A Gift to my Mentor: Update

Ushta te, everyone, and good morning.

Remember the post toward the end of last month entitled “A Gift to my Mentor“? At the conclusion of each month, my World Religions instructor asks me to present a summary of the faith I explored to her class. Last month (February) I presented the Baha’i Faith. For forty minutes I spoke about the history, the tenets, social issues, and fielded questions. At the end, I showed everyone the “get more information” card Baha’is typically share with folks interested in the faith. I didn’t present this to try and win converts, but as an educational tool.

Well, someone came up to me after class that evening. She was interested. And I found out last weekend from my Baha’i Mentor that my classmate, Susan, had declared the Baha’i Faith as her own.

I was shocked. I’m not an official Baha’i, yet someone came to the Faith because of what I’ve done through Project Conversion? How do I process this? My goal isn’t to “convert” anyone despite the name of the website. Again, more of the unexpected.

I was lucky enough to share a Nouruz lunch with Susan and my Mentor on Monday and hearing Susan talk about her new faith was such an awesome experience. Looking back, it was interesting that when she talked about the struggles of adjusting to new prayers and tenets that I fell right in with giving advice on making the transition easier; what methods helped me, etc. The whole discussion was as easy as slipping on an old, favorite t-shirt.

My hope is that every month will be this easy to slip into after I’ve moved on. Susan’s acceptance of the Baha’i Faith is rewarding because it is a confirmation that what I am doing isn’t just some interesting trip or attempt at popularity. Project Conversion is changing lives. It’s changing my life…

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  • Nima19

    Thanks for this update, Andrew! Your work is certainly affecting lives. Happy Naw-Ruz, dear friend! -Nima

    • Anonymous

      Allah-u-Abha Nima, and a happy Naw-Ruz to you as well!

  • Tmennillo

    Awesome! Thrilling!

  • asterias

    How wonderful, Andrew. This is what teaching is: opening the door and inviting someone to explore if they wish. You didn’t convert her; you shared with her and opened a door that she was obviously ready for. What a gift to be a part of that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Moore-Hill/736896802 Candace Moore Hill

    What a great story Andrew! Perhaps you already know the verse from the Baha’i Writings that says something to the effect that, if you help just one person recognize the Cause of God for this Day, that when you go to the next world, nothing else will be mentioned. I’ll find the exact wording for you.

    I am so looking forward to the rest of this year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauren.weisberg.norrisrodgers Lauren Weisberg Norris-Rodgers

    O God, make me a hollow reed, from which the pith of self hath been blown, so that I may become as a clear channel through which Thy love may flow to others…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1037538172 Jessi Bencloski

    Your intent was not to convert anyone, which makes someone else finding their path in part through your project all the more awesome and wonderful. Sometimes you help people who are adrift (whether it be spiritually or in some other area of their lives) by just giving them something new to think about. :)

  • Youdalady_Anna

    Andrew

    You are a wonderful example of what Bahais should aspire to be .. You are loved on many levels, keep growing and learning. And let us know what you find out about Zorasterians! We once celebrated Naw Ruz with a Zoroasterian who was so happy to find people celebrating his New Year.

    Anna

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! It’s always a blessing to have company.

  • Daniel De Mol

    Wow, what an experience! Keep up the good work :)