Monday, 9 May 2016

The first week

The Temporary Small Communities propose the opportunity to live an experience of community life in Christian communities in various parts of Europe keep up regular prayer and share the joy of Christ with the community members.

Our Journey begins…

One week of preparation for our coming adventure we spend together at Taizé. From there we travelled through France to Belgium, where we finally reached Bruges in the province of West Flanders, after a tiring journey. Here we will spend the next month as a temporary community.
We got this wonderful warm welcome at the train station. All the members of the L’Arche Community which we are joining for our stay here were there with a banner and music.
Thank you to all of them&

L'Arche, sharing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
L'Arche community which was founded by Jean Vanier in 1964 in France offers everyday community life for intellectualy disabled people who are living together and working to encourage all the potential in form of art, cooking, gardening and much more...

In the house (De Moerbei) in Bruges live seven core members with intellectual disabilities together with Gerrit as a live-in assistant. Int he other house (De Barke) in Moerkerke live 8 core members and two live-in assistants, Mary and Istvan. Together with the external assistants, the responsibles, the administration and the many friends/volunteers they form the L'Arche community Moerkerke-Brugge. All of them share the daily life and work as one big family.


Wednesday. After a good rest and some time to relax, we had a whole day together with the assistants and responsibles to do some works around the house and in the garden.

Thursday. The day of Ascension was a Feast Day, so everyone was free to go together to a common event. The Procession of the Holy Blood (
Dutch: Heilig Bloedprocessie). It is a large religious catholic procession, dating back to the Middle Ages, which takes place each Ascension Day in Bruges, Belgium. We went together with the whole Community and even got seats in the first row.

Friday. That’s the official room cleaning day in the house but as we had a long free weekend we started very relaxed into work after a good breakfast. The rest of the day we were free and enjoyed walking around to discover a bit of the city we are living in for now.
In the evening we joined the prayer of a group of people who are organizing every Friday evening a prayer around the cross with songs from Taizé. Since 1980 already! This is so amazing! We are happy that they invite us to join their prayer as long as we stay in Bruges.

Saturday. Gerrit asked us to join him for a confirmation that has been celebrated in another town Deinze. So we went there together and  met some very nice people from around and joined a traditional event.
In the evening we all, the whole Moerbei, went to an open air concert in town and we had a lot of fun dancing together to salsa rhythm. What a joyful Saturday! 

Sunday. Our day started with a protestant service in the city center,  where the people were welcoming like everywhere, we went for now. And then in the afternoon, a great barbecue together in the garden to enjoy the amazing weather as much as possible.

  Some coffee in the pretty windmill park in the afternoon and our first week passed by so fast that we can hardly believe it.
We are extremely grateful to be guests of this wonderful community here, for the many many sunny days and great meetings all around! We feel so blessed!

Jesus prayed for his disciples, saying: Father, may they all be one, just as you are in me and I am in you, so that they may also be in us and the world may believe that you sent me.
(John 17:11-21)