Days of construction paper are obsolete

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vacation Bible School sure has come a long way since I was a pupil instead of a teacher. Days of construction paper and paste are long gone. It is much more high-tech with computers and big screen TVs. I helped again this year as a teacher and guess what I had to teach? Recreation of all things! It wasn't too bad though I had plenty of different helpers each night.

The Lepanto First Baptist Church was transformed into the Bible times city of Jerusalem Marketplace. The theme was that Jesus loves us and died to save us from our sins. The students went through a time machine to get to Jerusalem and once there the fun began.

Children four years old through sixth grades were kept busy visiting a synague. They visited a weaving shop and carpenters shop, made baskets, built an musical instrument and had snacks of fruits. They learned several new Bible songs and practiced writing in Hebrew with feather quills. After they got "sugared up" with their snacks, then they came to see me. In turn, we played games and then more games. Needless to say, my station was very popular. Of course the games weren't very Biblical. We ranged from dodge ball to freeze tag. The children had a blast though.

A few weeks before VBS, I spent a week at Cedar Glades Church camp with teenagers. Tthat will put things into perspective, especially when there are no TVs, computers or iPods to be found. Now, nothing major really happened - just a few teen squabbles - but in the end when you saw the results, it was well worth it. I had burn-out but when asked if I wanted to take part in VBS, naturally I said yes. After all, I have been a part of VBS in some form or fashion since I was three years old.

When I was growing up, we looked at VBS as a great place to meet friends, play different games and learn about Jesus during the summer. We missed our friends and this was one of our last big activities before school started. It was all fun and games. The week never lasted long enough.

Well now that I am older, I didn't think the week was ever going to be over. I was tired and hot. The kids were all "hyped up." They are all so wild and disrespectful. What was I thinking? Then about mid-week I witnessed at the end of the night the response we had when we realized that they were actually listening and participating. I was very blessed to be a leader in at VBS, and I definitely look at it differently now. I see it as a special way to lead the children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is a place that you would want the children to have fun and want to come again. It is a great outreach program that gives you the opportunity to meet our future leaders. At times this week was pretty scary though.

We registered 83 children and had an average in the 70's each night. It was a lot of work for all the 55 workers but the rewards were well worth it. The Bible tells us that "Children are a gift from God, they are His reward" and "Teach your children right from wrong and when they are grown, they will still do right."

My mother has a shirt that reads, "When I look around and think things through, all of my good days outweigh my bad. Thank you Lord I won't complain"