It's been three months since Johnny, Lewis and Ed arrived at Malborough to join the Foundation community. Those early months have focused on getting used to each other and finding a footing in the local churches. The danger was always going to be thinking that this was a glorified gap year with the trimmings of some kind of quasi-Christian commune. The job, if one can talk of a job, has been in living in community itself. It is not just putting up with each other but somehow creating a bond that goes beyond just living in the same space. This is the real test, not a series of mission activities or special studies as good as that may be. I can't say that we (they) are 100% there but I think the right path is being undertaken.
One of the things that has become apparent has been is that this town has lots of young adults who are under the radar. They are mostly working long hours in the service industry especially during the season. They are aware of each other and social media plays a big part. When Denzil Corbyn (23) died over 200 people came to a make-shift vigil that night in church in which the Foundation helped host along with my wife and the organist. One churchwarden was heard to say that this was instructive. A few weeks later the three residents were robed at the centenary lifeboat service. Locals were pleased to see "the lads" (as they are often called) as a visible sign of the church's hospitality. Over 400 people came to that service presided by Bishop Nick, the Bishop of Plymouth.
The next nine months will probably have a different pace, especially as Lent and Easter approaches. I am keen to push the residents further into their corporate exploration of community and individual sense of calling. However, I also sense that this "pushing" is also coming independent from me as the Holy Spirit leads them into new spiritual territory.