Woodburn Holds First VBS in Decades

For a small congregation like the Woodburn Community Church, a summer Vacation Bible School might seem like an impossible goal. Only a handful of children regularly attend each Sabbath, and the church last hosted a VBS 20 years ago.

Eddie Ciobanu, Woodburn pastor, and many church members recognized the need for this type of ministry and prayed about it for several months. When Cindy Hepler, Molalla Church member, led the Bible Buckeroo VBS at the Molalla Church in July, Ciobanu asked if she would repeat the program at Woodburn.

Hepler agreed and brought seven Molalla Church young adults to assist. Woodburn Community Church members provided their time and resources as well.

The VBS crew welcomed 12 children the first day. Attendees were given a cowboy hat and a bandana to wear throughout the week. They also enjoyed singing, crafts, outdoor games, Bible stories, and healthy snacks like popcorn and smoothies.

By the second day, attendance doubled. Ciobanu welcomed each child and invited them to bring their friends the following day. Flyers were distributed in the local community, and children asked their friends to come for a fun time. Some even brought a parent or grandparent.

Fifty-two children were counted the last day. On Sabbath, 20 children came to the church for a special VBS program. The children shared VBS songs with God and the church congregation.

"I am very impressed with this church, and I am going to try to bring my children here for Sabbath School every week," says one local parent.

Ciobanu always says, "Wherever God guides, He will provide." Even though a VBS didn't seem possible for the Woodburn Community Church, they had faith in God, who provided everything for it to become a reality.

November 01, 2012 / Oregon Conference