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Today was a great day! What a blessing to share in the ministry taking place in Guatemala. I wanted to share a couple of stories about the pictures attached. As we worked on a family’s “soon to be new home” that they were happily working alongside us to help construct, I snapped this photo of a few girls watching the work. The girl in the black shirt was very hesitant to take this photo and kept turning her head as if she wanted to hide her sweet face. It bothered me as I thought about it and told them in my feeble Spanish that they were beautiful as I would my little girls. As I reflected on this experience, I wonder how often do we as children of God see ourselves in a negative light and seek to hide ourselves from Him in our failures in spite of the declaration we read: Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In Him, Jesus doesn’t see us the way we see ourselves. This beautiful girl in Guatemala needs to know the love her Heavenly Father has for her but how is that to happen unless someone goes to bring that message? Whether it be through a random act of kindness buying lunch for a co-worker, to mowing your neighbors grass, to building a home for a needy Guatemala family and sharing the Gospel…walls are broken down in hearts to hear the message that they are treasured in the eyes of Christ. As Bro. Breck says, it isn’t about “building a house” but building a home and a home cannot be properly built without the foundation of Christ. Thank you Robert Gable for taking the time to share the Word with this family…please pray that this family receives the love of the Heavenly Father and builds their home on the rock of Jesus Christ.
It was amazing. It was fantastic. It was incredible!
Did you see it?
Could you smell it?
Were you able to hear it?
What about taste it?
Surely you felt it…..you must have!!
If you missed it at Fairview Baptist Chuch, you truly missed out.
So, what is this “it” I’m talking about??
Worship. Amazing worship of the One True God.
At any point during this past week, worship was experienced with every sense that God has given us, and IT was so wonderful!
Did you see it? Did you see the worship?
We saw the smiles on the faces of hundreds of God’s precious creations. We saw balls being kicked and children running bases. We saw teachers holding little hands and drying tiny tears. We saw hands being raised to Jesus – hundreds at a time. We saw a lot of worship – things being done for God’s glory!
Could you smell it? Could you smell the worship?
Oh, how the smells of glue and paints being spread on paper bags and cardboard crosses gave another example of God’s greatness! And the scent of sweat, grass, and dirt as young people played joyfully together on the lawn. Did you smell the tractor’s engine as it pulled cute little ones on a cool adventure? We did. We smelled the worship – things being done for God’s glory!
Did you taste it? Did you taste the worship of our brothers and sisters?
Did you taste the sweet morsels in those chocolate chip cookies that someone took time to bake? Did you savor the scrumptious strawberry coating on that yummy cake mix/cereal concoction? Did you happen to taste the refreshing zest of lemon in that cool lemonade on such hot days? Did you notice the children’s faces as they tasted the cheese balls put on their napkins? We tasted the worship – things being done for God’s glory!
Were you able to hear it? Were you able to hear the worship?
Walking through the hallways gave such sweet sounds to the ears. There were testimonies of God’s goodness spoken out loud by our oldest children heading into adolescence. There were the sounds of the water splashing as sponges were soaking it up and being passed overhead in recreation. Let’s not forget the gorgeous sound of laughter – from the baby squeals to the goofy guffaws of the 6th grade boys! And the sound of singing as beautiful as ever can be heard on this side of heaven was poured out as an offering during worship rally. We also heard the sweet words, “I want to know more about Jesus.” Priceless.
We definitely heard some worship – things being done for God’s glory!
Surely you felt it. Surely you felt the worship at VBS this week.
We felt arms of all sizes wrap around our waists and necks. We felt the tugs on our shirts if the kiddos couldn’t read our nametags but wanted our attention. We felt, and quite frankly still feel, the achy muscles of being on the move constantly for hours. We felt the shirts on our backs and that sticky, colorful part as the sweat made it feel just a little bit itchy. We felt the water as it gushed out of the buckets when we carried it to recreation. We felt the paper decorations brush across our heads and arms each time we entered into one of the classrooms.
We felt the worship – things being done for God’s glory!
To be honest, before writing this, I never really took the time to think about worshiping God and experiencing Him with all of my senses. But why wouldn’t I? He gave me each of those 5 senses that we learned about in preschool, right? And doesn’t he want me to use all of me to worship?
When is the last time you tasted something and knew someone had worshipped by cooking it? When was the last time I smelled an engine and knew worship was going on? It is all around us. Let’s take a challenge to try to use every sense we have to sense the presence of God and worship Him. Every. Single. Moment.
