We are also thankful for the resident volunteers who God has continued to bless us with, without whom we would not be able to keep up with English classes, childcare, community lunch cooking, weeding the blueberries and growing over a ton of sweet potatoes, as well as numerous other goals!
One of the things we have missed during the pandemic has been our volunteer program outings. For example, this spring term we have been glad to be able to return to accepting a longstanding and generous offer of hospitality from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers for a 24-hour silent retreat. Except for the option of attending the various prayer services throughout the day, the time is totally unstructured, and participants may choose to find a secluded nook for quiet reflection and/or explore the grounds, which include a natural (green) cemetery, an information center about the history of the Order of Cistercians, and the start of the Rockdale River Trail for cyclists and walkers. This time is valued for volunteers to see another form of community and for rest and renewal.
Our spring volunteers also made a day trip to Atlanta which included visits to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market, and Casa Alterna (a community of hospitality comprised of recently arrived asylum seekers and US citizens that Jubilee often partners with). Past volunteer groups have done camping trips together, work days at New Hope House (which offers support and hospitality for Georgia’s death row prisoners and their families), and visits to men at Stewart Detention Center. We are grateful for the resources that allow us to spend a few days each year to be together on the road, learn something new, and support other people and organizations that are striving toward common goals with us.