Soil, Sheep, and a Rainforest?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
SonQuest Rainforest logo.jpgAdd together almost 16,000 cookies, 1500 children, 500 workers, and five parables - and what do you have?  Vacation Bible School at Grace Baptist Church!

The girls and I were extraordinarily blessed this past week to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita.  I certainly had a life-changing week.

Wendy and I shared a sixth grade classroom of 19 girls - in which Kelly was a student.  Emily led a table of first graders, and Amy sang and played the keyboard for Outdoor Music.

When the children arrived each morning, we attended a 35 minute assembly of music, drama, and information on the missionary that we were supporting.  The contest between the boys and girls was held each day to see who could donate the most money to our missionary, Ashley Ruffner, who works at a school in Ecuador.  The over $19,000 the students brought in will go to supply sports equipment, VBS materials, Bibles, and some new sound equipment to the school.  The donation also paid for a plane ticket home, so Ashley could see her father who had become ill and needed surgery.  Ashley was able to join us at the assemblies on Thursday and Friday.

After the assembly, our group went to our classroom (which our family had a blast decorating with rain forest themed decorations!) for craft time, then outside for some wet recreation time.  After a quick snack (some of those 16,000 cookies), we headed in for a message from one of our pastors or a drama group.  After that, we headed back to our room for our table time.

Each day's theme was a different parable told by Jesus in the Bible.  On Monday, we learned about the sower and the seeds.  We learned that if our faith is shallow, like seeds built on rocky soil, it will fail.  We need strong healthy soil to grow strong.

Tuesday we heard the parable of The Lost Sheep.  We were reminded that each and every one of us is important to Jesus.

Wednesday was one of my favorite stories - The Good Samaritan.  It's always a good reminder that we need to love our neighbors - no matter what.

Thursday was a day to learn about prayer, and reviewing The Lord's Prayer, as well as the parable of the man who persistently knocked on the door.  We were reminded that Jesus is knocking - are we going to answer the door?

And it all came to an end on Friday, with the parable of the Talents.  Not talent as in singing and dancing, but in the Bible, the talents are money.  We were challenged to think carefully and act with the talents God has given us.  Not just money well spent, but our time - do we waste it, or are we glorifying His kingdom?

Wendy and I had an incredible time during the last hour of each day.  Only a few of our girls were Christ-followers - many had never learned information from the Bible, or they did not attend church.  We decided to allow them to ask any question they had about the Bible, and we would answer it.  if we did not know the answer - we told them we would check in our Bible, or with a Pastor and get back to them.  The questions were great, some were simple - like the girl who had heard of Adam and Eve, but had no idea who they were - so we took a day and covered Creation.  There were lots of questions about Heaven and hell.  We told the girls that one of our main goals for the week was that they left understanding that EVERY word in the Bible is true.  We were able to outline the steps to salvation.  Seeds were planted.  Six Bibles were given away, in our class alone, to girls who had never owned a Bible.  

A mighty work was begun.  May God be glorified through this.

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