We had such a wonderful weekend in Illinois at the second bi-annual PAPA Festival. The People Against Poverty and Apathy Festival is a convergence of communities and movements coming together to share, dream, and create. It is put on by a network of New Monastic Communities, such as The Simple Way, Koinonia Partners and Camden House. This year the festival was held at Plowcreek Farm in Tiskilwa, Illinois. It is an intentional community, working farm, and Mennonite church.
Here we are just after we arrived trying to figure out where to pitch our tent. The 4 hour ride only took us about 6. Not bad!
They capped off the registration at 1000, I think there were probably about 800 or so people there. You can see all the tents behind me. It was hot during the day, but thankfully it cooled off in the evening.
We ate good! Pizza! and we shared lots of food with our neighbors! We had lots of fun meeting new friends and sharing our food in our chairs in the shade.
This is Andrew, he was hungry, so we made him a couple PB and J's in exchange for some songs! It made lunch taste much better!
He ended up sticking around a while and everyone enjoyed his music. He is from Koinonia Partners in Georgia, as is the guy with the hat on next to him. That's Sanders. The guy sleeping in the chair is Issac Everett. He is a musician too. He played on the stage. I liked his music and now he's my myspace friend! He can be yours too!
When it got too hot to bear after lunch, we all took a walk to the creek. Sanders and Andrew came and Andrew played his guitar as we hiked thru the woods. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget and when we got there the creek was so cold and it felt so good. Daisy and I hiked back before everyone else because I wanted to get to the session on Natural Childbirth and Midwifery. It was a great discussion and I felt blessed to be able to share my birth stories with the women there and to encourage woman that a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean is possible.
There was a huge kids tent and we all took turns volunteering so the kids could hang out there and parents could go to the sessions. The kids had a great time and some of the musicians and people came to entertain them. Shane shared his circus skills. Rosie was so excited ! Long before he was asking for volunteers she was jumping up and down with her hand in the air, yelling, "I want to try!"
So I used the port a potties, but for the more adventurous there's: Composting Toilets, Here's how it works:
Rich tried it out:
We have some friends here in town that are building some composting toilets in thier house. If I didn't have three little kids, I would probably give it a try! Humanure!
The Psalters played a great show. They are always great to see play and we love their music and thier message. It was just awsome to be out under the stars dancing with so many people. I can't beleive the kids slept thru it though, they are loud! If your looking for new music, check out the list of musicians on the PAPA Fest Schedule, there were so many awesome artists. I got 2 CD's, Timbre and Jess Karper, both great!
Daisy had lots of fun crawling in the dirt, but by Saturday evening I couldn't stand the sight of her so I filled up the dish tub and gave her a bath. She loved it. Then I washed Rosie's feet and we all felt better!
Rosie made some friends and they ended up making up some very funny games.
Plow Creek was such a beautiful farm, I hated to leave. I was fantasizing about moving in. I long to live in community with others and farming and rural life seems so romantic. Here are some photos of the farm:
(the people at plow creek opened thier homes to cloth diapering mommas so that they could wash diapers while at the festival.)
But alas, we have been called to the city so we packed up and came home. We are searching for our community here in Grand Rapids. The Jesus for President Tour left PAPA for Grand Rapids too. The first stop on their tour was Mars Hill Bible Church on Monday Evening.
It was a great event and it felt like we had brought a little piece of PAPA Fest home with us. The most amazing thing was that at the event we met a handful of people who share our vision who live right in our neighborhood!
So here we are praying and discerning what God has for us next. It is a crazy world we live in.