It has been a really great year getting to meet all the kids. It has been a joy to help with 5th and 6th grade rec. Easily, this has been one of the best years of VBS ever. -Nathan Nabors
This has been a wonderful VBS. I love learning about our Guide. I love the music. My teachers have been awesome also. I have met new friends. My favorite class is music. I am so thankful my church has VBS. -Anna Claire Nabors
VBS is so much fun! Our 5th grade class is awesome! My favorite rotation is music and learning the dance moves. I also really like the Bible class and learning new stories about Daniel. I’ve met five new people this year at VBS. VBS is one of my favorite things about summer! ~Lily Linton
This week at VBS has been FUN!! I’ve made new friends, played at Rec, learned about missionaries, and sang new songs in Music. Today’s Bible story was about Daniel and how he was captured at 15 and taken to Babylon. My favorite thing at VBS today was Arts & Crafts, we made something cool – a cross with oil pastels. t J This week I have learned a new Bible verse:“And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear his command behind you: This is the way. Walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
I learned that this verse tells us to listen to Him even when YOU think something else is the right choice. It tells us that He has made us a way and we should walk in that way.
I have gone to VBS for several years. My favorite thing is music because it makes me happy. I usually always make friends. So far I have learned about how Daniel had to go off the map to stand up for Jesus. That is what VBS is all about. Learning about Jesus and how we have to follow Him.
-Sophie Singley, 5th grade
I am absolutely fascinated by the explosion of energy during the week of VBS! It is like a little mini-world of what it’s like to see all ages experiencing the thrill of worshiping God in community. As I see five-year-olds learn more about who God is and what He’s like, I get to experience Him in new ways myself. Fascinating!
“I’m enjoying VBS this year! I like the music a lot because along with the songs, you get to learn the motions and the words. I also love the Rec. station because I get to play outside and do fun games! Most of all, the sanctuary time because I get to watch the new video everyday, do the pledges, sing the songs, and learn Gods word. I also like to be able to read and listen to our classroom lesson! I love how God is working through all of us this week!” ~Riley Dees
I’m in the 5th grade class at VBS. VBS is fun because we do art, recreation, missions, music, and snack. We are also learning about Daniel. Our teachers teach us a lot. We have awesome songs to learn. There is a lot of new people that I’ve met this week. Our theme this year is Journey off the Map. I’m glad I’m able to come to VBS. – Matthew Byrd
Wow! What a week! It’s Thursday. Am I tired? Yes. Am I glad I worked at VBS this year? YES, YES, YES!!! Many kids in our 5th grade class made the decision to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior this week. This is a result of years of parents’ prayers, church workers’ efforts, Scripture’s power, and the Holy Spirit’s moving. Many times we get to be the ones to plant the seed of salvation or water it. What a blessing it was to witness the harvest this week! I am so thankful for a church that invests in our children through such an awesome evangelism tool as VBS. Thankful for co-laborers in Christ to work beside through this journey off the map! Yes, I knew VBS would wear me out. But, unknown to me was the blessing he had in store as I watched God changed lives. So glad I said yes to VBS and didn’t miss out on his blessings!
Jennifer Caldwell <><
The team was able to share all the Lord did in and through the team with the church this past Sunday evening. We have had requests to share the video. It is available at this link: https://goo.gl/0vOr6n.
Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for the followup and discipleship with the new believers. May Christ be glorified!
Another great day of VBS. Today, we studied about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the “Fiery Furnace” in Daniel. This has always been one of my favorite stories. When everything in these young men’s lives was going haywire they knew they could trust God. They knew that God would never leave them or forsake them. Their obedience and faithfulness to God led to what of the greatest Bible stories. Much more than a simple story, their lesson is a great truth. I’m thankful for a church that is faithful to teach and share God’s truth. I love to hear our children repeat the story of truth from their perspective. I hope you enjoy one those little voices sharing his answer to, “What did you learn at VBS?” You will be blessed.
Vacation Bible School has always held a special place in my heart. This year was my first year being in the youth group, so I have the privilege of helping with the three year old class. This week has shown me how blessed we are to have a church that invest in our children. I was blown away when we asked the question, “What do you know about Jesus?” and got answers such as, ” He died on the cross for us.” I am so thankful for the impact Vacation Bible School has had on my life and is continuing to have on the lives of so many young people. -Carrington Davis – youth helper
VBS has been awesome the first two days! It is good meeting new friends and seeing old ones. I love the video and the songs in the morning worship rally. I also like music, missions, rec, snacks, and crafts.
If I could I would go to VBS all summer long.
Ben Campbell-4th grade
My favorite rotation was probably music. It was also really fun getting to do the motions in front of the church. It was one of the best VBS’s yet!
