A Fearless Summer with Passport Kids by Morganne Talley
Since my first summer as a camper at Passport Missions, I knew I wanted to work on a Passport team. Passport has three camp programs: Missions, Choices (both for 6th-12th grade), and Kids (3rd-6th grade). Because I absolutely loved my experience as a camper at Passport Missions, the team I wanted to be on the most was the Missions team. As I completed my application, I distinctly remember choosing Missions as my first choice, Choices as my second, and Kids as my very last choice. Leading and ministering to middle and high schoolers always brought me overflowing joy and life, but leading and ministering to children who were still in the prime of their elementary school experience was unknown and intimidating for me. Considering my hesitation to work with children and my insecurity of my ability to minister to them, Passport Kids was clearly the perfect place for me to be this summer.
From day one of training to my flight home sixty-two days later, being part of the Passport Kids team was an amazing adventure filled with endless actions of Christ’s love, beautiful examples of what the Church truly is, and plenty of late-night trips to Cookout for milkshakes. This incredible adventure pushed me out of my comfort zone in many wonderful ways, and my “yes” to God, though reluctant, took me across seven states and nine sessions of experiencing God through hundreds of brilliant, loving campers.
Hearing Scripture read, prayers prayed, and worship lifted in the collective voices of campers every evening in worship was life-giving. It reminded me that worshipping God and loving each other are not as difficult as we often make them. I saw campers and their group leaders love each other and engage in pure fellowship and growth together as they ate, played, danced, and worshipped. There’s something about going to camp with your church family that makes every minute ten times more wonderful.
Campers were not the only people through whom I experienced God; every person I worked with on staff emanated light and love for God and the campers. Their love shone through during every game, Bible study, meal, and worship service. They all offered endless encouragement and laughter, and it was the opportunity of a lifetime to have been part of the Passport Kids team with each of them.
This summer, God showed me all the things that are possible when I say, “yes,” especially when everything about saying yes means leaving my comfort zone behind in exchange for a grand adventure I never could have imagined. This summer’s theme was all about being fearless as we trust God for strength and look for opportunities to love others. The theme resonated with me because this summer pushed me out of my comfort zone in multiple ways, and this adventure required bravery for me to say “yes.” I’m incredibly grateful that I did say yes to working Passport Kids, and I will always treasure the memories and experience I gained from this fearless summer.