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One shy, little girl changed how I see VBS



  • May 18, 2018
April Stumme

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Papier-mâché picture frames. Songs about Jesus. Popsicles in plastic sleeves. Bible stories told by puppets. Artwork made from paper plates, yarn, and glue.

These are a few of my “stand out” memories of attending Vacation Bible School. It was something I looked forward to every summer.

VBS had a significant impact on my life as a child … and it’s an experience I want my future children to enjoy one day. But there are children living in the slums of India who will never know that joy — unless you get involved.

I attended Vacation Bible School until I aged out, and then I went on to become a VBS teacher. I have so many cherished memories from that time in my life, but one sticks out above the rest.

The first grader with the pale, blond hair was extremely timid when she first came to my class. I’ll call her Sarah. Over time, she began to relax; by the end of the week, she was laughing and playing with the other kids.

Although she loved socializing with her new friends, Sarah would come running back to me each time we switched activities. She wanted to hold my hand as we walked to a different project. And every day before she left, she would give me a big hug.

Later that week, I learned that Sarah had a difficult home life. Her parents were unreliable, and her neighborhood was unsafe. She was looking for security, love, and support.

And at VBS, Sarah learned that Jesus will always provide the security and love she needs, even when people fail her. I watched her confidence soar at the joy of being surrounded by people who loved and encouraged her. I got to witness her big, beautiful smile.

And I was able to pray that she would find the love of God and that He would protect her when life got hard.

VBS left an undeniable mark on Sarah’s life. And though I’ll never know if she accepted Christ, I do know that she got to see and feel the love of Jesus from the leaders at VBS. What an incredible gift!

There are so many other children, like that sweet little girl, who need to know they’re not alone when life is scary or unfair.

The same experience Sarah enjoyed at Vacation Bible School can bless children all over the world. And there’s one nation that especially needs the hope that VBS brings.

India is home to poverty, income inequality, and some of the world’s most densely populated slums. Many children live in difficult conditions. These children need a moment of joy in their lives.

And you can help give them that joy. For $5, you can send a child in India to a three-day VBS!

At Vacation Bible School, children will play games, sing songs, receive food, and learn about Jesus. They also will go home with a Bible workbook so they can share what they’ve learned with their family and friends. And they will have a safe, loving environment where they can laugh, learn, and grow.

Most of all, they will come to know Jesus and His unfailing love for each of them. These are memories that will last long after VBS is over.

But these children need your help to attend! VBS is a luxury that families living in slums cannot afford. For $5, you can send a child in India to a three-day VBS and help him hear about the love of Christ.

I may never know if Sarah became a Christian. You may never meet the child you send to VBS in India. But we still know that God will use our faithful obedience in powerful ways.

I hope you’ll give $5 today and provide one child with the opportunity to find Jesus. Your gift is an investment in a child’s life … and his future.

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