It´s around midday when we arrive in the city center of Halle an der Saale (Germany). Although it´s already September the temperature is still around 30 degrees. It´s Saturday and like all other cities in our world the streets are filled with people buying the newest fashion, the newest technology, or looking for other nice things to make them happy. But we, we came here for another reason.
Yesterday our journey started. We woke up early in the morning for a long travel to eastern Germany. It was just some days after we met each other in the community of Taizé, the community which sent us to Halle. We are Michael from Germany, Pieter from the Netherlands and Bálint from Hungary. All three we accepted the challenge to live for one month a community life. And so it became that yesterday we w
oke up early for our ten hour during travel. But because we like to see more, to go out of the paved patterns, and driving sometimes in the opposite direction. It took us seventeen hours…
After a save arrival in the late evening we are now discovering the city of Halle. For having a break we stop by a former catholic church. Since Halle belongs to the most atheist region of Europe, the church is not in use anymore, at least not for church services.Nowadays it´s in use for the things that are important to our society. So today, in front of the church you can see the newest Audi cars, and within the church there is a catwalk for a fashion show. This is what our life is about, this is where we spend our money and this is what told to makes us happy.
But this month we´re turning around and breaking with the lifestyle of our society. We´re taking the road into the opposite direction. We´re going to live a community life in the style of Taize. A life structured by prayers, by living and working among the poor and the needy, a life in simplicity.
During our walk through the city center we pass by a statue of a man with a donkey. It reminds us of Franciscus of Assis. The beggermonk who taught his fellow monks to use a donkey
instead of a horse. And before we are hosted this month by the Franciscan order of Halle, this can be our first challenge to live in simplicity. Let´s give it a try, park the car and use our bikes!
Jésus, ma joie, mon espérance et ma vie (song of Taizé)