We had a mission. It was a puzzled piece with a great role to play. All the volunteers from the workcamp were there to transform these pieces into a pavilion for the GPENreformation project to be used during the World Reformation Exhibition.

As volunteers from different countries and backgrounds, we were joined together by this project. Meeting people for the first time is not always easy, however, it was amazingly quick and easy how we became friends even before we got to cut and join pieces of wood together. The pavilion was to be created right beside the “Luther garden” and behind the castle church. Initially, I wondered what could be created on such a piece of land, it was slanted due to a little stream and it looked small but Oliver the architect looked pleased and sure.

We started by taking measurements according to the plan and marking the plan on the surface. The wood for construction delayed and when it finally arrived we moved quickly to cutting, nailing, hammering and digging.

Philip, the construction manager, was the master mind with all his skills and he directed us on what to do. Little by little we raised a up the frame. It was tedious but everyone worked with diligence and excitement. Also, we laughed and played throughout the entire hectic process. Soon, time flew by and we had built the benches and ramp, then we put the final wood on top, closed some gaps and did corrections.

We made building fun, with music and chocolates and cookies. We learned so much about architecture and arithmetic, it seemed we were back in school. All our opinions counted and we were given the chance to express them in our work. There was harmony, understanding and comfort working with my team. It was such a great experience and the pavilion was standing so beautifully despite our lacking skills in the field of carpentry and construction that I was really happy. Then came the most difficult aspect: saying goodbye. Our work was done and the purpose of our gathering came to an end. With hugs and tears we said our goodbyes and departed.


This article was written by Erna Njoya, volunteer