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VBS 2017 - Wow, God!

Wow, God!—This was the enthusiastic refrain that was declared throughout Vacation Bible School last week. This year’s theme—Maker Fun Factory—focused on the amazing fact that God made us for a purpose and loves us deeply. And yes, that definitely deserves a wow! This summer’s VBS saw 550 kids and 200 volunteers take part in worship, crafts, games, Bible classes, and missions lessons that were all centered around God’s love.

Lake Avenue campus was abuzz with so many people jumping in to get involved, from sixth graders to eighty-year-olds. This spirit of camaraderie was the highlight for many who participated. Ali Johnson, on staff with Family Ministries, said, “I love the energy and the enthusiasm. The whole staff gets rallied! The whole church gets involved!”

Club 45 coordinator, Donovan Doan, led games during VBS, and he echoed this, saying, “I love VBS because we all get to unite under one banner.” But he emphasized that the beauty of the week wasn’t just community for community’s sake. VBS happens, he said, “under the banner of discipling the next generation of believers—that’s the purpose of the church. The church at large is about making disciples. We’re just making smaller disciples. We’re all doing it together.”

Kids—and volunteers—learning about Jesus was evident through the week. Each day wrapped up in a session of worship and a chance for kids to share what they’d learned. Whenever Pastor Chuck Hunt asked kids what they came away with that day, hands shot up all around. Kids shouted out their answers about how they’d learned about God’s faithfulness through the Bible story or how they learned about the refugees in missions class and how God loves them, too. Andrea Tulcan, photography volunteer, who herself attended VBS when she was young, shared, “I was completely awed. I saw hundreds of children hearing the Gospel and worshipping the Lord. I was beyond blessed to volunteer and see these children praising Jesus and learning that they were made for a purpose.”

Melody Gurguis, who taught Bible, talked about how impactful the Gospel can really be when we hear it simply and clearly. “You have to make it simple for students and kids. We can sit here and try to have a high-brow conversation about it, but sometimes we miss it.” Gabriel Pontón, who helped lead worship, said that VBS really does help everyone “get the message in new ways.” From the lessons to the games, from the crafts to worship, no one could deny that the Gospel came through in all those things.

VBS was a rich experience for kids and volunteers alike, and it showed how wonderful it can be for the church to join together in service. While VBS won’t come around for another year, the enthusiastic spirit of it can certainly go on. Reflecting on the way the whole church came together for ministry, Donovan shared, “this is how we can be operating all the time. It’s a cool little glimpse of what we’re capable of.”

Visit our VBS Page for videos and photos from the entire week - you will be blessed.