One of the greatest privileges in this life is watching God’s pursuit of someone.
Mandy seemed too cool for VBS. She was just visiting for the summer, living with her grandma who happened to be the neighbor of a family that attend Mountain Christian Church. The kids in the family had spent quite a bit of time with Mandy and had invited her to join them for Mountain’s VBS.
Things didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. On Day 1, Mandy seemed overwhelmed by all the music and dancing (and possibly, all the adults pretending to be spies), preferring to stand in the back and watch.
On Day 2, she wouldn’t even participate in the games.
On Day 3, I asked all the volunteers to pray for her; and on that day, she participated only in the craft time…and loved it. While creating something, Mandy opened up to me about her love for art. Suddenly, she couldn’t stop talking.
On Day 4, I caught Mandy dancing and singing along during music time.
And on Day 5….
On Day 5, we had an excellent Bible teaching about how the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts and fill our lives. We’d spent the previous 4 days walking through the gospel, step by step. The teaching for Day 5 was the culmination of it all. Afterward, while we were walking down to game time at the basketball court, Mandy asked about the lyrics to a song we’d been singing all week:
“God is the real deal…not a figure on the wall”
“What does that mean?” she asked. “How is God different from Buddha or saints or anything else?”
I about jumped out of my skin, I was so excited. We spend so much time telling kids stuff. She was asking.
What ensued was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with anyone about who God really is, why He is different from all other gods, and how having a relationship with Him is possible. Yeah—I told her how much He loved her too.
During snack time, I asked Mandy if she’d ever read anything out of the Bible. She said she didn’t own one, as she’d only been to church a few times. She was pretty thrilled as I set out a number of Bibles for her to choose from to take home for her very own.
We talked over the importance of seeking God in His word, as He has revealed so much of Himself on those pages. I wrote a little note on the inside cover and gave her a few suggestions on where to start. Her ride arrived shortly after, but when she was almost out the door, she turned back around and ran to give me a huge bear hug.
The woman who drove Mandy home that day said that she’d spent her time in the car asking the other kids about their favorite Bible verses so that she could look them up and mark them in her Bible.
I don’t know where Mandy is now or what she is doing; but I do know that God was after her that week.
It struck me that every piece of the VBS program…the music, the crafts, the teaching, the games, the snacks, the donated Bibles, those who invited her, and those who drove her, were all used by God to draw her heart to His own. Every single volunteer had a hand in God’s pursuit of Mandy and 80 other kids that year.
Could there be a greater privilege than to be used by our heavenly Father to open a child’s eyes to the truth?
Now, I must fully disclose all the facts: VBS is work. VBS costs. If you are to lend a hand in any capacity for VBS, you will sacrifice time or money or energy or sanity all of these and more.
However, the transformation that is wrought during that week (and don’t think that I’m just referring to the kids) is so much greater than the cost that it is not worthy of comparison with it.
And I’ve said nothing of the parents we serve and the ways in which entire families are impacted that week. Have I told you about my friend who only started coming to Mountain Christian Church because her son attended VBS?
How we had the privilege of witnessing her coming to accept Jesus as her savior months before she passed away? Well…a story for another time.
Would you prayerfully consider being a part of VBS this July? Come experience the privilege of being a part of God’s pursuit of these precious kids in our community!
I can say this with confidence: you’ll never be the same!
Visit our VBS page to learn about how you can get involved!
E-List SignUp Form
Please join us THIS SUNDAY for our potluck at 2:00! Meet us at Los Vecinos with your favorite side dish and celebrate with us!
International Students Inc. (ISI) has a fantastic volunteer opportunity for anyone willing to share their Thanksgiving with the students! There are options for large dinners hosted by churches, mid-size dinners hosted by smaller churches or church community groups, and several small dinners hosted by individuals or families. If you are interested in hosting one or more students for a Thanksgiving meal, contact Vince Tidwell for more information!
Shine will be putting together Winter Break boxes for A. Montoya families in need. Each box will provide breakfast and lunch items for a student every day of winter break! We will have a tree set up next Sunday, November 25 in the foyer that will have tags with specific items that we need to fill the boxes. Please take as many tags as you like and return the items on Friday, December 21. Also, please join us on Saturday, December 22 from 10:00am-12:00pm at the A. Montoya parking lot to have coffee and doughnuts with the families when they come to pick up their boxes! Contact Ashley Procter for more information.
The 2019 Clarus Conference is March 1st-3rd. The topic is “Letters to the 7 Churches” by guest speakers Kevin DeYoung and H. B. Charles Jr. There are postcards in the foyer if you want more information. If you are interested in the Early Group Registration rate of $30 per person, please let Elizabeth know by November 27th.