Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moving Forward

The week-end has come and gone; as has May it seems. I can hardly believe it is the MIDDLE of June. The fifteenth! Summer is upon us. Aren't you glad you stopped by today so I could give you a calendar update? "Thank you, Captain Obvious!"

April is one of my favorite months for this very reason. By the time April rolls around, we usually have Christmas well behind us. (Although I must confess that this year my Christmas village stayed on the decorator ledge until Memorial Day due to surgeries, major church events and other such. John urged me to just leave it up until next Christmas! Sigh.) Anyway, April usually marks a moment to breathe because all major obligations are fulfilled and the "summer push" hasn't yet arrived.

Well, that's how it usually goes. This year......not so much. And here we are at the half-way point of half the year 2010! Christmas will be here before we know it; I probably should have listened to John. Smile.

Last night was the beginning of one of our highlight moments in the year - VBS! That's right, Vacation Bible School 2010 opened last night with a bang. The Lord gave a great theme to Kristin for this year, "Say What!" (Walk with Him; Hear His Voice; Answer His Call; Tell the World. Isn't that ingenious?!) Our theme for this year at the church is "Tell the Story;" so this coordinates beautifully.

She and our young adults pastor (Amanda) have worked together developing the theme. Games were chosen, scriptures selected, sample crafts constructed, skits were written, songs were learned. Even the grand prize for most visitors coordinates with the bright, cityscape background built by Ed, one of our church members. The team of nearly 35 workers flowed together flawlessly last night. And many of the children chose to ask Christ into their hearts when given the opportunity. A fabulous evening!

Sometimes we wonder if all the work is worth the effort and the exhaustion that surely follows. But last night I watched Kendall (who's twelve) on stage helping Ms. Kristin with worship. She was singing loudly, waving her arms with enthusiasm, encouraging the kids to sing. All the while, the huge smile on her face gave no indication of how nervous she might be in front of everyone. And I suddenly had tears in my eyes.

See, Kendall and her brother were invited to our first VBS five years ago. A friend of hers wanted to win the grand prize! As a result of that invitation, Kendall's family began attending our church. They were all pretty quiet - for about a year. Then Cody, her brother, started getting comfortable and has become a great influence in our youth group; he has a lead role in the VBS skits this year. Kendall's dad now leads our men's ministry and her mom was responsible for feeding our entire team last night.

Watching Kendall and processing those thoughts, made it easier for me to jump and sing and high-five little ones even though my body was tired. We never know whose life will be touched in a year. Hopefully, many. Yep, it's definitely worth the effort!

Oh and I almost forgot, every year the girls' team competes against the boys' team for points. At the end of the week, an adult is "slimed" on behalf of the losing team. This is a rather disgusting ritual as the recipe for the slime is really pretty gross; which the kids LOVE. (Take one five gallon bucket. Fill halfway with water. Add several boxes of pistachio pudding, liberal amounts of baby oil, multiple jars of apple sauce and copious quantities of creamed corn. Stir.)

This horrid concoction is then carried up a ladder by the adult from the winning side, balanced precariously over the head of the losing team representative and at the end of a loud countdown, poured out on the designated individual accompanied by the cheers, laughter and screams of delighted students!

This year - our fifth year - the designated "slime-ies" had to be extra special, we were told. Adults that would really spur the kids to participate. Who could possibly fill that role?! You guessed it - Pastor Frank and Pastor Sheri. Is it too late to ask that you send in your pennies to help the girls' team win?!! Smile.

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