Three Billboards - Taranaki!
Our family was in the process of moving from Auckland to Kapiti with a short transit in Hamilton to attend the North Island Summer School. During the Summer School, we found out about the summer initiative orientation. We consulted and thought that it would be beneficial for their teaching efforts in Kapiti if we stayed behind to learn with the friends who were preparing to visit goal clusters. On the last day of the summer initiative orientation we were all packed to go to Kapiti and were surprised to be asked by the Auxiliary Board members to visit the Taranaki cluster on our way. The team in New Plymouth was expecting some youth to come to help with their summer initiative goals but they ended up with us!
The act of teaching during our stay in New Plymouth brought immense joy. It made us think hard about whether to stick with the original plan to go to Kapiti or respond to the call for pioneering to a goal cluster to help meet the goals of the Plan. On our last day of the summer initiative visit in Taranaki, we had an emotional goodbye. Hamada prayed for a sign to guide us in our direction. Ming joked and said that maybe we’ll see a bill board as we drive to Kapiti. Two hours later, and 150kms from our host home we saw the sign, in fact we saw three signs! 1) “You are about to leave Taranaki” 2) “Big mistake, Huge” 3) “We’d love you to stay”.
We almost turned back. After arriving in Kapiti we continued to pray and consult with the Regional Bahá’í Council and the Auxiliary Board members about our dilemma and seek guidance as to what we should do. In the meantime, we were encouraged to also visit Masterton which was another goal cluster over a weekend. Some days later, we received guidance from the Regional Bahá’í Council with three potential pioneering places, and we decided to pioneer to the Taranaki cluster.
The highlight of our stay in New Plymouth was being spoilt by the friends who made us dinner every night while we focused on reaching out to the neighbourhood. Joking aside, the true highlight was a strong desire to participate in the work required to meet the needs of the Plan in goal clusters.
While we were driving through different cities, we listened to some of the recorded quotes put to music by the Clendon youth. Specifically the quotes “to teach is to learn, …” and “O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of ‘Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá’... This, alas, I cannot do… Please God, ye may achieve it.” We hope that these words, put beautifully to music, will encourage other friends to also arise to help achieve the wishes of the Beloved Master.