Two years ago, someone mentioned the fact that another branch of our church, out in California, had held a VBS. The idea struck me like a lightning bolt. I went around thinking about nothing except this idea for two or three days.
At the same time, I’d discovered that Jodi Beatty, one of the other mom’s on the online list for Mom’s from my church, lived nearby. The day before we were going to meet for the first time, I spent an hour planning how to bring up the idea of a VBS and to try to persuade her that this would be a good idea. After we met and introduced our families to each other, I brought up the idea.
”Let’s do it!” she said. Right off, before I even got out a single line of persuasion.
She and I worked very hard and, miracle of miracles, that summer we held our first VBS. (Jodi did the real work. She handled the business side of things. I handled the curriculum and program side. It was work, too, but fun work.)
Our first summer, we had a total of ten kids. By the end of the summer, we were psyched! We were all set for summer of 2008.
Only, this year, obstacles came up everywhere we looked. Things that we thought were set became unset. Or, if they did work, they took a long time to confirm. The summer rumbled by and still nothing was right. We’d lost half our teachers and had no children. We met about a week and a half before the camp was to begin. Grumbling, we decided to give up next summer and just do a private camp for the three teachers who remained and their children.
The only thing that held us back was that even though there had been obstacles every time we prayed, they had resolved. Every time we prayed about whether we should continue, we seemed to be answered in the affirmative.
So, maybe we should not have been so surprised when we discovered, two days before the camp was to open, that we now had nearly thirty children signed up! Nearly thirty kids and only three teachers!
The three of us held an emergency meeting. In that meeting a whole new approach to how to run the activities unfolded. It was so much fun and worked so much better than our previous idea. Between this new idea and the fact that others turned out to help us. (My mom was available three days, and John, bless his heart, helped out four days…mainly keeping our own boys in check, but that was the hardest part.)
The VBS was a rousing success! One family did not make it, so we had a total of 24 children over all five days. We covered the Beatitudes, tying each one into a Bible story. Half the stories were about Jesus. The other half from the Old Testament. We covered Daniel, Joseph, Elisha, Elijah, Jesus’s birth, the pool at Bethesda, Peter walking on the water (a favorite of mine and some of the kids,) and a number of other of Jesus’ healings.
By the end of the week, Juss was able, with help, to recite the Beatitudes for Daddy and tell him what order they came in!
What a wonderful, cool week it was!