Impact is a theme in our community this year and who knows about the impact of L’Arche better than people who have been part of our community? So we reached out to current and former community members to hear about their stories and relationships, and how L’Arche GWDC has impacted them. This is the first in a series of interviews with current and former community members of L’Arche GWDC titled: #LarcheImpact.
When were you at L’Arche GWDC and what were your role(s)?
I was at L’Arche (Ontario House!!) from 2014-2016. For a little less than a year, I was an Assistant before transitioning into the Service Team Leader role for the remainder of my time with L’Arche.
What brought you to L’Arche?
A need to know God, feel God’s presence, and feel like a whole person. I couldn’t stand the stark separation I felt in my past jobs between my work and my life. Before coming to L’Arche I felt drained in every aspect and lived by myself in a one-bedroom apartment. I was isolated, stressed, and felt a huge disconnect between the life I wanted to live and the life I was living.
What’s one of your favorite memories at L’Arche?
Going on vacation to the Jersey Shore with Deb! I felt the overwhelming responsibility for another person’s safety and enjoyment of the vacation. I worried so much that Deb wasn’t going to have any fun. When we arrived in our rental car, the first thing we did was go to the grocery store. The L’Arche debit card was declined since we were in a different state than it was typically used and the rental car was dinged when we came out from the store. Deb and I unloaded the groceries into the house where we were staying and she plops onto the couch and says, “Can we go out for dessert?” That was the moment I realized that we were going to have a good time together no matter what. While I was caught up in every small detail, Deb wasn’t worried about anything other than the whole point of our vacation…to spend time together and eat lots of dessert.
What encouragement/advice do you have for people who are considering L’Arche?
Go for it! It will be hard and different from just about any other experience you ever had and you will never regret every hard, challenging moment because you will be so much better for it. You will learn to love deeper. You will learn to be more open. You will learn what it means to be truly in relationship with people.
How did you grow in your time at L’Arche?
I think the biggest way I grew was that I stopped judging myself. I stopped seeing certain pieces of who I am as “bad” or “unworthy.” Those things I’ve always wanted to change about myself? God loves me for exactly those things! It was through Deb, Michael, Johnny, Walton, and Eileen that I was able to learn this.
How does your time at L’Arche impact you today?
In my current role in NC, we work in partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice and the youth we serve have experienced a high level of trauma. I am reminded on a daily basis the importance of experiencing God’s love through relationship. I am constantly learning how to better reflect God’s love to our youth. I never would have been able to do that without my time at L’Arche. I only wish our youth could experience it through our Core Members directly! The Core Members continue to be the best teachers of this freely given love.
Do you have a favorite picture of your time at L’Arche you could share with us?
We invite you to share your own responses to the “#LarcheImpact” questions. Your responses can be emailed to [email protected]
We are actively seeking new live-in and live-out assistants. Apply today!
Tags: #LarcheImpact, Impact, Interview, L'Arche GWDC