“IT seems my life has come full circle in hearing about World Unity in Alaska as a wee girl and now talking about it in Stornoway as a 73 year old lady,” says North Uist resident Sandi Humphrey.
Tonight (Saturday, September 22nd) Sandi presents a public talk in An Lanntair arts centre – on the topic of ‘Work preformed in the Spirit of Service is raised to the station of Worship’ – as part of the Lewis Baha’i community’s celebration of the Centenary of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to Scotland.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1939, Sandi and her brother lived with their parents nearly 5,000 feet up a mountain where her father worked in a small mine.
With the nearest neighbours three miles down the mountain, the small family unit flourished in their relative isolation.
“In one way we where cut off from a lot of people and other modern things, but we have such freedom to play and go where we wanted to on top of this mountain that we never felt lonely,” Sandi assures.
“We had a wonderful radio, the kind with glass tubes and big batteries in it, and it could pick up stations from California and Russia and lots more,” she continued. “It was on this radio that my family first heard of the Baha’i Faith.”
An interest had been sparked, but it was not until the end of the Second World War and the family’s move down the mountain to Anchorage that an opportunity to finding out more about the Baha’i Faith arose.
Sandi continues: “My brother and I know needed to got to school, and we’d also heard about lots of new things, one of which was God.
“We started asking our parents about God and they started looking for a way to tell us about God and religion. They were not church goers but felt that there must be something that was about God, but had a belief in the unity of all peoples in the world.
“Then they remembered the radio programs we had heard on our radio up at the mine. They looked in the newspaper and found an advertisement inviting people to come and hear about the Baha’i Faith.
“After studying and praying for guidance, our family became Baha’i’s. We were the first family to come into the Faith in Alaska in 1947.”
Sandi now takes her lifetime experiences in the Faith to speak at the An Lanntair lecture – an opportunity she is looking forward to.
“I was pleased to be asked to give this talk as I felt that being part of the series of talks about some of the basic beliefs of the Baha’i Faith gives the public a way to find out how other people thing and knowing about your neighbours beliefs helps create unity,” she comments. “I really like the idea of a series of talks because the public can choose what they want to find out about. And Baha’i’s believe very strongly in seeing with your own eyes, not through the eyes of others, and knowing through your knowledge and not through the knowledge of others,” Sandi adds.
The presentation of ‘Work preformed in the Spirit of Service is raised to the station of Worship’ by Sandi Humphrey is tonight, An Lanntair Arts Centre, at 7pm.