Whenever I mention to people that I live in community now I find I get at least a raised eyebrow or even a fully wide open mouth, as they start to conjure up a picture of a commune and me sharing my living space with dozens of others and never having a moment alone.
I'm glad to say it is not like that. We are a community of people who live here on the same estate and we all share our Christian faith, that is what drew us here but there are a variety of living arrangements. The young volunteers (aged between about 18 - 25) come from all countries across the world and spend between 3-12 months here, they live in shared houses and really embrace the word community. There are also full-time permanent staff who live here in single rooms and then there are some more senior staff and directors who have houses on the grounds with their families.
We are one of those families, we have a beautiful 18th century house and importantly we have a front door that I can close when dh comes home after a busy days work but it is also fabulous to have it open during the day and to say hi to those who pass by. We can go up to the main house and eat with all the volunteers if we want to and we do this at least once a week to make sure we spend time with everyone. There are regular opportunities to pray and worship with others and coffee breaks that we can join in with if we so wish. The kids particularly love the staff room and garden where they can play pool and basketball and chat with whoever happens to be there.
This week I got to experience my first community day. There is where the conference centre is closed to external guests and we all spend the day together, having fun, worshipping the Lord and getting to know each other better. It was an awesome day starting with a cooked breakfast, some free time for coffee and chat, worship and word session, picnic lunch, board & lounge games, coffee and cake, team games, BBQ dinner with fireworks and then a bonfire and marshmallows and hot chocolate. The day was full-on and I was knackered but the end of it but it was truly fabulous.
Then yesterday dh and I hosted our first pastoral group, where we meet with five of the young volunteers who have been assigned to us. It was lovely to be able to share dinner with them and open our house. I'm looking forward to our bi-weekly meetings and getting to know our group better, in our small group we have volunteers from a variety of countries - Brazil, Indian, Czech, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan so I expect to extend my geography and cultural knowledge.
Then lastly for this weeks reasons - I'm going to start doing some volunteering this Friday and helping out in the bookings office. I'm looking forward to being of service to them and yes it may well be filing and archiving in the first instance but whatever helps them is fine with me.
It certainly is a different way of life being here but I have to say I'm very happy with it, and of course grateful too. Thank you Lord for bringing my family here and into this new way of life.
Over to you....
Why don't you have a think and remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for and write a post to link up. Add in the blog hop code (if you fancy) and link up here and then leave a comment or two on other linked up posts please. I'll definitely come and visit everyone this weekend as I'm pleased to be home all weekend.
I'll catch you soon, be blessed, Mich x
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