Thursday, March 12, 2009

Each journey is different, Seeker Response reaches out

More and more people contact the national Seeker Response system, either through calling the 1-800-22UNITE phone line or through the national Web site or through other means. Each of these individuals comes from a different backgrounds. Some have known about the Faith for a long time, some have not. Some may have studied it on their own, others may have not. Different things spark interest for each heart—hearing something on TV, wanting to know about local activities and events, searching for a Faith with teachings that matches their beliefs and ideals. Once they reach out, the believers at the regional and local levels responde to their inquiry. They call them on the phone, they arrange for nearby believers to visit them, they connect them with the friends. Each journey is different, each story is delightful. Here are a few. . . .

The first is about a seeker in an A-stage cluster who contacted Bahá’ís through the public Web site. One of the friends reports:

I just visited __ and he declared, as well as registered his daughter. We are planning to get her involved in a children’s class near his home, as well as meet every week to study the Book 2 deepening themes together and eventually start a study circle. He is also planning to attend the weekly devotions at the Bahá’í center and the next Feast and Holy Day.

This next story is about a seeker in C-stage cluster. When she contacted the Seeker Response system, she had already studied the Faith a lot. She lives in an isolated locality, so believers from nearby communities have worked together to reach out. The regional specialist notes:

She has read quite a bit, both general information and several authoritative texts. She was very proud to tell me that she has learned the short Obligatory prayer, and is saying the Greatest Name 95 times each day. She has also been in regular contact with the Friends in __ (which is very close to where she lives). __ has been accompanying her on her journey of investigation. She has been attending activities in a number of nearby communities.

Another seeker in a C-stage cluster sent an inquiry, and the local believers made a home visit to her.

One shared Anna's presentation, one prayed, and one played with the child who was present. At the end, when asked if she wanted to join the Faith, she burst into tears saying, "Yes". She already had a declaration card filled out! She invited the friends to come again next week to talk to more of her family who are also interested. The Regional Specialist sent a loving note to welcome her. She responded: “Thank you, I am whole and praise be to God for the blessing!”

This seeker in an A-cluster contacted the Web site:

I learned of Bahá’í through searching the internet for a religion that reflects my core beliefs in one God. As I read the writings of the Bahá’í Faith I felt as if I could have written it myself for these teachings have been deeply entrenched in my heart and life for years. I would like to know if there are Bahá’ís in my area. Thank you.

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