Last Sunday fifteen students and five chaperones piled into two church buses to head off to Greensboro, North Carolina full of excitement and anticipation for the week ahead. Six days later we arrived back at the church, unloaded the buses and went home. We were not, however, the same group that left Commerce a week earlier. In six days we had experiences as individuals and as a group that could not leave us unchanged. We played together. The youth played in a huge rec party, we competed in the volleyball tournament, we bowled and played laser tag (my personal favorite) with Lee and Jason Ritchie on our free day, some created their own games in their choices groups. We prayed together. Shared our God moments in church group devotions each night, we prayed for each other before going to worship, and we prayed for the world in worship, the choices group ‘Echo’ prayed for their group as they washed each other’s hands. We laughed together. We laughed at Joey’s jokes, Brandy’s attitude, my umm… “condition”, our random attempts to be an a cappella choir, and the general goofiness of the group. We grew together. I wish I could put into words what this looked like, but it is difficult to do. A week together, playing, praying, and laughing together created space for this group to grow closer together, and to grow in their own faith. I am thankful to be a part of a church that supports Passport camps so that every youth that wants to attend, can. And I wish I could do a better job of sharing with you how much this week means to each one that goes and the difference it makes for them and the group as a whole. My prayer is that the impact of this week at camp does not quickly fade, so I encourage you to take the time to find a youth that went and ask about their favorite memory from the week.
I hope you will continue to support an organization that gives us something to look forward to every year. That gives us a week to recharge, to rediscover our faith, and to strengthen our identity as a group. Thank you for your love and prayers, they were felt.