Thursday, June 25, 2009

VBS- Upward Bound '09

VBS this year has been crazy! I guess it's what happens when God answers prayer, and I find out I wasn't really expecting Him to.
We're using the VBS Reachout Adventures "Upward Bound" curriculum, which uses the theme of a mountain hike to teach about Christ's single-minded "journey" from Heaven to manger to Cross to Heaven again. The hiking motif is also used to present the Gospel at the end of each day (we're all like hikers refusing to follow the Upward Bound Trail, and so separated from God and doomed). This curriculum uses workbooks for each of the kids, and stickers they earn as they go in order to motivate Scripture memory, parental involvement, etc. It's the curriculum I've experienced and taught since my first "Genesis: Space Probe" VBS at age 4... good times. But basically, we had so many children on the first day that we ran out of "Trail Journals" (workbooks)! I had ordered more than we used last year, just to "be on the safe side."

What caused the influx? Well, we weren't expecting 25 Somali children to attend... that in and of itself is a miracle, because for the past 3 years that I've been here, they have never been allowed to set foot in our building, much less attend BIBLE school! I think our ESL ministry is finally really making inroads into the community. (The Somali community is 100% muslim, and as such usually consider entering a Christian "holy place" (church) a no-no, even if it isn't for a worship service.) We rejoice that the Lord has brought them among us, along with a sizeable number of kids from our church neighborhood, as well as more children from the church than we've ever had.

Please be praying for the 3 groups of children present and hearing about the life of Christ, and their NEED for Him, this week: 1. our churched kids-- that their ears would be opened to actually hear the Gospel, despite having having heard it millions of times-- they need a Savior, and so many of them think they don't (because outwardly, they're "good" kids); 2. children from our neighborhood-- that they will get an accurate picture of the Bible and Christ's life-- they are immersed in a "Christian" culture which uses christian catchphrases but misses Christ completely, and most are not from believing homes; 3. children from the Somali community-- they have a language barrier and a discipline barrier to surmount, and this material is completely foreign and new to them. Please pray that they won't be a hindrance to the other children, and that God will work among them all!

3 days down, 2 to go... so much to do, so little time. Well, I'd better go work on my Mary Magdalene costume... at least I won't have to wear green paint for that one. :)
--"Head Guide Mrs. Christina"

PS- oh yeah, the individual in green paint is me, dressed as Gaia the Gecko, an "eyewitness" of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. It was amazing how quiet the children were during my story-- I'm starting to wonder if we should all don costumes during Sunday School...
PPS-- more photos


Jeannette said...

That is so exciting about the Somali children! We'll be praying!

Ryan Szrama said...

Cutest lizard I ever did kiss.

Kathy said...

Uh, how many lizards have you been kissing Ryan? ;)

Bummed we missed out again this year! Oh well, maybe next year will be calmer.