posted by Emily Meade, August 15 2013


We hear this word a lot around here. And I’ve always intellectually understood what it means.

But up until now, unbeknownst to me, I had never fully experienced community and therefore, had no idea what I was missing.

Being immersed in this internship has introduced me to a group of people that cares so deeply about each of us, creating an atmosphere of genuine love and hospitality.

Because of this community, in the truest sense of the word, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to leave this internship in a couple weeks than I had originally anticipated (but we’re not thinking about that yet).

I started to understand this feeling of community as soon as I arrived at our intern house, completed for us by so many strangers, investing their time and energy to give us an outstanding place to call home. Who was I to receive this with so much love when I hadn’t even done anything yet?  At the welcome potluck I was overwhelmed by the love all these people exuded for us and was astounded by their acceptance.

This care and hospitable-ness continued to surprise me as I became better acquainted with my housemates, Josh, Jeff and their families. They allowed us into their lives without so much as a second glance. They opened their homes and their hearts; sharing, creating and conversing with each of us.

Slowly but surely, it dawned on me: this was special.

It came to a climax the other week on our way back from Grand Rapids, visiting another urban farm. It had been a long day in Ada at Melody Bee Farm, weeding rows on rows of squash, with great company. We had just finished a delicious potluck and tour of New City Urban farm, and the weather was superb. We piled ourselves back into the trusty Montero and headed back to Holland. As we chugged along, with the boys jammin’ to 89.9 (the voice of Hope College), the girls laughing about our most embarrassing moment stories, and the cool evening air blowing through the windows, I was struck with the beauty of our community and I just couldn’t help but smile to myself.

I looked out the window and thanked God for this opportunity to get to know these wonderful people and the chance to begin to see what wonderful community our world is meant to thrive in. I only hope I can continue to pass it on.


Learn about intern, Emily Meade