This past Memorial Day week (I know, it’s really about 3 months ago now) was HMC’s annual Vacation Bible School program. Sadly, I had to miss the first day of VBS because I was finishing up delegate meetings in Kansas City and then driving back to Freeman, but the four days that I had the privilege of experiencing were rich with encouragement, affirmation, joy, and fun as we all (kids and teachers alike) celebrated God’s love for each of us as priceless creations. Because I knew that I would be gone at least one of the days, and last year, I had ended up planning a funeral during the VBS week, I had asked the VBS coordinators if I could take a backseat to this years’ activities. They graciously obliged, so I was able to watch, listen, and be present each day, filling in where I was needed and still engaging with experiences as I was able.
These were some of the things that I noticed. I was excited and encouraged by the young faces that took on the responsibilities of leading game time with the kids. They showed their blossoming skills in managing, coordinating, directing, and engaging kids in play, which can be challenging with different age-groups of children depending on the game for that day and the willingness of the kids to participate. I admired the tenacity, energy, and discipline of the VBS coordinators as they took on multiple roles, managing multiple activities, and invested in the kids at each possible moment as they moved from station to station. I reflected on the ways that the bible stories come to life each year as they are vividly retold and acted out by the leaders and the kids. The Holy Spirit moves among us, planting seeds in each of us as we learn together and interact with each other.
Most of all, though, I enjoyed getting to know new names and new faces as they smiled and laughed with the already familiar names and faces of our children here at Hutterthal Mennonite Church. We must always listen and watch closely as the youngest among us experience the Spirit of God in our midst, for we adults might realize that they are leading us into depths of God’s love and hope that we may not have had the courage to consider. May we follow the young in our midst in experiencing God’s hope and love anew…
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