Moses joined L'Arche Preston as an assistant after hearing about it through a friend. Through his evening prayers with core member John, Moses has deepened his understanding of faith, love and relationship.'I think L'Arche offers the world love. It shows the world how to be respectful towards people with learning disabilities and how to value every person'.

I had been having an urge to work with L’Arche for a long time, but I had kept putting it aside. So when I came to Manchester [from Kenya] and met somebody from the L’Arche community there, I had the feeling that this was really the right time to do it. I was worried initially, but I decided I would give it a chance.

At L'Arche I have learnt that people with learning disabilities have a lot of love. You see how the core members interact with each other. It’s quite amazing. The love that they show each other is pure love. They are happy to see one another and to be with one another. When our core members love, they really love.

I think we have a lot of assumptions about what we expect from people with learning disabilities. This isn’t good. When you start spending time with them, you learn new things. I have learnt that when you respect a person with a learning disability they will respect you.

I have also learnt how to tolerate some situations. I have become more flexible. And I have learnt how to accommodate people and respond to each situation that I have faced.

John is a man who is non-verbal. I have spent a lot of time with him and I have got to know him and he has got to know me. The way that I work with him is very special. When we are doing his evening routine he normally hands me a prayer book from his drawer. He opens the page where there is a prayer that he wants you to say with him before he goes to bed. To me, this feels very important in my life. It is very special and I enjoy working with him a lot.

He doesn’t talk, but when he sees you he will embrace you. When you leave he crosses his arms to show that he is happy to have spent time together. I feel that I am connected to him a lot. This relationship has made me feel at home here.

I think we take things for granted in life and thinking about John’s evening prayer routine has taught me that we really need to take time to focus on the small things that matter to us. I think it’s important for us all, as humans, to be supported to do the things that are important to us.

When I see John going to bed, giving thanks for the day, it evokes a joy in me. He is a loving, compassionate man. 

My relationship with people here has deepened and I have come to know people more deeply. Every day here you learn something new. The values I have learnt at L’Arche will be enshrined in me for a long time, I’m sure. I have learnt a lot about respecting people. People may celebrate success, but they may not have happiness. Here we celebrate life and this matters more than anything else in the world. I don’t think you can get that from anything else.

I think L’Arche offers the world love. It shows the world how to be respectful towards people with learning disabilities and how to value every person.

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