One of the things that we had to do in preparation for our trip is get everyone a passport – Peter and Joshua were the only ones with current Australian passports. This gave us a great opportunity to learn how to fill in forms, read instructions (and follow them), create a signature and to be content with ugly photographs of oneself!
But what does a passport mean?
A passport confirms your identity and your citizenship.
Our identity is one of “Letchford” – when we travel, and to be honest even when we set foot outside of our house here in our local town, we are seen as Letchfords. We discussed with the kids what does it mean to be a Letchford – what is our family identity. We may look the same, act the same, laugh at the same things, think the same – but these things do vary according to personality as some would say we aren’t very alike at all. What really makes us the same is our values. When we step out of our home we represent the Letchford family.
We are also Australian and our passport is proof of our citizenship. Belonging to Australia has many freedoms – one such freedom is to be able to travel and enter various countries. When we are overseas we will, in a sense, be representing our country. People we meet will know us for being Australian. With the privilege of being an Australian comes much responsibility to act in a way that leaves our country with a good name.
We are also a Christian family which means that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20). Whenever we step out anywhere – be it here in our town, somewhere in Australia, or somewhere in Europe we are representing Jesus. There is no passport indicating this identity – other than what is in our hearts.
We want our children to know that we don’t leave our identity here at home – it comes with us. The things that we do here at home will be the things we do overseas, the values we have here at home will be the values we take with us. We need to know who we are – and our passports only show a part of it!