Archive for November, 2008

41 Regional Conferences – Nakuru, Kenya

Baha’is from at least six countries traveled to the conference site in Nakuru, Kenya.

Baha’is from at least six countries traveled to the conference site in Nakuru, Kenya.

Photo and text from Bahá’í World News Service


More than 1,000 Bahá’ís from six countries gathered for the Regional Conference in Nakuru, Kenya, 8-9 November, to consult on the goal of launching intensive programs of growth (IPGs) in 38 clusters, 23 of them in Kenya. Joining the 700 Kenyans were 200 Bahá’ís from Uganda, 100 from Tanzania, and 42 from Ethiopia. Four friends came from Mozambique and three from Southern Sudan. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow the Eritrean friends to attend.

Frequent rain showers did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants, nor did the noise of the rain on the auditorium’s rooftop distract them from their purpose. Songs of rejoicing often filled the auditorium when the participants were not engaged in sharply focused deliberations.

Already, there are 33 IPGs under way in the region—including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. With so many new IPGs to launch, the conference provided a unique opportunity to explore how recent successes could be replicated on a large scale.

“No more time for side shows! We know exactly what to do, we have to help the surrounding clusters achieve their aims.”

Lucy Imison, Kenya

Members from the International Teaching Centre, Ms. Uransaikhan Baatar and Mrs. Rachel Ndegwa, representing the Universal House of Justice, outlined a vision of the historical and the spiritual significance of the present day and humanity’s mounting receptivity to the message of the Faith. They drew the friends’ attention to the urgent need to accelerate the capacity-building process, the role of the individual in the Five Year Plan, and the necessity to act swiftly and sacrificially.

On the first day, the rich experience of the region was evident in the presentations made by the National Spiritual Assemblies and several friends on the central elements of the Plan. They noted that many of the achievements, particularly the enhanced capacity in the region, had resulted from the use of Tiriki West and Matunda Soy clusters as sites for the propagation and dissemination of learning. The strategic deployment of individuals, who could share the experience of these clusters with others and instill confidence, also contributed greatly to the progress made.

A cultural evening brought together inspired and energetic presentations from Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia that were especially well received. These presentations drew on the writings of the Faith and highlighted learning acquired by local Bahá’í communities during the Plan. The Maasai dance group from Arusha cluster in Tanzania was also well received.

“Magnetic and electrifying event. There is an urgency for us to arise as reflected in the message of the House of Justice. It is evident that the old world order is falling apart and we must be ready.”

Margaret Ogembo, Kenya

On the morning of the second day, Continental Counsellor Selam Ahderom emphasized that each one of us should reassess and realign our lives so as to be able to arise to play our part. The planning session that followed was characterized by determination and focus. The friends discussed the current capacity and needs of the 38 targeted clusters and came up with concrete goals, plans and timing for launching intensive programs of growth. Vital support was pledged by friends in neighboring clusters, who offered to serve as home-front pioneers and tutors.

Each country then presented the outcomes of the workshops in a plenary session, demonstrating the zeal and commitment to action that had been gained. In all the presentations, words such as these could be heard:  “We will do this immediately after the conference”; “Mr. … will travel right after the conference”; “We will visit the cluster next week and have a reflection meeting with the friends there to consult with them.”

National and regional institutions expressed their readiness to follow up on plans formulated in the conference and to assist the friends in the commitments they made. The final talk, given by Mrs. Ndegwa, was filled with emotion and love, infusing the crowd with a spirit of faith and sacrifice.

(Based on reports of Counsellors and others present in Nakuru)




Duty – Virtue – Spirit


“The first and foremost duty prescribed unto men, next to the recognition of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, is the duty of steadfastness in His Cause. Cleave thou unto it, and be of them whose minds are firmly fixed and grounded in God. No act, however meritorious, did or can ever compare unto it. It is the king of all acts, and to this thy Lord, the All-Highest, the Most Powerful, will testify….”


“The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books. Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His Will hath provided, patience, nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him. These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts. All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them….”  


“The spirit that animateth the human heart is the knowledge of God, and its truest adorning is the recognition of the truth that “He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth that which He pleaseth.” Its raiment is the fear of God, and its perfection steadfastness in His Faith. Thus God instructeth whosoever seeketh Him. He, verily, loveth the one that turneth towards Him. There is none other God but Him, the Forgiving, the Most Bountiful. All praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.”


Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

The Most Adorable Baby on Earth


Isn’t this the most adorable baby that you have ever seen? If you have an idea as to just what in the world this little guy may be thinking, post a comment to share – but be nice! – there are sensitive people out there.


Now, if you were the Mother or Father of this beautiful baby, naturally you would devote yourself to doing everything that you could to love and nurture him. Isn’t this degree of devotion also true with regard to our service to God and our Faith?  Bahá’ís ought to commit themselves with selfless love to the service of Bahá’u’lláh to the degree that they are able. Our service should be comparable to our ability to serve.





“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Luke 12:47-48





The good deeds of the righteous are the sins of the Near Ones.

Some Answered Questions, p. 125



Bahá’u’lláh  encourages us to arise and serve:


“Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.”

