Experience It Yourself

Steven from Hertfordshire visits the Darvell Bruderhof

Video transcript:

I’m Steven. I’m 25 and I’m from Hertfordshire, a town called Harpenden. I work as a chef in a hotel in St. Albans.

My parents were visiting my sister in Aylesham, and they met a few ladies from the Beech Grove Bruderhof. So they told me about it, and I got in touch with some people from the Peckham Bruderhof House in London.

This is my fourth visit now to a Bruderhof community. My first visit was in Peckham a year and a half ago. I went to Peckham twice, I went to Beech Grove for a carol service last year, and now I’ve spent a couple of days here at the Darvell Bruderhof.

Everything’s a bit of a surprise. Everything that happens is slightly different or slightly unique to how you expect it to be.

Even the way the Community Playthings factory runs was surprising. You have the elderly people contributing, and the system’s all set up to facilitate that. I’ve never worked in a shop or factory before, but I could just slot right in and do something. I met a man from the local community who comes in once a week to help out in the factory, and he loved being here. Something I expected to be quite mechanical turned out to be full of life.

I’ve learned a lot, even just in little conversations with people in the factory, or at breakfast this morning even. Everyone’s got something really interesting to say, even if they're just thinking over a parable and how that applies to daily life.

I think the way that love is shown to each individual person is incredible: everybody has value, and everyone has something to contribute. That is really challenging. And that’s something that will make me go back to my hometown and think, “Wow, I’ve got to change something about the way I see that in my life around me, in the church, and how I work.”

I think there are many reasons to come to the Bruderhof. Anyone with Christian faith is just going to find it really inspiring, really encouraging. I always find I’m spurred on to keep going every time I come back and visit. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here. The Bruderhof is engaged in a lot, whether it’s growing food, or the way the factory operates, or childcare. Everyone’s going to find something that I think is going to resonate with them in some way. It’s even going to challenge you or show you a third way to live. So if I was going to give any advice to someone who’s going to come here, I would say you just have to come and experience it yourself. You can look at the website as much as you want, but until you’re here, and you’re talking to people and you’re really seeing how it works it’s just not the full experience. Don't come with any judgments; just come and experience it. You really have to be here just to get a feel of it.


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