweet little girl walked up to them and introduced herself and her friends. The teachers asked if she would like to participate in a Bahá’í children’s class and she happily agreed. Shortly after that a class was started with a prayer, and continued with a song, story, game and coloring activity. As the class proceeded, the first girl the Bahá’ís had met kept inviting her friends and siblings to join her. They were all walking by to see what was happening.

After the class, the teachers asked to meet her grandmother. They said a healing prayer with her and then explained the purpose of the children’s class. The grandmother agreed for the girl to attend the class each week.

The class has since met three times to include six other children who joined. They are enjoying class and all want to invite more friends to join. Each class ends with much laughter and big hugs among the children.

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