Finding a Passion for Missions

By Michaela Riley

All ages are finding a passion for missions through a new adventure program.

Set in the JAARS campus “village in the woods,” CrossVenture provides space and time for explorers ages 12 and up to experience simpler living by sleeping in raised open-air cabins, cooking their own food without modern conveniences, and coping with “doing without.” The week-long program invites them to “experience minimalist living conditions, unplug from the grid, and plug into God’s heartbeat,” says Tracy Tooley, director of CrossVenture.

Activities such as Orientation to Outdoor Living, Introduction to Cross-Cultural Awareness, and ethnic meals introduce attendees to the wider world out there that God loves. Participants also explore Bible Story Crafting and Obstacles to Missions which awaken a sense of vision and possibilities. Stories from the field and hands-on technology demonstrations—not to mention rides with JAARS air, land, and maritime transportation—bring home the very real issues and needs facing the task of Bible translation, as well as appreciation for the solutions JAARS develops and provides from our center in North Carolina.

“It was eye-opening to see outside our spectrum. This world is a lot bigger than we think it is,” said Nate, a high school senior from Ohio. Natalie, a freshman also from Ohio, declared, “I want to have that same love and passion as the missionaries I’ve met this week.”

Tracy says, “We just launched the program this year and it is already having a profound impact. A teenager writes: ‘I learned probably more in one week than I ever had in my life. After camp you sent me a bracelet, and I’ve worn it ever since. Every time I look at it, I pray for JAARS and Bibleless people. Recently it broke, and I’m wondering if you can send me one and one for someone that God might lead to Christ through me.’”

Learn more more by contacting the staff at 704.843.6431, or email them at