"We have MANY amazing stories - but my favorite is when the parents come up to me afterward and are just SHOCKED at what their children are retaining... "mom - did you know that Jesus had to die... but that he came back???"
"Several children got saved or recommitted their lives to Jesus. That's what it is all about."
"We had a student who is not used to going to church. We asked her what did she learn in her class after the lesson. She is only 3 years old. Her response was "To Trust Jesus". We were all very excited and touched that she was able to express that sentiment. To God be the GLORY!!"
"Last year, our middle school helpers brought more and more friends to help as the week wore on. Those middle school kids went through the rotations with their "crews" and heard the Bible stories, played games, did crafts and sang songs along with the younger kids. I sensed that they were really being impacted, so I made a point to pray a prayer of salvation with them and get them each a Bible. All of them returned to our youth group program each week for the entire school year, they helped again this year for VBS, they went to the Desperation Worship Conference in Colorado Springs this summer and are influential leaders for Jesus and worship in their schools to date. Praise God for a good VBS!"
"One child asked why we use the sign language for "Jesus"...it opened up a whole conversation not only for his class but inspired a teacher to explain the plan of salvation with the whole group. Sixteen children accepted Jesus because of that one question."
"We were so blessed this year and were able to see God move. We made contact during our service with a church locally with no VBS budget. The out pour and support for this small church was amazing! We were able to share our supplies and information. Our children were ready and will ing to donate all their gadgets so they could learn more about Jesus! They also took up offering to help our local public schools PTA to buy snacks for those without snacks during recess. It was amazing to see them open their hearts to their age children and then to have the children at the church to inform us, 'They had the best Vacation Bible School Ever!'"
"A four year old wanted Jesus in her heart. Another four year old said, "I can help you. I already have Jesus in my heart. Now repeat after me." She prayed with the little girl and the little one accepted Jesus."
"We had a family come from across the country join us at VBS, they're grandma is very active with VBS. I was able to see instantaneous friendships formed, they learned the songs in the first hour and I was surprised with a big hug from the girls at the end. They said they were so happy here at VBS. I know these are memories that will last a lifetime!"
"We have an entire family, who previously had not attended church, to join after experiencing VBS."
"We used Shipwrecked this year and during our cross ministry, our second grade group got wrecked! Not only the students but the leaders as well. These kids were truly repenting and felt the weight of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. It was amazing to see the cross and Jesus’ love become real and personal to them in that moment."
"We have a small church and we had 7 give their hearts to Christ, the first one on the first night of VBS"
"We were at home after VBS one night and I heard my grandchild tell another one (5 y/o) that they couldn’t wait till tomorrow’s VBS to hear what happens to Daniel when he refuses to bow to the other king who isn’t God. I knew then that VBS was making an impact in their lives."
"As VBS Director and program MC, each night I would do a quick recap of the previous nights and what they learned. It was heart warming to see all of the kids participate and even the youngest remembering all that they had learned each night. We also enjoyed celebrating a famous African American in our history as part of the biblical lesson. I look forward to reinforcing some of these names next year for Black History Month!"
"Our Sunday school superintendent has always wanted to do a congregational camp out in our church parking lot/ backyard and because of our VBS theme, camp moose on the loose, we are having our first ever congregational camp out complete with smore's, hayrides and a movie under the stars. Sunday morning after the camp out we are having an outdoor service and the VBS kids are going to sing their VBS songs for the service."
"This was my first year serving as VBS director and it was challenging. It was hard because planning a VBS for the scale of our church required many pieces that need to come together and sometimes the details of VBS can be very daunting. To add to the difficulty I found out I was pregnant with my 3 child (even though I have two little ones) after saying yes to the position. Furthermore, my eldest daughter (3 years of age) had to have open heart surgery just two weeks before VBS was to begin. It was a very very stressful time and I wasn't really excited for VBS although I was getting the work done. I questioned if all the hard work, challenges and difficulty was all worth it. On the last day of VBS in the evening we have a celebration for all the families of our children and volunteer. That night a number of the children who attended gave their life to Christ and this was my moment. All at once God had encouraged my heart and helped me to see purpose in what had been a challenging year. This is what VBS is all about, sharing the gospel with children, creating an opportunity for them to come unto God and experience His amazing love. In the end it was all worth it and I am so excited for next year."
"During the music part, one of the little girls who is usually shy and does not participate, open her arms up and was singing as if she was truly inspired by the music. It was a beautiful site."
"Our kids were so excited to come and learn. We have 2 different denominations and our churches come together as partners to do our VBS in are small town. We put all differences aside to share our love and God's love."
"Our youngest child (2) who was accompanied by a parent after our one day program and ran around at the end and shouted "Jesus will always love you!"
"This year, a member of our congregation purchased children’s study Bibles for every kid who attended VBS. It was so exciting to see the looks on the kids faces when they were each given their own Bible with their name in it and to see their enthusiasm bringing it back with them each day. We have a very sweet photo of one girl clutching her new Bible while singing the closing song after receiving her Bible."
"Our children got to meet the missionaries from the Philippines during VBS and hear how their offering will touch lives in another country."
"We have a small group for VBS - less than 20 kids. But it was a good group. They really got into the singing and the God Sightings...It doesn't matter how many students you have - you can still have an impact on their lives."
"This was the first year that we decided to divide the kids into mixed age groups. It was so wonderful to see the friendship that formed between a big older 12 y/o boy and a small, quiet 5 y/o boy."
"After the first day, one little boy went home and told his grandmother: "Grammy guess what I learned today - No Matter What, God Is Faithful!" That set the tone for our week!"
"We built a time lab and one child actually thought that we went back in time...78 children made a commitment to Christ."
