VBS at the corps & on the road
Vacation Bible Schools successful in reaching neighborhood children.
The Tualatin Valley Corps welcomed a record number of children to VBS.
This summer, vacation Bible school programs at the Tualatin Valley Corps (Cascade Division) and the Santa Ana Corps (Southern California Division) touched the hearts of many children.
The Tualatin Valley Corps in Hillsboro, Ore. held its first vacation Bible school (VBS) in over three years. Incorporating a “scuba” theme, Captains Mario and Claudia Ruiz, corps officers, and Violet Rivera, VBS director and corps youth minister, led the outreach, assisted by dedicated volunteers from the corps.
Prayers were lifted for “more children than you know what do with,” and God delivered: one night 95 children attended, causing an unexpected problem—not enough room! While 171 children were registered for VBS, total attendance for the week was 566. Best of all, 83 young people made decisions to accept Jesus as their savior.
During the week, the kids learned to give back to God from what they’ve been given. A penny competition between the boys and girls raised $384.28 (the girls won).
Through the efforts of committed leaders and volunteers, the Tualatin Valley Corps’ VBS was a success—to God goes all the glory!
The Santa Ana Corps—Captains Lex and Patricia Giron, corps officers—experienced success both with their traditional VBS program and with their mobile ministry, called the “motor home.”
“Our goal was to make the children feel that they have a special place within our church and that they are a vital part of God’s plan for this generation,” said Jose Manuel Martínez, corps assistant.
The corps spent two months preparing for VBS, taking walks through the neighborhood with flyers and invitations for the children. Efforts paid off as 220 children attended the weeklong program that focused on Bible lessons about trusting God’s love and the importance of missions. At the closing celebration, each child received a diploma for their participation with the hope that they would return to church at the corps.
In August, a team from the corps—in the “motor home”—traveled each day to nearby Westminster, Calif. for an open air VBS. Holding it in the open gave the team an opportunity to minister not only to the children but also to the parents who listened from an adjacent apartment building. At the end of the week, the closing festival featured clowns, gifts, food and music for all the families to enjoy.
Santa Ana’s “motor home” ministry will continue to take the gospel of Christ to this and other areas.