The week before the VBS, I arrived in Venezuela to finish plans with the Vzlan team. I met with each area- missions, evangelism, snacks, recreation, drama, small group leaders, musicians, planning, administration, etc- about 12 meetings in all. Thats a lot of meetings in 1 week! But it was well worth it when I saw how much work and preparation the Vzlan team was putting in to making the first VBS a success.
The mission team arrived on Friday, July 31. On Saturday morning, we had our VBS training with the Vzlan team and the missionaries. We sang all the songs (with motions), went over the rotation schedule, what would occur in each class, the entire program, and then had each area leader explain in some details what lessons the kids would be learning in their particular class (7 classes- Bible Stories, Discussion, Evangelism, Missions, Visual Arts, Crafts, and Recreation- which only occurred on the last day of VBS). The training went well. Everyone was pumped and ready for VBS.
By this time, we had about 250 kids signed up for the VBS. When Sunday rolled around and the missionaries were introduced as being here to help with the VBS and more info about the VBS was presented, many more kids signed up. We ended up with about 320 kids on the roster.
Monday morning proved hectic as people, wanting to make sure they understood what was going on, turned to me with a zillion questions- all asking at the same time!!! However, everything became clear as the starting time for the VBS came.
Start time was 1:30pm (with kids arriving between 1:00pm and 1:30pm). Some kids arrived at 11:30am. Yikes! too early! Most arrived by 1:30, with the exception of the bus full of kids arriving from the Casa Escuelas. The Casa Escuelas are house churches designed for children. I am sure I've talked about them before. Most of these kids have never been in a church before. This is a wonderful outreach to these children. They arrived in buses- all 150 of them- between 1:45- 2:15pm. We got started on day 1 at 2:30pm- 1 hour late.
At first the children seemed hesitant. They didn't know what to make of this gringa standing on the stage, talking with a funny accent, and introducing them to strange words, like "No Worries!" and the names of their groups- Koalas, Lorikeets, Wombats, and Kangaroos (Yes, in English). They didn't know what to make of the songs with the motions. However, they quickly warmed to the idea and really started to love them.
The rotations and the schedule had to be adjusted because of our tardiness. Some groups finished all of their classes early. Some accidentally missed a class. I think one class went to snack time twice. However, things got worked out and the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves and learning that no matter what happens in life, it all comes back to Jesus- so... No Worries!
Ok, since this post is already a bit long, I will just include some pictures for you and continue tomorrow.
VBS training- adults learning the songs and motions
The kids on the first day... a little hesitant
Someone who never anticipated being the MC of the VBS!
To be continued....
The kids at the end of Day 1