Three Baha'is in Oliver, BC
We arrived at the homeowner's backdoor in Oliver, a small community located in southern British Columbia, ready to meet a young couple and their Rottweiler dog. Her grip on the powerful canine's wide collar was welcomed. We slid silently past it into the kitchen. After an initial introduction to the 'rottie', we shook hands with the owners.
“We noticed that your bus is covered with music notes. What does all that mean?” the woman asked.
“We're Baha'is and Frank painted a few of our songs on it,” I said.
“Frank, what instrument do you play?” the young man asked.
“I try my best at the violin,” Frank said. “I usually practice in the house and hope it doesn't drive your dog crazy.”
“I have a friend who is a Baha'i,” the woman said. “She doesn't live here though.”
We had been in touch with the Baha'i Council of British Columbia to ask about there being any Baha'is in Oliver. They advised us that there may be a few however they are 'inactive'. We've pondered that status over the six years we've been looking for isolated Baha'is. What does it mean?
At first, we compared it to someone who is not doing anything or is not working. However, as we spoke to some of the friends we discovered that although he or she has comparatively long periods of inactivity, they tend to still busy themselves acting out good deeds, or running a thriving business, or engaging with others who need their open-heart. A person while acting low-key still has a presence.
We met a Baha'i at a coffee shop in downtown Oliver. He said he'd been alone in the community for a long while and although there are Baha'is in Penticton, forty-two kilometres north, he just wasn't that interested anymore in making the drive.
We get that.
The House of Justice has asked us to point out that normally once a person has declared his belief in Bahá'u'lláh and this declaration has been accepted by the Assembly it should be assumed that he continues to be a Bahá'í until he states the contrary.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 86)