Favorite camp food?

Pancakes with ice cream! Breakfast is always my favorite meal, especially pancakes. Add ice cream, and there just isn’t anything much better!

How did you decide to go on KDSM?

My roommate was just getting back from King’s Domain when we moved in together last year, and he talked about it nonstop. I joined Cru at Boise State and eventually went to my region’s winter conference in Portland, where I decided I wanted to go on a summer mission.

When my roommate began asking me what I wanted to do with my summer, I told him I desired to work with kids, plus all the fun summer stuff like camping, hiking, and swimming. In addition, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been, and I wanted to be challenged. He immediately told me to look into King’s Domain. When I did, I realized it was where I wanted to be.

What did you learn by raising support?

I seriously procrastinated, struggling to sit down and get the process started by writing my letter. It wasn’t until late February or early March that I finally had everything in the mail. Honestly, I was really worried about making follow-up calls and asking others for money, but I was reminded the money wasn’t for me, but for the Lord and for the kids. Once I fully committed, I realized people were more than happy to support me.

Why invest a summer serving at a camp?

By working with the variety of kids, I was struck how clearly everyone needs Jesus, regardless of our background. Plus, the Lord taught me about patience, and I had to remind myself daily (sometimes literally aloud) that I must die to myself. This is for my betterment and for the glory of God. All of the guys focused on 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Granted, we were probably being a little dramatic at the time, but we needed the reminder.

How did discipleship impact and equip you?

Although all of the men on KDSM got along really well, I felt more connected to the guys in my discipleship group. Michael and Sam were always there for me, and we were able to share anything with each other. Plus our group just had a lot of fun! Our discipler was great about taking us through the material but also being willing to talk about whatever we needed to discuss. He was able both to joke around with us and to be real with us about his struggles.

Talk to us about community.

All of us bonded almost immediately. We seemed to connect really well and just enjoyed each other. I’m glad we had the first couple of weeks together before camp started because we knew each other well enough by then to know when someone needed to talk or to pray. I can think of multiple times when one of the guys stopped me while we were walking back with the kids and asked how he could pray for me. The whole group was able to help each other overcome fears. It was really an ideal community.

How have you seen yourself change because of KDSM?

During the first week of camp, I was pushed way beyond my comfort zone by a very homesick camper who cried constantly. Nothing I tried calmed him, so I had to release my pride and ask for help. There was nothing I could do, and I had to accept the fact that I really needed help.

Another time, while canoeing with a group of older boys, our canoe capsized. The boys began panicking, and I needed to remain calm. The situation was entirely out of my hands, and I had to choose how to respond, even as my guys were crying and freaking out.

How has your relationship with God changed?

God showed me I need to stop trying to control everything. He also showed me how to let go of certain things in my past, which has lifted burdens at home. I have prioritized prayer and spending time alone with God because I’ve learned actually talking to Him is the best way to strengthen my relationship with Him.

What’s your summer summary?

It was everything I wanted in a summer and then so much more. I met some of the best people, and I was challenged in ways I wasn’t expecting. I saw people (including myself) overcome lifelong obstacles and fears. Plus, I was able to be present as children made decisions to follow Christ — so amazing and humbling!

Why should someone consider KDSM?

It is a life-changing experience. You get to pour into people and have others pour into you. You get to experience an amazing community of believers, growing together and encouraging one another. It’s impossible to express the significance and impact of the teaching. You’ll make friends and memories to last a lifetime.

Johnny Farrell


Boise State University

Graduation year

Spring 2017