Friday, November 14, 2008

Building trust in West Valley

This report from an individual believer in West Valley, AZ (B) is uplifting in a number of ways. First are some practical insights, gained from the friends’ experience, that are helping to engage an increasing number of the believers in service. Next is systematic outreach in one neighborhood, dedicated and attentive efforts that are building bonds of trust. And finally, are some inspiring stories of new believers.

In order for people to commit to service, they need to feel that they “own” their role in the process. One way to achieve this is to ask them to do something specific and then report back on their experience. Keeping data is another way to help the friends take ownership of the process. . . .

Because we are holding study circles, children’s classes, home visits and devotional meetings at the same time every week in one neighborhood, the residents now know they can expect us to be there at that time. It has also helped the believers to participate in a collective effort based on unity of vision.

Attentive consultation with the residents allowed us to understand that a key need of the community is an English class. So weekly afternoon English classes are being held and are well attended.

In meeting the challenge to assist all members in our cluster to find their niche in the Five Year Plan, we have learned to focus on the guidance. This helps everyone understand that teaching can occur in a variety of venues.

Here are some stories of new believers in West Valley.

One has been studying the Faith for several years, including online study. She contacted the National Center via email and it has been clear sailing ever since! She and her husband declared and registered their children. Currently at their home there is a weekly children’s class, junior youth group, and a Book 1 study circle occurring simultaneously!

Another couple enthusiastically declared their Faith during Anna’s presentation after hearing of the sacrifice and suffering of the Blessed Beauty. They immediately requested study sessions to learn more of their new Faith.

Three other young people declared their belief in Bahá’u’lláh after hearing Anna’s presentation. Two of them immediately began studying Book 1 with their teacher. Another member of the family has been studying the Faith and asked for websites and books, and always seeks us out when we are visiting the neighborhood. He is participating in a Book 1 study circle each week.

No comments: