Davison Township: One to grow on - young Baha'is donate year
By Betty Brenner
Davison Township - Nura Mowzoon felt she had lost the real meaning of why she was alive.
"I had reached a point where I wanted to focus on spiritual growth," she said.
So she is donating a year of office work at the Louhelen Baha'i School on M-15 south of Davison.
Mowzoon, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz., is one of three young adults who are giving a year to the school, one of five in the United States. Three others are donating a few months.
Donating time to a Baha'i cause is recommended to Baha'i youths.
The Baha'i Faith is one of the newest international religions. Its central principles are the oneness of God, the oneness of religion and the oneness of mankind. The school hosts retreats and seminars, both Baha'i and other religions.
Also donating a year are Christoph Volk, 23, of Thun, Switzerland, and Asher Alexander, 18, of Lafayette, Ind. Both help in the kitchen and do some cleaning.
"It's a way for me to grow and mature and serve God," Alexander said.
"This is for my spiritual future," Volk said.
Each receives a room in the dormitory at the center, food and a discount at the bookstore. They can walk on the nature trails on the 80-acre former farm, play basketball in the gymnasium or softball on the ball field, play Frisbie in the courtyard and play with the children of the families who also work there.
Since Alexander has a car, he and the others sometimes go into Davison to see a movie. On Tuesday nights, they pray together and read Baha'i writings.
When Alexander graduated from high school, "I didn't feel quite ready for college and I didn't know what I wanted to do." He had been coming to Louhelen three times a year since he was 14, "and I love it."
Now, he says, "This place has been instrumental in changing my life around. This and other factors made me realize I wanted stability so I can raise a family."
Now he thinks he will go to Purdue University and study computer technology.
Whatever career he enters, Alexander said "the Baha'i Faith has become the center of my life. It reformed me in many ways. It has given me a reason to be a good kid and resist peer pressure."
Volk's parents, who are Americans living in Switzerland, had told him about the Baha'i year of service. He did a four-year apprenticeship as a draftsman for reinforced concrete, but would like to become a commercial pilot.
Meanwhile, he's glad he is at Louhelen. "The people are warm and welcoming," he said.
For Mowzoon, his desire to do graduate work has been reinforced. She holds a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in family studies and child development.
At Louhelen "I've gained perspective and gotten experience I never would have otherwise. I've grown closer to God than I ever thought I could."
Betty Brenner is the Journal religion editor. She can be reached at (810) 766-6332 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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