Combined Efforts

By Lucy Wambui (Bobo) (poem by James Ndiritu)

I think of a place or a community where most of the young people can find their space and share their gifts.

The first community to think of is Effatha. I remember on 11th June 2011, I was impressed when the community invited different schools to come and share their talents with the core-members. The theme was interesting, “celebrating Life”. Young people from the surrounding society came. They celebrated life to their climax. It was also a nice moment to create awareness to them about L’Arche communities in general, disability and also beautiful experiences that people have passed through during their stay in Effatha.

Personally, I needed a community where I could share life with people from different backgrounds and I feel I’ve got it. A community with “the heart of a Mother”. This line reminds me of the pilgrimage that was held in Subukia. That day, we had a beautiful moment together with our work-mates from Marleen Project. The theme of the day was: “Becoming a mother”. The story of the prodigal son was used to help us in reflections about our own stories of life. There was also a paint of the same story. That was of a great help in terms of understanding especially to the core-members. We were able to identify how this man, the father of the prodigal son become a mother, when he embraced and welcomed the son. He overkissed him and he felt something deep inside this heart due to the love he had for his lost son. By the end of the day, we were able to view God as a mother who cares and protects her children no matter what sins they commit. The core-members also acted the same story according to their understanding.

More so, I can recall when I was requested to be a workshop assistant early June. It was governed by fear. I was not very certain that I will make to be a workshop assistant and at the same time, to live in a house like other house assistants. With time I made it. I reflected on how much they trusted me. This is what encouraged me most. Since to change from one thing to another has been a great problem with me, I was not sure whether I will make it. I have at least improved by the help of core-members and my fellow colleges. I am sure it is not always a picnic for a person like me, who is resistant to changes, to be transformed to this kind of environment of changes.

Being a workshop assistant, I have ample time to spend with the core members. In this case, it is easy for me to note when they are in difficulties, especially those whom I work with during the day. I’m able to know what areas they are interested in. I have also noted different gifts that they have, despite that they are mentally challenged. Mostly I work with Musa and Monicah who are very co-operative. They have taught me a lot, as far as life is concerned. One important thing I have learnt from them is: they are physically disabled and mentally challenged, but their spirits are whole and their hearts are “big”. They are always ready to welcome me despite all my weaknesses. They have been making my days brighter. I love it when I’m with them.