Youth find meaning in teaching children’s classes

Youth and children celebrate a birthday during a Baha'i children's class at the Cedar Hills Grange.

Children, youth and adults celebrate a birthday during Baha'i children's class at the Cedar Hills Grange.

Every Thursday at 4:30pm, you can find five devoted youth heading off to the Cedar Hills Grange. Sure, this was not how we envisioned our afternoons to be spent this year; running like headless birds straight from school directly to the Cedar Hills Grange, skipping cross country practice and numerous after school activities just to make it there on time. But it’s definitely been much more than we envisioned.

We’ve been through many challenges as a group; we’ve laughed together, become frustrated and flustered together, and even cried together. More importantly, however, we’ve prayed together. We’ve spent countless hours teaching 20 children about the spiritual values we want to represent as we grow up in our communities. As first, we were really skeptical. How were we going to make this work? We all had lives. Homework, chores, and the craziness of adolescence were already dominating our daily routines. Where were we going to find the time to do this? And keep it up? One word comes to mind: Sacrifice.

We’ve not only learned what it means to be responsible, but we’ve learned how to be extremely selfless and put the needs of others first. And because of this, we’ve benefited in so many ways. These children, no matter how they may test us or be troublesome, manage to put a smile on our faces every Thursday. Honestly, that is all that counts—that we manage to find happiness in our service and see it reflected in the faces of these beautiful children.

It’s been so incredible hearing these children recite the words of Abdu’l-Baha and hearing the same songs that we used to learn in Sunday school when we were children. This children’s class has been so rewarding on so many different levels, and we know that we are shaping the lives of these kids in positive ways. We’ve learned to advise, encourage, and teach through example. We’ve also learned that we may need to set boundaries, and raise the bar as to what to expect from commendable human beings.

But we could not have done it on our own. We relied on prayers, the Baha’i writings, and many, many, many consultation sessions. We know that there is always room to improve and that we’ve been given an incredible opportunity to serve the Faith that we hold so dear to our hearts. This all started with our incredible experience at Project Zaynab in the summer, where we met unbelievable Baha’i youth from across the Northwest Region. We made lifelong friendships and created a spiritual family. Every time we hold our class, it is in honor of all the souls who participated and contributed to the beauty of Project Zaynab. We do this with them and in honor of them. They are with us every week, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. It is because of their continuous prayers and well wishes that we are able to continue and we would like to take this moment to thank all of the youth for their heartfelt prayers, unmatched support, and undying love. Thank you. We love you all and feel very blessed to continue all of our collective efforts at the Cedar Hills Grange every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Love,

Your brothers and sisters of “The Grange Group”

Beeta Neshati
Bardia Neshati
Esme Aston
Bayan Sardari
Stefanie Noack

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