Monday, August 03, 2009

It is Finished

Bible Mystery Investigation has come to a close. It was a long labor of love, and we had a wonderful time. The fact that God was truly in control could not have been more obvious to me. I am constantly reminded of a few lines from one of my favorite movies:

"What will we do?"

"It will all work out."


"I don't know. It's a mystery."

There were indeed parts of Bible Mystery Investigation that were a real mystery. However, with constant prayer, diligence, and a willingness to serve everything went off without a hitch. Which in and of itself is a real miracle if you think about it. What on earth do you possibly know of that just goes without a hitch and has so many factors involved?

VBS is a tremendous endeavor that takes many contributors to pull off. Everyone works together like a finely tuned machine. Each person has his or her job, and everyone is reliant on that person wearing their hat, and the hat fitting each person. Participating in VBS as a volunteer requires flexibility and dedication. We are all committed as a whole to the common goal of creating a positive experience for children, many we have never met before and may never see again, that expresses the love of Jesus and plants a seed in their hearts. It is not an endeavor that I take lightly. I truly see it as mission work for God. You did know that you can be a missionary in your own neighborhood, didn't you?

This year we tried a few different things that seemed to work out quite well. Our theme was Bible Mystery Investigation. The program covered the creation week, all seven days, and the plan of salvation. Encompassed in that was prayer and outreach. What a blessing it was for all involved! Each day the kids learned about the mysteries involved with creation and sought out answers through the stations in the program. They were literally tought how to pray, and they did a food drive for Solid Ground. We even had four of the children attend the program that are part of the Solid Ground family. It was quite an experience to be certain.

Through friendly competition the kids brought donations throughout the week. They learned about the mission of Solid Ground and earned tickets that they got to spend in our VBS store each day after snack. The group that brought the most items earned a free ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins. There was a "sneak attack" at the end, and an unsuspecting group won by THREE items!

The week culminated with a special VBS Sabbath Service and a potluck dinner where their crafts from the week were showcased. We had a lot of visitors, and it was a lot of fun! The kids participated in the service, learned more about Solid Ground. Nancy Skula spoke to the congregation. She shared a touching video that's used to promote Solid Ground. This is not the exact video, but it is the song:

It was very touching, and it sure got your attention. My heart has been tugged to Solid Ground for over a year now. I live right down the street, and pass it several times on some days. God has used me to help on more than one occasion, and I hope to continue my connection with the organization. It is a really unique program and a real blessing to the community.

Potluck was a success, and it really seemed like everyone had a wonderful time socializing and getting to know each other. We had such a large turn out that we weren't sure there would be enough food, but I prayed to God about "fishes and loaves", and all was well. We even had to add more places for people to sit!

We learned a lot running this program this year. Now, it is our ambition to extend the wonders of VBS throughout the year. We are not sure what we will do next, but we plan to stay connected with the kids. It may be a bit of a challenge since some of them did not get properly registered, but my God is able!


Dina said...

My kids are attending a VBS this week at the HUGE church down the road. The first thing I thought as I looked around was, "Wow, they must have a big budget". Impressive decorations, lots of details, (like banners above the areas where the kids sit with a special little symbol), fancy crafts, junky snacks (which OF COURSE appeal to the kids) and a catchy music score that they even sent home on a CD with the kids. (and not a homemade CD, I might add).
do you think that bigger is necessarily better? I don't think so. While at the Warren VBS I definitely got the feeling that the Holy Spirit was working in these kids lives, that they were learning something and having fun. Not to mention the outreach part made it all the more meaningful for the kids.
Oh, did I mention that I spoke with one of the FOUR(!) VBS directors while I was there? (She's my neighbor) Can you believe having FOUR?????
And this part is funny--my kids already caught a couple of errors in their Bible stories! So, glizy, fun, exciting, but wrong? But hey, it sure looks impressive.

Tina said...

That's really interesting. We really went VERY simple this year, and I think it was best. Not spending so much money on "frills" allowed us to really reach out to the kids and the community. Making a personal connection is SO MUCH more important to me than fancy decorations and silly extras that will soon be forgotten. A relationship can last a lifetime, and change a life!

Maricris Zen Mama said...

I miss those times I go to VBS. Makes me wish I was a kid again.


Tina said...

Maricris - You could always volunteer!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Glad to hear your VBS went so well. I've been in a small church and a large one and both had great Vacation Bible Schools. I love being a part of a team working together with other believers to reach souls for Jesus. It's just so rewarding. When you mentioned displaying the crafts, we used to do that too in my smaller church. Our Pastor's wife at the time was amazing at thinking of crafts using everyday items and the kids loved it!

Here is the post I made about my experience VBS:

Tina said...

Karen - Thanks for sharing your experience. I don't have much of a history with VBS, so I don't have many reference points. That's why I appreciate my assistant so much! This year was our second year running it, and we are planning to do it again next year.


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