29 May Reflecting on Vacation Bible School
“Now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you
have sent.” – John 17:3
At Children of Hope, all we do is based on our faith in Jesus, so this plays a significant role in how we nurture and guide our children. We want to encourage our kids to grow in their knowledge and relationship with Jesus, but want to provide an opportunity for those in the community to grow as well. Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one way to do this.
A group known as Beyond Church Walls, affiliated with New Life Church Nairobi, offered to host VBS at our Kitalale home. It was such a blessing, and they even raised funds to provide for all the materials. We want to share some of the highlights with you.
“Tell it on the Mountain” – The Theme for VBS
During the April school break, we collaborated with Deliverance Church and Adventist Church Kitalale to gather children for our VBS. We planned for 300 youth but were overwhelmed by the response of the local kids. Day by day, the numbers increased with up to 450 attending on some of the days.
“Tell it on the Mountain” focused on Biblical events that took place on a mountain, like Moses on Mount Sinai. Through engaging storytelling and lessons, the children were exposed to a wealth of teachings, memory verses, and spiritual insights that ignited a desire for further exploration of their faith.
Each day started with morning devotions filled with uplifting songs, dancing, a short sermon, and prayer. Then, the children were divided into groups, each having a different colored flag. It was so much fun to watch the kids follow their leader to the next activity. It kept the chaos to a minimum, maintained a smooth flow of activities, and was very entertaining!
VBS was organized into four stations, grouping children according to their ages. Each child rotated through the stations every day.
The Bible Station’s theme centered around major mountains in the Bible and their significance in the Christian faith. There were two verses shared each day, one that related to the mountain of the day and a memory verse. The lessons were interactive and encouraged thought-provoking questions, allowing the children to gain a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.
The Craft Station allowed the children to explore their creativity and make beautiful crafts to reinforce the lesson. They were able to take home this tangible reminder of what they learned each day. This may have been the first time some of the children had held a paintbrush or taken a craft home to their families.
The Play/Games Station was undoubtedly a favorite, where they took part in fun activities that correlated with the day’s lesson. Chris from New Life Church was in charge of this station. He shared his enthusiasm about the children’s boundless energy and excitement, particularly during the water-based games. Chris said his heart was full watching the children enjoying themselves and building lasting memories.
The Snack station was another favorite. Fiona, from New Life Church, provided the children with unique and delicious snacks tailored to each day’s lesson. The creative team ensured that every day brought a new surprise, leaving the kids anticipating what delightful treat awaited them the following day. It was a joyful experience to see their happiness when the snacks perfectly complemented the day’s message.
Something for Every Age Group
Our young ones were not forgotten at VBS. The Baby Station catered to our toddlers and children below the age of five, providing them with fun activities and lots of play. It was wonderful to see their innocent laughter and enjoyment as they engaged in the specially designed activities just for them.
When VBS wrapped up around 1pm each day, our Kitatale home provided lunch for all the children. While the younger ones were done for the day, the teenagers remained for an interactive afternoon session tackling relevant topics. Faith, a high school student from our Kitalale family, said she enjoyed this time where they could ask questions about sexuality, peer pressure, life, and more. She also said she made new friends and gained a deeper understanding of the Bible which will help her with her Christian Religious Studies at school. This opportunity for the teens to share openly in a safe space was very powerful. It was an important part of each day and something that is not normally included in VBS.
VBS was a great success! The passion of the teachers and volunteers was evident, and they left a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of all the children. Our Kitalale kids continue to sing these new songs as an anthem around our home doing chores, hanging out, and even when they are in the shower! The chance to provide engaging Biblical teaching to so many children in the community for an entire week was very significant and powerful. Praise the Lord for His hand in this!