Divine Springtime - Louise Coswell Recalls , pp79-83
to the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahà’is of Meso-America and the Antilles and South America.
Dearly Beloved Friends,
The formation of the first National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahà’ís of Central and South America - an event hailed by the entire Bahà’í world - constitutes a landmark of the utmost significance not only in the history of the evolution of the Faith in Latin America, but in the annals of the Formative age of the Bahà’í Dispensation as well. It signifies the termination of the first Epoch in the rise and establishment of the Faith of Bahà’u’llàh in Central and South America - an Epoch that was ushered in on the morrow of the revelation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan through the pioneer services rendered by individual believers, among whom ranks as foremost that immortal and heroic soul, Martha Root, and which culminated with the successful prosecution of two successive historic campaigns initiated by the North American Bahà’í Community in pursuance of 'Abdu'l-Bahà’s Divine Plan.
"This second and momentous Epoch in the unfoldment of the Faith, now being entered upon, is signalized by the emergence of two newly established, independent, firmly-knit regional communities, embracing all the Republics of Central and South America, stretching from the borders of Mexico as far as the southern extremity of Chile, comprising no less than forty organized local assemblies, many of them already incorporated , every one of them animated by the spiritual verities of one common Faith, and all of them functioning in accordance with the principles of a vigorously operating, divinely appointed Administrative Order.
This new phase in the development of an irresistably advancing Faith presages, moreover,the formal association of these twin newly-emerged communities with their parent community in the North American continent in the prosecution of the Plan conceived by the Centre of Bahà'u'llah’s Covenant, among the Latin American races now awakening to the clarion call sounded by Him in His immortal Tablets. Though not enjoying the status and privileges conferred in that same Plan by ' Abdu'1-Baha on the North American Bahà’í Community, yet, in view of the momentous and stirring summons issued by the Author of the Revelation in His Most Holy Book, addressed to the Rulers of all the Republics the Western Hemisphere, both of these communities may be said to have been invested with rights and duties which no community in any continent of the Eastern Hemisphere can claim to possess.
This association, which will be formally inaugurated with the termination of the Second Seven Year Plan, and which is destined to reveal its potentialities in the course of the unfolding of the Formative Age of the Faith, and particularly as a consequence of the formation of separate National Spiritual Assemblies in each of the Republics of Latin America, is a distinction which every adherent of the Faith, whether a native believer or a North American pioneer labouring in Central or South America, must constantly bear in mind. Its importance cannot be overestimated, nor can its full significance be assessed at the present hour.
"The consolidation of the existing assemblies, the multiplication of groups; the steady development of the process of Bahà’í incorporation; the expansion of the all-important task of translating, publishing and disseminating Bahà’í literature in Spanish and Portuguese; the consolidation of the recently inaugurated national and local funds; the strengthening of such institutions as Bahà’í National Committees, Summer Schools, Conventions and Regional Teaching Conferences; the acceleration of the highly meritorious work already commenced amongst the Indians in both Central and South America; the progressive proclamation of the verities of the Faith to all sections of the population of Latin America; above all, the triple task of constantly deepening the spiritual life of the individual believer, of enriching his understanding of the spiritual and administrative principles of his Faith, and of cementing the unity of each local community - these stand out as the foremost responsibilities to be assumed during these two concluding years of the Second Seven Year Plan by the two newly formed National Spiritual Assemblies of Central and South America, in preparation of the launching of specially conceived, clearly defined plans, the initiation of which must mark the formal association of the Bahà’í communities of Latin America with the National Bahà’í communities in the United States and Canada, for the furtherance of ‘Abdu'l-Bahà's world-embracing Master Plan, now still in the embryonic stage of its development.
A fire with the vision now unfolding itself before their eyes; conscious of the sacred responsibility which, as implied in the ringing words recorded in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, they must increasingly shoulder; fortified by the contemplation of the manner and rapidly with which their beloved Faith has struck its roots into the soil of their homelands; confident that the same mysterious and unconquerable Power that has watched over the operation, and ensured the consummation, of the specific Plan undertaken by various National Bahà’í Communities in recent years in both the East and the West, will, as they prepare to launch their own collective enterprises in the years immediately ahead, vouchsafe to them Its sustaining grace and unfailing guidance; the members of these newly emerged communities and above all, their recently elected national representatives, must display, during this period of transition, a spirit of dedication, a tenacity of purpose, willingness for self-sacrifice, that will surpass anything as yet exhibited in their past history, which will at once excite the envy and admiration of their older sister communities in all the continents of the globe, and enable them to acquire the spiritual potentialities that will assist them to take their honoured place in the ranks of those same communities which, in various regions of the world, are collectively and energetically carrying out their own national campaigns in the service and for the glory of the Cause of Bahà’u’llàh.
That they may prove themselves worthy of the missions with which they will soon be formally invested; that they may never allow anything to interfere with the successful conclusion of this present preparatory phase of their historic task; that they may, through the quality of their devotion and the solidity of their achievements, rejoice the souls of the Concourse on high and, above all, the Spirits of the Holy Bab, of Bahà’u'llah, and of His beloved Son, 'Abdu’l-Baha, so that they may contribute their share, as independent pillars, in sustaining the House, whose erection must mark the culmination of the establishment of the Administrative Order of their Faith, is the dearest wish of my heart, my constant hope and my ardent prayer.
Your true brother,
1950-07-12 gen ltr to Regional Assemblies of Latin America