Dear Grace Community,
If you ever wonder if the Holy Spirit is moving, look no farther than our summer children and youth activities, particularly Vacation Bible School (VBS) and Mission Trip. Every year I watch in amazement as the movement of the Spirit unfolds.
VBS planning begins early in the winter. By the time mid-June gets here, countless hours have gone into decorating, music, snacks, dancing, games, and all sorts of other things. All of this happens to prepare for the children and families who spend the week at Grace learning Bible stories and experiencing the love of Christ.
I got to spend some time with our kindergartners and first graders one morning. We had some down time and looked through their VBS booklet. I noticed that the story of the day was about Moses. There was a picture in the book of a baby in basket in the bulrushes. I asked, “Do any of you know who this baby is?” One girl said, “No.” I thought, “How exciting! She gets to learn about Moses today, maybe for the very first time.” What a gift to share God’s stories with children.
I also got to spend some time in different rooms where the children traveled. I was amazed at the energy and enthusiasm our volunteers had for sharing love and Jesus with our children. The volunteers who faithfully helped the children paint the bottom of their feet in craft time were somehow as kind and patient with the 50th child as with the 1st; that’s got to be the work of the Spirit. Our story teller made each group feel like they were the first people to hear an incredible message, even the fourth time she shared it; again, that’s got to be the Spirit.
It’s harder for me to speak of the details of the Mission Trip since I didn’t go on the trip, but I can still speak to the ways I see the Spirit at work. It blows my mind that adults take vacation time and pay to chaperone this trip where they sleep on church floors and bunk beds, and they love it. That’s the Spirit.
It’s amazing to see the way the 22 youth from Grace represent at least six different high schools, and the ways that the Spirit breaks down all sorts of boundaries. And I love hearing from all of them about the ways they were challenged and encouraged during the week.
I am grateful for Kirk Anderson, Jennifer Snook, and the amazing volunteers who make these ministries happen. I am grateful for the families who share their lives with us at Grace. We have much to give thanks for.