Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PandaMania

Last summer, our children's pastor asked me if I would be willing to direct Vacation Bible School at our church for next year. Because I have a hard time saying "no"...I said yes. I started working on it off and on in about January. In the beginning of June it started picking up as I started organizing volunteers...but I wasn't able to fully focus on it with the ice cream social and all those cookies.

As time passed, the volunteers were signing up and so were the kids. Based on past years, our children's pastor said we would probably average about 50 or so. I planned for 75. About 2 weeks out we hit 75 of pre-registered kids! So...we ordered more supplies...taking us up to 100!

Well...the numbers kept growing and I was worried. We had to add 4 more rooms to accommodate the 40 preschoolers that were registered. What about decorations?


And then God showed himself. We got a call from a church in town doing the same curriculum and asked us if we wanted all their left over decorations. So...on a Thursday night at 8:30...a team of 5 of us took the church mini-bus and filled it to the max with supplies...including 75 bamboo poles made out of carpet tubes! It was such a blessing. We took almost everything they had.


Meanwhile...more kids were signing up! More volunteers were stepping up! But...we were low again on craft supplies. Then...more God! Another church called and they had left over craft supplies---the same ones we were short on. I jumped in the van and drove to Ossian and picked up another vanload of stuff!


Well...VBS was here. As of Sunday, July 10...100 kids were pre-registered. An amazing knock-out team of about 25 volunteers stayed all afternoon on Sunday and we transformed almost the whole church into a bamboo/panda infested forest. I was blown away by the dedication and talent of so many






And then the kids started coming...all 117 of them the first night (which is a whole lot more than 50!) And on Monday...146 kids showed up! WOW! We were officially way short of supplies. We found another church selling their left-overs for 1/2 price. Our children's pastor drove to south of Indy to pick them up! It definitely took a whole team to pull this off!


It was an amazing week! God provided in so many ways....kids...volunteers...supplies. It was a humbling week to see so many dedicated volunteers...so many kids excited about God's world. It was a rough week though...I was up until at least 2 almost every night preparing for the next day.


Andy was amazing..he was so much help...with the boys and around the house! I had to go to church each afternoon and make copies and prepare for that night. Also...he just totally stepped up at VBS wherever there was a need.


It's a tough week...but so rewarding. Even Grant had an amazing volunteer who taught the toddlers lessons. It was so cute to hear him say: "God made Grant!"


We finished the whole VBS up with a Sunday morning celebration at church on Sunday, the 17th. We easily had at least 100 kids come and sing their songs and share what we learned. Even Seth was willing to stand up in front of the whole church and talk!


Overall it was good.... a lot of work...but good! I tend to put my whole self into large projects like this...so at times I probably seemed pre-occupied with VBS...but in the end I can say I did my best. I learned a lot about VBS...and our church and the volunteers. It felt good to give of some of my gifts. The whole week....I was in awe! Awe of a God who totally showed himself in so many ways.


It was great celebrating a God who is WILD ABOUT US!

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