My Big Apple Adventure

The theme for VBS this year was A Big Apple Adventure - set in New York City - with Bible study in Battery Park overlooking the Statue of Liberty.  Of course, we live in central Georgia, so we made use of props to get the effect.

Having not been involved with VBS other than as a parent at this church before, I was a little nervous about being a lead teacher.  VBS at Central is no less than a phenomenon.  So being a lead teacher is kind of a big deal.  But we prayed our way through it and before I knew it, we'd made it to Friday afternoon.  I hope I imparted a small bit of God's Word to these kids that they can keep with them.  One thing I know is that they sure taught me plenty.

And here are some of those things...

1.  Second graders take things very literally, and coupling that fact with missing details because they were bouncing around makes for a dangerous combination.  As the Missions Teacher was describing a trip she took to Jerusalem, she used the present tense and said, "We just go get on the church bus, drive to Atlanta, and fly straight to Israel."  Having missed the part at the beginning about it being a trip she'd already taken, one of the students looked at me with the widest eyes I've ever seen and said, "Are our parents going to let us do that!?"

2.  Everything in 2nd grade is a boy versus girl competition.  I mean everything.  Down to who can color a picture the fastest and/or best.  Of course, this leaves me in the awkward role as "judge".

3.  While I think it was a cute touch, the stuffed gorilla at the top of the 3-story Empire State Building in our church foyer was completely lost on kids born in 2003.  I must have explained the basic storyline of King Kong a dozen times to kids who asked, "Why is there a monkey at the top of that building?"  I can hear the conversations now when the kids get home.  "Honey, what did you learn at VBS today?"  "There was a giant gorilla that terrorized the streets of NYC."

4.  Nine times out of ten, I call the Empire State Building "The Eiffel Tower".  But don't you worry, those second graders set me straight.

5.  While a lot of kids these days are ungrateful and feel entitled, there are still good kids in this world as evidenced by the manners and unprompted apologies for accidents that happened in the classroom.

6.  Second graders listen and retain so much better than the four year olds with whom we spend our Sunday mornings.  It was quite rewarding to tell the story, ask questions, and get something besides blank stares and the standard "Jesus" answer in return.  (Not to knock my four year olds...they pretty much rock my socks off too.  But second grade is a whole different ball game.)

7.  A choir of 220 children can bring down the house.  That music was incredible.  And there is simply no way 220 kids could learn all of those lyrics and dance moves in 8 hours time without the involvement of the Holy Spirit.

8.  Pennies can add up quickly.  Our kids raised over $3700 dollars, mostly in change, for the tornado victims in Georgia and Alabama.  Is that just awesome, or what?

This doesn't even scratch the surface, but I can honestly say that spending 5 mornings with those 22 kids was among the most rewarding experiences in my life.  They were just precious and open to the Word of God and so sweet and innocent.

I ended the week exhausted but exhilarated at the same time...if that's even possible.

In 10 words or less, God willing, I'll be doing it again next year. 

 For those of you who prayed with me, I am elated to report that 128 kids professed their faith on Wednesday.  I know there was a party in heaven over each and every one.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  3 John 1:4


Sharon said...

Jennie - First of all, may I just say that I am crying tears of utter joy - 128 precious little sheep chose to follow the Good Shepherd. That just BLESSES my soul!

Sounds like you had a wonderful week, and I can't tell you how much I appreciated your sharing some of it with us. I laughed at it all - kids are just the best, aren't they? And 2nd grade is a delightful age. They're just old enough to be able to *accomplish* something when you teach them - and not so old that they're all *cocky*...

VBS = Very Blessed Service


Debbie said...

I didn't realize until talking to Grammie that the wonderful lighted skyline was a Jennie and Sam creation. How cool is that? You two are after my own heart with detail and decoration.

I think I would really love to visit your church, Jennie. You might look up some Sunday and see a bobble head Baptist enjoying the Spirit that clearly abides there.

Don't worry. I won't be offended at all if you pretend that you don't know me.

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