“The Artist’s Daughter” , Nancy Douglas Bowditch, p257-8
57. Letter from The Guardian via H. Rabbani to Nancy Bowditch. Dated September 10th, 1933.
Dear Bahai Sister,
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your welcome letter dated June 2nd, ’33, together with the enclosures, all of which he has read with deepest interest and for which he has directed me to thank you most warmly. He was delighted to learn of the keen interest the two Checkoslovakian brothers you have mentioned, take in the Movement, and wishes you to keep in close touch with them so that their interest may wax stronger and may eventually lead them to embrace the Cause. Such opportunities for spreading the Message are, indeed, God-given, and consequently we should be fully alive to the blessings they procure. As the Master has often told us, we should be always watchful and ready. There are always some people who are specially receptive, and it would be, therefore, a pity if we neglect them and fail to announce to them the glad tidings of this New Day.
The Guardian was also gratified to learn of the class held at your home for the study of the “Dawn-Breakers”. I need not tell you of the paramount importance he attaches to such sort of classes. For these do not only serve to intensify the spirit of cooperation among the believers and to create in them a collective consciousness, they give them a great opportunity to acquaint them-selves, through discussion as well as by means of public lectures, with the necessary knowledge of the history of the Cause and thereby prepare them to become active and successful teachers.
With the assurance of his best wishes and of his fervent prayers on behalf of your husband and yourself,
Yours in His Service,
Note in Shoghi Ejfendi’s handwriting:
Dear and valued co-worker:
I cannot refrain from giving expression in person to my deep sense of gratitude for the manifold services you are rendering to the Cause, and above all of my heartfelt and abiding appreciation of the spirit that animates you in your work for our beloved Faith. I will, I assure you, continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart and trust that your highest hopes for the promotion of the Word of God in your vicinity will be fully and speedily realized. Your true and grateful brother,
*Note by Nancy Bowditch on the Czechoslovakian architects referred to in Shoghi EfFendťs Letters September 10, 1933 and 20 June 1932
It was during our pilgrimage to the Bahai World Center at Haifa, Palestine in 1931, that we met Cestamir and Lubamír Slapéta. As described in the “Mediterranean Diary” (Chapter 8), Lubo and Mírek were twin brothers from Czecho-Slovakia who had been sent to America to study new methods in architecture. We enjoyed many hours together while visiting the various ports of call along the way, and on arriving in Haifa, I told Shoghi Effendi about the brothers. He advised us not to lose contact with them.
When we returned to America, Lubo sent me two designs for a Bahai Temple which could be erected in a tropical climate. Through a correspondence spanning 47 years, we have followed their lives—marriages, children, successes, and trials—as Czecho-Slovakia underwent two successive dictatorships! In time we heard from a friend in that country that the brothers had become famous architects, and professors at the University of Prague!
The correspondence continues to this day. They are grandparents, but still are very active and successful in their work. A few years ago, Mírek left his country, becoming a refugee in West Germany Lubo remains in Czechoslovakia. Under the present regime, the Šlapéta brothers cannot meet, but in the future, by the aid of God, Bahais believe that the barriers dividing all people will melt away!