"Our VBS is free because every year we have a mission project where kids can help kids. This year's mission was refugee children in Lebanon, we set our goal at $2500, the daily offerings $3,719.67. God is amazing!"
"One of our volunteers is an older woman with no children of her own. She had no idea what to expect when she said she would volunteer (our church has not had VBS for over 10 years). During the opening gathering time, as we were singing, one of the children who was standing next to her took her hand and held it as they sang together. He just happened to be African-American. She grew up as a Caucasian person in the south in the 1950s and never had any interaction with someone of African-American decent. She started to cry as she experienced God's love in a new way."
"After months of planning every detail of VBS, we showed up to a darkened church because the power was out! No lights, no videos, no music through the speakers, no power! But our amazing staff of volunteers kicked in gear and Shipwrecked VBS was 'rescued!'"
"Day 1 of Shipwrecked - When you are lonely.....I had more kids then I could count come up to me and say that I was talking about them. That they felt lonely but after that night they knew that Jesus is always with them."
"Our goal for offering (missions) and patching our sail was $200 and our VBS group of kids size is average of 30 Pre-K - 6th grade. By Friday we had raised over $400. The kids were so excited about helping other families. I was so overwhelmed. It was so amazing"
"On our 4th night, and after the kids sang "Rescue Me" a few times, God moved powerfully throughout our church. As the kids saw our "Jesus" walking into the sanctuary carrying the cross, and then stretching out his arms as they sang that song, POW! Our altar was lined with kids of all ages. I prayed with half of them and another leader prayed with the rest. They all gave their hearts to Jesus. All during this time at the altar, the music played softly, and the Holy Spirit even touched the whole group of people in church and it was silent. No kids screaming, talking, carrying on . . . nothing. There was a holy hush like I haven't seen in a while. After kids took care of their business with God, I was so moved and filled with God's Spirit, I couldn't hardly say anything. I didn't want it to end. So we dismissed everyone so as not to spoil the moment. I felt as if I was floating on air! My pastor afterwards said that up on the platform I looked like Moses as he came down from the mountain. He said I glowed. My passion is to reach these kids, and WE DID!"
"We have a camper with CP who is in a wheelchair, and all of her fellow campers essentially adopted her as their leader and all watched out for her. It was lovely to see."
"Neighborhood kids were walking past and were invited to join in. An adult went down the block to talk with parents and they joined in for the rest of the week!"
"I found out after the fact one year that one of our new teenage volunteers (not a church goer) wrote a paper stating how much volunteering at our VBS impacted him. His faith and self worth were strengthened after interacting with the children and other volunteers."
"Not being a big church we weren’t expecting a big turnout. Well God moves and we had double what we expected."
"To hear parents say their children continue to apply what they have learned at VBS to help them in real life situations makes all the work worth it!"
"Our VBS draws 130+ kids and 95% are unchurched."
"We were raising money to help a mission in Kenya, Africa to get wells to have clear water. Our goal was at least one pump, which was $600.00. On the fourth night we had already reached the goal. So, I told the kids to go home and pray that God would double it so maybe we could get two pumps and He did. Our last night's offering was over $750.00. I love it when God shows off so children can see Him at work!"
"On the day we learned that "when you're lonely - Jesus Rescues!", a girl shared that she was lonely and scared because they'd just moved to town after being kicked out of the home she'd grown up in. She knew nobody and even though she was a year older than most of the kids in the 5th grade group and was entering Middle School, her Mom signed her up for VBS. That day, I saw 2 of the girls in her group make friends with her on purpose and just like that, her loneliness faded. She even brought her older brother to the evening function for Jr.Leaders and he met friends that had much in common with him. God met those kids right where they needed Him to. I'm so grateful for that."
"Several children got saved or recommitted their lives to Jesus. That's what it is all about."
"A parent discussed a concern with me regarding her daughter wanting to be baptized due to her age and comprehension. But through VBS she came to realize how much her daughter actually understood and desired a relationship with Jesus."
"We have seen kids saved and families join our church from our VBS!"
"There was a boy with special needs who was very shy and hesitant to come to VBS. He didn't come back the 2nd day. His Grandma said he was too embarrassed because he has a deformed hand. I had intentionally placed him in crew whose crew leader was a mom of a special needs child. The third day the little boy came back and he slowly but surely began to come out his shell. You could see the relationship between the boy and his crew leader growing and blooming. The boy became quite comfortable because of the kindness and acceptance his crew leader showed him and he had a fantastic rest of the week, with no reservations! God is amazing!"
"We had a little girl from the community that attended. Her home life is very difficult. The last night of VBS she told me that it had been the BEST week of her life and she could hardly wait for our Awana program to start in the fall!"
"VBS was a great opportunity to not only reach the kids but to reach the staff (teens/college students) to strengthen their faith and learn more about what they're teaching. Many have gone on to teaching degrees over the years."
"The children seeing their fathers on the stage acting out scenes and doing fun demonstrations was very impactful. We know the children will remember those moments fondly of their dads going above and beyond to teach them."
"Our VBS just keeps growing, we are reaching more and more families and bringing them back to the Church."
"I had parents tell me that their kids came home and could not stop talking about God and singing our songs."
"At the end of the program there were several families that went to the alter to pray together. It was an awesome sight to see families praying! Our children need prayer more than ever."
"One of our 1st graders was so upset it was over because she wanted to bring more offering. She brought $10 to me the next Sunday because she wanted to make sure the girl in the video was able to have enough seeds for the year."
"I've had adults come to VBS with the attitude they are coming to help the children but leave the experience feeling they were inspired by the VBS and enjoyed their time with other adults as well as the kids."