Last week, my son attended Vacation Bible School for the first time. My heart could barely handle how grateful I was to the church that that hosted it. There were over 1500 kids there and, from an outsider’s perspective, it went off without a hitch. My sweet little one absolutely loved it and my emotional mama’s heart wrote this in reply.
Dear Vacation Bible School Volunteer,
It’s hot, just so hot. Kids are sticky, sweaty, and hopped up on sugary cereal that no one admits to feeding their littles anymore. They arrive, some for the first time, scared and confused as to where they are. Others, regaling each other with memories of last year. They are loud, quiet, shy, hyper, and everything in between. Perhaps you eagerly signed up to volunteer at VBS, perhaps you did so out of obligation because your kids are involved, or maybe you’re a high school or college student needing service hours. However you found yourself at VBS as a volunteer, you are now part of something that holds great significance in God’s Kingdom. There is a much deeper reality that exists beyond the surface as you sweep up Goldfish crumbs, wash glitter and glue off of tiny hands, and dramatically clap your heart out in a feeble attempt to engage distracted preschoolers.
Behind each pair of wide eyes staring back at you resides a soul, beautifully and artfully crafted by the God of the Universe. Each one of infinite value to Him. Some who would never (and I mean that – never) have heard the name of Jesus uttered in a positive way if not for this week at Vacation Bible School. There are children who undoubtedly come from broken circumstances and, for them, this is a welcome respite from the chaos. There are those who attend church regularly who will be forever changed by the chance to be immersed for a week in stories of Jesus. Regardless of their backgrounds, each precious child has only a few short years left of sweet, innocent childhood. Vacation Bible School is an incredible opportunity to lay a foundation of faith that they can fall back on for years. It truly is a special week.
VBS Volunteers, from this mama’s heart to you:
Thank you for all of the hours spent building, painting, and decorating props and your church that match the theme for this year.
Thank you for being willing to be covered in glitter each day as you help little hands glue animals on Noah’s ark.
Thank you for learning songs and hand motions as you work to imprint the Word of God on the hearts of the next generation.
Thank you for wiping runny noses that are caused by “allergies” and most certainly not the cold that you will find yourself with next week.
Thank you for drying tears at drop-off as you comfort children who miss their parents.
Thank you for loving kids in a way that reflects Christ to them.
Thank you for giving each child a chance to have a positive experience at church.
Thank you for staying long after the last little one has left to clean up and prepare for the following day.
Thank you for leaning in, volunteering, showing up, praying, and for believing that all of the time, energy and messes are worth it if it means that these precious ones have a chance to hear about Jesus. I am forever thankful to you.
A Grateful Mama