Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Youth declares at conference - "I thought I was already a Bahai!"

As the 13 Youth Conferences are underway across the United States, stories about the youth who want to become members of the community are being shared.

What follows is a story about Ryan, an 18 year old who attended a recent Youth Conference, and on the last day, discovered that he hadn't yet registered his declaration to be a 'member' of the Bahai Faith. This was news to him because he had already been actively involved with the Bahais for more than 5 years and considered himself a Bahai! This story is told from the perspective of the volunteer at the regional level who follows up with those who register their declarations online for that region . . .

I wanted to share exciting news of a youth who registered as a Baha'i on his cell phone! The information came through the database and I just happened to be at the computer. I called his number and heard loud cheering in the background . . . .Five years ago when Ryan was 13, a neighbor [invited him] to the [local] Baha'i Center to help set up decorations for the Ayyam-i-Ha party. [Because] Ryan has had connection with the Baha'i community for the past 5 years [he] always thought he was a Baha'i. [N]o one told him he needed to register!

Ryan has completed Ruhi books 1, 2 and 3 and will be continuing the series after the Youth Conference. Ryan asked about the essence of God being Unknowable. He was encouraged to learn more about Baha'u'llah's life and stay connected to [his local] Baha'i Community.

This story highlights so many different attributes, from nurturing and love of the local community to technology access online.



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