Jean’s Journey from Pain to New Life

One of our favorite traditions in L’Arche is our celebration of anniversaries. Each month we come together, eat a good meal, and take time to share the gifts of each person we’re celebrating. This month, we celebrated Jean’s 15th anniversary and Noah’s 4th as members of our community! Fried chicken legs (Jean’s favorite) were on the menu, along with Noah’s special pizza, accompanied by a lot of laughter and smiles.

Jean had been living in a violent institution for 35 years where, during the day, she packed boxes in a sheltered workshop. Imagine trying to sleep each night in such an environment. Over the years, Jean has told us countless stories of her painful life, which left both physical and emotional scars that she still carries.

A New Family

Today, Jean describes her life as “more better now.” She has experienced life-changing transformation in L’Arche, bathed in the love and simplicity of community life. She’s quick to say, “I got a lotta friends,” and makes a point that she has “close friends” who are her housemates at L’Arche Chicago as well as “outside people at church.” 

Jean’s Dream Came True

Early on in L’Arche, Jean began to share one of her long time dreams: she wanted to ride a bike. Together, Jean and one of our community’s first assistants, Laura, worked out a plan to save enough money to buy a bike. Very shortly, they were at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, where Jean picked out a purple bike that she named Speedy. 

After a few trips to a nearby parking lot, she mastered riding a bike. It took a few more trips to use the pedal brakes instead of the fence to stop the bike. Biking through nearby Columbus Park or on the Salt Creek trail has become a favorite activity for Jean and the people with whom she has built relationships since coming to L’Arche.

L’Arche Continues to Transform Lives

Today in the State of Illinois, there are more than 7,000 individuals like Jean on a waiting list to receive 24-hour group home services like those you help L’Arche Chicago provide. The demand for resources exists now more than ever.  

As we respond to a call to transform more lives, we are making plans to open another home where people can experience the same love and simplicity Jean has. Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to support our life-changing work.

 Your help is essential if we are to continue our mission to reveal the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities. Your faithful contribution allows us to change the world one relationship at a time.

We are committed to creating an atmosphere where our core members can fully live their lives in family-style homes filled with friendship and belonging in spite of inconsistent and insufficient State funding. We have been able to provide the services we do because of your generosity.

Thank you for being a part of our community!