Welcome to Hometown Nazareth – Where Jesus Was a Kid
A Wrap-Up – Vacation Bible School (VBS) 2015
We Are Blessed! On our first day of VBS, we had 37 children pre-registered. By the time we left the Sanctuary (AKA Nazareth), we had 65 children and 35 leaders and helpers traveling through Nazareth.
Our Tribes (Asher, Joseph, Simeon and Judah) left the Celebration to visit Mary’s House to hear Jesus’ mother tell stories about her little boy, to visit the Marketplace where they put together marvelous crafts to remind them of the stories they had heard, to the Food Market for a tasty snack and time to talk with their fellow travelers and learn more about one another, or to Fun & Games where they played games similar to those played when Jesus was a boy and wore off some of their energy in activity related to the stories they heard. At the end of our day, we all gathered back in Nazareth for our Celebration Finale where we sang songs, remembered our Bible Point and Bible Verse, and praised God with lively singing and motions!
Oh, it was a fun and exciting time as we all started our day by gathering into our “Tribes”, getting our name tags and “banduras”, talking with our leaders and one another and learning new songs and actions in Celebration. Pastor Bruce led us on our adventure and we sang songs we grew to know and love, “Nothing Is Impossible”, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”, “Jesus Messiah”, “You Are My All in All”, “Fairest Lord Jesus”, “Great Things”, “God With Us” (our theme song), and our favorite…”Big House!”
It was so awesome to see and hear our Sanctuary (Nazareth) come to life with all the children, helpers and leaders jumping up and down to Praise God with joyful voices every day!
Each day, we had a Bible Point and Bible Verse which helped us learn about the stories we would hear, and learn verses from God’s Holy Bible!
Day One, we learned that “Jesus had family…we do too!” and our verse was from Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Day Two, we heard that “Jesus had a name…we do too!” and our verse from Isaiah 43:1, “I have called you by name; you are mine!”
Day Three, our Bible Point was that “Jesus had a home…we do too!” Our Bible Verse, from John 14:2, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home!” This was the day we learned “Big House” and all of us know that Jesus has room in heaven, His home, for everyone who believes!
Day Four, we saw that “Jesus went to Church….we do too!” and our verse, from Psalm 122:1, was simple for us each to remember, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Everyone agreed that, especially during VBS, coming to the house of the Lord was filled with fun, friends and excitement!
Day Five, we learned that Jesus served others…we do too!” Our Bible Verse was from Galatians 5:13, “Serve one another in love.” We all learned that we can serve too, when, by saving our coins in our “Tzedakah Boxes”, we used our offering to help purchase New Testament Books, in their native language, for kids like us in Thailand!
All week, the children, helpers and leaders remembered the Bible Points and Bibles Verses to remind us that Jesus was a kid, He did the same things most kids do, and He had a family, a name and a home. Jesus also went to Church and He served others. All of us learned that WE can be more like Jesus and do the things He did and tell others all about His Love!
We had so much fun visiting Mary’s House where we heard Mary, (Raelena Hoff) tell us storied about her little boy and we learned that Jesus did lots of the same things we did when He was little. We got to see a glimpse of life in Nazareth when Jesus was a kid!
When we passed through the doors into Fun & Games (Shari Mayer, Madie Mayer, & Josie Gaboury) taught us games that Jesus may have played when he was little. We had so much fun being outside and running and being inside, where it was a bit cooler, to play games that were new to most of us!
Entering the Food Market, we knew we were in for a tasty treat as the snacks, (Designed by Macey Kniess and put together and served by Karen Tesch, Pam Friedli and Sue Drews) created just for us were at our tables. This is the time we got to sit with our Tribe and talk with each other and get to know more about everyone in our group…and it was yummy and fun!
Our next journey took us to the Marketplace where (Connie Brown & Amy Schulz) helped us make wonderful crafts to take home and remind us of each Bible Point and what toys and crafts Jesus might have made when He was little! Oh the joy we had making our Wandering Sheep, Cross Necklaces, Clay Bead Bracelets, Tzedakah Boxes, Name Scrolls, Felt Soap and MORE. Our littlest children found that the Elephants with trunks help them REMEMBER that Jesus Loves ME! All in all, it was great fun, a bit messy, and so cool to make all these awesome crafts in the Marketplace.
All of our Leaders, Helpers and Tribe members spent a week in Nazareth exploring, discovering, playing, singing and learning that JESUS WAS A KID and we are too! No matter what our physical age, we are ALL Jesus’ Kids and through this lesson, we learned about the things we can each do to show Jesus we love Him and remember that Jesus Loves ME!
Now a shout-out and heart-felt THANK YOU to all those who helped in big and small ways to make our VBS a super place to be and a week of fun and learning: Our Leaders for each room are highlighted BUT without our Tribe Leaders and ALL the Helpers, VBS couldn’t have been as successful…Jim & Connie Brown for the WONDERFULLY Creative decorations! Our Photographer, Trevor Kunze, Tribe leaders, Sydney Snoeyenbos, Judy Mueller, Lana Puntney, Brittany Radtke, Lilly Midyett, Kelly Puntney, Teri Kankelfitz & Ryan Schram. Our Helpers: Chloe Carlson, Austin Butzlaff, Natasha Werner, Ieden Sheehan, Emelyn Sheehan, Corwin Kankelfitz, Nik Drews, Christopher Deedon, Bono Brown, Jason & Peggy Kniess, Sandy Boos, Ginny Kottke, Donna Schroeder, and our Nursery Leaders, Susan Woller & Amanda Witter. Thanks to all who helped decorate, including Kris Sparks, Austin & Caleb Butzlaff, Erma Butzlaff, Kelly, Lana & Ethan Puntney, Amy Schulz, Trevor Kunze, Matt Anklam family, Mike Deedon family, and Jim, Connie & Bono Brown, to Jill Michaud for her aid with the Registration Forms, and Donna & Roger Block who donated and created all our colorful Tribe Banduras!
A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS for all the “Behind the Scenes” help and work to Kris Sparks and Ron Schram. These two put in countless hours working with me to organize and move scenery and props!
God’s Blessings to all who prayed for VBS, helped in any way to make this a wonderful week of Praise and Outreach into our church and community. We Are Truly Blessed.
Your VBS Director, Ella Holmes