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Children and VBS make big impact in hurting lives

May 2, 2015

By Brenda B. Gray

I remember as a child shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” as we gathered near the church’s front steps to line up for the Vacation Bible School processional entrance. Everyone wanted to carry one of the flags or the Bible. There was a great sense of excitement as we waited to march into the sanctuary.

My favorite VBS activities were crafts, hearing stories about the missionaries, and learning Bible stories – I really liked to dress up like Bible characters and act out the stories. Outdoor playtimes were great and refreshments were a highlight. Actually, I liked everything abouVacation Bible School!

On Sunday afternoons following VBS, we would have special baptism services for the children who had accepted Christ as their personal Savior. A pond up the road from the church was used for baptisms. I recall the day I was baptized. It was a scorcher. I was eager to get into the cool water and I remember being eager to get out – I’m afraid of snakes! The pond looked pretty “snaky” to an eight-year-old girl.

I loved VBS!

God planted seeds in my heart during those years. Like the missionaries who told of a great desire to share Jesus, I too desire to share Christ and to share the great mission work being done every day at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). Of the children who come to BCH, 80% are unchurched. This year our borders expanded beyond North Carolina when we opened an orphanage in Guatemala.

Each year, we travel to Vacation Bible Schools sharing mission moments. The excitement in the eyes of the children as they hear the BCH story is amazing. They immediately begin to ask questions. I am so touched by the hearts of these children who want to help hurting children. Recently, I attended the Baptist Men’s Conference in Winston-Salem. A girl around 12 years of age came to our booth. I shared about the children who live at BCH and about the orphans in Guatemala. She listend and then walked away for a few minutes. She returned to place $20 in my hand. “I want to help the children.” 

Often after I speak to children’s groups, they will make their way to me to talk. They have handed me used crayons, crumpled dollar bills, a personal toy, pieces of candy, a rock – whatever they have. Many have given me hugs to bring back to the children. Their ability to understand how God can use them to help others is amazing!

By the end of each summer, I know all of the VBS songs and all of the motions. Watching children learn and grow in their faith blesses me. It is a treat to see the ways children find to be able to help hurting children. 

One group had a contest between the boys and girls to see which group could raise the most funds. The leaders of the losing group were slimed. Another group did something similar in which the youth pastor and the children’s pastor each represented a group and the loser had his head and beard shaved. One VBS collected a “Kids Helping Kids” offering each Sunday in April, May and June as a part of their offering – they collected $565. One VBS collected a van-load of food for the children. One church decided to produce a bike-a-thon to raise funds.

Recently the children from the Vietnamese Mission at First Baptist Church in High Point led their church to collect a van load of paper towels and toilet paper. One young lady planted a garden and sold produce to raise funds to help. Another VBS collected school supplies and another had a bake sale and all the children made cookies. The ideas are so creative and their gifts so heartfelt. The excitement and commitment is encouraging.

This year, your VBS children can make a huge impact by helping provide love and care to BCH’s boys and girls. 

Your VBS can offer food and shelter to a child in need. One out of every five children in North Carolina lives in poverty. There were 128,005 children in North Carolina referred to DSS for abuse and neglect. Hunger, neglect and abuse are as close as next door.

Consider collecting a “Mission: Kids4Kids” offering this year. BCH will use the offering for buying clothing, school supplies and other daily provisions. 

Help rescue an orphaned baby in Guatemala. A gift of $11 a day provides care for one baby. Encourage your children to rescue a child for a day ($11), for a week ($77), or a month ($341). One baby was left in a corn field before being rescued and another was left in a washbasin in the town square on a freezing cold night.

Please invite a BCH mission speaker to come and present to your VBS. Call 336-474-1209 today. Also, go to bchnc.org/kidsvbs and check out BCH’s VBS materials.

And thank you! Thank you for helping to make a difference in hurting children’s lives.