VBS Fosters Spiritual Growth
Vacation Bible School offers an opportunity for churches to foster children's spiritual growth and meet new community families.
It's been at least 20 years since Willapa Harbor Church held a VBS program. Early estimates placed attendance at 15 children — a number shattered when 35 children registered and 50 attended. Many children came from Hispanic homes, representing a major connection for the church.
"VBS puts us in touch with families that would not normally let us in the door and [establishes] friendships that the Lord can use later for different programs," says Gloria Farley, Willapa Harbor Church VBS leader.
The church plans to follow up their successful VBS with an evangelistic series for children.
Elsewhere, Auburn City Church reconnected with older siblings who brought their younger siblings to experience VBS, and Kent Church invited parents to upcoming life-management seminars.
Three churches in Whatcom County — Bellingham, Open Door and Ferndale — collaborated in July to present Sonrise National Park VBS and then repackaged all the supplies for a sister church to use next year.
Sixty children, ages birth to 12, learned how peace, love and hope come from Jesus. Forty-five reading-aged children received a Bible and discovered how to find Bible treasures.
"It was a Christ-centered time, and it was evident in the pure joy the kids expressed when singing, listening to the Bible stories, and enjoying their Bibles," says Allison Purdy, tri-church VBS leader.
Graham Church once again developed an original VBS curriculum about Moses from his birth to the Passover. This two-part curriculum will continue next year with the journey from the Red Sea to the Promised Land.
Sixty children ages 4–11 attended, with a high percentage of children from community homes. A Christian daycare in the neighborhood also brought children to the program for the third consecutive year.
Children went home with a Bible challenge question (complete with a reference verse). One question stumped a father who was helping his child, and he turned to the Bible to find the answer.
"This is the evangelism we are so excited to see — children and their parents going to the Bible to read the stories for themselves," says Kristi Candler, Graham Church VBS leader.