Friday, March 13, 2009

Kansas City arises with courage to fulfill pledges

The effects of the Regional Bahá’í Conferences continue to resonate throughout the country. Here are three truly amazing and truly delightful stories from Kansas City, MO (A) from believers who have arisen to fulfill their pledges. These stories speak for themselves. Go KC!

The first is an inspiring story of a believer overcoming all doubts and obstacles to arise with confidence and courage:

__ listened at the Conference to the messages from Counselor Mora and Counselor Walker through a headset translating it into her mother tongue. The call to arise was clear to her, and her heart began to glow. When members of her cluster gathered together in a breakout group, she watched her community unhesitatingly pledge services to the Cause. Her heart's desire has been for so long to offer children's classes for those in her neighborhood. For so long she had considered her barriers: her accent, a lack of a partner, no meeting places, etc. Reminded of words of Counselor Walker that "now is the time to stand up for Bahá’u’lláh", and as she gazed upon the faces of a sea of dedicated servants any hesitation turned into utmost determination. She wrote her pledge down: one new children's class. . . .

Upon her return home, with the writings of Bahá’u’lláh on her lips, she began knocking on doors, extending the invitation for children's classes to families across her neighborhood. From its very start the average number of children attending her weekly neighborhood classes was 12, making it the best-attended children's class in the entire cluster. She prepares all materials and refreshments herself. She often goes to a few homes to remind the children of the class. Now, the walls of her room are adorned with the memorization quotes the children have been working on and her sister, observing the need of another teacher has also stepped into the field of service.

Children’s classes can also kindle the hearts of new believers, as this next wonderful story shows.

After the conference in Chicago __ developed a strong desire to visit a new believer who had enrolled into the Faith during Kansas City's initial intensive teaching effort but with whom the friends had not since been in touch. Together with her husband they went to that home for a visit and were welcomed in. Although the individual was friendly, he did not initially appear interested in any activities. __, looking at his young children, used the power of her intuition and courage and said, "We will be here tomorrow for children's classes for your son." To their surprise, the man enthusiastically embraced the idea. Since then __ has gone every week to teach children's classes to this man’s young children and other friends nearby. This has not come without challenges. But week after week she comes by to pick them up, waits as they get ready and happily go to class. The average number of students that attend is 8.

This last very inspiring account is shared by a youth who has arisen to help a nearby B-stage cluster in the region advance by helping to form junior youth groups.

After attending the Regional Bahá’í Conference in Chicago, Illinois, I gained a great amount of insight. I saw many Bahá’ís and their accomplishments and found out that our surrounding cluster was in need of a junior youth group animator training. As soon as Kansas City found out about this need, our time to arise and serve had come, once again. Plans were made for KC Bahá’ís to travel to Wichita, Kansas two weekends in a row and hold an animator training, in order to pursue junior youth groups in the near future. The animator training went unsurprisingly amazing. Seven youth attended this training, which means we now have seven more animators in our neighboring cluster. We went through two units of Ruhi Book 5 the first weekend, and the third unit the next weekend. The Bahá’í youth were so excited and had so much enthusiasm. To our surprise they were ready to go and start up new junior youth classes as soon as the training was complete. Two new resulting junior youth groups in Wichita have began this week. All of this is a result of arising to the call of the Universal House of Justice at this critical hour.

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