We’ve only been here four days, but it’s still difficult saying goodbye to new friends. Yesterday evening, I had a lot of work to catch up on in the camper, but the magnetic attraction of community drew me to the playground area where both kids and adults were gathered. A handful of ninth-graders who had come to Koinonia to attend a peace and justice camp were kicking a ball around.
Joan and I sat at a picnic table chatting with Marilyn, enjoying the cooler evening. She told us about the “gnat line” that stretches across Georgia, above which gnats are not a problem. Unfortunately, Koinonia is below the gnat line. Everyone we meet here is easy to talk with.
Earlier in the day, I was in the same area when one of the parents came by with a mildly urgent tone to his voice, wondering if we’d seen his energetic toddler Judah. Nobody had, but a few people helped him take up the hunt. This is a pretty safe place for kids, apart from the highway, and that’s where Dad headed next. Not one minute later, Marilyn came sauntering up from the opposite direction with Judah in tow.
A young women here told me that one of the things she liked best at Koinonia were the children. She doesn’t have any of her own, but she can get one anytime she likes. That’s a beautiful part of community that Joan and I experienced with four kids overseas with Youth With a Mission; the beautiful interaction between kids from like-minded families, as they flowed seamlessly from home to home. Parents at Koinonia have the assurance that they are surrounded by a tribe of adults who will defend the children as fiercely as their natural parents will. Plus it’s a whole lot of fun for non-parents.