Tonight, Janet and I, along with our daughter Jill, helped Kristin with this year’s Vacation Bible School program at Zionsville Presbyterian Church where Kristin has been on staff for about a decade. In fact, Kristin runs the children’s programs at the church and has taken on VBS as one of her primary loves throughout the year. Even her three children were there – two of them, Connor and Carter, as helpers and Cooper, the youngest one, attending as a participant for the last time. Next year, he will graduate to being a helper as well. Jill’s son, Drew, also attended for the third or fourth year in a row – all the way from Oklahoma! This year’s program, “Daniel’s Courage in Captivity”, started this evening and will run through next Thursday night.
In the early years, Janet and I didn’t help out as much, but the last three or four years we have really stepped up. Janet tends to work with the kids as a guide as they travel throughout the various stations and I usually end up working security. This year, although Jill and Drew were originally scheduled to head home to Oklahoma this morning, they decided to stay and it was great to have Jill bring an added dimension of order and process to the whole evening. After all, there were more than 150 kids signed up for this year’s storyline and we need all the volunteers we can muster.
It is so fun to see the little kids learning about various Bible stories. This year, we are working toward the idea of having courage when things in life change – a lesson that we adults, as well as our children and grandchildren, would do well to remember. There were various stations to keep the children engaged and a marketplace where they could learn about planting food crops, making small musical instruments such as flutes and a host of other small projects to teach about life in Babylon – the setting for this year’s story.
Most of the children who attend are very young and they are eager to have fun. For the most part, they are well behaved and you can’t help but catch their excitement as they visit the various project stations. There is singing at the beginning of the evening and also again when all the groups come back together for twenty minutes before we adjourn for the evening.
A side project has the kids bringing in loose change to help buy seeds to feed needy children in Haiti. This ties into the theme of adversity and knowing that we should all stand firm when things change – after all, God is with us.
Our verse for tonight affirms the fact that we are never alone. The author of Hebrews tells us, in Hebrews 13:5, For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (NLT) As Christians, these are important words for us to hear. We all suffer adversity, trials and tribulations from time to time and it is important to know, for sure, that God knows about our troubles and will never abandon us.
My encouragement this evening is that God is omnipresent, meaning that he is everywhere at once. That means that no matter how many people need His help at any given moment, God is up to the challenge and he is with each of us – all the time. There is no time or place when God is not present. As impossible as that is to understand, it is the truth. God is everywhere – all the time. My prayer is that when we suffer adversity, we may rest in the knowledge that God is with us and will never leave us. That doesn’t mean that we won’t ever have problems, but it does mean that we will never have to face them alone. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…