VBS Goes on a “Mission”
From July 8–12, children in the Meeting House family and beyond gathered together to hitch a ride “To Mars and Beyond: Explore Where God’s Power Can Take You,” this year’s Vacation Bible School theme.
Each day during VBS, the children collected non-perishable food items and socks for our Open Table guests. (Open Table is the Meeting House’s program that provides a weekly breakfast and warm welcome for anyone who is homeless, low-income, or in need of a little extra help.)
As a volunteer at the games station, I got to share and pass along the fun I had when I was a kid at VBS.
VBS participants also “went beyond” in examining the Meeting House’s mission in the local community and beyond with a different focus each day:
- Monday—Go beyond in faith. Trust God to take care of us and when we have plenty, we share (e.g., our church shares food and community at Open Table). Children drew themselves and placed the drawings around Heritage Hall to give Open Table folks a “virtual hug.”
- Tuesday—Go beyond in boldness. Even adults can make big mistakes that result in consequences/penalties. The women of Guest House are bold in sharing their stories and letting us into their lives. Student potted coleus plants and signed a card that read, “May you grow in boldness just like Queen Esther in the Bible.” Both were delivered to Guest House locations, with enough left over to share with the Open Table community.
- Wednesday—Go beyond in kindness. What does it mean to be a partner (or buddy)? We can do more when we do it together. VBSers discussed why there’s so much poverty in Haiti as well as the Meeting House’s efforts to assist that country’s residents (e.g., medicine, helping to rebuild schools and buy animals); and colored and drew Haitian-theme motifs and activities. They also signed a card written in Creole that says, Mwen ap priye pou ou! (“We are praying for you!”) that will be included with dental kits assembled this coming fall.
I’ve really enjoyed reading stories to the kids. I liked them when I attended VBS and now that I’m older, it’s definitely helping me develop patience.
- Thursday—Go beyond in thankfulness. Students revisited the “partner” concept, found Kenya on the map, and greeted each other with Bwana Asifiwe. (“Praise the Lord” in Swahili). ” They also discussed how the orphaning of some children led two people to team up to raise money to build Moi’s Bridge United Orphanage and Academy. Children also filled in a “letter” that will be sent to their counterparts at Moi’s Bridge.
- Friday—Go beyond with hope. Our young “travelers” reminded themselves of what it means to be a “partner,” found Pakistan on the map, then greeted each other in Urdu. (They later learned how to say “thank you” as well.) Ellen Smith then spoke about the Presbyterian Board of Education in Pakistan and how children in one particular community didn’t have a good school before the Meeting House sent money to help build one. As a result, we give hope to those children. Since carpets and weaving, and jewelry-making are major industries in Pakistan, children had the option to weave some paper or make a bracelet to remember our mission in that country.
Everything is so well organized that I volunteer year after year—and I plan to continue for certain!