In the winter of 2010, in the middle of a nine month backpacking journey from Maine to Missouri, I was picked up by a kind stranger on Route 11 near New Market. I jumped in the back of his pickup and he dropped me off at the front door of Our Community Place.
In my short time at the community center and at the old farm, I felt at home in a way I never had before. We were all simply people – no matter our background, temperament, age, or odor. The staff was so full of yearning for the abundant life that Jesus talks about. And there was a seemingly constant ping pong tournament happening.
I moved to Harrisonburg in the spring and started working at OCP the next fall. In my four and a half years working here, I have done the communications and financials. I have been a support staff in the building and most recently taken charge of the kitchen as we’ve dipped our toes into the waters of industry.
It has been so wonderful to be a part of OCP’s evolution – it’s maturation. I am hopeful for the trajectory it’s on and excited about the new hires who will apply their creativity and energy. OCP has been an incredible place to work. I have been able to learn an incredible amount by jumping into things I’d never done before. I have felt encouraged by the staff, the board, volunteers, and community members. I have felt wanted and supported. I will miss working here a great deal but I don’t plan to be a stranger. The OCP community is my community. I am so thankful for this place and my time as a staff member here.