We didn’t intentionally choose the hottest week of the year for Vacation Bible School, but that’s the way it has worked out. Fortunately, the air conditioners were repaired recently, so all the indoor spaces are quite comfortable. Recreational games have been played mostly in shaded areas, have been less energetic than usual and have featured strategic water balloon activities.

The numbers of children are down a bit from previous years, mostly in the younger grades. The largest and most enthusiastic group is, surprisingly, the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

The leadership of Rob Ottaviano has created an exciting atmosphere around the theme “Shipwrecked; Rescued by Jesus.” The singing is energetic and enthusiastic. The volunteer staff has been outstanding, with many positive mentoring relationships already emerging.

Sister Suzanne, our visitor from Lebanon, has fit right in. She communicates well with adults, and even better with children. She has helped us understand life in the Middle East and the special plight of refugees. Our missionary offering will support the ministry of WAM (Witness As Ministry), the food and supply refugee relief effort led by Jean and Patrick Bouchebel (donations may be made through PayPal on ABC’s website).

Interesting connection: There’s a serendipitous relationship between the concepts of RESCUE (central to the VBS Shipwreck theme) and REFUGE (which is what refugee families need). Children in one of the tent cities where WAM delivers life-saving supplies are the victims of shipwrecks caused by political storms in their home countries. The same Jesus who rescues us from loneliness, worry and other life struggles wants us to help rescue these refugee children.

There’s still time for you to participate in VBS Thursday and Friday mornings, beginning at 9 am. Also, come and celebrate with the VBS family at the closing program, Friday night, 6:30 pm.

— Pastor George Van Alstine