Students spent a week at Koinonia Farm, a Christian farm community founded in 1942 that since its beginnings has challenged racism, militarism, and materialism. Boycotted in the 1950s for its stand against racism, Koinonia has been the birthplace of such organizations as Habitat for Humanity International and Fuller Center for Housing.
Students were accompanied by Anna Rosas ’06, director of community partnerships and service learning; Nikki Bruna, social work project coordinator; and Dr. Mackenzie Huyser ’98, professor of social work.
“After reading about and studying intentional Christian communities, it was wonderful to experience life with members of Koinonia,” said Huyser. “Koinonia has an amazing history, and at times it was overwhelming to think about the Christians who once lived in that community and the Christians who are committed to the community today.”
“The Christ-centered community at Koinonia Farm was palpable, and I fell in love,” said Christine Carter ’12 of Wheaton, Illinois. “I learned a lot about what it means to work hard for the Lord, to patiently bring forth God’s kingdom through the actions of our lives, and to strive for justice always.”
The group worked on the farm, where food is raised not only for the community members, but also to sell locally and through its mail order business. The group also spent time visiting local civil rights museums and enjoyed a Sunday school session led by former President Jimmy Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church.
“The people at Koinonia taught us a lot about sustainable farming, and as someone who grew up in a farming community, I found that particularly interesting,” said Hannah Ruckman ’13 of Peotone, Illinois. “I learned so much about what it means to live in an intentional community.”
One day was spent on a home building site with the Fuller Center, established by the founder of Habitat.
“That was one of my favorite parts of the trip, because I was able to meet the person who will be occupying the home some day,” said Melisa Rodriguez ’12 of Villa Park, Illinois.