Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Back in 1996 I stood in my kitchen in Ohio telling the Executive Director of the camping organization in Texas that I wanted to apply for the position of Program Director for one of their camps – Lutherhill in LaGrange, TX. I’d taken youth there on various occasions when we lived in Houston. Both our daughters had worked there while in college.
I told him that I wanted to make sure there would be a Lutherhill there for my grandkids. I only had two at the time and both of them were under the age of three. However, I had hopes the grandkids would get to experience that camp too.
Be careful what you pray for as you may get more than you anticipated. I was offered the position. A year later I became the Executive Director of the new non-profit we had to form to manage Lutherhill when the previous agency dissolved.
Fast forward a few years and four more grandkids and the year I was blessed by the Board of Directors to hire a new Program Director. The young man, Matt Kindsvatter, joined the staff as Program Director. He stayed on when I vacated my position and Evan Moilan became Executive Director. When Evan moved on, Matt stayed on as Executive Director.
All six grandchildren have been to Lutherhill – multiple times. Five of them have been there for leadership training programs. This summer two of them will be there as interns. One was on staff the past two summers. My cousin and I have spent many summer weeks together with our families at family camp.
Matt met his wife, Jen, at camp. I hired Jen as a high school student. She is now a pastor and they are the proud parents of infant twins. I got to hold one of them when their father gave the annual Lutherhill report at our Synod Assembly.
Lutherhill has been nurturing the faith of families since 1954. Three generations of my family have been impacted. The Kindsvatter family is also now in their third generation. Those of us who have had the chance to spend time at Lutherhill often refer to those acres between Houston and Austin as sacred ground. From generation to generation the faith is passed along in this place set aside to create opportunities for people to experience God’s presence in all things.