We’ve always been fascinated by Africa – by people living there, by the nature, and by this unique culture. The idea of going to Africa has always appealed to us, but for a long time we had no clue how to make our dream come true. When Jim Hooper and Anthony Jones from International Teams approached L’Arche Brecon and invited it to the first meetings of Brecon-Molo town link we knew that we want to be a part of the project even if we weren’t sure how L’Arche as an organization could be a part of it as well. First of all we needed to create a personal links between people in Molo (Kenya) and people in Brecon (UK) and you can do it only by visiting the place. It’s no surprise then that our names were the first to appear on the list and we were ready to go before the details of the trip were known.
Almost at the same time Federation of L’Arche was approached by St.Martin Community from Nyahururu (Kenyan town situated less than 100km away from Molo) with desire of opening the L’Arche house as one of it’s projects and the L’Arche got fascinated by spirituality of St.Martin Community which seems to broaden Jean’s Vanier vision and managed to introduce it to the entire local community.
So it was clear for us that while visiting Molo in October 2007 we wanted to visit Nyahururu as well. It was very short visit as those 90km seemed to be much longer distance than the same distance on motorway.
Needless to say that we got inspired by the place from the very beginning – so welcoming, peaceful and so powerful at the same time. On our way back to Molo and through the entire evening we were sharing what fascinated us. It become clear that we share the same vision and got inspired by the same ‘details’. That was the night when we got engaged as we realized that we will be able to support each other to be faithful to our dreams and grow as people of faith. We were sure that at some point we will be back in Nyahururu for longer, but none of us even dreamt that it can be so soon.
We just planned to visit St.Martin one year after our engagement, but I couldn’t go with Dominik as I was already pregnant and didn’t feel like going for so long trip. That is why Dominik looked for somebody to join him on his trip to Nyahururu. Miraculously Tim Kearney (the zone coordinator for L’Arche Northern Europe) and Jane Salmonson (L’Arche ODF) planned to go there around the same time (November 2008), so Dominik joined them. Having the privilege to participate in numerous meetings and getting to know the stories of people who hoped to move to Effatha house in the future and sharing it with me helped us to came into decision of approaching Father Gabriele about the possibility of joining Effatha house and St.Martin community at this stage of their journey. The enthusiasm of Fr. Gabriele (and support of the board of directors) about that idea gave us energy to follow up our desire and start up the process of application of recognizing our project as L’Arche mission. During the next three years we hope to help local community in capacity building of the local leadership team for the L’Arche project, but most of all we hope to learn how to match L’Arche vision with local culture and needs and witness this process in Nyahururu. We do believe that the St.Martin community can show L’Arche the way of successful ‘inculturation’ – one of the current priorities for the Federation. It’s really exciting to be a part of L’Arche just now and to have the chance to be in such ‘strategic’ place in the near future.
We do want to share with you our experience and we want to do it through this blog and by meeting you personally while we are back to Europe ones a year. Thanks for all your support.