Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacation Bible School

Like many people, I'm finding myself at another week of VBS. The week has gone by quickly I think. Maybe I just have really good help that makes my responsibilities easier this year. Vacation Bible School is far from a vacation for those of us leading a "station" whether it be group leader, music, crafts, snacks, games, or Bible class, but for some reason we always sign up to help again the next year. It's because it's not about us, but about reaching the boys and girls with a message we think is important enough to put our normal schedules aside for one week and entertain kids in a way that is fun and yet filled with basic Biblical principles that will help them to grow in their understanding of God.
According to some on line research, VBS got it's origin back in 1894 by a teacher, Mrs. D. T. Miles. She was a public school teacher until she married and then continued to teach in Sunday School. Feeling the time on Sunday morning was too constrained to teach the children what they needed to know about the Bible, she developed a way to teach Bible stories to the students during the summer months. Mrs. Eliza Hawes furthered the ideas of VBS on 4 years later, adding music and crafts to the agenda. In 1922, the World Assoication of Vacation Daily Bible School was founded by Dr. Robert Boville. A year later, the first printed VBS materials were produced.
VBS was started by a teacher out of her own desire to see the Bible being taught to children. Makes me wonder...do we continue the tradition today to see the Bible come to life for the children or simply to give them something else to do to avoid becoming "bored" during the summer. Either way, God is bigger than our greatest shortcomings and continues to reach children through VBS's across the world...for which I am thankful.
Makes me think about my own reasons for helping out, though, and about the impact my attitude has on the children who come into my station each day. Do they see Jesus in me? Hopefully, they can, but I always have room for improvement.

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