Friday, October 4, 2013

From Marines to service as a Bahai for junior youth

It is with great joy that I write to you tonight to tell you that a new friend of ours has declared his belief in Baha'u'llah.

This story is about Raphael, a 21 year old who was in the Marines and just a few months ago returned from a tour of duty overseas. He grew up with Andrew, who just last month had declared at one of the youth conferences.
As part of our study group and planning ahead for forming junior youth groups in the area, Andrew wanted to start a group in his town too, so we sat together and discussed possible friends he could invite to join with him in forming one. He then thought of Raphael, a friend with whom he had recently reconnected. Raphael had also been a student at the local high school.
When he and Raphael met just two weeks ago after not seeing each other for some time, Andrew told him about the Bahai Faith and the junior youth spiritual empowerment program. Just a few days later, Raphael joined Andrew and me as we visited a neighborhood to talk with the youth. A few nights later, Raphael came to the study group with us, and afterward we gave him a prayer book and a pamphlet about Baha'u'llah.
On his own, Raphael made some decisions. He took off the next two days from work to visit his family and church to discuss with his pastor, priests, parents, and grandparents the new Faith he discovered. After discussions with them, he signed his declaration card and mailed it in.


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