We had 18 children participate in “Pets Unleashed!” VBS this year (two that were new to McKendree); and over 25 volunteers who put their time, energy, and hearts into making VBS a success. It was a great day of fun, discipleship, and relationship-building among the children and the volunteers.
The point we sought to drive home with the kids throughout the day is the simple but oh-so- important message that “Jesus cares for us.” Preschool and elementary crews joined together for opening and closing sessions of song, dance, drama, and teachings in the chapel, then rotated through various stations with their crews and crew leaders throughout the day.
At the “Projects-with-a-Purpose” station led by Kelsye Jones and Hattie Rivers, children made seed-bombs as a gift of kindness and natural beauty for someone of their choosing in the community, and some of the gifts and cards made will be sent to Alive Hospice patients and their families, as well as bird feeders as a sign of caring for God’s creation.
At the “Bible Adventures” station led by Carly Abel and Pam Maddox, children experienced Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with vivid illustration and through activities tailored to their age level, as well as the Passion of the Christ through a powerful shadow play for the older children, and a song and activity-based candlelight lesson for the younger children.
At the “Games” station led by Richard Weakley and Jordan Callaway the children experienced a giant box maze, and had to find their way in the dark. It was such fun to watch them be courageous and help each other (and their leaders) through after they had been once! They did many other games all geared toward demonstrating our theme of Jesus’ care for us.
At the Heifer International station, led by Debbie McCormick, children learned about the organization we partnered with to meet impoverished families’ and communities’ needs for sustenance, education, income, etc. by purchasing cows, goats and other domestic animals- through sensory experiences, children’s books, and videos. The children brought donations of their own money and gifts from their families to buy cows for other families, and raised over $160.00! Together with other gifts raised by McKendree’s social justice team, we will have more than enough to purchase a cow and a goat, or two!!
So many new volunteers came forth and so many different teams came together to support the children and VBS this year. The children’s team is so grateful! Thank you
all for your participation. Special thanks to Daphne Coomer who MC-d our chapel times, and was instrumental in shopping, planning, and setup; to Eric Coomer who set up all our technology, played Jesus in several skits, brought in many items for us to use, and put together the slideshow; to Jenni Kriner for doing photography for the day and special portraits to be mailed to the children; to Willodene Broderick, Penny Hooper, and Martha Ann who served lunch for the children; to all our amazing crew leaders and the parents who let us borrow their kids for a day!