Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of this undertaking. Most of the children speak Xhosa and Afrikaans as their first language. It isn't until the age of 9 or so that a lesson can be understood well enough in English by the students to convey basic concepts, principles and words such as purity of heart, gems, nobility, character and conduct. We haven't had any Xhosa-speaking Baha'is be able to teach a class, and local help with translation is hard to come by. The logistics of ensuring that the classes are held are often full of unpredictability, unreliability, miscommunication, cancellations, and a lack of commitment. In addition, it is difficult for me to create an atmosphere of praiseworthy conduct in an environment where many students do not yet listen while I speak, wait politely for their turn, show consideration to others, respect the girls, etc. Abdu'l-Baha reminds us what we are facing along this journey:
"Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children, young plants of the Abha Paradise, so that these children, fostered by grace in the way of salvation, growing like pearls of divine bounty in the shell of education, will one day bejewel the crown of abiding glory.
It is, however, very difficult to undertake this service, even harder to succeed in it. I hope that thou wilt acquit thyself well in this most important of tasks, and successfully carry the day, and become an ensign of God's abounding grace; that these children, reared one and all in the holy Teachings, will develop natures like unto the sweet airs that blow across the gardens of the All-Glorious, and will waft their fragrance around the world."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 133)
These past 5 weeks have been quite difficult in terms of seeing the potential for this Baha'i School remain unrealized and possibly damaged as teachers do not arise to serve, as venues and curriculum are not available when the students are ready, and chaos and confusion occur. Throughout all these challenges and sometimes feeling overwhelmed, there is nothing that prevents me from striving with all my heart, mind and time to exert effort in this direction. I continue to put my trust in God while constantly needing to practice patience and understanding, search for solutions, and then witness the divine confirmations which inevitably come as a result of perseverance, determination, long-suffering and steadfastness. I am compelled from the depths of my inner being to serve these children no matter what the tests are along the way. As long as I keep striving to selflessly serve in this capacity as the person who is getting it off the ground, the grace of Baha'u'llah continues to enable this embryonic Baha'i School to grow.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 62)