VBS Missionary Updates


parrishsmallerIt’s past the middle of May, and that means final preparations for VBS is at full throttle in most churches. The VBS team is praying for churches in their final stages of planning and enlisting workers, praying for directors and church leaders who are working hard to be sure all the details are in place, and praying for kids who will come to VBS and their families. We are also praying for the missionary families that kids will learn about in VBS this summer and expecting God to do big things in the lives of these missionaries and their families.

Each year, we publish an update on the featured missionary families on the VBS website so that churches can have an updated look at what is happening in the lives of the missionaries since the videos were shot and the VBS Missions Rotation Leader Guide was published. This update includes additional photos of the missionary families, any updates on what the kids learn about their ministries in the videos, and their current prayer requests. You can find the updates for the Flooks and Pillays featured in VBS 2013 here. Click on Follow-ups and Helps on the left tabs and then look for Missions Stories Updates. You can download the “Flooks Update from Bolivia” and the “Pillay Update” to get the latest information from these missionary families. Kids will enjoy hearing the updates directly from the missionaries.

Another missionary update we wanted to give is related to Andrew Mann, who was featured in LifeWay’s VBS 2011 Big Apple Adventure along with Proof, a K-9 Assistance Animal trained as a professional therapy dog. Andrew and Proof serve at Graffiti 2 Community Ministries and Graffiti 2 Church in South Bronx. In a blog last November, you can check out here, we asked VBS leaders to join us in prayer as we discovered that Andrew had been diagnosed with cancer and was facing surgeries and treatments. In true missionary fashion, Andrew found ways to minister throughout his treatment and recovery process. To find out more about Andrew’s personal journey and the ministries of Graffiti 2, check out this video produced by Brianne Barry, a City University of New York Journalism student for the Mott Haven Herald here. The video includes Andrew’s story, along with photos, detailing Andrew’s surgeries and cancer treatments.

For more information about Graffiti 2 Community Ministries in the Bronx, visit their website at www.graffiti2ministries.org. Follow Andrew on his blog at cancerousjoy.wordpress.com.

One last exciting update to report on Graffiti 2 is that they will receive a portion of CentriKid Camp offerings from this summer’s camp weeks to support their ministries.






The Christ Connection

parrishsmallerIf you look at the Bible story titles for children in LifeWay’s VBS 2013 Colossal Coaster World, you will see “Paul Obeyed,” “Paul Spoke Boldly,” “Paul Proclaimed Salvation,” “Paul Responded Wisely,” and “Paul Trusted God.” So after reading these titles, I bet you’re thinking that we must be studying the life of Paul for VBS 2013. And, we are. However, we wanted to be sure it was very obvious to everyone that Paul wouldn’t have done any of the things he did in his life without that divine encounter on the road to Damascus and the personal relationship he had with Jesus. For this reason, you will find a “Christ Connection” each day in the children’s Bible Study Leader Guides to point out how each day’s lesson really points to Jesus. For example, in Day 1′s story “Paul Obeyed,” the “Christ Connection” is: “Before Paul’s conversion, he was a person who captured believers in Jesus and took them to jail. After his conversion, he began to preach the gospel wherever he went. God had a plan for Paul’s life to carry His Son’s name to people who had not heard about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for their lives.”

The daily “Christ Connection” can help you reinforce with your VBS kids that the entire Bible shows us that God had a plan for His Son to be our Redeemer from the beginning. Jesus took the punishment for our sins and Paul was used by God to reach people all over the world to proclaim that Jesus is God’s plan for salvation.

Paul’s transformation and his willingness to spend his life spreading the gospel is testimony that everything we do really does “all comes back to Jesus.” That statement may have been the official tagline for VBS 2009, but it is true in what we do in VBS every year. Be sure you make note of “The Christ Connection” in VBS and in your personal relationship with Him each day.