Youth Group Missions Camp

This Mission Monday, we are highlighting Grace and Main Fellowship, a ministry in Danville, VA which PASSPORT has partnered with for three years. Grace and Main is an intentional, Christian community devoted to a shared life, hospitality, prayer, simplicity, and grassroots community development among people experiencing things like homelessness, poverty, hunger, and addiction. Founded and run by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Field Personnel Joshua Hearne, Grace and Main operates a network of hospitality houses, host dozens of meals, oversees a tool library and urban farm, and actively participates in justice work.

How has PASSPORT made a difference in your ministry?

“Passport has worked with us several times now and we’ve been glad in the last couple of years to have them at our Urban Farm. They’ve cleared land to provide space for new ventures, built new garden beds to grow more food, put in fences to deter animals, built a greenhouse to extend and magnify our growing season, mapped the land to help with planning, and installed irrigation among other things. The many hands that Passport brings to our work allows us to get some things done that would otherwise take so much longer.”

Favorite story from the time PASSPORT served with you?

“We have a lot of good stories from Passport’s time with us, but the one that comes most quickly to mind is the young girl who heard about the work we’re doing and the people with whom we’re doing it. She was tearful to consider that there were many who had no place of their own to sleep and didn’t know what they’d eat that evening (if they’d eat at all). We talked through tears for a few minutes, before I tried gently to suggest that she could take all the time she needed before joining us in the gardens. But, she got up when I did, wiped her eyes on her sleeve, and started walking down to the garden with a shovel. I asked her what she was thinking and she said, “I don’t know how to fix it, but I can dig.” In that moment, I knew she was starting to get what it takes some folks years to understand: we don’t have to have it all figured out to do some good; little things with great love make a big difference.”

What do you hope our campers learned from your ministry?
“I hope that campers learn a different way of looking at ministry and mission. I hope they leave Grace and Main with freedom to daydream about what might make a difference in their neighborhood and city. I hope they leave with more compassion and empathy than they arrived with. I hope they learn the power of relationships and baby steps in cultivating change and resurrection. I hope they learn that sometimes they are the answer to somebody’s prayers and sometimes somebody else is the answer to theirs. I hope they learn that faith is about trust and risk just as much (if not more) than it is about what you profess. I hope they learn that love is the best thing they can do with their lives.”

Where did you see God?

“I saw God in the interactions between Grace and Main leaders and Passport campers. I saw God in the devotion of the camp staff. I saw God in the warm affection that campers had for people they didn’t know. I saw God in the cooperation between different people toward a worthy goal.”

Why do you think its important for our students to participate in missions?

“It is not that we need Passport campers to come and participate in order for us to do the work that God has given us, but rather we want to make room for them to participate in the way that we’re learning to follow Jesus in our neighborhood, homes, and lives. In short, students need to participate in mission because they are loved by God and this love must motivate them to love others actively if it’s going to bloom in their lives.”

How can the PASSPORT community pray for you and your ministry?

“The Passport community can pray for: Grace and Main Fellowship to have the resources it needs to sustain itself and provide for its people; justice to multiply in our city and our people; new homes and leaders to open themselves to God’s work; people to feel welcome; the Spirit to move in our midst to show us where God is already working so we can join.”