Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, July 03, 2006

Passport: Who Am I?

Kyle Reasons (1st year at Passport) learns what a camera is).

I’m spending a week with our youth at Passport on the Campus of Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina. This town reminds me a little bit of Cantonment, Florida, with a college in the middle. You cross the railroad tracks to enter the campus, and you hear the train going by in the night.

Here 18 of our students, along with about 250-300 from other churches, are enjoying a spiritual renewal week. This is a camp of being and doing. We spend time studying the Bible and then going out into the community serving in mission groups. The sponsors assist the students as they do their mission projects.

My group went to a local nursing home to visit with residents. The students made 4th of July Decorations for the doors, bused tables, and sang hymns. A few of the students actually knew the hymns. I had to teach them “The Cloudless Day,” complete with the edition from the 1954 Baptist Hymnal. The residents, of course, know the hymns by heart. I’m sure the students felt as awkward as some of the residents would have at a contemporary worship service, but we got along just fine and sang anyway.

The theme of this week’s Youth Camp, Free for All, was captured in a conversation that Carol McEntyre had with one of our students. The student was lamenting that she did not know what to do and was worried if the camp experience would turn out all right. Carol assured her, “Just be yourself,” and she responded with exasperation, “But I don’t know who I am!” Perhaps that’s what we’re all about this week.

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