Thursday, October 29, 2009

Less than 150 feet from the Baha'i center

Every time I see updates from Savannah, GA (A), I am struck by how the friends, with loving persistence and dedication, nurture the new believers and solidify their friendships with them. This most recent report really illustrates how finding a balance among their activities over time is an evolving and organic process: now we need to focus more on consolidation activities, and then later, we realize, now we need to focus more on teaching. This story is also a wonderful example of linking teaching efforts with a Bahá’í center—in this case they carried out direct teaching literally right next door to their Bahá’í center, with amazing results.

Hello dear friends:

After a rush of growth, we have been working to keep up with all the learning that follows, and we have been grappling for some time now with the dynamics of expansion and consolidation. In reaction to this challenge of responding to our consolidation realities, we reduced our amount of collective teaching a great deal. But for this latest cycle we decided that we needed to return to a greater effort to do direct collective teaching.

Let me share a few things with you. . . .

First, we found that just gathering to go out into the neighborhood seemed to attract Bahá’ís we hadn't seen for some time and this gave us a chance to refresh our relationships with them. Then as we were starting the visits, one of our most active junior youth said that he want to be registered as a Bahá’í. When we went to his house to see if his mother was comfortable with his registering we found that she has a very important relationship with one of our teaching team members. So he stayed and talked with her while the rest of us continued to walk the neighborhood. He later brought the junior youth’s completed registration card and a big smile back with him.

Then on Saturday we went to the house of a man who lives approximately 150 feet from the Baha'i Center. When we knocked on the door he opened it with a joyful smile and bright eyes and welcomed us with, “Hey, I have been looking for you guys.” Turns out that this man had been somewhat introduced to the Faith in another city over a decade ago. He was looking for us, but for some reason we couldn’t connect with him—until we made an effort to find souls to tell about Bahá’u’lláh. We visited him twice on Saturday and shared Anna's presentation. He declared his Faith in Bahá’u’lláh that afternoon. The very next day was our Unit Convention, and both the new junior youth and this adult believer of less than 24 hours were present until the very end of it.

These 2 events were the result of very modest efforts on our part. Both enrollments happened within one block of our Center. What miracles await us if we truly follow the Guidance and really do the Plan. Might this trickle of enrollments become a steady stream? Please keep these new community members, their families and the rest of us in your prayers.



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