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Our 2018 summer mission team was comprised of six teenagers (13-16 years old) and adults ranging in age from 30 to 70 plus! We served with other volunteers—students from all over the US and the globe—at the L’Arche Farm and Garden in Tacoma. L’Arche is an international ministry that helps adults with developmental disabilities to thrive and do meaningful work in a faith-based community.
Each morning everyone at the Farm gathers in a big circle. Gabby or Patrick invites everyone to share.
As we go around the circle, everyone says their name, and gives a thumbs up/thumbs down signal (to let everyone know how they are feeling). Then there is the question of the day. Because it was so hot, one day the question was: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Prayer requests were also shared, and then there was a “word” of the day: “Sunscreen and fluids” (guess that is two words!) The prayer circle concludes with a group cheer led by one of the L’arche community: One! (One!) Two! (Two!) Three! (Three!) “Sunscreen and Fluids!”
Gabby, the Farm manager, divides the volunteers into work
crews and gives assignments. Mostly
weeding, weeding or weeding! Sometimes
watering or transplanting.
In the process we got to work alongside and get acquainted with some of the L’Arche Core Members (residents) and their assistants, as well as the other volunteers. There was ample time to visit as we worked side by side. Pastor Lynell met college students from Oregon and Montana, high school students from Germany. She met Drew who loves the Mariners and Charles who is a math wiz—these two are core members.
Everyone worked hard (even in the heat) but played hard too (Squirt me with that hose!!) There was lots of laughter and gratitude for amazing hospitality that we experienced at the L’Arche Farm and at Christ the King Lutheran Church (where we had “bed and breakfast”!).
It was an unforgettable week!
Praise God for all our Team Members: Charles and Dora, Elizabeth and Neil Quilo,
Sue Reiter and Hannah Chase, Megan and Dawn Miller, Jayden Hanson, Megan Brech,
John Clough, Lynne and Brocc Snyder, Klaire and Kameryn Moriarty,
and Pastor Lynell Caudillo.
Find out more about this amazing organization here: https://www.larchetahomahope.org/