I am so excited to tell you about the VBS Geek of the Week! Our team first met Hye-Jung Yun (PJ) last year at the Nashville VBS Preview. PJ flew all the way from South Korea to get a sneak peek at the Big Apple! The team has kept in contact with PJ over the last several months and have grown to love her as one of our own, so naturally we knew she had to get the prestigious VBS Geek of the Week title. I hope you are as inspired by her love for VBS as we have been.
How did you get involved in VBS?
I got involved in VBS 2010 which was our first VBS. It was planed by my senior pastor (Dr. Young Min Pee) who is a friend of Dr. Charles Lowry the Reach Missions Director. I served in an English Sunday School so I learned about the camp & the minister whom I worked with wanted me to be a part of it. And I was more than glad. When we first started, I served as full time staff and I became a HUGE fan of VBS!! Your methods, approaches, all the crafts & decoration ideas. As a language teacher (I'm teaching Korean to the speakers of other languages.), I just couldn't help myself to become a fan. And I really wanted to learn from you how to have better VBS. Then Debbie Heck, who is a Camp Reach teacher & a kinder & decorations expert of VBS, told me that you have preview events and she invited me over.
How do you use VBS to teach kids in Korea about Jesus?
In Korea, English eduction is a great tool to approach the non Christian parents to send their kids to church. So with VBS, we designed an English camp called Camp Reach. It's a 2 week camp, Monday-Friday, 7-8 hours a day. We teach VBS in the morning & ESL in the afternoon. One teacher from the states, such as Debbie Heck, works with one Teaching Assistant, who is our church member and a university student. They work together so that the kids can have full understanding of the message. On the last night, we have commencement and presentation and the parents are invited to see what the kids have been learning.
PJ shared this sweet testimony about a great Saddle Ridge Ranch memory:
When we had Saddle Ridge last year there was a students whose parents were buddhist. When he got home he was singing the VBS song all day long. And the mother told the person who introduced him to the camp, "My son is strange. He sings, God, God, God..." The boy was singing God cares.
What is your "geekiest" VBS moment?
I was asking the TAs about this, and they told me that Geeks don't know that they are geeky. So every moment of the camp was geeky to us–staying late or sometimes sleeping at the church, etc. But the real geeky thing comes right after the camp finishes. We have what we call Post Reach (VBS) Syndrome. The two main symptoms are:
1. Thinking, "Which VBS T-shirts should I wear in the morning?" (We have a dress code for the teachers and staff during the camp and they were informed when the camp is over.) We still think about it and grin about it.
2. Sometimes it feels like I hear the VBS song while walking down the streets. last year, it was "Tumbleweed" and this year was "Why Don't You?."
What makes you continue to do VBS?
The messages, the methods, and all the materials and plus the feedback from the parents is amazing. Who wouldn't want to continue?? I surrendered my life to our Lord as a missionary who educates people all over the world. So when it comes to the education, I want to learn more and more. VBS gave me another perspective on Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. It's not only for the kids but also for youth & adults. Last summer me & some of the Camp Reach staff went a province in South Korea and they loved the Big Apple Adventure a lot! I think it's a great tool and methods to bring kids to church. I'll continue the VBS till God sends me to the mission fields.
Will we see you at a Preview this year? And if so, which one?
Debbie Heck invited me over again (Thank you Debbie) to the TX preview and I really hope & pray to go there. I'm so excited to be a member of the AWA Club! I need all of your prayers for my scheduling. It's not my vacation time at school, so I need to be excused which seems a little bit hard at the moment.
Camp Reach is prepared by Team Reach & KJBC (Kangnam Joongang Baptist Church in Seoul, Korea) as early as December. Program designing starts in February and the trainings for the TAs who co-work with homeroom teachers in each classrooms starts around April.
I am sure PJ and her team would appreciate your prayers as they continue to use VBS to spread God's message in Korea.