I wanted to share some awesome things that God did at my church's vacation bible school this week so far (there are still 2 days of it left, so please pray for Him to continue to work!). It is a road trip themed VBS this year, and all of our lessons have a memory verse that goes along with the theme. All of the games, songs, and crafts for each day also fit with both the theme and the daily message.
On the first day, we did the salvation message. We talked about "the road to Heaven" and memorized the verse John 14:6. Several of the kids were very excited to have heard the gospel for the first time because, in their words, "I want to go to Heaven!". We didn't have them come up to the alter, we just all prayed together at the end, so I don't know how many children were actually saved...but I could tell that some were really getting it for the first time. When we talked about sin, I could really see the concern for their souls, and joy when I announced "Don't worry, there's good news too!".
On the second day, we learned that the bible is our map through life, and we memorized the verse Psalm 25:4. For the craft, we decorated drawstring backpacks that had map designs on them, for them to carry their bibles in. What really impressed me this day, was that I saw several of the children around town later that night carrying their bibles around in their bags "so they would have their life map wherever they go". Many children also started bringing their bibles to vbs with them the next day, so I think they really understood how important the bible is. And the next day, the littlest girl in the whole program (4 years old) who I didn't even think was paying attention or getting anything from the lessons, was able to tell me word for word everything that she had learned the day before! She even gave me an example of direction that the bible gives us!
On the third day, we talked about prayer. We memorized Proverbs 3:6 and decorated prayer boxes shaped like steering wheels, to remind them to ask God to direct their paths. I walked around to see what the kids were writing on their boxes, and one little boy (who I've taught in Sunday school and has never expressed much interest in God) was writing "God's Way" on his box (we had learned about going "God's way" to Heaven 2 days earlier!). And several children were writing things like "I love Jesus and always will!". Keep in mind that we didn't tell them to write anything- we just told them to decorate.
I know these probably seem like such little things, but I really see the Holy Spirit working and helping them to remember what they learned. Tonight, we are doing a message about preaching the gospel (Mark 16:15). And on Friday, we are doing a salvation message and presentation for the parents. Please pray for these.