Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The second week

Monday. At 9h in the morning the l’Arche Community bus is coming to take us to the Rainbow (the place where the core members of both houses meet each other to work). Here they have a small morning prayer together before starting their different jobs.
Every Monday is shopping day. With a big group of some of the core members, Gerrit and Thijs we go to the supermarket to do the shopping for the week. They all like to go there a lot because you get a coffee for free and there is a lot of things to taste in this shop.

After lunch in Moerbei, we went  by bike to visit Damme, a beautiful town next to Brugge.  

Tuesday. We are going to the Rainbow with the core members by bus to join the workshop today. After the morning prayer they organize the jobs: making candles, fire lighters, cooking,…
One of us will help to prepare the lunch and the other one stays in the Rainbow joining the workshops.
For lunch everyone is coming together and in the afternoon the workshops continue. We went to buy flowers today to make the flowerpots in front of the windows pretty for summer.

Wednesday. We have done a small and calm morning prayer together with Gerrit who played the piano for us.
After lunch we went to the Rainbow by bike, but there is nobody! We decided to arrive to Moerkerke in case the core members are there. Nothing. After visiting a little the small town we came back to the Rainbow and there they were!
On Wednesday they do some sports and they all went for a walk or did some exercises.
After drinking coffee together it is time to play UNO with everyone. It's taken very serious here and we had no chance to win against the guys.

Thursday.  Today we are going to visit Gerrit’s family in Geraardsbergen.
His parents are so kind to welcome us with a delicious lunch and Filip (Gerrit’s brother) showed us the small town they are living in where we drank coffee. In Belgium they really love to drink coffee! 
In  the evening Gerrit is playing the piano in a theater play with actor Ignace. It is a one man show telling a story about the First World War. Unfortunately for us it is in Dutch so we couldn’t understand that much but
nevertheless we enjoyed it, especially because everyone around us was so touched and the actor performed very well. With this theater play they are collecting money for  L’Arche Moerkerke-Brugge.

 Friday. This weekend is the long weekend of Pentecost. Special about that, everyone is leaving today to visit family, friends or other communities of L'Arche (they do this one weekend a month, it is called "big weekend"). Everyone except for us. After the cleaning of the rooms in De Moerbei (like every Friday) they went to the workshop for the afternoon. Afterwards they came back to De Moerbei for a short time. By 6pm everybody had left the house. We accompanied Istvan (one of the assistants) to bring Roland (one of the members) to another community of L'Arche near Ghent.  
In the evening we went to the TaizĂ© prayer around the cross like last week. This time Gerrit doesn’t come with us because he is in Stockholm visiting friends. 

Saturday. In the morning we went to the mass at the English Convent. The sisters are living next to us (in fact they offered the community of L'Arche the building we are living in now).  Mass there is in French, English or Dutch (depends on the day). We could see that they were really happy to have young people in the Eucharist! We will try to join them more often from now on.

 In the afternoon we went to MENSA, that is the house of the Don Bosco sisters in Brugge. They take care of women in difficulties. We were baking pancakes with one of the sisters and served them for a nice community supper.
A priest who is there on a visit invites us for the mass in the church right next to the sisters' place. (Just in the city center they have around 40 religious buildings, isn't that crazy? And 99 in the bigger area of Bruges)
After Mass (where we met for the first time a lot of young people) we were sitting together and had some nice cake. In a house of the parish where they have something like a little bar with a room to play billiard.  They invited us to come again as they have mass every Wednesday and Saturday or to pass by just to sit in the beautiful garden. 

Sunday. The first day without any Program. We enjoy to do nothing. Cook together and watch DvD. Everyone needs a lazy day from time to time…

Monday. Tonight the core members will come back. We are very happy about that as it was really quiet and also boring in the house without them.
For lunch we went to the house De Barke in Moerkerke. The core members were home as their "big weekend" is always one week earlier than the one from De Moerbei. We had a nice afternoon getting to know all of them a bit better as we normally only meet them in the Rainbow because the houses are separated. We also meet another young girl, Mary, who is a volunteer here for one year.
When we came back in the evening everyone arrived home and the house is back as we like it. With a lot of people, joy and craziness.

Jesus, our peace, by your Holy Spirit you continue to be for us today what you were for your disciples on earth. In your Gospel, you assure us: “I will never leave you alone; I will send you the Holy Spirit as a support and a comfort, to remain with you forever.”
(5. John 14:16, 26; 16:7)