Jo, a first-timer at Chateau Duffy, reflects on her experience:
Well, kind of, and a great big melting pot of building, sharing, crying, hoping, eating, drinking, laughing, giving, receiving, learning.
Jo was ready for anything on site!
Chateau Duffy was more than just a project, driven by American vision and British compliance. (Ha.) It was an exhausting and exhilarating experience, things shared and gained in the context of community chaos.It was unique, leaving you with a feeling that impossible things can be achieved. Shannon steered it all with attention to people and encouragement. There was a great sense of being in something together, sharing the good, bad, ugly and which in general people embraced with a good sense of humour, even after the odd accident! The spiritual dynamic was a complex pattern, people with many different views and experiences, but times to reflect and encouragement to be open and responsive to God were all a part of it.
The church at St Denis des Murs.
Personally, I was blessed to find a church, right next to our gite, on Easter Sunday, open, empty, with a single candle lit, nestled within the setting of rural, meadow swept, silent France. I felt communion in this place and was blessed to be able to have my guitar and sing. Such a massive contrast to my London life!
Also there was the community aspect, where evenings were filled with delicious food, good wines, and cross culture mixing, chatting. Complimented by Gwen and her magic hands, offering massages.
Meeting a group of Dutch guys (also building and renovating in the area) started an interesting dialogue, and they came to our final night BBQ celebration, where one of them said to me how totally amazed he was that we were all doing this. They also got involved in our camp fire prayers..
I faced fears, embraced new challenges, met some incredible people, and saw life through a new lens…
No regrets. Chateau Duffy, is recommended.