Abraham and I just finished the second VBS of our summer. My sister Joy was visiting during the first VBS which was at the church Dios es Amor. She and I helped Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the babies´ room, and Abraham helped every day with the games. The theme for that VBS was El Soldado de Dios (God´s soldier), and it was planned for and prepared by a team at the church.
The second VBS was the one at our home in Huejotzingo. Several months before, Abraham found a curriculum at http://contare.org/, a site dedicated to training people to tell Bible stories verbally so that others can learn the stories and tell them to friends and family.
We decided to try the VBS curriculum with the theme Jesus Transforms Lives. Each day featured a different person who had contact with Jesus: the Samaritan woman, the man who had been Legion, Zaccheus, the Samaritan leper, and Peter. The Bible stories had been edited to make them into personal testimonies, and five different people memorized and presented the monologues to the children.
Preparing for the VBS took considerable work, even though the curriculum was already online. We had to print out pages, edit some material, make copies, buy supplies, draw and color posters, choose and learn songs, and plan games. We decided to include the daily verses in all of the games and activities, with the result that the children thoroughly memorized five verses by the end of the week.
|One of the verses in a game|
It was an exhausting but rewarding week. A large group of teens and adults came to our home from Dios es Amor each day to help with the activities. They pitched in with preparation in the morning, added finishing touches to the games, helped serve snack and guided the children in verse practice during snack time, sang enthusiastically, explained the hand-crafts and papers that reenforced the day´s stories, and cleaned up after the children returned to their homes. Four of the helpers memorized the Bible stories and presented them in monologues during meeting time. Five families from the church donated snacks for the kids.
Throughout the week, our son Abishael accepted the complete disruption of his schedule with relative calm. He was carried by different people during the VBS hours, and he sometimes slept almost the entire time the kids were at our house. It was only toward the end of the VBS hours when he began to fuss, and when I took him to our room and let him play quietly on the bed, he recovered his cheer.
Quite a few children missed the closure on Sunday, but the ones who came enjoyed the time. The older group of children recited all five Bible verses of the week, the last two verses with sign language as well as speaking. The younger group said one verse all by themselves and sang a song. Three mothers joined their children at the closure, which was the first time that any parents had attended a VBS closure.
Please pray for the children who attended. Several of them told us that they repeated the stories at home in the afternoons. Pray for the families as well, that the stories of transformation would touch their hearts. Pray also for Abraham and I as we return our home to its normal state, rather than have piles of stuff all over. Pray too as we plan to visit the families of the children who came to VBS, that relationships could be established and lives changed.