Okay, here’s a question for all you parents out there: How many of you are still trying to find a children’s class that your sons and daughters can attend? (Wow! Look at all those hands raised.) Okay, what’s one way to find a children’s class? In this story from Bellevue, WA (A), one believer’s answer was simple: She started one herself! She teamed up with another friend, they visited people in her apartment complex, and offered both children’s classes and study circles, and found (surprise, surprise), high receptivity (note how the children beg their Mom to allow them to go). One very interesting point in this report is how effective it is to approach our immediate neighbors (i.e., less than 1 minute away). They also explain the purpose of the classes in an intriguing and beautiful way.
This is from last Saturday. A friend and I went and visited her neighbors in her apartment complex. She wanted to start a childrens class for her son, so we started with her neighbors. . . .
We began the day by visiting our immediate neighbors. At first we were a little nervous and anxious about how we would be welcomed because we had tried to start a children's class a few months ago by passing out flyers but there wasn't much of a response. We decided to start talking with those who lived close to us. As we began one of the first people we met was a lady who had two children. We explained that we are Bahá’ís (who live less than a minute away) and that we would like to start a children's class because we believe in the inherent capacity of each child. When the children heard about the class, they asked (begged) their mom to let them go. We then talked a little more about the Faith, just until they had to leave for an appointment. We will be following up with her.
In the next five minutes, we had another very nice conversation with our Vietnamese neighbor and her son. Again, we explained the latent potential in every child (and person) and how this gem must be polished. In addition, we mentioned that there are two other children who have already expressed some interest in the class. She subsequently accepted to be notified when the class begins and seemed extremely happy to have such guests that care about the true progress of her son. Also, after visiting her we found a copy of the direct presentation about the Faith in Vietnamese that we ultimately would like to share with her.
We continued meeting others for the next hour or so. There were so many (5-6) others that were interested in either the children's class and/or the course “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit,” that we decided to stop finding new people so that we could take care of the ones we met. Not only were we surprised at the number of people who were open to having an exchange of ideas but maybe a little shocked at how receptive people are to participating, supporting, and working with others to create a spiritual community. We also realized our thinking was completely backwards. Before, we thought that finding interested people would be the hard part and consolidation would be easy. This is not the case with our neighbors. Keep us in your prayers!