Thursday, August 10, 2017

VBS edition

Almost one week ago, the Huejotzingo VBS at our house ended.  As with previous years, the week of the VBS was one of intense, all-absorbing work.  My dad was here for the week, and we had loan of the church van, so he left every morning at 10:30 to pass by three fairly remote houses to pick up kids and then return them at about 2:15 every afternoon.  He was also our photographer.

Day 1 began with chaos.  Our printer decided not to work, so we couldn´t print out the review pages for after the story.  Abraham then went to save the pages on a thumb drive in order to take them to a cafe internet, but the drive wouldn´t read them.  Therefore, he took the entire laptop off to the cafe internet.  While this was going on, my dad left to pick up the kids, along with my brother-in-law who supposedly knew where the houses were.  Our helpers arrived, and soon after the kids also arrived, but we didn´t have the computer to start teaching them the new songs as we had planned.  I decided to take all the kids at once to the patio for their snack, so we had a small crowd of varying ages all stuffed in the area where we had planned for only the little kids to be.  As I and our helpers were serving snack, my dad called to ask where the houses were, because my brother-in-law didn´t actually know and had taken him all the way out to the construction site instead.

After those wrinkles, everything began to calm down, and we were able to return to the planned schedule for the day.  During the time when all the kids are together inside, Abraham appeared dressed as Ruben, the oldest brother of Joseph. He explained why the brothers hated Joseph and had wanted to kill him, but Ruben convinced them to just put him in an empty cistern, planning to return him to his father later.  The other brothers, however, sold Joseph into slavery while Ruben was gone.

Once the kids heard the story, listening with rapt attention, they divided into two groups - the 2-6´s who went out to the patio, and the 7´s and up who stayed inside.  Each child made a paper bag puppets of Joseph with his coat of many colors and filled out the review pages, finally successfully printed downtown.  When they finished their craft and work page, we all returned indoors for a quick review, and they went home.

Over lunch with our marvelous helpers, we counted the names on the registry and found we had welcomed 41 kids, a much higher first day number than any other year.

As the numbers continued to increase each day, we had new wrinkles.  Some days the helpers arrived late, so we started out with only Abraham, Six, and I and an energetic bunch of children and young teens signing in all at once.  Some days Leilani just wanted to cling to either Abraham and I and desperately wanted her nap right at 1 when we still had another hour of VBS to finish.  Every day we had one three-year-old who wouldn´t obey a single command we gave and would blythely run out the gate and into the street if we didn´t catch her.  Each day Abraham´s voice became rougher and tireder from calling out instructions during game time and from reviewing verses with the two groups.

On Tuesday, my brother-in-law played the part of pharoah´s cup bearer and continued Joseph´s story.
Wednesday I was Joseph´s wife, Asenath, and Thursday a neighbor told more of the story as Judah, the brother who had most wanted to kill Joseph.  On Friday, one of our helpers (at the last minute) agreed to be Joseph and finished the story of his remarkable life.

Every day we also had a snack related to that day´s story.  We had games, songs, review, Bible verses, crafts, and pages to help the kids remember what they had learned.

Learning from last year, we decided to invite the parents to the finale on Friday.  That way, almost all the kids were already present, and their parents were much more likely to also attend.  A neighbor

family donated the cake and ice cream, and we gave each child their diploma and a gift for having been with us.  We still have to work on smoothing out the finale process, but Lord willing, there will be other years of VBS for us to continue to learn from.

In the end, we had a total of 62 kids registered, with Wednesday having the largest total all at once with 55.

Thank you for your prayers!  Please keep praying for us as the construction is almost finished on my mother-in-law´s house.  In about two weeks, she will move in.  Our house should be done in about a month.