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Divine Springtime - Louise Coswell Recalls , pp95-8

He was extremely pleased that your Assembly was able to purchase the site for the Bahá’í Temple in Panama before the expiration of the first year of the Ten-Year Crusade. He advises your Assembly while safeguarding and maintaining the property, and living up to the terms of the contract which you signed, to spend as little money on the site as possible. Your resources are too limited, and the needs in the teaching field are too urgent, for money other than for the purpose of the purchase and bare maintenance of the property to be spent on the Temple site, at the 95 present time. The important thing was to buy it, and this has been satisfactorily accomplished.

He is very proud of the fact that Central America had filled all her pioneer goals with the exception of the Marshall Islands, to which Mrs. Steward is now en route.[1]

He has read with attention the consolidation plan prepared by the National Teaching Executive Committee, a copy of which you forwarded to him in your most recent letter; and, although he thinks that the general outline of activities is excellent, there are two points to which he would like to call your attention.

The first is that he has not decided that there will be definitely no Regional National Assemblies prior to the establishment of independent National Assemblies \for each Latin American country. As the work unfolds and the centers multiply, this matter will have to be carefully considered. At present it is premature to reach any conclusions,

He also believes that, before any abolition of the present basis of electing delegates to the National Convention, (in other words, the delegates represent Assemblies, and not Groups and isolated believers as well) is made, the Cause must grow much stronger in each of the Central American republics.

Perhaps your Assembly is not aware of the fact that with the exception of the United States and Persia, the two countries where the mass of the believers is the greatest in the Bahá’í world, all other National Assemblies are elected by delegates, who are elected in their turn by local Assemblies, and not by the body of the believers residing in any particular country.

He considers the introduction of the latter system premature in Lath America. You must first have many more active Groups and isolated centers, before there is any point in electing the national delegates for the Central American Convention by the method used in the United States at present.

This is one of the reasons why he is urging Bahá’ís everywhere to, above all, concentrate on increasing the number of Spiritual Assemblies and Groups, as well as isolated believers, educating them more deeply in the administrative and spiritual fundamentals and doctrines of the Faith, and increasing their awareness of their great responsibility as Bahá’ís in both the teaching and administrative work of the Faith. He always considers that the foundation is securely laid, there should be no attempt at elaborating the superstructure.

He hopes that the Auxiliary Board, working in conjunction with the Hands of the Cause, will be able to carry a new impetus to the teaching work, and, in collaboration with the National Assemblies, help to strengthen and revitalize weak centers.

Another matter to which he attaches the greatest importance is that of keeping the pioneers at their posts, and urging upon them the necessity of persevering at all costs, lest one of the so-hardly-won goals of the Ten-Year Crusade suffer even a momentary eclipse.

Your Assembly must feel very proud of the fact that a number of its members have gone into the pioneer field. The National Assembly must always show forth signs of true Spiritual leadership; and he is very happy that your Body is so active, so devoted and so united.

He hopes that, in the unfoldment of your work throughout the region, you will pay special attention to teaching the Indians and minority groups, and converting them to the Faith. He attaches the greatest importance to this work, and is always glad to receive news of the names of any new Indian tribes represented in the Cause of God, or contacted.

With Warmest Bahá’í greetings,

(signed) R. Rabbani.

1954-07-24 to Central America NSA re various


[1] Several members of the new National Spiritual assembly resigned in order to fill Goals of the Ten Year Crusade as Knights of Bahà’u'llah: Cora Oliver, to assume her duties in Belize; Elena Marsella Fernie, Secretary of the NSA to sail to the Gilbert and Ellis Islands. The other goal was filled by Jean Sevin of France who settled in Tuomatu Islands. Artemus Lamb met him in France and persuaded him to fill the goal. Thus all foreign goals were filled by the National Spiritual Assembly of Central America.

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