The Fluffy Ninjas won! A big Thank You to our drivers!
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Four youth and two sponsors departed Roswell, New Mexico, April 5th, 2014, and flew to Paris, France. One night in Paris, a drive to Taizé, five days in Taizé, a drive to Paris, and one night there before returning to New Mexico, April 14, 2014.
Here are their reflections....
Here are their reflections....
My experience at Taizé is the best one I’ve had so far in my life.
It feels good to know that there is a place that you could focus on God only, and not have to worry about sports, going out, homework, and work around the house.
Taizé was this place where we all learn how to be patient because there are other languages around you.
Also another part that I enjoyed was making new friends. The hardest thing, like always, is having to say good-bye.
Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Coeur were all worth the time. Especially the treasury at Norte Dame, gold, diamonds, sapphires and rubies, all arranged with infinite care.
An entire day could be spent in the Louvre and still not everything would receive the attention it deserves. Just the ceilings are grand, gold, art, both 2d and 3d and many jewels.
The French countryside matches expectations exactly, everything is green. Each little town has its own stone church with a bell tower and lots of hills.
Many Germans were also visiting Taizé, but most of them knew English. It’s pretty nice how many Europeans know English. It appears that the common language of the EU is English.
Prayer three times a day, meals and a few hours of activities left a lot of free time with few distractions. Nowhere pressing to be or do, sunshine and friendly people. It’s about as much as anyone could ask for. The food was decent except there was little meat. We always had bread with a hard crust, chocolate, butter and hot chocolate. I put the chocolate and butter in the bread and dipped it in the hot chocolate.
There were few other Americans there and at first it was uncomfortable but really the German’s are not so different from us. When 20 people arrived from Minnesota, I had more interest in hanging out with the Germans.
There were very few pickups, SUV’s or semis. Mostly sewing machine cars, occasional vans and large groups use very large and nice buses. Gasoline is three times as expensive so it makes sense.
All in all the trip was excellent. I made several German friends and saw a lot of history and beauty, but more importantly the environment at Taizé helped me connect with God and talk to him.
Taizé is a place where young people from around the world come together to be with others who share a love of Christ. It was amazing to me that these young people crave the peace and tranquility that Taizé offers.
I led a small group of 15 & 16 year olds. The group had our two girls, one girl from the Czech Republic & 3 boys and 6 girls from Germany. What an eye opener!
The Germans came from small, very traditional (mostly Catholic) churches. They loved the songs and silent prayer time in the services because their services were “boring” in comparison.
The girl from the Czech Republic loved being with other believers. Her country is very atheistic and she said there may be two other kids in her school that believe in Christ.
Our two roommates were about 20 years old. One was from the Ukraine and had just lost her job and was searching for guidance on what to do next. The other was returning to Taizé for comfort before returning to Lithuania to start college at the only school for arts; competition would be tough.
They loved the bible study. They found kindred spirits at Taizé.
I went to Taizé expecting quiet times of reflection and found myself fascinated by young people, what they had to share and how much I learned from them.
Taizé has provided good insight as to how easily I let things get in the way with my relationship with God.
While in Taizé, I had a total of an hour and half of time on the internet and talking to friends back home. I can be so consumed by all that technology offers that I don’t make daily time for God.
A relationship with God should be personal to everyone so you can’t let others dictate how you develop your relationship with God.
Technology and friends hold my own relationship back from God because I put more time towards them more often than not.
Technology and friends are a blessing, but they need to be taken away for at least enough daily time with God.
Another thing learned is that a setting for worship doesn’t have to be elaborate or brand new or even a place with a common language. I can worship God even though I don’t understand a language it is still praise to God.
My experience here at Taizé has been pretty good. I love how green it is here, it shows God’s glory and majesty. I think it’s funny that in a place with so much water there are few permanent residence, but in Roswell there are 50,000 or so people and little water. God made this place to be used a lot by many but not all the time. I see people waste water and I get mad, but then I remember it’s not like Roswell.
The quiet is really nice. It helps me think straight. We didn’t come on the quietest week though so it must be amazing then. The quiet lets me think and talk to God, I can figure out his plan (sort of) during quiet times in church. The chanting is okay. Sometimes it’s really spiritually moving and others got old. This usually happens on songs I don’t know. Still I love the songs they should just stop earlier. ( I wrote this when it was loud.)
Visit Stephen Deutsch's blog to read his reflections on Taizé: Still in One Peace