Moore Matters spoke to Maddison Donohoo, who is the wife of Moore College student Josh, about her experience living in a College community.
How long have you lived in College community? Which community do you belong to?
Josh and I live in MooreWest, the College community in Parramatta. We have lived here for three years this year.
How has living in the College community encouraged your Christian faith?
Living in College community has been such an encouragement for my Christian faith. It’s such a joy to be surrounded by like-minded people every day. Living in community means lots of little encouraging conversations, such as when you bump into people while bringing shopping in, hanging out the washing or coming back from a walk, and checking in with one another. Seeing the little things people do for each other around the place, such as showing love and kindness, is an encouragement—it shows Christ’s love for each other.
How does it help you to encourage others? What are the opportunities you have living in community to encourage others?
You often run into each other or see other people spending time together, prompting you to organise something yourself.
College community also provides opportunities such as encouraging and praying for each other as wives at Bible study. It’s a joy to share so much, especially in our women’s Bible study at MooreWest. We support one another through different seasons and pray for each other. This is such a blessing!
Another way to encourage one another is by sharing meals in community, whether at our Monday night community dinners or by having people over for meals. We also serve each other by providing meals when people are unwell, studying for exams or have had a new baby. Spreading love in this way encourages me (sharing food is my love language!) and encourages those who receive these meals.
What are some of the unexpected blessings of community?
There are so many blessings!
When we were first offered housing, I wanted to stay where we lived because I was comfortable. But I couldn’t be more glad we moved in, especially because so much of our first two years at college were COVID lockdowns. I cannot express the immense blessing of having a Christian community around in those times. The little conversations or check-ins on doorsteps or corridors are such blessings, as is knowing you are surrounded by people who care and are ready to help. Everyone at MooreWest is willing to drop what they are doing to help one another. God made us relational just like him, and I think living in community highlights just how wonderful it is.
What are some of the challenges of living in community?
I’m a real people person, so I find it tricky to pick out challenges. But living in a community often means people are around all the time, which can be exhausting for introverts. If you need to go outside and have some alone time, but people are nearby, you might feel obliged to talk even if you don’t really want to.
How is this preparing you and your husband for a lifetime of ministry?
Josh and I have found it helpful doing ministry together throughout our time at college. This year we have overseen MooreWest, which has been a great joy in caring for people in our community. Other ministries at church and college help to frame what ministry will look like for us in different contexts, what we might need to work on or strengthen, and how we work well together and complement one another.