Taize has been a great experience as it’s allowed me to be closer to God and has taught me different ways to pray and for me my favourite was to be silent and reflect on myself. During my silent time I have also talked to God and it has allowed me to actually accept myself and that God’s creation is amazing. Taize has allowed me to meet new people from all over the country which i would do and i have never thought I would do and I have made strong bonds which I would like to keep. Taize is a very lovely place because it has a calm atmosphere which helps me to forget everything back at home and just reflect on myself and build stronger bond with God. (Lidiana)
For me, the experiences have been unique and enlightening. I have been able to make connections with people from all over the world I wouldn’t otherwise have. Having been last year, it has been enjoyable to be immersed back into a community of familiarity and safety where i have felt accepted. Experiencing situations out of my immediate comfort zone, for example being placed in the small bible reflection groups has improved my confidence and I have been able to experience and be educated about different cultures and communities around the world which has majorly impacted the way I think. The simplicity of the whole trip ensures reflection and allows me to be grateful for the smaller things in life, whilst allowing me to nurture my curiosity at the rest of the world. Overall, I would say the experiences have allowed me to grow as a person and although the people here have changed since last year, the welcoming atmosphere and enlightening experiences have very much remained a continuum. (Megan)
To be in a place where I an nearly 17 but thought of as a “young adult” for the Bible study groups is a new experience, being a group with no leaders, left to our own devices after a brief talk.
My preconcieved stereotypes of a place like Taize were that there would be a language barrier due to me not being able to speak a foreign language fluently, but to be frank, speaking Enlgish as a first language is something that many people I have met envy.
Before Taize I had trouble with believing an God being a person because I thought God making us in His image which was something that I struggled with. At Taize I felt called to a seminar on God’s story of creation and our relationships with God and earth (of which I was the youngest by 5 years!). The seminar was focused on humans being made not equal to the earth, but to be responsible for it. In this, the workshop leader, a theologian, touched on the idea that God loves, is creative, and cares- so because we are made in His image we love, are creative and caring. My realisation of this; that the image is a spiritual not a physical concept of God, which has started a renewal of my faith that I hope to continue.
For people hoping to come to Taize, don’t think of the activities as chores, washing up at home is laborious, here it is a water fight.