VBS Day 1
Another great day to see God’s hand all over this trip. We will certainly not say it has been without incident, but we can truly say we have been provided and cared for.
Several folks texted and emailed me regarding our supplies. They finally arrived after several calls to UPS, and were delivered in a tattered, but complete state.
We began VBS in three different sites throughout the city of South Chicago Heights. All together we had close to 25 children, and we are believing for more tomorrow. It was a joy to see the children playing and learning, and you should be so proud of our youth. They have been well prepared for their tasks and all were engaged. I will share one incredible story at the end of this post.
At the close of VBS we experienced our first injury. Kate Faught was engaged in a daring game of tag and twisted her ankle severely. There was an incredible amount of swelling and pain. We were so grateful that Kate’s parents are with us, and they were able to take her to the hospital. Please pray for her speedy recovery. She was able to rejoin us after a few hours, but she has a temporary cast and is on crutches. Her spirit and courage are great examples to us, but we want her to be 100% as soon as possible.
After a short break back at the hotel (our first one all week) we drove to the Waterford retirement center and sang a short concert for them. I am sure you know the incredible blessing it is for seniors to have young people come and share with them. I was so proud of how well they sang and more so of how much they went out of their way to speak with the residents. We met some very interesting people.
After dinner we came back and had our evening devotional and afterward a time of prayer for each other and for this week of ministry. Another great day.
Emily Todd shared the following story with the group after lunch today that not only puts a light on why we are here, but serves as an encouragement to us and to how blessed we are.
Today while making a puzzle in Bible class I had the amazing opportunity to bond with a special eight year old girl named Anaria. In the beginning I tried to get a feel of who she was by asking her favorite animal and favorite color. Then as written in Gods almighty plan she began to tell me about her home life. Anaria told me that she was surprised that there were a lot of white people at the vacation bible school because the white people lived in the suburbs in nice homes and the blacks lived in the inner city in danger. I asked her what danger she was talking about. She told me that she always hears gun shots and that when she walks around she sees good people dead on the street. Anaria told me that the Fourth of July she didn’t sleep because she was so scared that the fireworks were gun shots and that they would kill her family. The sweet little eight year old told me that nightly she doesn’t go to sleep until after midnight because she is thinking about all the people around her that die and it worries her she might die. I told her that the bad people out on the streets could be good people too. She looked at me funny and said that she didn’t understand how someone that does bad things could be good. I began to explain how I had met a man at pacific garden mission who was a thief and ended up in jail. I told her how he had given his heart to Jesus and then he never stole anything again. She looked astonished at hearing about a man who was bad changing for good. We got to talking about sin and she could define it perfectly. She told me sin was when she didn’t listen to her parents when they told her to clean up. I agreed and told her that Jesus had died on the cross too take away the sin that she has done. Her eyes wide and mouth opened she said, “that seems impossible.” I told Anaria that it was very possible and that I had Jesus in my heart. She began to wonder about how one gets Jesus to “come into their heart.” I told her that I understood that God had a son named Jesus and that he died on the cross. This death allowed for all of the sinners to be forgiven of their sin. Anaria was in awe that sins like theft could be forgiven by God. She was distracted when it was time for their group to go to recreation, but she was asking amazing questions today. I ended the conversation saying God loves her and will protect her from the bad guys in her neighborhood. I told her that she can always pray to God to protect her when she gets scared at night. She shook her head and agreed with me. It was such a blessing to see someone so involved on day one of vacation bible school. God is definitely knocking on Anaria’s heart.