upward bound

Recap: We're doing "Upward Bound" at church this week, a VBS curriculum that uses a camping theme to teach kids the message of the Gospel of Luke.

The storyteller yesterday was leading up to a question and asked the kids if they knew who Jesus' cousin was. Best answer: Satan. (Sorry, but that's hilarious.)

There was one particularly awesome moment in our class this morning. Today's lesson was about the death of Jesus, so not a particularly happy story to tell kids.  My sis (the teacher) asked our group of five-year-olds questions as she told the story. She started with a review of the day before, discussing the temptation of Jesus in the desert. She'd been telling the kids how Satan had tried "tricky tricks" to mess up God's plan for our salvation.

She went through the story (mildly) of the arrest, flogging, and crucifixion, including how Simon carried Jesus' cross. She marched her Duplo man down the street she'd constructed and up to Golgotha on the piano. She relayed the final words of Jesus, how He'd prayed for God to forgive those who were mocking Him. At the last moment, she called out Jesus' words, "It is finished." 

She turned to the class and asked, "What do you think was finished?"

Guys, you know it's a class of five-year-olds. They should have been rearranging their socks and leaning up on two legs on their little chairs and staring at the ceiling tiles. But instead, we got three really awesome answers:

  • First hand in the air: Jesus' life 
  • Second hand in the air: Jesus' job on earth
  • Call out from the back (no hand-raising here): Satan's plan

Hallelujah! Yes! I started crying like a weirdo. It just hit me so deeply to hear a child talk about our Savior's death as ultimate defeat of His enemy's plan.  Dude, this is how the Gospel message reaches kids. 



vacation bible school

My four-year-old calls Vacation Bible School "BBS" which sounds too close to BB-8 for me to correct. There are some cute things that you just let go. My seven-year-old has nearly outgrown these cute things BUT I discovered recently that he doesn't know sunburn is kind of a weird singular/plural word. He pulled up his shirts sleeves while we were at Hershey Park recently and got a bright pink stripe on each arm. He told us that night he had "two sunburns." Adorbs.

So BBS. Our church hosts a huge Vacation Bible School each summer, which is awesome. It's four mornings of singing, story-telling, and shenanigans.  This year's theme is camping, "Upward Bound." We had 333 kids the first day, and 344 today. Yes, you read that right. It's a lot of kids!

There's nothing like watching God put the right people in the right position to pull off something amazing. The organizers, the teachers, the song leaders, the run-around-with-the-kids people -- everyone does what they are good at to make the whole train roll along efficiently. 

My favorite two moments of the first two days:

  1. The "big kids" (4th - 6th graders) sit in the balcony. When our song leader challenged them to sing louder this morning, they really took it to heart! They were singing Victory Chant, and she started with "Hail, Jesus, you're my king!" BOY when those kids echoed, I laughed joyously out loud!  I will never be able to contain my emotions when kids are singing their hearts out. So blessed by their singing.
  2. My sister is such a talented teacher. (The only reason I can type this without fear of her yelling at me for blogging about her is that she doesn't read my blog, haha!) Obviously, I've never been a 'fly on the wall' in the public school she teaches in, but I know she's stinkin' fabulous. It's the best part of my summer to watch her use her gifts for the Lord by sharing the gospel with a room full of five years olds. I wish I could say they were all rapt with attention, but the truth is, they're five. Some of them are picking their noses, a few are staring at the ceiling, one kid is tearing the plastic table cloth, and two are elbowing each other. BUT despite the distractions and wiggles, I believe God's message is getting through. Maybe not every word, but my sister walks the front of the room, using just the right voice and the right tone and the right props (Duplo blocks in this case) to share the day's story in a way that brings it to their level. I am so blessed to watch her honor the Lord with her talents.