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh , p. 234



Service to God is the greatest thing that we can do:


“Our highest aspiration must be this: that we may become confirmed to render some slight service in the Path of God. There is no greater station than this.”

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 285



We are assured of Divine assistance:


“Arise ye, under all conditions, to render service to the Cause, for God will assuredly assist you through the power of His sovereignty which overshadoweth the worlds.”

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 46



Pray for that assistance:


“I implore Thee by the glory of Thy Manifestation and by the power of Thy might, Thy sovereignty and Thine exaltation to render victorious those who have arisen to serve Thee, who have aided Thy Cause and humbled themselves before the splendour of the light of Thy face. Make them then, O my God, triumphant over Thine enemies and cause them to be steadfast in Thy service, that through them the evidences of Thy dominion may be established throughout Thy realms and the tokens of Thine indomitable power be manifested in Thy lands. Verily Thou art potent to do what Thou willest; no God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”

Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 233



Another prayer for God’s help:


“Immerse me, O my God, in this most bounteous, rolling Ocean; give me to drink of this sweet, abundant Water; cause me to enter this Gateway of Righteousness; ordain me for this praiseworthy Station; cause me to obtain this Cup which is overflowing with the living water; light in the crystal of my heart this Lamp which is giving forth its illuminating, brilliant radiance; and strengthen me for the service of Thy Cause, O my Lord, the Forgiver!”

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 265



And another:


“At this time, I beg Thee, oh My God, by the Light of Thine Eternity, whereby the heavens and earth are illumined, to make My Feet of iron by which I may stand in His service, and the service of whosoever loveth Thee, that I may become a helper of Thy Religion, and a guardian of Thine Orders, until I suffer martyrdom in His Path in Thy Presence, Oh Thou in whose Hand is the Kingdom of all things. And verily Thou art the Almighty!”

Bahá’í Prayers 9, p. 19



We are encouraged to pursue a moderate and wise course. But to commit oneself to arise to great heights of service is most admirable:


“There is a great mystery involving the levels of service. Shoghi Effendi always advised the friends to pursue a moderate and wise course, but if they did not, and chose to rise to heights of heroism and self-sacrifice, he was immensely proud of them. After all, there is nothing either wise or moderate in being martyred — yet our crowning glory as a religion is that our first Prophet was martyred and twenty thousand people followed in His footsteps. I have tried to understand this mystery, moderation on one side and Bahá’u’lláh’s words on the other: ‘… then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this than all else…’ and it seems to me that the best example is an aeroplane: when it trundles along on the ground on its wheels it is in the dimension of the ground, going along steadily on an earthly plane, but when it soars in the air and folds its wheels away and leaps forward at dazzling speeds, it is in a celestial realm and the values are different. When we are on the ground we get good sound earthly advice, but if we choose to spurn the soil and leap into the realms of higher serv1ce and sacrifice we do not get that kind of advice any more, we win immortal fame and become heroes and heroines of God’s Cause.        

Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, p. 54



Each of us has the potential to be a spiritual warrior for Bahá’u’lláh. And, we know that those people are out there:


“There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God, a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race rise up and war against them.”

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 280


May it be that you will arise to offer this great service?

Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

By the righteousness of God! Whoso openeth his lips in this Day and maketh mention of the name of his Lord, the hosts of Divine inspiration shall descend upon him from the heaven of My name, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. On him shall also descend the Concourse on high, each bearing aloft a chalice of pure light. Thus hath it been foreordained in the realm of God’s Revelation, by the behest of Him Who is the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.

There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God, a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race rise up and war against them. These are the ones who, before the gaze of the dwellers on earth and the denizens of heaven, shall arise and, shouting aloud, acclaim the name of the Almighty, and summon the children of men to the path of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised. Walk thou in their way, and let no one dismay thee. Be of them whom the tumult of the world, however much it may agitate them in the path of their Creator, can never sadden, whose purpose the blame of the blamer will never defeat.

Go forth with the Tablet of God and His signs, and rejoin them that have believed in Me, and announce unto them tidings of Our most holy Paradise. Warn, then, those that have joined partners with Him. Say: I am come to you, O people, from the Throne of glory, and bear you an announcement from God, the Most Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. In mine hand I carry the testimony of God, your Lord and the Lord of your sires of old. Weigh it with the just Balance that ye possess, the Balance of the testimony of the Prophets and Messengers of God. If ye find it to be established in truth, if ye believe it to be of God, beware, then, lest ye cavil at it, and render your works vain, and be numbered with the infidels. It is indeed the sign of God that hath been sent down through the power of truth, through which the validity of His Cause hath been demonstrated unto His creatures, and the ensigns of purity lifted up betwixt earth and heaven.

Say: This is the sealed and mystic Scroll, the repository of God’s irrevocable Decree, bearing the words which the Finger of Holiness hath traced, that lay wrapt within the veil of impenetrable mystery, and hath now been sent down as a token of the grace of Him Who is the Almighty, the Ancient of Days. In it have We decreed the destinies of all the dwellers of the earth and the denizens of heaven, and written down the knowledge of all things from first to last. Nothing whatsoever can escape or frustrate Him, whether created in the past or to be created in the future, could ye but perceive it.