Praising God for Vacation Bible School

by Kara Hoerth and Jamie Schwartz
This week we are praising God for another wonderful week of Vacation Bible School here at Zion.  What a blessing it was to be a part of this ministry as we watched the church come alive with families, children, and volunteers for four nights of joyful praise to God for his love and faithfulness shown to us through his “Miraculous Mission“.
This year approximately 45-50 children blasted off each night to hear how Jesus saved the world.  Each evening began with a child friendly dinner and progressed through a series of activities or “stations” which helped to spread the evening’s common theme, each station with a unique twist.  Children from preschool to fifth grade were divided into “crews” based on their age and moved through the stations together to discover God’s message and his promises to them.  We moved through the Bible together using Opening, Starry Night Bible Storytelling, Bible Challenge Observation Station, Blast off Games, Galaxy Snack, Wonderful Creation Crafts, and Closing to celebrate God’s truth with our kid’s.
With help from Zion’s 50 volunteers (that’s right, 50 volunteers!), we were awash in laughter, fellowship, and joy as we moved through the lessons of God’s creation, God’s promise of a Savior, Jesus the Savior is Born, and Jesus is Risen and Reigns eternal.  With these stories we moved through the Old and New Testaments showing children that God is good, he is faithful, and God keeps his promises.  The children learned that God created them with a purpose, he is true to his word, Jesus came for them, and that God accomplished His miraculous mission to save the world through the death and rising of his own Son.  All of these things were miracles.  They were reminded that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever which means miracles are alive and happening today!  We are a part of this miraculous mission, and we have stories to tell.  Our prayer for these children is that during this week they felt God’s love for them and will feel moved to share his love with those around him.
Of the 45-50 children reached at VBS this year, 85% of those children were from outside of Zion’s congregation.  Kara and I love leading this ministry as it provides such a unique way for Zion to spread their witness into the community around us.  There is so much joy happening from the moment those families run into the building until the closing that evening.  The church is alive with God’s love.  With this ministry, we are reaching and serving several return families each year.  These parents feel comfortable in our church, with our volunteers, and most importantly with the message their kids are receiving when they are here.  It is a living example of Christian fellowship at it’s best; engaging young and old, fostering examples of mentorship and support as we go out into the world and become God’s hands and feet.
While the last decoration has come down, and the spaceships have returned to Zion, we have heard from several families that their children are still speaking of Vacation Bible School, singing the music, and talking about what they learned.  We would like to thank all of our volunteers for the time and effort they put in to support this ministry.  Without them, this wonderful week surely wouldn’t have been possible.  Of all the God sightings seen this week, all of them pointed back to the witness these kids had seen and heard through our amazing team of volunteers.  We are so blessed to come together and provide such an amazing time for our families.  We are already praying over next year, and we ask that you do the same.  Blessings on the rest of your summer.  We are hoping all of you that helped pull this week off are catching some much needed rest.
Until next year,
Kara and Jamie