Everyone loves a great story – well-developed characters, an interesting setting, a creative plot, conflict, and resolution. The greatest story ever written is God’s story and the best part is we’re among the cast of characters as it’s still being written. This past week at Passport Kids Camp, our kids learned about their part in God’s story. Have you thought about yours lately?
Campers were challenged to HEAR God’s stories from the Bible and to listen for God’s voice speaking to them. Then campers considered how they could JOIN God’s story and work together with others to make the world a better place. In order to ACT out God’s story, campers were challenged to, “Live generously and full of grace to others like God does to us.” Finally, they were asked to help WRITE God’s ongoing story as they returned home and continue following Jesus’ way.
While this is a staff blog, I thought you’d enjoy hearing some our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders share their own “stories” from Passport Kids.
- “For the past four days I learned that we are all a part of God’s story. My favorite part was the mission offering for Jeff and Alicia Lee, but mostly everything else was amazing. The last thing I enjoyed was sleeping.” Bayani, 3rdGrade
- “My favorite part of Passport Kids was the variety show. It was so fun to watch people do their acts and getting to be in it with my friends. We also had a dance party afterwards which was really fun!” Riley, 5th grade
- “Passport was so much fun! We learned about Jesus and God most, but we also played games and had parties such as Rec Party, Night Market and Variety Show.” Cole, 3rd grade
- “Passport is so fun. You get to do Bible study, and the counselors are so nice. The food is amazing. I love that camp! There are parties every night. Everyone brought chairs and set them outside for worship.” Anna Leigh, 4th grade
- “At Passport we learned how to Hear, Join, Act and Write about God’s story. We read Bible stories about characters that had faith. I loved having fun with my friends all the time! The variety show was awesome, and the staff was the best. My passport experience was so much fun!” Laura Beth, 5th grade
- “My time at Passport was amazing! Although I was homesick at first, by the end I was camp-sick because it was great, and I didn’t want it to end. At Passport Kids there are so many fun songs and people. The counselors are amazing too. They also have so many fun games. I would recommend Passport to everyone!” Nealie, 3rd grade
- “I had so much fun at Passport Kids Camp! We had a rec party when we got there. On the second day we went to breakfast, morning celebration and then Bible study. We had so many fun things to do, you never get bored! Nighttime was my favorite because we got to catch fireflies. They always pick a really pretty location to go to. I can’t wait to go back next year.” Eliza Rose, 5th grade
- “Passport Kids was very fun. One of my favorite parts was either the Variety Show or Night Market. I liked the Night Market because we learned about North Macedonia and the culture. I liked the variety show because we had fun doing a skit and me and my friends performed the “Fat Rat Rap” by Riley and Nadia. Passport Camp was awesome!” Hayden, 5th grade
- “This year I graduated 3rd grade, so I could go to Passport! It was so fun, and each night there was a party. The first night was the Rec Party. There were fun outside games. The second night there was the Night Market, and we got to experience some of the culture of North Macedonia. The third night we had the Variety Show, and we did a skit as a church. It was super fun to be on stage, but I had already been on the stage in worship. On the first night I led the Verse of the Day. On the third night I did a dance and led a prayer.” Lydia, 3rd grade
- “My favorite part of the trip was the talent show and the rotations.” Heath, 5th grade
- “My favorite part was water games. I could do more Bible study. The most inspirational part was morning devotion.” Wright, 3rd grade
- “I have been waiting to go to Passport again ever since I went in 3rd grade. This year, we learned how we are all a part of God’s story with an important role! Every morning, we took time for a devotion and went to morning celebration and sang songs and danced! It was so much fun. We learned so much about God and Jesus.” Nadia, 5th grade
My Passport Story goes like this: Watching our kids be filled with laughter and delight at getting to play silly games and do outrageous energizers, catch lighting bugs and run through water hoses, roll down green hills and gain new independence all while exploring ideas about following Jesus makes my heart happy! Our campers led in worship each day, strengthened new and old friendships, played to exhaustion and woke up ready to learn every morning. As they practiced habits of daily devotions, they spent time one on one with God. As they listened intently to the Camp Pastor preaching, they made connections from the Bible to their own lives. They heard stories of faith in Bible story and considered their own faith stories. Generosity was evidenced in their financial gifts toward the mission efforts of the missionaries they learned about all week. Late-night hallway conversations dug deep into questions of faith and life.
I read a quote this week by philosopher Richard Rorty that said, “The accumulation of spiritual peak experiences can become like a greedy person’s accumulation of money. The more you get the more you hunger for more. . . .” After a week like this one at Passport Kids, I have to agree. I want more of these mountaintop experiences for our kids and for myself! But the quote goes on, “But maybe what the soul hungers for is ultimately not a variety of interesting and moving insights but a single universal truth. A single universal truth like God’s eternal love—like “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” like “Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” like “Come, follow me.” This week’s Passport Story helped our kids internalize the message of God’s great love as they recognized their own part in the greatest story ever written. Thanks be to God!
BY: Rev. Becca Jones, Minister to Children