We just completed this year's VBS. All of us were involved except Tim who is currently on a back-to-back business trip (Raleigh, North Carolina, and San Diego, California. Shannon and Brahms played in the VBS band while Miriam is worked as a crew leader. I, on the other hand, am taught 3-4 year-olds and was a crew leader to some them.
In terms of weather, I could not imagine any better week than this week to hold a VBS. High temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Children and adults are mellower when the surrounding temperature is pleasant. Smiles, kindness, and silliness prevail over stress, and complaining. Reason and purpose have a greater chance of remaining intact when everything else is favorable. This is an important consideration especially when dealing with the vulnerable species of mankind, whose brain-wirings are currently in the process of completion, called children. After all, VBS is all about positive stimulation of the young brain to give the spiritual side of their minds a chance to be exposed to the right early experiences. The book of Proverbs simply says, "Train a child the way it should go and he will not depart from it."
I like teaching and caring for little children. Children are beautiful people. They are charming and full of surprises coupled with energy. Their innocence and dependence coupled with their honesty grant them the license to be so adorable. VBS gives us the chance to connect with kids which we wouldn't normally have the opportunity to connect with. However, I regret that the structured nature of the VBS leaves very little time to make real personal connections with them. Every minute is dedicated to something that needs to be done. With this age group, half of that time was spent in herding them to the right corral. One might say that "They have to hear this and that." but the thing is - these kids have very short attention span. On the third day for example, snack time was not just distributing the food; leaders were also asked to paint every kid's arm with the wordless gospel symbols while carrying the bottle of ketchup around and running to fetch water at the same time. It would have been more meaningful if the crew leaders sat down with their kids and had one on one conversation no matter how short it might have been. But then again, that's just a thought.
Overall, the VBS went well. It was fun getting to know the different kids and learn about their idiosyncrasies. Some of them reminded me of my own children when they were small. I got to work with and know Linda (from Lake Hills Church), Alyssa Moser, James Wu, Joel Henry, Ethan Keen, and most of all my own daughter - Miriam. All of these crew leaders worked hard to make sure that the kids were safe and in the right place.
Julie Gillham, did a great job organizing the whole project.