Passport is committed to a student leadership model and believes in the power of students seeing and interacting with Christian role models who are close to their own age. For 25 years, we’ve seen how encounters with a relatable Christian role model changes lives, provides encouragement, and models an active faith life. Each fall we set out to find a diverse range of college and seminary students from across the country, whose commitment to Jesus Christ authentically leads them to invest in a summer of ministry with young people.
Who are these wonderful staffers and why do they think that you should join them in ministry this summer?
Meet Jessica Haywood, Community Life Coordinator on the 2016 MissionBASE Atlanta team originally from Athens, AL now majoring in Biology at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
To me PASSPORT is…a beautiful blessing. Not only are you allowed to be yourself in however weird of a way that might be, but you get to step into mission work and push yourself to do things you would have never had the courage to do. It is a place where everyone is accepted and everyone is valuable. And, in turn, you learn more about yourself than you would have doing anything else for a summer.
I experienced Jesus this summer through…the people I encountered. I was constantly experiencing Jesus through everyone—the other PASSPORT staffers, students and chaperones, the ministers at Park Avenue, or the children coming to the Literacy Camp. One example that sticks out is how Park Avenue loves all the kids from the surrounding neighborhoods. They remind each child that they are special and loved. When they mess up, they are told they are forgiven and reminded that they are always welcome at church. Their ministry models how God first loved us.
What didn’t you know before the summer that would have been helpful to know?
You will learn so much more than just some silly songs and Bible stories. You learn how to be an adult, how to talk to people, how to listen, and so much more. It is a crazy time, but you will wish it all back when you go home in August.
My time as a PASSPORT staffer taught me…
That everyone is important and needed. I am called to love everyone around me.
Why is student leadership important to you?
When better to learn to be a leader than when you are a student trying to figure out what you will be doing for the next 4+ decades. I have been able to see what kind of a leader I am, and how I can grow to be a better leader for future leadership roles.
What makes PASSPORT different?
PASSPORT takes a different approach to summer camps and mission trips. It’s not just fun, worship, or missions; PASSPORT has combined the three into something not seen in my typical daily life. They have evolved a way to really give you an experience that will change you and leave you wanting more.
Best tip for a new MissionBASE staffer?
Relax! You can do it! Savor what you are doing, and take a moment each day to remember why you are doing it. You got this!
What would you tell someone considering applying?
Like my favorite pair of shoes says: JUST DO IT!!
Interested in being a PASSPORT staffer this summer?