What an amazing week, although we might still be feeling the effects of that crazy Ocean Commotion! We absolutely love Vacation Bible School, and every time we get to be involved in a week of VBS we see blessing being lavished upon kids, adults, and ourselves. Last week it was our very great pleasure to be the VBS missionaries for the Grape Grove Church of Christ near Jamestown, OH. This week was made extra special by being able to see Joe and Jenna Hoagland serving the Kingdom there. Joe and Jenna were in our youth group at the Fifth Avenue Church of Christ, and Joe has since gotten a degree from Cincinnati Christian University and is now the youth minister at Grape Grove. This week so clearly demonstrated both his great heart and equally great capabilities for ministry. One of the great honors of my life was baptizing Jenna when she was in high school, so seeing her teach the VBS Bible class was incredible.
During the week the kids learned about Noah and his story. The idea of standing for God and inviting people to salvation while having them scoff at the notion is certainly something that resonates with the situation in France. I am always so moved by the apogee of that story..."but God remembered Noah." Read that story carefully sometime and meditate on that notion. One thing that really stuck out to me about this week of VBS is that they were able to effectively make time to emphasize memory work. In fact, one young lady memorized their whole pack of verses!!! On Friday the kids were told that they all had to learn one verse or they would eat sardines too. Can you believe that every kid learned a verse?!
The goal for the week was for the kids and adults to bring in $1000 for FCM. Now on Monday I was able to bring Elizabeth (6) and Hannah (4) with me. So Joe is introducing the week to everyone and tells them the offering goal for the week. Immediately a certain 6 year old, who I will leave unnamed, raises her hand and yells, "What happens if we reach the goal?!" I guess we can say that she has certain expectations for VBS! It was eventually agreed that Joe would eat sardines (a la the theme "Ocean Commotion") if the goal was reached.
We are very pleased to announce that on Friday Joe downed a whole can of sardines. In fact, the final offering total was around $1500! Praise God! It gets us so excited when people take hold of the vision for reaching France with the Gospel and respond in such amazing ways.
Thank you to the Grape Grove Church of Christ for having us as your guests. You treated us amazingly and served us much more deeply than by your offering. We have been blessed by you. Every church has a congregation, but it was great to see that you also have a church family.
Check out the picture slide show to see some of the fun. Definitely look at the kids' faces after Joe gives Jenna a smooch with wonderful sardine breath! Only at VBS, which I why it is the best.