Tuesday, April 01, 2008

On Going Door-to-Door to Teach the Baha'i Faith: It had been their dream all their life to do this type of teaching in Iran

I knew that immediately after the Baha'i Fast reports of teaching projects launched would be flooding into TEACHING.BAHAI.US. Sure nuff, the posts are up, way up. Heard on the street: In the past three months there have been more enrollments than in any year in several decades. Here are some excerpts from recent TBU postings. -gw

Snohomish County moves into intensive HVs/Fireside invites
Over 500 homes were visited and 60 names of individuals who require follow-up of some kind were collected; 38 are considered high-priority that will be re-visited throughout this week and next weekend. ...

One husband and wife, who recently arrived in Snohomish County as refugees from Iran via Turkey, spent every possible moment they could going door-to-door even though their English-lanugage skills are quite limited. They said that it had been their dream all their life to do this type of teaching in Iran and they never had an opportunity as it was never safe to do so. They were not going to let this chance go by! Oh, it was a bounty to have these dear ones with us!

Another woman joined the door-to-door effort only because she felt such a strong reaction against the idea of it! She said that she had to try this to "see what it was all about". At the close of the campaign on Sunday, she thanked many of the friends for the experience. She found it not only dignified but exhilarating and went away as a convert to the venue.

The friends encountered several Russian-speaking pure hearted souls on Saturday. As there were no Russian speakers among the friends, one of the teams recruited a warm contact, a native Russian emigrant who has come to several Baha'i gatherings over the past half year, as a translator and revisited a few homes on Sunday. Our Russian translator not only translated for the friends, but went beyond and began to teach the Faith himself, encouraged by the others.

"Door to door," Uploaded on April 8, 2005by J.L. McVay / StereoactiveNYC on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Trainings for Teaching through Magdalene Carney Institute
West Palm Beach, Florida

· 58 teachers participated in direct teaching.
· 77 people were taught using Anna’s presentation.
· 83 people requested a follow up visit.
· 19 children and 5 junior youth from non-Bahá’í families would likely take part in children’s classes and junior youth groups.
· 7 new believers (3 of which declared at a follow up visit later in the week)

Don't wait to teach
The Universal House of Justice has urged the friends not to wait until they become A clusters to teach. The believers in South Hampton Roads, VA (*C) have taken that guidance to heart.

· Anna’s presentation used in direct teaching generated the enrolment of 4 new believers.
· The number of friends engaged in direct, collective teaching rose from 5 to 25 in a period of three months.
· The number of children in neighborhood children’s classes rose from 0 to 8 in the past six months.
· A new Ruhi Book 1 study circle was formed with 5 people including 2 of the new enrollees.
· About 20 new receptive souls were identified for follow-ups, including hearing Anna’s presentation through a home visit and being invited to the core activities and firesides.
· 16 children were identified as possible students, requiring follow up with parents.



Anonymous said...

I've been a Baha'i 22 years and the new emphasis on door-to-door teaching repulses me. I am not comfortable with it. There have been successes, yes, but I have also heard scores of people compare us to Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons. Door-to-door teaching is prostelitizing. I feel so ashamed that we are doing this to people.

george wesley dannells said...

I just got back from a follow-up home visit to our door-to-door teaching from last week. The women we taught last week and who declared was thrilled to have had us on her porch and to have become a Baha'i. We might not have met her any other way. It's not going door-to-door that is offensive, but what and how the message is that is conveyed. The person who doesn't like Mormons or Witnesses to comed by is thrilled to have Baha'is come by. I am saying this based on what have been my actual experiences going door to door.

rahmar said...

bahaullah says it is the duty of every bahai to teach, the houst of justice has said it is time to visite people at their home.why do I let my personal feeling stand in the way. I can not wait for sunday morning to come and go home visit with my teaching partner. it is every one's right to know about Bahaullah

Valerie Smith said...

I think those who feel most comfortable to go door to door teaching should do so, and those who feel really uncomfortable about it should refrain from it. This is a sensitive issue for many Baha'is and should be handled and done carefully and appropriately.

Perhaps we also need to have a better understanding of the term proselytizing. The primary definition is to induce someone to join a faith or a cause, which we are forbidden to do.

I hope these comments are helpful to Anonymous.

Valerie Smith