May 07, 2012

Magdelene and Emil's love for the Baha'i Faith

it is another day in accra and the house feels empty without the light of children and jr. youth coming and going on a daily basis like they used to.  in addition to visiting and hanging out with some neighbors more so than ever, i am constantly striving to live life in the spirit of Abdu'l-Baha's example of justice through the smallest acts of sharing my time, experience, knowledge and resources with love..

one family, in particular, is the recipient of most of our time because of how our hearts bonded together in friendship.  this family has 5 children living at home (and one that lives on his own), 2 of whom are in the jr. youth group and 2 who have been attending Baha'i children's classes.  all 5 have come to our home for weekly Devotions and storytelling..

i love being around this family because they are joyful and humble.  there is always laughter in the most pure-hearted, beautiful way while sitting around outside enjoying life.  life to this family is a continual breath of gratitude and love for God, the One Creator.  now that our family's home is closed to the neighbors because of the break-in, this family's living area is becoming the site for further developing the relationships and activities (eg., the kids have already asked their mama if we can hold Devotions there once a week)..

Magdelene and Emil are 2 of the children from this family.  they are ages 10 and 12 respectively.  they are distinguished for their sincerity and eagerness to learn the ways of being Baha'i -- they consistently demonstrate pure-hearted interest while practicing many new behaviors that depict a Baha'i way of life -- ie., they resist the temptation to say anything negative about anyone; they embrace everyone as their brother and sister in the spirit of the Oneness of Humanity; they show forth courtesy, equity, preference for others before themselves, and a spirit of serving others in their daily life; and they love reading the stories of the Faith, as well as memorizing the holy words and prayers.

this morning Magdelene and Emil came to the gate of the compound.  since they aren't allowed inside the compound anymore, they wait for the guard to notify me.  they should be in school today but they explained to me that they no longer have proper shoes or a backpack to use.  last term they returned late to school because they didn't have enough money for school supplies.  after warmly welcoming them with a big hug, Emil said, 'Auntie Pamela, i made this for you.'  he proceeded to show me a tiny Shrine of the Bab which stands up and has a little gate on the front of it which, when opened, reads, 'the Bab means the gate'..

it was one of those moments i find difficult to express adequately in words.  not only does he have a natural talent to create and build with his hands -- having sawed a little bank out of pressed wood, a kite out of reeds and a pot out of clay -- he made something that was inspired as a result of reading the story about the Bab's Declaration..all by himself!  yesterday he wasn't able to attend the children's class because he had to wash his clothes, but Magdelene had attended and must have shared the story with him.  i was deeply moved as i thought of him making this symbol of the Baha'i Faith with his hands and pure heart..

he and Magdelene are very interested in learning some lines of the story to share with the adults in a couple of weeks for the May 23rd celebration.  this morning they asked for their lines so they could write them down with the intention of memorizing them.  they were impressed by how Ayana, Dyami and Domani put on a little skit for the 12th day of Ridvan celebration.  the entire story of the Ridvan garden was told by memory in front of more than 100 people.  Emil and Magdelene hope to prepare something like that for a Baha'i holy day in the future. :)

after being out all morning at the US Embassy and the supermarket, i am now going to visit Emil and Magdelene to see if they are finished copying their lines and if they need any help.  having developed this spiritual relationship with these 2 sweet souls is an example of how my life here in ghana is full of meaning and purpose..as a maidservant of humanity.

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