Traveling in multiple cars, reunion cousins traversed the heartland, Ohio and Michigan. After a trip to Cleveland and back to Wakeman, Ohio, it was on to Hillsdale, Michigan, the town of my birth. Wakeman I remembered, but it was the first time that I had visited Hillsdale since I had left at 3 weeks of age. The entire trip I was mesmerized by the beauty of farm country and the towns and villages along the way. The people of the world today live mostly in urban environments, and that includes me, so traveling through rural America was a special treat -- and a cultural experience. But these are times of change for small town and rural America, too, as I came to understand, talking with my cousins who live there. -gwe
As believers from urban centres set out on sustained campaigns to reach the mass of the world’s peoples living in villages and rural areas, they encountered a receptivity to Bahá’u’lláh’s message far beyond anything they had imagined possible. While the response usually took forms very different from the ones with which the teachers had been familiar, the new declarants were eagerly welcomed. Tens of thousands of new Bahá’ís poured into the Cause throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, often representing the greater part of whole rural villages. The 1960s and 1970s were heady days for a Bahá’í community most of whose growth outside of Iran had been slow and measured.