Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bible School...

Vacation Bible School seemed to go by at 90 miles an hour, and yet in some respects, it felt like one of our longest weeks of the year!

The first morning, with our nerves slightly on the jittery side, we came before the Lord and asked Him to give us a full heart for whoever came. Even if it was one child or adult, or two, that He would give us a passion to share Him as if our little church was packed! 9:00am came and went. Three children. I looked at Alexis...and we reminded ourselves that God would have a special purpose and reason for whoever came, no matter the number. But then more children came, and a few more. And we had a wonderful group!

It's amazing seeing all these children together and realizing that each one is significantly different in his or her character. Each one was impacted in a different way through VBS because of the situations of their everyday lives. We had a young boy named Zachary who was so excited to be there. A little quiet and reserved. He loved Daddy and followed him everywhere! Asking questions and helping set up chairs or break down tables. And he was simply crushed when he had an unexpected Doctors appointment on the third day. He was back the next day though! We found out later that his Dad had passed away when he was very little. He showed such mature character that week and he was one of three children who received Jesus as their Savior. We are so proud of him.

I felt like the story of Joshua came alive for a lot of the children, especially with the way it was told. There is no half way with our Dad when telling a Bible story to a group of children! Stomping, running, whispering and yelling. It definitely kept everyone on the edge of their seats and helped all of us to remember little details that we might not have remembered otherwise!

So Friday night graduation arrived and it was just absolutely fun! In the past we've held our graduation on Sunday mornings, but this year we were hoping to have more parents and children attend since it wouldn't interfere with anyone's church services. We didn't tell the children to dress in any particular way so I think some of us thought they might come in their new Tye-dye shirts or on the casual side. But, everyone must have felt something extra special about that night. The first boy arrived, Zachary. I couldn't believe it...Shiny belt buckle and crisp western shirt with cowboy boots. So sharp! The little girls had bows in their hair and the cutest outfits. One little girl talked about her shopping trip with her Aunt especially to buy a dress for graduation night. Everyone was laughing and giggling and trying not to be nervous. They blew everyone away with quoting scripture and reciting the books of the Bible. They tittered in their seats when their parents couldn't answer questions about Joshua, but they could. You could see pure joy on their faces when they sang for everyone.

As each one walked up front to receive their VBS certificate I watched them all, standing there proudly. Some of these children we didn't know at the beginning of the week. And we may not see them again. But I know God worked miracles for us as we planned and prepared and taught and loved. And our prayer for them is that they will remember this week. Maybe only little things about it. Maybe how the wall came crashing down. Or Rahab and the scarlet cord. Or they might just remember how fun Tye-dye was.

But we pray they remember Jesus too. How He loves them and died on the cross for them.

Above all, we pray that they remember that.


Finally all those cardboard pieces came together!

This is a small video we captured when the wall of Jericho collapsed.

The children loved the amazing pictures that went along with the lesson.

A BIG thank you to Andrew who brought Dunkin Donut Munchkins every single morning!
We're working on the Box O' Joe to go with it next year...!

This was such a fun craft! The children were able to decorate their very own mugs with Sharpie markers which we later brought home and baked to seal them.

Kaleb looks smugly satisfied with his cup.

Ms. Cynthia, one of our faithful kitchen cooks was a complete blessing to us this week!

Tye-Dye Time!

This was the fun part...rinsing the 40 plus shirts at home for the next day:)

Paul directing the relay races. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of pictures from this activity, but it was so much fun! We had around 200 water balloons that we used for a toss (and who doesn't like to get wet?) wheel barrow races, water melon eating (don't swallow the seeds!) and other fun obstacles Paul planned. All the players were rewarded with snow cones afterward! We have these every year and the children really enjoy them. You can find the syrups at Wal-Mart and we've had our snow cone maker for like 6 years.

Praying for those who came up to receive Christ as their Savior.

Graduation Night...

Five students were awarded a blue character ribbon for demonstrating one of the five character qualities taught during the week.

This video is a little long, but it's so worth it for all the children who worked so hard all week on learning the signs and words for every song!

We rolled out of bed on Saturday to begin taking down all the props and boxing up craft supplies for next year. We all agreed it was a McDonalds sweet tea kinda' morning, but seeing as McDee's is in "Town" that wasn't happening. We were bemoaning this fact, when in walked Ben with lunch!
It's Over!

"Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom." 
Luke 12:32

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