I have spent the last week and a half in a kitchen with six ladies and Jim, all of whom are in their 60s and 70s and 80s. This kitchen has fed over a hundred people three times a day every day. I have loved working here: chopping various foods- some of which I didn’t even know what they were, assembling fruit trays, cooking more meat than I have seen in a year and being a part of the coming together of each meal.
As we have been in the kitchen, I have discovered that in this kitchen are many interesting tools, including onion goggles! However, when I think about this kitchen and this time here at Haus Edelweiss, it is not the tools or the delicious cookies or the interesting soda drinks I have gotten to try out- it is not anything I have done, but the people that cause my heart to warm and my spirit to lift.
I think our American culture is hungry for community and connection and technology gives the illusion of that for most people. This week I have been soaking up the warmth of the kitchen provided not by the stove or ovens, but by the sweet conversations with the kitchen workers. I have learned much about cooking; but more than that, I have learned about life and love and God by listening and observing how these people interact with one another and with the Lord. I have been blessed to be a part of this place at this time. These people have shared about their lives and where they have followed God. Each one has admitted that their lives have been filled with difficulty and heartaches and events they never planned for, but they all follow this with the affirmation that their lives have been good.
Each person here has given his or her time and energy and money to support the ministry of TCM. Each team here has served a purpose to support the working of this ministry so that students can come and complete their education and training. But Haus Edelweiss is also a place of refuge. You can feel the safety and rest here; you can feel the covering of prayer. Each activity that was accomplished was started with prayer and most of the time ended in prayer as well.
This is what I think the church is designed to be; one body moving together for one purpose by functioning in different ways- one family, each person with a role to fulfill. This is a basic idea that seems to be mystified by our disillusion of connection, our disconnect and over-complication of the simple act of coming together. We live in a culture of busyness and hurriedness; we miss this and it is missed.
This is what I hope to bring back with us as we leave here to return back to Savannah; not just a report or good stories. I hope we return with an anticipation that connection is not just needed, but possible.
This verse was evident before our team left. It was the verse used for our service on Sunday and it has continued to follow us through our two weeks here through various ways: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10