October 13 – 16, 2016 approximately five thousand Bahá’ís attended the dedication of the Bahá’í House of Worship in South America. These joyful hearts gathered and were taken on a journey of remembrance and appreciation for this faith.
The Andes Mountains is 22,841 feet above sea level. It is the longest mountain range in the world with the highest peaks. On July 22, 1919, one Bahá’í arose to ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s call and traveled to South America. She didn’t come from money and paid for her travels by writing. Martha Root at age 47, proclaimed the Faith in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama and Cuba.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá wrote Martha Root when she returned from South America:
“Thou art, in truth, a herald of the Kingdom and a harbinger of the Covenant. . .. Thou art truly self-sacrificing. Thou showest kindness unto all nations. Thou art sowing a seed that shall, in due time, give rise to thousands of harvests. Thou art planting a tree that shall eternally put forth leaves and blossoms and yield fruits, and whose shadow shall day by day grow in magnitude.’ 
As five thousand joyful hearts gathered to be part of the dedication in Peñalolén lovers of Bahá’u’lláh were taken on a journey of remembrance and appreciation.
The Bahá’í community of Santiago, Chile prepared a memorable dedication allowing each believer the opportunity to walk the footsteps imprinted by Martha Root. They provided ten mini Bahá’í prayer booklets in each canvas tote so that the beauty of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings would be shared. Most importantly to invite the people of Chile to partake in visiting a place where they can meditate and pray regardless of religion, color and race.
“God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of teaching His Cause. Whoever ariseth to discharge this duty, must needs, ere he proclaimeth His Message, adorn himself with the ornament of an upright and praiseworthy character, so that his words may attract the hearts of such as are receptive to his call. Without it, he can never hope to influence his hearers.” 
Several Bahá’í visitors who attended the dedication didn’t speak Spanish and of them possibly broken Spanish and conversations went as such: “Permiso, esta un mini libro con Oraciones de Bahá’í…tu bienvenida en nuevo templo anted 20 de Octobre. Creo un dios, un gente, un familia…” Here are some photos of Bahá’ís who passionately taught the faith:
We witnessed how the group of Bahá’ís who traveled with us rendered selfless service without hesitation. There are so many examples to share how these beautiful souls ignited with the fire of love to teach the faith. Upon hiking San Cristóbal Hill to view the Virgin Mary, Mr. Faramarz Yazdani gave a Bahá’í prayer book to a resident hiker who eagerly accepted and they were able to view the temple from where they were.
Mr. Yazdani, with a penetrating soul dependent on pure love and pure joy blended his spanish words and experience with Antonio, the waiter to share about the purpose of his visit to Santiago. He shared that the Bahá’í temple would be open to the world after October 19th.
This is Guillermo at the Mosaic Cafe in Bellavista. When we opened the book to the introduction and read the first sentence in Spanish, he showed me his goosebumps and said, “Necesita esto, Gracias”
This couple was walking along behind the crowd and thought they were asked a question but they weren’t the group was talking among themselves. They continued walking with the group and looked upon us lovingly and we knew it was a moment to embrace. The purpose of the visit to Santiago was shared and a mini book gifted with much appreciation. They said they’ve heard of the temple and were happy to learn that all people can visit. They re-confirmed the date that they could visit and we lovingly shared that the temple was open to all from October 20, 2016.
Mr. Firaydun (Fred) Zarghami possesses a guided intelligence and with a force of wondrous love exposed his compassion for Bahá’u’lláh. This photo depicts his Texas A&M alumni in Valparaíso who were from class of ’72 and ’84. Coincidentally they were also staying at the same hotel in Santiago and knew the purpose of all the tourists that sat next to them. Their wives asked if they could have the prayer books even though they were in Spanish. They said they wanted the book so that they could later look up the Bahá’í Faith. If you see the gentleman in the far left, he was from University of Texas, Austin and his beloved father Buddy passed away on January 17, 2016 and we told him a prayer would be said at the temple and he thanked us.
Like a fountain, Mrs. Soheila Azizi with grace and intelligence shared her love for Baha’u’llah and words flowed effervescently from her lips as she gave several books to the fully armed Santiago police. She explained how spiritually uplifting her trip to Santiago has been and her appreciation of the Chilean people and especially the safety provided by them. They took their books, and placed them beneath their bullet proof vests.
One of the holy Manifestations, addressing a believing soul, has said that, if a person become the cause of the illumination of one soul, it is better than a boundless treasury. “O `Alí! If God guide, through thee, one soul, it is better for thee than all the riches!”
Mrs. Tabassom (Tabby) Anvari introduced herself to Antonio, a worker at the San Cristóbal cable carts and gave him a Bahá’í prayer book and with enthusiasm and appreciation he accepted and asked several questions and successfully understood with the limited Spanish and his limited English.
This driver honked his horn and chanted ‘MIAMI’ with two thumbs up as the group was across the street. The group called out each city they were from and Mr. Massoud Fanaieyan bravely crossed the busy street and handed him a Bahá’í prayer book. He kissed the book and thankfully Mr. Fanaieyan wasn’t injured.
We will conclude this piece with sentiments from Mr. Firaydun (Fred) Zarghami, “Living in this physical world and not to be part of it at times is a huge challenge. Knowing that we are spiritual beings, with physical experiences gives us huge challenges on a daily basis. Making our lives to be aligned for the Will of our Creator for today, which is unity and unification of humankind is a daily struggle.
Having the opportunity to be part of the inauguration and dedication of the Bahai Temple in Santiago, Chile, provided me the once-in-a-life-time experience; to witness Baha’u’llah’s miracle and the results of His suffering and fulfillment of His Promise, that unity is possible!
When I saw close to 5000 diverse group of people from across the globe celebrate their love of God and unity regardless of race, gender, culture and any other differences, I was awe struck and felt heavenly love. What a Blessing! This event single handedly proved that unification of mankind is possible and is happening in front of our very eyes. I witness this heavenly New World as promised by all sacred books.
Seeing my alumnus from the Texas A&M University, thousands of miles away from home by coincidence was the icing on the cake.”
1 Bahá’í World, vol. V, pp. 48-49.
2 Súriy-i-Haykal, paragraph 148; Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 335
3 Tablets of the Divine Plan, pp. 2-3.