VBS 2016: We are Disciples!

Flour in your face, blindfolds, prayers, carrying fish with straws, songs, homemade fruit ice cream, salvation bracelets, catching water balloons with towels, and glitter flip-flops.

Pack all of these things into one week and what do you get? VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL that’s what!

One night, several weeks ago, Erika (one of the church members and our self-declared Chilean mother) invited us over to her house for some watermelon and VBS talk. She shared with us her passion for teaching kids about their most important job on earth – to be disciples! She had also already brainstormed a list of focus topics for each day of the VBS week. It didn’t take us long to add the appropriate bible passages and ¡voilà! we had the following schedule:

  • Monday: Jesus calls US to be disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • Tuesday: We are disciples because He SAVED US (Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • Wednesday: The first disciples
  • Thursday: Disciples have different GIFTS (1 Corinthians 12)
  • Friday: Jesus gives us STRENGTH to be His disciples (Joshua 1:9)

Erika has recently started taking a class every weekday. Because of this she was not able to help out during the actual hours of bible school BUT she made sure to still be a big part of the project. Erika is a busy loving full-time mom to her three children but continuously makes church work her number one priority. Basically she’s a superwoman with her priorities straight, and we are blessed to know her!

When Erika asked us to help out with VBS she heard a resounding YES! That’s what we are here for! Using the framework we created together, it was easy to carve out the week with daily Jesus, songs, activities, and crafts.

We also recruited some helpers:

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Meet Patricio, a fun-loving, rugby playing, English teaching member at one of our churches in Santiago. Thanks to his teaching schedule he has summer off and we were able to steal him for a part of his summer. Patricio is a very active and passionate member and came to help out with VBS every day! As you can tell, the kids ADORED him and begged for his number by the end of the week. 
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Meet Valeria, the goofy, artistic, high-school aged daughter of Erika. Here she is painting the windows of the church to advertise for VBS. She helped out with a couple things and even brought her friend. Even though he was too old for VBS, he was able to help and hear the message of Jesus every day along with the kids! 
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Meet Pastor Erickson from Santiago who made sure that his monthly visit to Linares matched with the dates for VBS. He started every day with a devotion and ended every day with a group prayer. 
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Meet Ellen, Pastor’s wife, who surprised us with homemade fruit ice cream one day! She was around every day of VBS to talk to the kids or assist with the crafts. 

 

Every day of VBS we began with a devotion focusing on the topic of the day. Following devotion we sang songs and then did activities or games based on the devotion. Then, after a little snack of juice and sandwiches or fruit, we ended each day with a craft and prayer.

Here are a couple of my favorite memories:

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On our first day together we made a sign to put in the front of the church. We Follow Jesus!
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To keep the focus on following Jesus, we did a trust game. The kids formed into groups of two and blindfolded one teammate. The goal was to listen carefully to the voice of your partner and to walk through a minefield of objects without touching any of them. With several teams going at the same time the kids got pretty loud and excited! After the game we talked about all the voices that are around us, but the one voice we need to follow is that of Jesus. 
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Group shot of the obstacle course. 
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Even Jon and Pato did it! I hope you like our blindfold creativity. 
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We made fan hangers to learn and remember the names of the 12 disciples. Here Jenny is helping out a girl who came to VBS because she was invited by her friend. 
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As disciples we all have different gifts, but we work together as a team to share Jesus to make disciples of all nations! Here’s a pick of some team tag. 
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Time for some water balloon toss! I would have to say that this was a favorite of the kids who laughed and laughed … especially when the teachers got wet. 
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What’s a water balloon toss without a little extra fun? 
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Here’s Paz (her beautiful name means Peace) enjoying a snack.
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Another favorite of the kids, a race catching fish with straws! A great segway to talking about fishers of men. 
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After every activity we had a little group discussion that tied the activity to the scripture for the day. Here is Patricio leading one. 
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Making sandals with the Great Commission written on them! This student insisted on using his shoe to make sure that his sandal was his perfect size. 
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Working as a body of Christ to get to the finish line! 
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A very memorable activity….racing to blow all the flour out of a pot. God gives us strength to do the seemingly impossible!
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The aftermath…
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The kids made bracelets for themselves and for their loved ones that told the story of salvation. We had a beautiful moment the following day when a new student came to VBS wearing a bracelet that one of our kids had given to her. The first knot: God created us. Black: We are sinners. Red: Jesus died for us. Blue: We are saved through faith. White: If we believe in our Lord we are pure! Green: We desire to grow in Jesus. Yellow: Heaven is our home. The final knot: We are secure in Jesus’ promises.
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Cherishing the opportunities to give personal and individual encouragement. 
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Fishers of Men!
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At the end of the week, each student was presented with a diploma and this picture frame as a reminder of the strength God gives them to be His disciples. The passage is, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

On our final day of VBS, we headed to the pool! This allowed us to get to know some parents who came along. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of this beautiful day. The boys might have had a little too much fun taking videos with our waterproof camera. If you would like a video, we have about 100 different options that we could share with you! 

Looking back on our week of VBS we feel so blessed to work with Chilean church members and to have had the opportunity to share Jesus. Two of the students who came were our church kids. It was wonderful to develop deeper relationships with them and to encourage them spiritually! All the other students were non-church members. It was wonderful to share the Good News with them and hopefully with others through them!

We rejoice in knowing that the Holy Spirit is always at work and touched the students through the message we were able to share!

Every day is a beautiful day to fish…. Let’s go!

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