Partnership Really Matters!

David Burroughs speaks about Jacoby Thomas

Coby (far right) with some of the PASSPORT kids!  campers

Coby (far right) with some of the PASSPORTkids! campers

I was privileged to be invited to the CBF of the Bahamas meeting last October. The meeting might be best described as a revival! CBF’s Executive Coordinator, Suzii Paynter, as well as all the CBF state and regional coordinators were invited to the meeting. We all gathered each evening for inspiring worship and spent the days touring some of the churches and discussing possible future partnership opportunities.

Each evening, I kept noticing the piano player, Jacoby Thomas. I noticed him because the music leader for the evening would start singing a song unaccompanied, and Jacoby would listen and find whatever key she happened to be singing in and then would pick right up like they had planned it that way! That led us to a conversation about his schooling and life direction, and that led to him filling out an application to work for Passport this summer. 

Our Summer Staff Interns are important servant leaders on the teams. They enable the ministry of our Bible study leaders by managing much of the background work for each camp activity. Jacoby was a quick learner, and jumped in with both feet in ministry to the children who attended PassportKids! this summer. But he couldn’t have joined us without the financial assistance of the CBF Florida Lucy Smith Endowment fund. My hope is that this was a win/win. I know it was a “win” for Passport. But my prayer is that Jacoby will take some things he learned while on staff with Passport back to his ministry among the CBF of the Bahamas churches.

Mark McClintock shares about Jacoby Thomas' summer

Jacoby served as a Summer Staff Intern with PASSPORTkids! from June to early August, 2014. The role enabled him to work closely with each member of the Program Staff as they implemented various camp activities, including camp check-in, daily recreation, afternoon missions learning experiences, operation of the camp store, and evening parties. Coby was especially instrumental in celebrations and worship as assistant to the Worship Coordinator. He had a significant amount of stage time, and helped lead games and movement activities.  Each night during worship, Coby offered campers his musical talent, playing percussion and keyboard. His musical skills enriched worship.

Naturally, Coby also broadened the camp experience as an international staffer. He reminded the staff and adult chaperones of the wonder and awe with which children experience the world as he discovered so many new aspects of USA cultures. At the same time, he expanded everyone’s worldview when he shared life stories from his home in the Bahamas. We were grateful to have Coby serving with us this summer and appreciate the support of CBF Florida that enabled him to do so.

Jacoby Thomas: My PASSPORTkids! experience

First of all let me say how thankful and humbled I am for the opportunity that Passport gave me to minister and fellowship with various CBF churches . It was an awesome experience and I gained a lot of knowledge in observing how things are done elsewhere.

I was blown away by how everyone accepted me! My cultural background didn't affect my presence at camp. Everyone was so open and excited to learn more about the Bahamas, and I was anxious to tell them about my home and my church affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

At passport camp I had the awesome opportunity to work on the kids team. I was blown away by how genuine kids can be and how passionate they are about Christ. Just the opportunity to see this was breathtaking! I interacted with the kids on a one-on-one level and participated in worship every night by playing the drum or the piano. I met many musicians from various CBF churches around the United States. Many were amused by my abilities to play music not just by paper, but through emotion and feeling.

It was a great experience living in America and traveling to different states such as Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. When I first carrived I got home sick a lot, but that didn't last long because the CBF family quickly captivated me with love and I felt at home.

Over the past two months, I feel that I have grown in my attachment with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. CBF people are so helpful and willing to go beyond their calling to help one another. It is a privilege to be a part of something so genuine! 

Partnership Matters!

Because of the partnerships that CBF Florida shares with eight churches in the Bahamas and with Passport Inc., Jacoby Thomas had a rewarding and educational summer and the staff and attendees of the Passport kids camp were blessed by his presence. I am so thankful for Passport's belief in and support of Coby and thrilled that CBF Florida was able to help financially support Coby through a gift from the Lucy Smith Scholarship Endowment fund. Partnership really does matter!