During our time of 24/14, it was amazing, the community that was created in a room of people who, although not necessarily interacting with one another, were able to feel and experience connection with one another as we individually fellowshiped with the Lord. Becky wrote me an e-mail during those weeks, and beautifully put her impressions of this sense of community into words:
"Tonight as I was sitting in the center area of the sanctuary journaling a prayer to God (in the form of a story--very fun) I found myself comforted by the presence of ODF "family" members moving quietly around me. You, and others at ODF, have probably noticed this connection quietly being formed at ODF in the last week. I feel as though I am sitting in a giant house with a vast support system of extended family when I am at church. There is a kitchen where we can go to eat, places to lay down and rest and a wonderful "living/diningroom" where we are living out life in the form of converations and communion with our closest family member in the room---our Father. It is a beautiful thing to watch. I feel a strong sense of safety and belonging there.
It makes profound sense to me why this is called the House of the Lord. I am praying about how this experience will change the way I relate to my brothers and sisters at ODF, particularly after experiencing so much loss in my family this year. I don't think I have realized what I have in my ODF family and how it is significant that I learn to give of myself to them and love them, believing that they really are a family to me instead of focusing so heavily on what I do not have. "-- Becky
(The photo at the top of this post is of some of our youth worshipping together one evening. When it was time for them to leave and continue their youth group activity, many of them were reluctant to go. As one of them, Josiah, said later, "I thought that the experience was so spectacular. I felt like we finally had God on our minds at all times.")