Rileigh Campbell – 6th grade
I enjoy making new friends at VBS. We learned about how God loves us and leads us. My favorite thing to do at VBS is art because we make beautiful crafts. Raegan (Kindergarten)
I like going to BIG church with all the big kids. I love to sing and dance. My favorite thing are the TRACTOR RIDES!! Eli (3yo)
I grew up in a very small church. We never had a VBS. I remember going to VBS at my grandmothers church a few times growing growing up, but VBS was not a part of my normal church experience. We had Sunday school, and Sunday night and Wednesday services and my family never missed. But I never received the spiritual training that I needed as a young child at church. Fortunately, I had a Mom who taught me by example what it means to live a Christian life. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 8 years old, but I was in college before I really learned how to study God’s word and apply it to my every day life. That’s why I believe VBS is so important for our children. I remember getting a phone call from the VBS director at Fairview 21 years ago asking me to direct the 3rd grade class. I have never regretted saying yes. Things have changed a lot over the years. I am teaching 2nd graders now and I am no longer the director. Yet one thing hasn’t changed. Our kids NEED VBS! They need this time spent diving deeper into the Word and learning more about what it means to be a Christian. I have seen it in their faces when something they’ve heard for years finally makes sense. I’ve watched as they finally come to the realization that Jesus didn’t just die for the sins of the world, but that he died for THEIR sins. I’ve seen the wonder in their eyes when they begin to realize that THEY can be a witness every day in the things they do and the things they say to their friends at school, at home, and even at the ballpark! I can not begin to tell you the joy that fills my heart every time one of “my” kids makes that profession of faith, surrenders to the ministry, leads in worship with the youth group, goes out on a mission trip somewhere and comes home to testify of what God has done, or becomes a teacher in VBS. I always feel like maybe I had just a small part in helping them make those decisions. Maybe something I said in VBS class helped point them in the right direction. Maybe, or maybe not, but the joy is still there. They are “my” kids and I love them. Most of all, I love seeing them follow God’s direction in their life. Recently, I had been thinking that maybe it was time to take a break from VBS, but this week, as I have prepared the lessons and taught my class, I realized again just how much I love it. I know I’ve heard and told the stories time and time again, but every time I read them and prepare to teach them, I learn something new. Isn’t that just the most wonderful thing about God? The more we read and learn, the more we realize how much more there is to learn! I am so thankful to be a part of such an important ministry in our church. Please continue to pray for all the kids, youth, and adults involved in VBS this week. We are planting seeds. Pray that God will help them to grow.
It seems like every year brings more excitement as I prepare for the week of VBS. I have directed the 3rd grade for many years and have been blessed with opportunity to invest in the lives of the boys and girls while being blessed beyond measure by each special one. It is easy to place a lot of focus on the activities and lesson plans, but I have found that when my focus is Christ and kid-centered, the rest is just a way to lead and assist in building relationships. I am so thankful that my children, Michaela and Isaac, are given the opportunity to see that the journey with Jesus as the guide is a journey of great joy and peace. VBS is a fun way to share my Savior and Lord with children who are hungry for His love. Once again, God has put the right teachers and children in my VBS class, and I am so excited to see how HE guides us and grows us this week!
There are a few times in life we find ourselves in those moments that words cannot define. For me, it seems many of those come as I have the blessing of serving on the mission field. God continues to show me amazing things about His grace and mercy. Often I go with the thought of helping those who are hurting and have not heard the Gospel. However, in God’s infinite grace He does even more. What is more than sharing the Gospel you might ask? Let me try to explain.
For the last several days I have served with some ordinary folks in East Asia. Many were smart, young, energetic, gifted, etc.; however, all were ordinary when compared with the rest of the people on our planet. Yet, in the hands of Christ the ordinary people I was with were used in an extraordinary way. The numbers that would typically be reported were greater than we could imagine. Yet, my mind cannot recall nor focus on the total. What I see are the individuals. The children, the moms, the grandfathers, the workers, the people who came through our clinic were just like us. Yes, they spoke a different language, had a different skin tone, were shorter than most of us, and even ate some strange food at times. But at the same time they were just like us. They were in search of what brought meaning to life. We were privileged to be able to share with many who came to know Christ. This morning my heart is overwhelmed not by the multitude but by the individuals that did.
This week I was reminded of the power of one. The difference that just a moment makes in the life of one person. One moment in time that changes all of time and the generational trajectory for a family. What is greater than sharing the Gospel? Being the one who recognizes its value in their own heart and is thus “transformed” more and more into the image of Christ.
I am thankful for a church family that joins me in loving missions. I don’t simply mean by that in going to another land far away from home. That is important. However, I also mean:
- Giving sacrificially to missionaries. Fairview remains at the top in all percentiles in giving to mission endeavors.
- Supporting a church staff that has a heart to go and tell.
- Sending teams on a regular basis to tell those in a foreign land about Jesus. In doing so, they fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandments.
- Participating in ministries that show the love of Jesus in the local community. I can’t wait for “I Love Columbus Day!” which is coming up this week.
- Allowing their Pastor to “go” to the foreign mission field. I cannot express my gratitude enough in this area. These are times of refreshing and renewal for me.
- Raising up a generation of young men and women like those on this trip. I watched each of them share the Gospel and lead others to Christ. What a blessing!
- There are many, many, many, many more. But, I believe you get the point. God is good!