Feeding the Masses
Service to Others
Feeding the Masses
Source: From The Chosen Highway by Lady Blomfield
The Master bought from time to time some land in various villages, near Haifa.
Groups of Baha’is live on this land, where they grew corn.
A tenth part of the corn they produce was sent to the Master’s household, so that bread was always assured.
The peace of these tillers of the ground was not always unbroken. [Raids by nomads] used not to be infrequent.
They would descend upon the village, steal everything they could find, carrying off, not only the corn and oil, but furniture, clothes, even the doors, and the simple agricultural tools, as well as driving off all the cattle and horses. At these times the women and children would be packed into wagons, and conveyed with all possible haste out of the very real danger of capture.
These refugees would arrive at Haifa, claiming protection from the Master; it was a difficult task to find food and shelter for these suddenly arrived guests. On at least one occasion He caused the chief [of the nomads] guilty of these depredations to be arrested, much to their amazement, and to be compelled to restore to the poor villagers at least some part of the stolen property.
In another village where some of the kinsfolk of the Holy Family live; they cultivate the land, the produce of which gives them the wherewithal to live.
The dwellers in these villages looked always to the Master for protection, guidance, and direction in every detail of their simple lives.
During the war the [nomads] were less frequent in their raids. They were afraid, if they ventured too near, that they might be seized and carried off into an unknown life–that of the soldier, the idea of which was a terror to themselves, and indirectly a cause of tranquillity to the villagers.
Preparation for war conditions had been made by ‘Abdu’l-Baha even before His return to Palestine, after His world tour. The people of the Baha’is in the villages were instructed by the Master how to grow corn, so as to produce prolific harvests, in the period before and during the lean years of the war.
A vast quantity of this corn was stored in pits, some of which had been made by the Romans, and were now utilized for this purpose. So it came about that ‘Abdu’l-Baha was able to feed numberless poor of the people of Haifa, ‘Akka, and the neighborhood, in the famine years of 1914-1918.
We learned that when the British marched into Haifa there was some difficulty about the commissariat. The officer in command went to consult the Master.
“I have corn,” was the reply.
“But for the army?” said the astonished soldier.
“I have corn for the British Army,” said ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
He truly walked the Mystic way with practical feet.