Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian (Mission) Church had another wonderful opportunity to host a backyard Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer at a place called the Old Massanutten Lodge in the Harrisonburg area. Last summer was our first attempt to make this outdoor event happen and it appeared to have good success. This year we had a total of 46 children attend (29 outside of the congregation), 15 more than last year! We also had about a dozen adults volunteering to help lead and shepherd this little flock.
It was a simple two-day event, with the theme being “Obedience to Parents.” The theme song was Psalm 34C (verses 11-14) from The Book of Psalms for Worship and the theme Scripture passage was Ephesians 6:1-3.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.
The children enjoyed trying to recite the Scripture passage on their own in order to gain a tootsie roll (sweet) — and some children even attempted to sing the song in front of everyone in order to get an additional “two” tootsie rolls.
On the first day Pastor Ryan Bever taught the children about what it means to obey in a biblical way. The children learned that true obedience is done (1.) immediately, (2.) completely, (3.) cheerfully, (4) and thankfully. On day two the children learned that that command to honor and obey our parents is attended with a promise. It is the first commandment with promise, it is a blessing that will follow them their whole life long, and it is hoped that the promise that will last forever. The children were reminded that although they should strive for obedience, they will never keep this command perfectly and thus, their hope must ultimately be placed in the One who kept that commandment (and all the commandments) for them. An urgent call to believe in Christ was pressed upon them.
Many helped to make this VBS a success. Various adults served in assisting to lead the children in outdoor games, crafts, and relay races (among other things) which helped to reinforce the lessons. Thankfully, the weather was nice and everyone seemed to have a really good time. We received a lot of good feedback from both children and parents alike. We look forward to hosting this event in the future with similar success.
- that God would be pleased to bless our efforts to minister to these little ones
- that we would see fruit from our efforts springing up into everlasting life.
– Ryan Bever, pastor of the Grace and Truth Mission Church in Harrisonburg Virginia. Ryan is married to Betsy and they have 4 children.