International staff are a huge part of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio. This last summer we had counselors serve at our camps from England, China, Australia, Ireland and India. They come with a completely different background and share their enthusiasm with hundreds of youth campers every summer. They only can work in the summer with a continued partnership with our government.
In April, President Trump signed an Executive Order to “Buy American and Hire American”. For summer camps, this could eliminate the J-1 Visa, which includes the Camp Counselor and Summer SWT (Summer Work Travel) programs.
We wanted to take a moment to share an article written by Kham, an international counselor from India. If you want to do more, please see the below article with a link to get involved.
Take a moment and learn about our friend Kham.
I'm 26 years old and hold a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Martin Lutheran Christian University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India. I am a loyal young Lutheran from Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church. I belong to the Smallest Tribes Zo/Zou community existing in Churachandpur District of Manipur State. I belong to a country where Hindu is a majority when it comes to faith. I want to travel around the world, experience new information and knowledge to my homeland. I also want to pursue a Masters of Social Work (MSW) as I want to bring change in my community.
It's a wonderful experience for me to be an International Camp counselor/ Summer Camp 2017 in United States of America.
I would say being a summer camp counselor is a life transforming or life changing opportunity for me as my three months experience taught me a lot. Most importantly it molded my personality and developed my faith towards Christ.
My experience as a Camp Counselor also inspired me to establish Summer Camp in India as we don't have this opportunity for Children and youth to develop their faith in Christ. This could be a great opportunity for Lutherans worldwide to work together and support for expanding God's word in the lives people who never heard about the Gospel.
Meeting people, making new friends and having the opportunity to share the love of God in the hearts of children is a great moment that I saw God.
As a camp counselor I learned that there is nothing more important than having Jesus Christ, because through Christ nothing is impossible.
I also want to extend my sincere thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church (MELC), my host Camp Mowana/LOMO and to all my host family for this amazing opportunity which I will never forget in my life.
My prayer is always with the organizers of summer camp in United States. May God bless U.S.A. to spread the Gospel worldwide.