The pitter pattering of feet large and small, the “full belly” laughs, the raising of hands and the harmony of “Na Na Na nah nah nah” were all sights and sounds heard throughout JCBC this past week. Each night during VBS over 500 gathered to gear up for Christ and grow with God. We learned about Jesus’ miracle with the fish and loaves while spreading love and hope to inner city Atlanta with 900 lunches. We learned memory verses such as John 5:17 ” My father is working and I am working, too”, and worked away while helping pack over 350 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Of course all work and no play makes for no fun, and so why not do extraordinary things in playtime as well? “The snacks were awesome”, “How many times did you go down the slide?” “Did you see the jumpy in preschool rec?” “Wow, did you see the rocket blast off?” “Wow, did you see how big the science explosion was?” “If I trace my hand and then a part of me will be with someone in another country? Wow!”
And man, did the piggy bank money roll in. The efforts were definitely extraordinary. We raised almost $3,000 to help Samaritans Purse buy 10 goats, 1,000 fish, 4 motorcycles and quarter of a house. These will empower people to have better lives.
Some of the stories and comments from VBS: They say it better than we ever could.
- “We made our fish and bread baskets last night. Before starting we reviewed the story they had heard. We talked about sharing and then I told them about the pasta necklaces they could make when they were done to share with other kids. We said they could keep one and give one to share in the shoebox. So Katie was helping one little boy finish his two necklaces up and she asked him which one he wanted to share. He replied that he wanted to give both as he wanted to share too. “
- From my 5 year old, Anthony …..”Mommy, can we go to vacation bible church every night?” Mommy, “No, sweetheart” Anthony, “Well why not?”
- A kindergartener to his mom, “Hey, did you know that Daddy is not my father, that I have another father?” Mom, Well, son, who would that be?” “God of course. He’s my heavenly father. My heavenly mother must be, (Pause) Mary.”
- From a child who goes elsewhere to church, “Well, Johns Creek Baptist has the best VBS ever!”
- “Wait, Mom! I need to get my Bible before I go to VBS!”
- “Oh my goodness! We can buy more fish than there are in the ocean!”
- “My storyteller brought fish filet sandwiches and fries for fish and loaves story!”
- “Here, sweetie. The church would like to give you a Bible since you don’t have one.”
- “So glad that my friends have been told about Jesus and how to become a follower!”
- A neighbor who sent her child with one of our church folks commented, “I love that I could send my child to your church and know that she is safe, would have fun and that she would be able to tell me what she learned.”
So, to the beaucoup of volunteers we say, “THANK YOU!!!” To the parents who took time to bring their children, we pray that you and your children will know God uses ALL OF US to be extraordinary. Just 358 more days to VBS 2015! The ripple effect of the impact that WOW VBS is having cannot be measured. We will see the results of that in volunteers’ spirits revived, children coming to Christ, Atlanta kids less vulnerable, and thousands of lives around the globe impacted with an opportunity for a better life and the chance to become a believer! In the meantime, we look forward to building and growing in God through our children’s ministry and church as a whole!
Johns Creek Baptist Church