I’ve gotten to go to two Baha’i events here so far; the first was a Holy Day on Saturday that commemorated the martyrdom of the Bab, the forerunner Prophet of the Baha’i Faith. My host family dropped me at the national Baha’i Centre where the program had started. It was wonderful to come halfway across the world, walk into a room full of people I’d never met, yet still feel completely at home. Met Baha’is from Malawi, Swaziland, Suriname and Iran! The parents of one Malawian family, the Mzungu’s, were some of the first Baha’is in the country, and got to meet Ruhiyyih Khanum, the wife of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith for almost 40 years. From reading even small bits of her writing, an image of a staunch, strong woman emerges, so it was awesome to hear personal accounts of meeting her.
The second event was a Feast, when Baha’is of a community gather together every 19 days to celebrate the start of a new month. It was held in the home of Farzin, an older Persian man who’s lived here for 20+ years, speaks Chichewa fluently and is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. He seems to embody this quotation by Baha’u’llah:
“They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion.”
This was a smaller gathering (because there are 6 Feasts in Lilongwe alone!); Farzin served everyone tea so lovingly, then we prayed, the 6 children sitting so patiently and respectfully during the prayers and discussions afterwards. Excited to get to know the people there more at future events. Pictures of the Baha’i community to come…