While in Pomptan Plains the Church ran a Vacation Bible School (VBS). Albert was transformed into a knight for the week, the Church into a castle and the classrooms to rooms of the castle, with a dungeon complete with dragon, a secret room behind a cave and various beautiful decorated rooms. The theme for the week just in case you hadn't guessed already was to do with a kingdom and not just any kingdom, no the world's two kingdoms, the light and the dark. The material came from Answers in Genesis. I was very impressed with the material and the way the church executed VBS. I have never seen anything like it. I didn't realise how big an operation this was but it was huge!
They had their own catering ladies who cooked breakfast and provided morning tea for all the helpers and of course managed the morning tea (snacks for the Americans) for the kids. They had an art room with the crafts carefully prepared in Snaplock bags for each child (think 70+ children *5 days). Then there were the teachers and helpers, each 'room' (there were about 8 I think) had at least 1 teacher and 1-2 helpers. There was also a play each day with the scrip written by one of the church member and ofcourse the actors were needed too! They had a sports/game team of adults, puppet lady, nurses, welcome ladies, craft helpers, music ladies. Like any great event there are also the people behind the scenes. One of the ladies was extremely talented in design and so transformed the church into a castle!!! She also made a knight costume especially for Albert. As part of Albert's internship, he taught the bible lessons at VBS each day. I'm extremely biased but I think he did an AWESOME job of engaging the kids. One of the helpers also used her talents and put together a DVD of the week for all the kids, what an awesome idea! Ofcourse last but not least, the manager who put the whole 'show' together, she worked tireless behind the scenes and Albert and her had several meetings re VBS. Unfortunately for her she lost her voice during the week and so Albert had to step in and also be the 'up front' man. All of this couldn't be done without the churches full support both in time and money but also the ladies that provided morning tea for the kids.
A couple of highlights for me and things that stood out:
- People used their talents! (even if it helping out with craft or washing dishes, we all count!)
- The church's support - what an awesome outreach, I managed to talk to several ladies from outside the church. Some these ladies/families attended quite a few VBS's over the summer (think free childcare all week) but yet still came to the closing ceremony (with the gospel being preached!). Some good contacts were established, not sure if this came to anything but even if only one seed was planted all the effort was worth it!
- How effective different learning styles is to tell the gospel! The gospel was exclaimed everyday and not watered down but yet different methods were used to portray this message! Albert was dressed up as knight and explained the armour of God everyday and the different kingdoms, he was assisted by a puppet and various other characters, he got 'shot with a water pistol' on the last day by the associate pastor (all for the sake of the gospel!!). For the music the kids didn't just learn the words, no the talented music ladies, taught the kids, ranging from about 4ish to 12ish, the sign language to the songs! My girls were still singing the songs in the car on the way back from Pompton Plains!!
- Most of the crafts related to the key message for the day! Again the gospel!
- Men - for you NZders to put this in proper perspective, most Americans only get 2 weeks holiday from work and so to sacrifice a week to teach/help out at VBS, WOW. In this day and age having a father/godly man to look up to is getting rarer so good on you men!
There is plenty more to say about VBS and I'm sure I've forgotten to mention things so if you are reading this from PPRBC, please forgive me! Here are some photo's that I took during the week. The photo's that I took from the inside of the church didn't turn out very well, sorry.
|Zara and Kate as princess on dress up day.|
(The dresses were borrowed from a kind family)
|Michaela as a knight!|
|Michaela doing craft|
|Albert in the church hall doing his daily bible lesson|
|Zara in the craft room|