Louissa Pfundt, a first-year counselor at Lutheranch this past Summer, 2019, welcomed her first “Trail Group” for a week of camp. She was a camper at both Lutheridge and Lutherock as a child, so being at Lutheranch was new to her. *Kajha, a 6th grader, was among the campers Louissa welcomed during week one. Louissa learned during staff orientation at Lutheridge the importance of “Cabin Time” and practiced that faithfully with her campers each night. Cabin Time is based on the ancient practice called the EXAMEN. It helps campers reflect on their day by recalling highs, lows, and God moments—where they saw God present and active.
“I feel like it is important to read to my campers every night as they are settling down for bed,” said Louissa. “It never occurred to me that I might be the first adult to ever do that for them.” Kajha is a refugee from the Congo. Her family was resettled by the government to Atlanta, Georgia years ago when she was an infant. She lives with her parents and 8 siblings in a small apartment in the city. Kajha’s family is loving, but her parents must work long hours to provide for them. The oldest siblings provide a lot of the daily care for the younger children. Kajha shared with Louissa that her parents have never read her a bedtime story; they just don’t have time. The simple act of reading each night to close Cabin Time had a huge impact on Kajha, and on Louissa.
“It opened the door for conversations about women succeeding in the world,” Louissa said. “Kajha shared concerns she hadn’t shared with anyone else about her brother’s new negative behaviors.” The relationships that Louissa established with Kajha and her other campers in the short span of a week were built on kindness, listening, reading, playing together, consistency and prayer. Praying for them each day and before bed each night opened the door for them to pray for each other. “She even prayed for us all in her own language one night,” said Louissa. It gave Kajha a safe place to unburden her worries and have fun – to be a kid.
When Kajha returned home from camp, the people and the circumstances were not changed. But Kajha was changed. She knows that reading to her younger siblings has power. She knows that praying for them has power.
Kajha and 2,700 others grew at camp this summer because of the generous support of the NovusWay community. Your gift changes everything.