So in two years I have… where do I start a summary of the past 2 years? Probably by looking at the reason I came here – to try to be a Christ-like presence in the midst of a dark community.
I was expecting to come and lead lots of people to God, and to get involved with some youth work. I was expecting to learn more about how community living happens in different ways, places and contexts, and how community works with three or four people. I also wanted to see drug addicts and alcoholics quit their addictions!
Some of this has happened. I have learnt the complexities of living in a smaller community. I have done a lot of youth work, and have seen some young people change their lives. But the biggest surprise and the biggest lesson I have learnt here is that I need to trust people and situations to God, even if everything in me wants to do his job for him! I have often felt God ask me to pray for people or heard people’s stories, and just wanted healing and change for them NOW! But God works in his time and in his way, which means that when I feel called to pray for someone, I am only called to pray for them. It may be someone else’s job to bring them to salvation.
This has been a very difficult lesson for me to learn as I am someone who is a perfectionist and very impatient, and realising that God always makes better decisions than I ever could, even if it may not seem so at the time! I may never know the impact of my prayers and my presence here in Knowle West these past two years, but that’s OK, because I just need to trust the next step to God – for me and everyone I love and pray for.
I have loved being part of Lee Abbey again, and being part of the Knowle West Community. I am so grateful for the time I have spent here, and thank you all for the support we receive here in the Households – we do so appreciate it.
In two years, there have been many tears, many giggles, and lots of growth and lessons learnt, and it will always be an important part of my journey – thank you.
Ruth Chapman was a member of Knowle West Community between 2008-2010. Ruth will go to Cranmer Hall, Durham in September to train for the ministry.
John and Val say goodbye
It has been wonderful being four in our Community during the past five months. We have experienced added dynamics to our Community and in relationships with each other. Sadly, as in all Lee Abbey Communities, there has come a time to say goodbye to Ruth and Sarah. They left at the end of July to continue their journey along God’s exciting paths. We shall miss them both very much and the spiritual gifts they brought to the estate, especially working with young adults and children. We thank God for allowing us to share their journey for a season.