A Longer Visit

Troy Johnson on his visit to the Platte Clove Bruderhof

Video transcript:

My name’s Troy Johnson. I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana. I live in the Eastside and attend the Englewood Christian Church. When I was about 13 or 14 I joined the Englewood Youth Group and we took a summer trip out to Fox Hill Bruderhof for about five days and that was my first experience of the Bruderhof.

Initially it was very shocking to me. I remember getting off our van and having the entire community greet us right there after I had basically been sleeping the entire trip. I woke up, got out, and there were 200 people all smiles… quite overwhelming.

I wanted to get a more extended stay because I visited Spring Valley Bruderhof and New Meadow Run Bruderhof in Pennsylvania for very short stays and I wanted to get a better feel of what it would be like long term.

So far this longer visit to Platte Clove Bruderhof has been great. A little bit of an adjustment, especially to the mountains and the cold. After about a week and a half, I started helping in the communal garden in the afternoons which was a lot of fun to be able to be outside half days and to work with vegetables.

The one thing that surprised me during this visit is how different a long term stay is. I think when you visit for a short time, it’s much more focused on the visit rather than maybe getting the full experience and the lifestyle of the Bruderhof, whereas with a longer stay that’s a necessity. 

If someone my age was to visit, I’d tell them: Expect to be invited to do anything the young people’s group does and be willing to do it and to don’t be afraid of what you think you’re able to do versus what they’re able to do. Just do it and see how far you get, and I think you’ll surprise yourself. Just be willing to do anything.

My main takeaway from this visit is the wonderful example of community life and all this... Even the not so pretty sides that I’ve been able to glimpse on a longer visit. The struggles that people can have, that people do have, but all the joy and the fun that you can have together.

And I think it’s important to have a couple of short term visits to get the feel, to meet people and then to have a long term visit. A summer or something like that that is more than a week would be very good. But I think it’s important to start small and build up to that.

 

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