Reaching Out to Our Neighbors

We want to find those souls whose spiritual beliefs are the same as ours, but who have not yet discovered that object of their hearts and spiritual affection and made the spiritual connection with the Faith of Baha’u’llah, the Baha’i Faith. And we know that you’re out there!

We’re doing this in an organized, systematic way with the human resources available. Our recent effort was a nine-day campaign of door-to-door teaching in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma.  We offered to present the Faith to our neighbors who were interested in hearing more about us. And for those who would like to hear more at another time, Baha’is will be making return visits to their homes during the next few weeks, or, of course, they might also want to attend our devotional meetings or participate in a Ruhi course, which is a course of study on particular spiritual topics.  

Our Baha’is who go door-to-door to offer to present the Faith are friendly and easy-going, and are represented by teams of usually two persons.  Here are stories from the first day of the nine-day campaign, Saturday, September 20, 2008.

One team met two young ladies standing and talking on a porch and asked to share about the Faith and they said “go for it!”  Another girl joined them who had heard of the Faith.  A long conversation ensued, one of the first girls left, the third girl eventually had to as well.  The teachers continued with the first girl and they had a deep discussion about life after death in relation to the hurt she still felt from her grandfather’s death five years earlier.  The team spent over an hour on the steps to the porch.  The teachers shared a prayer for the departed and the girls were invited to a devotional that week.  She gave the teachers her phone number which she had declined to do earlier.  She said, “you’ve really enlightened my day!” and the teachers said the feeling was mutual. 
Two more teachers took to heart the idea of staying with the seeker as long as they wanted.  The first house was the only house they went to and they were there about three hours.  The team introduced themselves to a guy in builder’s overalls.  He disappeared to their surprise but came back with chairs, so they all sat down for a very intense, deep conversation.  The man was a deep thinker with strong opinions, a gentle soul who occasionally talks with much emotion. He wanted to know what is different in Bahá’í Faith from Christianity.  He invited the seekers to come back.  The teachers plan to return to find out if he is really receptive, or if his strongly held beliefs prevent him from hearing the New Message.
Another team of a male, female and child visited several receptive homes where the people asked for return visits.  They met an African American man on crutches coming out of his house.  He and his wife had heard of the Faith in their investigation of religions and invited them to come back during the week.  A lady with an unusual name (she said she has “hippy” parents) was very receptive.  The teachers went through the whole presentation with her.  Afterward she admitted she was sick so they offered to say healing prayers.  She gave her email address and asked for a return visit and said she really likes this.  A young Caucasian American male, strong in Native religion (mentioned liking smudges, which one of the teachers also liked) asked the team to return again when his wife is there.  The team will bring native believers.  Another man who was house-sitting heard part of the presentation. He became emotional during presentation.  He lives in another area of town where there are strong believers to follow-up, as he wants to learn more!  
One team found that there was not much receptivity on their block, so they decided to try another one.  They went to a house and talked to two youth, who suggested they talk to the mom.  After waiting, she appeared.  She is Christian and happy with that, although she had investigated other faiths, but said the youth were free to investigate whatever he wants.  The youth asked for something to read and the team set up another time to visit.  
A team of three ladies meet an older African American woman who knew some early Baha’is in the area and had attended meetings long ago.  She was recuperating from surgery so the team said prayers with her.  She gave them her phone number and asked for a return visit. She is Buddhist.  They also met a Moslem woman from Saudi Arabia, and her 12 yr old son.  Two team members began speaking with her in Arabic and she was so taken with this that she invited them in.  She is interested in junior youth and children’s class for her many children.  She gave her kid’s names, her contact info and wants to know the schedule for the classes.
A team with a veteran teacher, a youth, and junior youth found that the area they were in was too prosperous, and not very receptive so they changed location and were able to give three full presentations of the Faith.  The youth on the team felt drawn to one home that the team had passed up, so they returned.  They met a young woman who had recently moved to the neighborhood to live with her grandmother.  There was suffering in the family and her mother was in the hospital.  There was a lot of interaction and she resisted her cousins telling her to go back inside.  The teacher asked if she believes this, and she said yes.  This appeared to be a significant statement to her.  When beginning the enrollment process she indicated that she is not yet ready to make the decision of becoming Baha’i and wants to think about it more.  When the teacher asked if she has children, she said no, she’s only 16!  She goes to the same high school as our new believer from the last cycle. 

If you are interested in hearing about the Baha’i Faith, please contact us!

Photo: some of the participants in our nine-day teaching campaign, taken on Sunday, September 28, 2008, by Bonita Dannells.

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