During the third week of July, Faith United Methodist Church was transformed into a medieval castle where we spent five days on an amazing Kingdom Rock adventure with some awesome kids digging into God’s word, learning that we can stand strong for God because of His great love for us!
What an amazing week this was! We are truly blessed by the dedication and commitment of everyone who went all out for Jesus to make this week such a great experience for the kids and their families!
We celebrate all that God is doing in the lives of our students, volunteers, and mission projects through Kingdom Rock VBS! Everyone participating was touched by the hearing of God’s Word and experiencing the love of Jesus. We were blessed to be the hands and feet of Christ as we served our Lord by sharing His love and His Word throughout the week.
We praise and thank God because he is mighty and powerful and active in our lives. God’s love, goodness, grace and amazing wonder is evident at VBS! We learned throughout the week, that God gives us what we need to Stand Strong! Kingdom Rock VBS…Faith UMC… is where kids stand strong for God!
As our Christian Education & Spiritual Formation team began planning and preparing for this year’s Vacation Bible School, we discerned making a few changes to VBS in response to some feedback from several families and in response to our church theme Act of Grace. We felt that it would be important to not charge for this year’s VBS as an act of grace to our community. We also felt we wanted to strengthen the mission emphasis for children through VBS. Those members of our church family who brought in items from the tags off the donation trees, our endowment ministry team, and many monetary donations have made it possible to provide this year’s VBS experience for kids in our community!
224 children registered for this year’s VBS! Nearly double from last year’s attendance and our largest attended VBS in the past 5 years! Praise God! We have families representing over 19 churches participating in our Vacation Bible School and many children from our new ministry, Camp Read-A-Lot! On Friday, over 180 kids, families, and VBS team members enjoyed a wonderful lunch where we got to know each better.
Those attending VBS responded to our mission projects in amazing ways. We collected $843 for Pennies for Paraguay during the week. Over $303 was raised by our 5th & 6th grade Car Wash. We also have a matching donor making our total so far $1686.00, enough to send 4 children to school in Paraguay. You may feel led to help add to our total and we would love for you to help us break our Pennies for Paraguay giving records and send another child to school! Our VBS kids wrote notes of encouragement on hearts which will be sent to the children we sponsor. (Note: As of 7/23/13 the grand total is $2017.00, enough to send 4 1/2 children to school in Paraguay. Praise God!)
Throughout the week, children brought in cereal boxes for Faith Kitchen. It was exciting to see our cereal wall grow each day. The children wrote notes and scripture on hearts that have been taped to every cereal box – all 200 of them! We built our cereal wall around the cross reminding us that as we give this cereal, we are also giving these families Jesus.
This year, our VBS students also learned about at-risk children in India. 200 Bible booklets written in Hindie are being sent to India with a picture message from our kids at Faith UMC. Helping to share God’s love, grace, and hope to children in desperate need!
Our 5th & 6th grade survivor crews were a blessing to watch throughout the week. Tuesday they walked to Dogwood Park and on the way stopped by Faith’s Garden of Weedin to learn how this ministry is connected to Faith Kitchen. They released newly hatched praying mantis into the garden to help protect all those vegetable plants that will soon be made into salsa. Wednesday they went to Camp Wanake and helped paint chairs and clean up brush from the previous week’s storm damage. They even brought back a God sighting. Can you see the heart in this log? Thursday they traveled to Crystal Park UMC to learn about the ministry of Faith Kitchen and helped to wrap silverware for our Faith Kitchen meal ministry.
Each Day of VBS kids experienced an Epic Bible Adventure. They learned about King David and his great love for God, the King of the Universe, They learned how Mordecai helped Esther do the right thing. They learned how Nehemiah prayed and was able to do great things for God. They learned how King Josiah followed God’s ways and they learned about the love and sacrifice Jesus made for them on the cross. On Thursday, the children wrote their names on hand prints and nailed them to the cross to remind them that they are forgiven and loved. During the closing, the children were given crowns and we talked about how we all have earthly treasures that keep us from giving our all to Jesus. Then they brought them forward and laid them at the foot of the cross.
Bible Buddies were a big part of VBS! Each day during Chadder’s Theater and Missions the kids met the day’s Bible Buddy and learned how they could make the 3-D Buddies move and hear the Bible Verse and Point with the Kingdom Rock Bible Buddies app. All the activities, games, snacks, Imagination Station, and music helped to reinforce each day’s Bible Verse, Story, and Point for all the kids! What a fun way to experience God’s Word!
- During the Bible Adventure a little girl continued to cup her hands after the blessing with water. They thought she was trying to take some water out of the room, but her hands were empty. When asked why she was still cupping her hands, she said she didn’t want to let go of her blessing!
- Radical hospitality and welcoming spirit of everyone involved in VBS!
We thank God for the many dedicated volunteers (about 87), those members in ministry who worked behind the scenes helping to prepare for VBS as well as those who worked directly with the kids as station leaders and crew leaders, kitchen volunteers, registration coordinators, decor team, those who donated for our volunteer luncheon, those who provided child care and our fabulous teen tech team who worked to create our Kingdom Rock VBS video and photo slide show.
Faith UMC is blessed with an amazing team of dedicated servants who go all out for Jesus! We praise God for your financial and prayerful support of VBS. You helped God to touch many lives this week. We were able to provide each family who attended a CD of Kingdom Rock Music – a powerful way to keep God’s word alive in everyone’s hearts long after VBS has ended. We also were able to give over 70 Bibles to the children who were here this week who told us they did not have a Bible of their own. We praise God for everyone who supported our mission projects. We thank God for parents, grandparents, and friends who brought their children to us. We also thank God for our partnership with 4 other churches who shared resources making the transformation of all of our churches into a medieval castle possible!
Most of all, we thank God for providing all that was needed to make this year’s VBS an amazing experience. Our prayer is that His Word will continue to take root in the hearts and lives of those who participated in VBS this week. And we rejoice in celebration as we stand strong for God!
Click on this video link to see some of the pictures and hear some of the music and God sightings that helped all of us to learn that God’s love…Family & Friends…Prayer…Trusting God…and the Bible help us…Stand Strong for God!Blessings in Christ, Kathy Schmucker, Director of Christian Education & Spiritual Formation