Saturday, June 24, 2017

L'Arche and L'viv, part 4

Wednesday afternoon, after songs and prayers, the Smiles group got back into the bus and headed off to their homes. We said goodbye to them, and then the house got very quiet.

Nadia and Bogdan came back from their workshop, "Nazareth," the one that we didn't get to visit. As I said before, L'Arche in L'viv is different from most international L'Arche communities, because it's not residential. In L'viv they use the house for whatever the community needs, but also (mainly?) for week-long stays, where the friends can get some focused time with the assistants and practice independence. While we were there, it was Bogdan and Nadia's turn for that, and we loved the time we had with them.

The family that works with the Smiles had invited some friends of theirs over for dinner to see the house and learn about L'Arche. Their friends are Protestants and work with Youth for Christ, so they also thought we'd all enjoy getting to know each other some, too. (Yes, we definitely did.) They were planning a L'Arche presentation for the youth a few days later. So while people rested and Tanya went off to get their older two children from preschool, Oleg and I took care of their two little ones and worked on dinner for the guests and everyone.

When the guests arrived and everyone gathered around the table, we had a wonderful, loud, happy dinner together. It was definitely like one big family. Bogdan especially kept us laughing with his incredible sense of humour. Later, they presented us a lovely book of photos and interviews. In the part of the book about Bogdan, the interviewer writes that they went to the opera theatre together. When they told Bogdan that he would have to be quiet and not talk, he replied, "If I don't talk, I'll die."

After dinner Bogdan and Nadia showed everyone all over the house. We had been staying there, but hadn't had the official tour yet, so it was for us, too. Everyone played with the kids. Then we went into the living room to watch a few small video clips about L'Arche, see "Bogdan's film"--he's a movie star!--and sing and pray together again. (If you go to Circle Community or Grace Bible Church, I'm planning to show you Bogdan's film in a few weeks.)

When it was time for everyone to go, the littlest one was tired and not happy about getting dressed. Bogdan was thrilled that she calmed down for him when he held her:

There's only a little bit more, but I think I need to stop now. So, to be continued...

*These are Nila's photos.

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