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?
Let us introduce you to Katherine Mullen, Bible Study Leader and GraceNotes leader from the 2016 PASSPORTchoices team. Katherine is a senior at LSU studying Vocal Music Education. Katherine leads a mean “Star Wars” style Boom-Chicka-Boom, and can lick her own elbow.
What is PASSPORT to you?
PASSPORT is a community where real love happens. Brokenness, wholeness, spiritual rescue – all of these things are embraced. I’ve worked camp for 3 years and each summer brings new lessons and values to carry into life back home. PASSPORT provides a supportive community during the summer as well as when “real life” begins in the fall.
My time as a PASSPORT staffer taught me… that Christ-like love is more evident in our world than we realize. It’s easy to be discouraged by the news of today and responsibilities back home that linger over our heads during the summer. At camp, this wonderful example of Christ-like love manifests in the hearts of young people and spreads like wildfire through the week. Seeing students so passionate for spreading love and relating their lives to the bible studies reminds me there is a beautiful representation of the Kingdom in our world – and it lives in the hearts of these campers worshiping, praying, living, and loving together.
I experienced Jesus through… witnessing campers interact with one another. Every week, students would walk into their bible study on the first night feeling hesitant and insecure around strangers. In a short four days, they develop genuine connections that involve them getting to know each other spiritually – which is a new experience for most of them. It’s a very raw image of how Jesus moves in the hearts of young people.
Most unexpected blessing about working was… to experience moments of pure humility. I see it in campers, chaperones, staffers, on mission sites. It reminds you of how simple our purpose in the world really is and what we can do to accomplish that purpose.
Why is student leadership important to you?
Student leadership empowers young people to make a difference in their world. It gives them confidence and the knowledge to know they are supported, and that they can invite others into their own personal mission.
What makes PASSPORT different?
PASSPORT is different in that it’s not just camp. It welcomes diversity more genuinely than any other community, promotes intentional conversations, and opens opportunities for campers to explore their own faith in a safe environment.
Best tip you would give a new staffer?
Be open to letting yourself grow. Each summer I always underestimate how much I change as a Christian. Meeting new people and having conversations I normally don’t engage in on a daily basis challenges my faith and helps me grow toward a more intentional relationship with Christ.
What would you say to someone that is considering applying?
Work. PASSPORT. It challenges you in beautiful ways and brings amazing people into your life that understand you and your journey. It provides you with a community that lasts after the summer ends and into the fall. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve worked camp with in the past! If you’re searching for, in all contexts, an uplifting way to spend your summer – PASSPORT is where you belong.
Interested in being a PASSPORT staffer this summer?