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Canadian L'Abri is situated on Vancouver Island, on the Saanich peninsula, near the lovely city of Victoria. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is a harbour city, a gateway to Canada from Washington, USA. Many come to the island to view the ruggedly beautiful landscape of farmland, oceans, and beaches. Further up this large island is old tree growth and fly-fishing, or surfing and whale watching. For several years we discerned a move from the quaint rustic Bowen Island to the larger Vancouver Island, and recently we sold our property and are now seeking to find a permanent property for L'Abri Canada from which to welcome people. We anticipate to live in an area rich with organic farming and hope to be welcoming guests again in the coming year.
L'Abri, French for "shelter", is a community of homes: families and singles living an ordered life where together we seek to demonstrate the existence of God, not just in mind but also in body. We are not an academic institution, conference center or quiet retreat facility. Visitors coming from all kinds of backgrounds, beliefs, ages and occupations may share in our normal family lives, and witness our core beliefs; that the God of the Bible is really there, and that Christianity is true. Many who come to L'Abri do not consider themselves Christians, but wish to examine Christianity from the inside and ask their questions. Others have a desire to better understand their Christian faith and how it relates to the culture and times in which they live. Many come at times of personal struggle or indecision in their lives, seeking help and support. Whatever are their reasons for coming, people's ideas, questions and struggles are taken seriously. As we work, study, eat and play together, there is plenty of time to talk with others about things that matter, and work through important issues. Workers, (who are permanent community members), and visitors alike, spend several hours each day in practical work (gardening, chopping wood, cooking, etc,) and several hours in directed study.
As well as work and study, we are committed, as 'workers', to a life of prayer as we seek to live out the reality of a God who is not only there, but who acts and speaks into our world; changing lives, providing for need and answering specific prayer. Although without prayer our work here could not exist, we do not make divisions between 'spiritual' activities and non-spiritual ones, religious occupations and non-religious occupations. This is because we maintain that Christianity speaks to all of human experience, embracing every thing to do with our minds, bodies and souls. It is therefore, relevant to every area of life and culture, art, science, politics, etc.
Each person who comes to L'Abri brings his or her own valuable life experience, skills, academic or professional direction and interests. As they participate in the daily reality of an extended family, with all its mundane chores to be done and the beauty and confusion which children and animals bring, they will be participating in a way of life where faith and occupation are integrated, where work, study and prayer are all of one piece in the fabric of human experience lived out under God.
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