Pleasant Hill Hosts “Extreme” VBS

October 01, 2002 | Yvonne Karotko

The Pleasant Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oregon was transformed into a “10-foot mountain of faith” for vacation Bible school (VBS) students this summer.

One hundred seventy children registered for the “Faith Mountain: An Extreme Adventure with Jesus” VBS, where they were introduced to Jesus as a joyful, loving God. Half of the children came from non-Adventist homes, some having never been in a church before.

Each morning, the children sang joyful, upbeat Christian music in the sanctuary and were introduced to the Bible themes of the week: Abraham, Joseph, David, Moses and Jesus. “Cliff, the Goat” presented the lessons through skits that showed how the Bible characters climbed Faith Mountain in their relationships with God.

The Bible stories were then reaffirmed in Bible Land, a room decorated to resemble a Bible times setting.

The children also enjoyed making daily crafts, which helped them complete their journey up Faith Mountain. To make sure they each had an “extreme adventure with Jesus,” each day they were introduced to a new outdoor activity.

They encountered rock-climbing, instruction in white water rafting, hay rides, and an air-filled, seven-element obstacle course.

It took 70 volunteer staff to make it all possible, and they are already excitedly talking about what can be done next year.

The VBS week ended with a Friday-evening vespers ceremony, which concluded with projection of the joyful, smiling face of Jesus above Faith Mountain.

Parents, moved to tears, were impressed with the emphasis placed on the joy to be found in spending time with Jesus each day.

Though the volunteers worked hard, they credit Jesus for the blessings each day.

Springfield members began holding annual VBS programs three years ago, with 50 children. Last year, attendance grew to 114, leading up to this year’s 170, some of whom now attend from Portland, Ore., and Washington state. •