It all began back in 2012. We had moved to Mason and started attending Mason UMC in 2007. David was just turning 3 and Hannah was 6 years old. Being that I had little children and had moved every 2-3 years prior to moving to Mason, I was a little shy to get too involved in a church, especially since every time we started to get more involved in a church we moved. But in 2012, after living here for 5 years we were definitely getting more involved with the church. When I found out that Susan Hamilton stepped up to run VBS at our church that summer for the very first time, I knew she needed help. Of course, I didn't know much about running a VBS either except I knew there were lots of pieces that went into running a VBS along with volunteers. So I stepped up and told her I would help her with running the VBS. I didn't really think about it for very long before I told her I would help. God has moved me many times to say yes to something and then I start really thinking about it and say "what have I gotten myself into now?" And usually God is saying to me "I know you can do this, you need to do this, and you are made for this. I am with you every step of the way. You will be fine."
That year I was working at Liberty Heights Preschool in one of the 4 year old classes with my friend Julie. She just so happened to be a co-director of her VBS that year and had done it the past year too. What a great resources she was! She helped me so much that first year. She helped with all the finer details that we first timers might not always think about and she was the one who got us connected to the decoration share group.
As I reflect on the past 7 years, I can see how God has been working. I know God placed me in that class that year knowing that I would be stepping up to help run our church's VBS. He has brought many people to me over the years when I have needed help and haven't known who to ask. This year is no exception. I found out just the week before VBS that our photographer was no longer able to help. I did not panic, I actually felt relatively calm. I had formed a plan in my head if I couldn't find another photographer it would be fine. I actually really had no idea who to ask, so I was just going with my plan B. I was explaining this to someone and one of our registration volunteers spoke up and said well, I am actually a photographer and if you need someone to take pictures, I would be happy too! Like I said, God is always at work and always with us.
Our theme this year was "Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus." The children learned that when you are lonely, Jesus rescues. When you worry, Jesus rescues. When you struggle, Jesus rescues. When you do wrong, Jesus rescues. When you are powerless, Jesus rescues. These lessons are not just for the kids, they are for everyone. I remind myself many times to lift my worries to God and remind myself I am never alone. This year we had over 200 register for VBS. It is the most we have ever had. We had about 90 volunteers during the week of VBS. There were also many who donated items and others who helped make decorations. Not everyone could be there every day, but we had some that came more than they were going to because they were enjoying it so much. VBS is classified as a children's ministry program, but it really takes the support of the whole church to really pull off VBS. VBS is one of children's ministries biggest outreach programs we do. Many of the children who attend our VBS don't attend MUMC we don't know if they attend a church or not but during the week of VBS we teach them as much as we can about The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the bible.
I so enjoy watching the kids up on stage dancing and singing along with the songs and hearing what they say is their favorite thing they learned. There are always challenges to VBS but the awards so outweigh the challenges. With the way our VBS's attendance has been growing over the past 7 years, I know that God is on the move here at MUMC!
Director of Children's Ministry