Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ahhh, you are standing in line at the mess hall of the University of the Nations, gazing upon the delicacies offered daily for breakfast...oatmeal, bulk yogurt, toppings for the oatmeal and hard- and soft-boiled eggs. The joys of community living.

I thought the view of the yogurt being poured out was especially appetizing this morning at 6:30 a.m. If you stop and listen closely you can hear the plopping noises, taking you back to that time you had a stomach virus...

A strength of YWAM is community living. It is efficient and cost effective. Buying and preparing food for large numbers of people makes things more affordable, particularly in a place like Hawaii or Hong Kong. It also means that your palate cannot be picky. Monday through Friday the breakfasts here are always the same and look like what you see above.

There are other really wonderful aspects to community living. You may have just today, in your secluded home, raised your voice loudly at your children in anger. Given the size of your home and the separation from other homes, it goes unnoticed by the rest of the world. If, however, you can imagine living in a 600 square foot un-air conditioned "apartment" or "dorm room," with 100 people living in rooms beside, below and all around you, you quickly realize that bellowing at your family will go noticed because everyone's windows are open wide. It provides terrific accountability. In fact, as you walk by others' rooms, you can hear normal conversations in full.

Imagine as well people from 40 different countries, with just as many languages, from as many different denominations living in a forty-acre campus. It is amazing how God brings unity to this place. We truly experience "[h]ow good and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1. And, we must constantly check our pride at our doorstep and seek His strength and grace.

So, although my palate sometimes goes unpleased, I rejoice in this place as God gives us grace to grow and become more like Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Chris & Erika said...

Great pics, very real life! One of my favorites is the peanut butter stand for lunch. Has to be the only one I've ever seen.
Had a great time connecting with you all as well. It's refreshing to see what the Lord is doing in your lives and connect with others who are stepping out in faith. May the Lord give you all wisdom and direction in the days ahead. We'll be praying for you.
Chris and Erika