It all started in January with a phone call to the office, “We’re planning our summer holidays, can you tell me when VBS happens this summer?” And we could, because at that time four women were already meeting regularly to plan this year’s Vacation Bible School.
Hope Fellowship’s VBS, called “Cave Quest” was held the first week of summer holidays. That didn’t stop the 125 kids from showing up every morning, eager to figure out what the day’s adventure would be. Songs, stories, activities, science experiments, a chance to be outside, snacks and 2 large group meetings led by “Caver Henrietta” and her sidekick “Caver Katie” happened each day. Each day the kids learned that Jesus gives us 1. Hope, 2. Courage, 3. Direction, 4. Love and 5. His power. Whenever they heard one of these phrases they inevitably responded with “Follow Him!”.
Parents reported that their children were singing the catchy, up beat songs in the car, the bathroom, the swimming pool and the playground. Who doesn’t love to hear a resounding rendition of “I have decided to follow Jesus” sung with enthusiasm, even if it is tuneless?
But VBS wouldn’t happen without volunteers. Volunteers, led by Len, created the “cave”, volunteers prepared and served snacks, they welcomed children each morning, taught stories, led songs, prayed with the kids, and helped them to see God in everyday life. Joan, our Children’s Zone Coordinator, was amazed at how well people were placed as volunteers, giving them an opportunity to use their gifts for God and his children.
The week ended with a BBQ on Friday night. This gave the leaders and volunteers a chance to meet the parents of the children who came, introduce them to what Hope Fellowship is all about, and enjoy some fellowship together. Was it well attended? Well, we ran out of hot dogs—and we prepared 192! Everyone also enjoyed some furry and scaly critters and some time on the jumping castles as well.
Joan, who tears up whenever she talks about VBS, said that her theme for the week was “blessings overflowing”. She is in awe of how everything came together and how much fun everyone had. The prayer of the planning team was that through VBS seeds would be planted, and that God would cause those seeds to grow in his time.
So are they tired and ready for a break? Are you kidding? They’re already excited about next year! The wheels are already turning...