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October 13, 2007

The joys of community

Every aspect of life here encourages community. Over the past month I have witnessed first hand the beauty and importance of a strong community and what that really looks like. Once the "honeymoon phase" passed, which took only about a week, we established a sense of camaraderie and genuine love for everyone as we settled into a routine. Mealtime offers a snapshot of our camaraderie. We eat every meal "family style," sitting and enjoying the great food and the company of each other for half an hour. The conversations vary anywhere from discussions about class to simply getting to know each other better. Once we finish the meal, everyone clears off the tables together, and then the rotated "dish-crew" takes over. Whether it be the "Apron Strings, Bleach Busters, Crumb Crushers(my crew) or the Dishpit Devils," you will always find us having a blast cleaning dishes, jamming to music, having water fights, and dancing with Elsie. When all the work is done, we gather arm in arm and shout out our completed check list with great enthusiasm. This last aspect of dish crew is my favorite, because no matter what, I walk out of the kitchen with a smile on my face. Another part of our community life includes "work crews." Twice a week we spend two hours cleaning and doing other various work around the grounds. After I arrived the first day, they put us right to work trimming dead limbs off the Aspen and Pine trees around the property, which turned out to be a perfect opportunity to get to know everyone. For the past few weeks we built a new deck railing. We have enjoyed the team work and sense of accomplishment, and look forward to carving our names in it. Being in a community has taught me a lot about myself and how to live a more selfless and disciplined life. Everyone here is so amazing, but what gets me the most excited is that God chose for each of us to be here together at this moment in time for a reason, it was not just an accident or coincidence. In this morning's devotion, we discussed what a community really is. A successful community does not mean just "getting along," it takes genuine love for one another and a common love and passion for Christ. I believe our community has this, and I praise God everyday for it.

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