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Wheel chair Pioneer...

Five years after Grace told me these stories she went on an extensive teaching trip through the near-southern states. For three of these five years she had been very ill - most of the time very close to the Open Door. Finally, when she was beginning to convalesce, she was sent, by a generous and devoted sister-Baha'i, to a large convalescent home. This was at the time of our beloved Guardian's first call for pioneers to South America - a call that Grace, until this time, had been too ill to comprehend. But now she did comprehend, and all the way to the convalescent home she prayed from the depths of her hungry soul that she might, in some way, be able to respond to the Guardian's call.

She arrived at the home and discovered that, that very evening, a masquerade was planned to celebrate Valentine's Day. Grace at once began to plan a costume for herself. She was very ingenious and clever about such things, and she was delighted that, so soon, she might have an opportunity of meeting her fellow guests - and maybe giving the Message- who knew? Eagerly she began to dress. She was powdering her nose in the bathroom when she fell. Whether she slipped or whether she fainted she herself was not sure. But when they found her she was lying unconscious - and unable to walk. She was put to bed and there was no party for her that night. And the next day when she finally went down stairs to meet people she met them from a wheel chair. And the people she met were from Chile and Argentina and Peru and Brazil! All the countries she had so longed to pioneer in - all the countries her beloved Guardian had said should be given the Message. So Grace being Grace, saw the beautiful joke that had been played on her - and she began to laugh. And all the people said, "Why, Mrs. Ober, how can you laugh when this dreadful thing has happened to you?" And Grace said, "Because I am a Baha'i do you know what that means?" Of course they didn't so she told them. And from her wheel-chair she did her pioneering in South America and these people from Chile and Argentina and Peru and Brazil, took the Message home with them together with all the literature Grace gave them.



Told to my by Grace Ober at
the Kinney home in New York City, Winter 1937

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