Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Investment In Eternity

Vacation Bible School happened again this year at Westmoreland Baptist Church, and God showed up!

VBS is always a fun time for kids, and an exhausting week for the workers, and this year’s school was no different. It requires months of planning, ordering literature and craft supplies, lots of moving things around, disrupting the status quo and the regular church schedule, decorating classrooms, and publicizing the event in the community. Families involved have their regular home schedules disrupted while VBS is going on.

Furthermore, it cost money to host a Vacation Bible School. It is not cheap. These are monies spent during the Summer months, which are traditionally the weakest financial months in the church calendar year. People are on vacation in the summer months, and offerings traditionally are way down (they shouldn't be down, but alas it is a fact that most churches have to deal with). Utility costs are high, the youth group goes on its usual mission trip around the same time, and frankly, it creates a financial pinch.

Someone at a church I formerly served once asked me if I thought VBS was really “worth the expense” involved. My reply at that time was that VBS is not an expense – it is an investment – an investment that brings huge returns. It is an investment in children that can have eternal consequences. It is an investment in evangelism and discipleship. It is an investment in families that can be, and are, touched by this ministry. This year, 10 precious children accepted Jesus as their Savior. 10 souls have been spared eternal destruction, and seeds were planted that surely will spring up into eternal life in the lives of other children who heard the Gospel, and learned of Jesus’ great love for them.

This ministry would not be possible without the dedication and work of everyone involved, from the VBS Director, to the teachers and classroom helpers, music leaders and A/V personnel. How would we operate without the hard working craft people, the recreation volunteers, the dedicated refreshment and kitchen crew, the people who drive the van, and those who clean up after each night’s activities? Our volunteers ranged in age from13 to several ladies in their 70’s and 80’s. There was dedication, unity, and faithfulness exhibited by everyone involved. We have had some great Bible Schools at WBC throughout the years, but I have not experienced any better than this year’s “Big Apple Adventure”.

It has already proven to be a boon to our new Sunday evening TeamKid Children’s Ministry, as several VBS kids were on hand for the first time, this past Sunday night.

As pastor, I have never been more proud of our people, as they came together to work in harmony to make Jesus known to nearly 100 children. The children’s VBS offering of $226.00 (boys won the contest this year!) will be sent to the Philippines to help with school related expenses for John Carlo and Rhea Mae Zerna, the 12 and 11 year old son and daughter of Joseph and Juvy Zerna. Joseph and Juvy are our Filipino partners who are planting churches in the Mabinay area of Negros Oriental.

Who knows how many future pastors, evangelists, missionaries, teachers, and other church leaders may have been impacted this past week? The old saying goes, “anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God knows the number of apples in a seed!” We will see the first baptisms resulting from VBS this coming Sunday morning.

I thank God for what He has done this past week, and thank you for giving to the Lord through the ministry of Vacation Bible School!

No comments: