Rome Comes to Valley View
After a Vacation Bible School drought of almost seven years, Valley View Adventist Church in Medford, Ore., was ready for a Bible adventure. After much planning and preparation, June 21–26, 2009, brought Rome to Valley View in “Paul and the Underground Church.” This was a hands-on VBS where every child and adult was part of the story, making the Bible come alive.
Family groups of 10 visited Paul who was under house arrest, attended the underground church that worshiped in a secret cave, participated in apprenticeship games, sang Extollo songs and visited the marketplace — all while trying to stay out of the way of the Roman guards.
The VBS staff decided it was important to introduce the Sabbath to the children. So they added a sixth night to the program. On the closing Friday evening, the Roman guards burst into the assembly and tried to break it up, but in the end, two of the soldiers gave their lives to Jesus. Then Walter Mancía, pastor, made a call for all the children who wanted to give their lives to Jesus to join him for a special prayer. It was an amazing experience to see children coming forward dedicating their lives to Christ.
All of the families were invited back Sabbath morning for a final program and a special luncheon. Pastor Mancía dressed in a Bible costume and gave the sermon as if he were one of the early Christian disciples.
There were more than 70 children at VBS each night, plus parents. Over the course of the week there were 36 non-Adventists and 75 Adventists. One non-Adventist dad brought his son and mentioned he use to go to VBS at Valley View when he was young. Another brought her granddaughter and mentioned how everyone was so kind and loving.
With the help of 65 adult volunteers and 19 teen volunteers, the Lord blessed the outreach in the church family and in the community. Plans are already being made for this year’s program, ”Egypt: Joseph’s Journey from Prison to Palace.” Members are excited to see how the Lord will continue to work. Visit www.vvsda.org for more information.