One of the greatest blessings of being part of a local Bible believing Church is the fellowship of Believers. What a privilege we have to be with God’s people and share blessings, burdens, and everyday life challenges. I thank God for my Church family.
Katie served on a mission team with YOM to Belize in 2016 and 2017. Here was an update during her time in Belize.
Another good day of ministry in Belize — much done for the Lord. With the van fixed it received a good cleaning for picking up people for the Bible Conference on Saturday and Sunday. The puppet stage was painted and we continued to work on the backdrops — almost ready for VBS next week. Every day each team member is assigned a “missionary chore” from the setup for a meal, clean up for a meal, sweeping, dishes, and bathhouse cleaning. We filled water balloons for Teen Game Time. During the teen night, we had about 30 teens — Emily and Leon Dayfield shared their personal testimonies and Kyle presented a Bible challenge.
Bill Personette and Pastor Stacey Wilder had the opportunity to go to Nicaragua on a mission trip. It was a great blessing to be part of such a ministry. God is working in Matagalpa and Global Bible University. Here is a video of Bill Personette sharing his personal testimony and it was a true blessing.
VBS Can Change a Life
Everybody loves it when kids invite their friends to VBS. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Teachers encourage the friends to come back the next day to give us the maximum amount of time we can have with them to pour God’s love into their lives. When you have just five days, you don’t want to miss a minute.
So as a teacher you feel a bit like you’ve failed somehow when a student comes one day and you never see them again. Disappointed, you conclude you must not have made much of an impression on those one-day-only kids.
But don’t be too sure.
Her mom wouldn’t let her go to church. When one of the neighbors invited her to attend VBS one day, her mom grudgingly agreed she could go.
But just for one day.
At the close of that day, she left with eyes shining, fists full of crafts and papers.
The teacher must have hoped she’d be back, but they never saw her again.
The teacher’s name is long lost, and she can’t sing any of the songs now, but she remembers that day. She remembers how much she liked the music, how fun it was, and that she heard and believed that day that Jesus is really the Son of God. That one day ignited a spark and burned into her heart a hunger for God and the truth of his love.
Much later as a young adult she was invited to church again.
Her friends were surprised when she not only agreed to attend but quickly made a commitment to Christ as though this was something she had been waiting to do. Now active in a church in the Pacific Northwest, her eyes still light up when she talks about that one day in VBS.
Because she knows even when it’s only for one day, VBS can change a life.
Last winter I meet Pastor Stacey Wilder at a winter retreat. While I was getting to know him better, he explains to Pastor Lon Russell and me about his youth group mission teams. He mentioned that he and his youth group help churches with Vacation Bible School (VBS).
Pastor Stacey and the youth group from Calvary Bible Church agreed to come up and help us put on a VBS. Before Calvary arrived at Heritage Baptist Church, our youth group was growing, but there just seemed to be a number of “roadblocks” in the young people’s lives. They seemed to struggle with thoughts of “service” and “surrender”. Throughout the week of VBS I started seeing a change in the lives of our young people. I even saw some smile (which I didn’t know was even possible for them to smile). I started to see kids that never talked with others outside of their circle, start talking with new kids. They even got involved in VBS itself. There were a lot of memorable events that went on throughout that week. The event I cherish the most is when The Calvary Teens were about to leave and the kids started sharing their personal testimonies. It was amazing to hear how God had moved some mountains inside these young people. It was a blessing to hear how these young people were getting burdened with some of the young people they reached out to that week. It was real compassion being shown. Yes some were leaving and some were staying, but the compassion that was growing in the hearts of these young people was a blessing from God. Teens desiring to be used of God to make a difference in the life of somebody else. I found one of the greatest blessings is when I had the opportunity to just watch young Christians reach out to some lost, hurting souls and show them God’s love. I’m am very thankful that Pastor Stacey and the teens of Calvary Bible came up and labored together with the teens of Heritage Baptist to make a difference.
Testimony from Eric
Recently, I went up to Camp Cobeac with the youth group. The speaker for that week was Hal Hightower. Every sermon was great, and I benefited from each one. The one that hit me the hardest was about having a tender heart. The problem is, when we get a hard heart, (like Pharaoh holding on to the Israelites) we don’t know it. I asked God to help me keep a tender heart. When God says something, I want to be sensitive to it- I don’t want to miss what He has for me.