Six years ago I no longer wanted to live
About 6 years ago I came to a point in my life where I realized that as I lived, I no longer wanted to live. So I searched the Internet for alternative-looking communities, in which man stands in the foreground, where love and being there for each other are more important than money, power, and success. I just wanted a place where men could be human again. By an apparent coincidence I got the website of the Community of Twelve Tribes.
It was doing something in me as I looked there at the pictures and read the texts. Suddenly there was a spark of hope and I could not understand how it was possible that at this time, so many people lived together in the middle of Germany, and that they shared everything with each other. This touched me so much that I wrote the same evening a long e–mail to these people and it was not long before I got an answer.
From that day on, I wrote the community almost regular mail. I tried to put it into words that touched me. And soon I realized that there, in Klosterzimmern people lived, who had something special in their hearts. It still took a good six years before I could bring myself to visit them.
In the summer of 2013 I then went on with very mixed feelings. On the one hand I was happy that I was finally able to see on site how life was here, and to be allowed to know the people personally. On the other hand, I also had a lot of uncertainty and doubt in me, because I knew that the foundation of the community was the common belief in God and his son. Until then I had not cared much for the topic of faith. There was always a voice in me that said, “Where‘s the catch?!“.
My roommate was Wolfram Kuhnigk
I arrived a day before a wedding and my welcome was so friendly and warm, as I have only very rarely known in my life. Total strangers came up to me and greeted me warmly and started talking with me. I suddenly felt so safe and secure as never before in my life.
I shared a room with, among others, a man who introduced himself as Wolfgang, a paramedic from Cologne, who said he was in a crisis of meaning in his life. At the time, no one here knew who he really was, but now we know the person hidden behind Wolfgang from Cologne was the RTL reporter, Wolfram Kuhnigk.
I helped with the preparations for the upcoming wedding and got a glimpse of what it means to share a life of love together. I appreciated this and I also saw how the children appreciate the fact that they could help with things in the community.
I was generally very impressed by the children, for they were not only well-educated, no, they were full of life and gratitude.
I was amazed with what joy the children helped and I realized that community also means together, and no one, neither child nor guest, was excluded.
A few weeks later I returned to Klosterzimmern. This time I stayed a few days longer and had the wonderful opportunity to obtain a greater insight into the daily life. A special moment for me was when the entire community with all the children, guests, and even the older and weaker members went out together to the field for an hour to pluck weeds. There you felt a cohesion and a common ground, which could not be put into words.
But then came over me again doubt and uncertainty, doubt not to the community, rather doubts about myself and what I was. I disappeared without a word and went back to the place I called home.
It took then another year until I again went to Klosterzimmern. In the meantime much had happened, but the people here, and especially the parents of children who have been taken away by the authorities, had surprisingly not lost their confidence and their determination to keep the unity of this life firmly impressed me more than ever.
Meanwhile, I‘ve been here a few weeks and have found a new way for me. I have opened my heart and can finally be the person I am. I have found people who I want to give love to and receive love from. Together we give to each other day and night and share everything we have. I almost despaired of hope for myself and hope for the people in society who, like me, go searching aimlessly through their life and their minds.
The life that we can lead here, thanks to our Creator, is so unique and so precious that you have to hold it and protect it. And I know that the day will come when the children can live again here in the community.