Vacation Bible School (28th-31st May)

Howdy folks!

It’s been a great week and God has used this children’s program to renew and refresh my outlook on Children’s Ministry. I have to admit that after being in Children’s Ministry for 8 years since 2006 (when I first started running Character First! Classes from my home) up to this year, I was beginning to feel a little stale and was afraid I would very soon start to throw very unappetising, uninteresting Bible lessons to my students. I doubt a “Teacher’s retreat” would have done me as good as serving in this VBS has.

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Our pastors were out from the church office every morning and afternoon during pick-up and drop-off time to usher the children out/into their cars to ensure smooth traffic flow. How often is it that you have the Senior Pastor of a church giving you such VVIP treatment eh? I loved that little extra touch, I am sure it was also very encouraging to the other team members knowing that the pastors were interested and involved in this ministry as well.

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Quite a number of children would come by 8:30am though the programme officially started at 9am everyday. Some of the helpers would be waiting downstairs at the porch area to usher the children up, where others would already be upstairs in the sanctuary befriending the children.

Despite the lack of sleep and pain I was experiencing, I was recharged when I saw the bright eyes and smiles on all the children’s faces each morning. They were so excited to come to VBS!

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Jeremy and his team did a fantastic job leading the kids in songs and memory work, the children memorised a new Bible verse and Bible truth every day.

Bible truths for Kingdom Rock VBS 2013:

God’s love helps us stand strong. (We learnt about how God is our good shepherd from Psalm 23)

Family and friends help us stand strong. (We used the story of Esther and Mordecai to illustrate how our parents and the right friends help us make the right decisions at crucial times of our lives).

Prayer helps us stand strong. (The children learnt about the life of Nehemiah and how he depended on God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.)

Trusting God helps us stand strong. (The most important message of all was taught today: How Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and how we can be strong in Him because He has risen from the dead.)

Picture below: An interactive skit where the younger children helped lay “bricks” to build the walls.

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We played lots of games…

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We made a different craft each day that correlated with the Bible principle that we learnt…

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We ate some…

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We played some…

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One of the boys who came up for prayer during response time…

One of the most special moments for me this VBS was praying for the children who wanted prayer and ministry. I did not expect to be assigned this task honestly, to be part of the Prayer and Ministry team but God has used this experience to affirm the direction of where I seem to be slowly heading towards in ministry…

I was very impressed and touched by the few whom I prayed for. They were very brave, considering their tender age, to walk up front and ask for prayer. I knew that they were not coming up front merely for love and attention (as how come children would, which is okay with me even if that happens) because they could identify immediately the needs for prayer. For example, one boy shared that he was afraid of being alone. Nothing moves my heart more than the vulnerability and openness of a child when he opens his heart to you…

Another precious child said in Hokkien, “I throw up each time I eat”. When he said it, I just pulled him into my arms and held him tight. I don’t know if it was the look in his eyes or just a recognition of a pain and sadness in this little child… I prayed for him in my laughable Hokkien and this precious child followed what I said word for word, blunders and all. Bless his heart!

Perhaps God had a purpose after all, in allowing me to endure those nights of pain and sleeplessness, to endure heartaches and sadnesss. Perhaps God knew that my heart had too small a capacity to love and He wanted to teach me empathy and compassion through what I suffered.

It’s not been suffering all the way for me and God has sweetened my life with dear people who say something or do something just at the right moment when I need it. They are the spoonfuls of sugar to help the “medicine” to go down. So that when I experience their kindness and personally am humbled by my own helplessness, I remember to extend that same grace and mercy to others who may experience greater sorrows and difficulties…

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