This year’s Ecumenical Vacation Bible School in Louisiana had record-setting attendance for five nights of Bible-based programs.
During the week of July 15-19 there was an average of 100 kids ages 3 through those completing 8th grade who were involved. During the Tuesday session there were 109 kids and each night there were typically at least 45 adult volunteers.
A hot meal was served each evening to children and the teen and adult volunteers by participating churches. VBS Director Linda Shade kicked off the program each evening with the kids gathered in the sanctuary of First Christian Church at 517 South Carolina. This year’s theme was “Kingdom Rock: Where Kids Stand Strong for God”.
They learned God’s word as they participated in memorable Bible-learning activities, sang catchy songs, played teamwork-building games, experienced interactive Bible adventures, and created point crafts to take home and play with all summer long. Kids were also taught to look for evidence of God all around them through God sightings.
Each evening there was a celebration in the church sanctuary to get everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Parents, grandparents, and visitors were invited to experience the songs, Bible stories, and Bible verses the children learned each day. On the final evening, cookies and punch were served in the church’s fellowship hall.
This year’s mission project was for Operation Kid to Kid, where the VBS program publisher and Biblica put scripture into the hands of India’s children. A teacher or volunteer will sit with the recipient to read the Bible passages aloud and to guide the child in discovering God’s love.
Each child who attended VBS glued his or her photograph into the back cover of a book titled “God’s Love for You” and added personal notes and drawings, knowing the book would end up in the hands of a needy child across the world. The VBS kids also prayed for the recipients of the books. There was a miniature version of the book written in English so that students could take them home as a reminder of what they had done during VBS week.
This yearly ecumenical event was sponsored by the following churches in Louisiana: Bethel AME, Calvary Episcopal, Elmwood Presbyterian, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, St. Joseph Catholic, Centenary United Methodist Church, as well as First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).