It was dirty, sweaty, smelly and noisy – and yet for our Lutheran Youth of Queensland (LYQ) team it was probably one of the most beautiful ministry experiences of the year.
This was our annual LYQ Work & Fellowship Camp at Luther Heights Youth Camp, Coolum Beach. Work & Fellowship Camp is a simple event that continues the tradition of old-fashioned working bees of yesteryear. There is a lot of sweaty hard work, generous helpings of food to fuel the workers and the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made a difference.
And so it was at Work & Fellowship Camp again this year, with 72 participants from across South-East Queensland coming together to beautify and improve our stunning LYQ campsite. Together they cleaned, stained, concreted and painted, completing a mountain of work that will benefit our ministry for years to come.
For participants like Jono Pukallus, Work & Fellowship Camp was an opportunity to give something back. ‘As a teenager, Luther Heights gave me memories I’ll never forget and helped me on my spiritual journey’, he says. ‘Now as an adult I can use my skills and talents to enable the ministry of Luther Heights to continue for younger generations.’
That was the motivation for first-timers, the Carney family, too, who returned home after the camp ‘contentedly tired after much chatting, helping, building, gardening, laughing, painting and concrete laying’. The work that was completed at Work & Fellowship Camp this year was phenomenal and is a tremendous gift to our LYQ ministry. And yet for our team the beauty of Work & Fellowship Camp is the intangible ministry that happens among the work. It’s the community built across generations as young and old serve alongside each other, sharing their skills and abilities to complete a project.
We were blessed this year to involve participants aged from three years old to 76 years old. It was inspiring to watch as participants, regardless of age or ability, worked hard to complete their projects. As they served side-by-side, friendships were made, laughter was shared, and the gift of experience was passed on to the next generation.
Work & Fellowship Camp is an annual reminder that ministry doesn’t have to be complicated or strategic.
It can be as simple and beautiful as a dirty, sweaty, smelly and noisy working bee.
Aaron Glover is Director of the Department of Lutheran Youth of Queensland.
What people loved about LYQ Work & Fellowship Camp …
‘Connecting with people who have a similar heart for service. Working with my children … and having this “work” appreciated and celebrated.’
‘The chance to fellowship with others as we engage in tasks that need to be done. Makes you realise that you are part of a team larger than the one we see at our home churches.’ Margit
‘Great experience and always enjoy the feeling and satisfaction that the work we do benefits our youth.’ Graham Cox
‘Great opportunity to serve and our children’s first time to help in a significant way. They felt like they were useful and got to learn some new skills along the way.’