I guess we “spoke too soon” with last week’s story on the devotional gatherings at the Great Lakes Naval Station in the Waukegan, IL (*C) cluster. Here is an exciting update—these regular devotional gatherings at the naval base have led to some recent declarations! It shows the power of a core activity combined with a receptive population combined with systematic service of a dedicated group of friends.
You asked for a Great Lakes Naval Station update regarding the 4 recent declarations.
Last week, one young man, __, man declared his today after his second visit to the devotional gathering. He was leaving the Navy due to an illness. Another young man. __, verbally declared. I was giving J one of the necklaces that has a Bahá’í prayer for protection written on it. __ said he wanted one of those necklaces, and I explained that the Navy regulations allow us to give these only to Bahá’ís. He then replied that he considered himself a Bahá’í—so we made plans to complete his enrollment at the next week’s devotional. . . .
15 recruits attended that devotional gathering—a record. One of the men had brought 6 or 7 friends. A young lady brought 2 friends. We had a few returnees as well. Amazing.
The following week, one young man started out by saying (before the prayers) that he had wanted to declare last week but had been on duty, so could not come. __ from last week also wanted to declare. After opening prayers, we decided to split the group between those wanting to declare and those who were seekers. When we did this, 2 female recruits who had asked a lot of questions last week said they wanted to declare, too. This was astonishing.
We shared Anna's presentation with all 4 of these individuals with the help of a Bahá’í recruit and a local Bahá’í.
The spirit is contagious. We have again run out of the larger prayer books that we have been giving recruits who declare. We are nearly out of the necklaces with the prayer for protection. In a small way, these were a key element for inviting these souls to the Lord's banquet table. We are also out of the new registration cards. Are these not wonderful problems to have?
"O Lord, increase my astonishment at Thee!"
With gratitude to the Blessed Beauty for His teaching. May He let us continue to be of help.