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Looking back on my years as a CMS Summer School kid

CMS missionary Kate Morris serves with Daniel in France. Kate supports GBU[1] work, teaches Sunday School, and trains Sunday School teachers. As a child, she attended CMS Summer School every year. Here she testifies to the influence it had on her as a child and adult.

I can vividly remember the buzz of excitement I’d feel each year as my siblings and I stepped out of the car and into the fresh Katoomba air, ready for CMS Summer School. We went to the conference every year from when I was in early primary school, and my three siblings and I always looked forward to it.

I can’t remember the first time I went to Summer School, but I remember the feeling of later years, when, on the first day, I would run into the arms of my dear friends who I’d see every year at the conference. I knew very few Christians my own age in the country town where I grew up, so being surrounded by Christians here felt like a slice of heaven.

“I knew very few Christians my own age in the country town where I grew up, so being surrounded by Christians here felt like a slice of heaven.”

In the programs, we laughed until our sides hurt, played crazy games, sang to God, chewed through parts of the Bible with a leader in Bible study groups, listened to talks designed for our age group, prayed together, and heard from missionaries from around the world. Heads and hearts full, my siblings and I would all talk at once as we excitedly recounted the morning to our parents over lunch. We’d hear what they had learned too, and see their conviction and love for God as they talked. As a family we would finish the week motivated to persevere in Christ, in awe of God’s work in the world, and enthusiastic to see God’s word go out in our school and town and right across the world.

I always appreciated that the leaders at Summer School took us and our relationship with God so seriously. The teaching was thought-provoking and challenging, we were reminded to look to Christ for salvation, to follow him in our lives, and to share the gospel with those around us.

The time for the gospel is now

We were always encouraged to see our schools and the people around us as our own mission field—evangelism didn’t need to wait until we were old enough, or had enough knowledge of apologetics, or felt self-confident enough. The time for the gospel is now, we learned, and it is to go in ripples out from every Christian. I’d return home at the end of the conference to a school where I was the only Christian in my year, and I’d be ready to persevere, praying for God to be at work there.

The missionaries who visited the children’s program amazed me with stories of God at work in other parts of Australia and the world. They’d encourage us to pray for missionaries and Christians around the world and to think about whether one day we too would cross cultures with the gospel.

Global mission as part of our lives

My parents kept God’s global mission as part of our lives throughout the year, they’d tell us about what’s happening in various places around the world, pray with us, and they stuck missionary cards on the mirror near our toothbrushes and on the fridge to remind us to pray for the missionaries frequently.

I’m thankful to my parents for keeping God’s global mission in the forefront of our minds and for prioritising CMS Summer School each year. Even though there were often things in life that made it difficult to go, we’d be there. I’m thankful to CMS and the volunteer leaders for the consistently high quality of the children’s program, even as the numbers of children have exploded since we first started. I’m thankful to the missionaries who saw us as genuine partners in God’s global mission.

God kept his global mission on my heart, I supported missionaries in prayer and care. I married, then my husband and I trained in ministry and theology and crossed cultures with the gospel, going to France with CMS. We aim to keep God’s global mission in the minds of our children; we share what’s happening around the world, we read and pray through the CMS prayer diary with our kids and we hear stories from you, our partners in Australia. You are missionaries there, bringing the gospel to the people around you.

If you want your children to learn, pray, praise God, and be encouraged alongside other kids, if you want them to be encouraged to be part of God’s global mission, CMS Summer School is worth prioritising.


Summer School is a great first step to finding more about how God is bringing about his kingdom all over the world. Bring the whole family along! Find your local Summer Conference here.

[1] Groupes Bibliques Universitaires de France (GBU), is the french IFES student movement, and works to share the gospel with students, and train them in evangelism and discipleship.