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.

 

 

 

 

 

VBS + Missions = Winning Combination

Missions Under the Northern Lights for VBS 2012 features five missionaries and their stories on how God is working in their lives and their ministries. Three of the stories were provided by the International Mission Board (IMB) and two of the stories were provided by the North American Mission Board (NAMB). The VBS 2012 Missions Rotation Leader Guide features a DVD with five videos and some video extras to use as you teach the Missions rotation. To get up-to-date information and the latest prayer requests from each of the five missionaries, click here.

The Day 1 video “Sweet Flight to Amazon Jungle” features missionary pilot Andy Kennedy. You can find his update here!

On Day 2, the video titled “God’s Power Over the Arctic” featured John Forrester. Due to a NAMB personnel change since this video was produced, another missionary family serving in Kotzebue, Alaska is featured in the missionary update. You can find the story for Matt and Tammy Hoke here.

The latest update for Day 3′s “The Mahafaly of Madagascar” featuring IMB missionaries Grant and Jodie Waller is available here.

The Day 4 story of “Chaps and the Big E” highlights Navy Chaplain Fred Holcombe and his ministry on the USS Enterprise. Check out his update and prayer requests.

Day 5 featured a 12-year-old deaf girl who went on a mission trip with her dad when she was 10 years old to lead a VBS in El Pozon, Colombia. The missionaries who work with the Deaf in Colombia are Charles and Betty Thomas* (names changed). You can find information on their ministry here.

One last update is on the “Northern Necessities” mission project. The website listed in the Missions Rotation Leader guide and on the “Northern Necessities Poster” (Insert Item 4) is currently under construction. The tab “How You Can Help” is currently unavailable. You can see the information about ways to help by visiting this link. Please note that it will be helpful to First Baptist of Kotzebue if you will mail the items your church collects to the church’s post office box. The address is P.O. Box 26, Kotzebue, Alaska 99752.

Keep these missionaries and their ministries in your prayers. With kids and leaders in VBS praying for the specific prayer requests of these missionaries, big things will happen!

Lots of Dogs!

Hello! As the editor of the VBS Missions curriculum, I cannot tell you how excited I am for boys and girls to have an opportunity to meet Andrew Mann and his dog, Proof, in VBS this summer. Andrew will be sharing his story and how Proof is involved in his ministry on the VBS blog over the next few days! So let me just turn it over to Andrew and Proof!

In a city of 8 million people, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs: big dogs, small dogs, furry dogs, hairless dogs, mean dogs, and nice dogs. Up in the Bronx though, is one very unique dog. In fact, she is the first of her kind. Working with a ministry and church called Graffiti 2 www.graffiti2ministries.org, she is a missionary dog.

Graffiti 2 is in a borough of New York City called the Bronx, long infamous for the devastating circumstances that are faced by its residents. Graffiti 2 is sharing the love of Christ and watching as He revolutionizes not only individual lives but a neighborhood.

As kids go on the Big Apple Adventure this summer, they will have an opportunity to see how God is revolutionizing lives all over the world through missionaries. On Day 3, of the mission’s curriculum, kids in VBS will learn more about the ministry of Proof. Meanwhile, share a day in the life of Proof in three installments (beginning today and continuing in 2 subsequent postings).

Proof God Exists*

Shhh!  She’s asleep. Laying on her brown, corduroy pillow, worn from several years of use one might not think anything unique about this mild-mannered pooch, but that is often the case for the most remarkable among us. Just as many dogs do she quivers and turns during her nightly snooze. She even drools like many of you. With the sound of an alarm, her master awakes and she hears her favorite words, “Good Morning Proof.”

That’s right, her name is Proof.  It is unlikely to find another dog by the same name, but if one did it is doubtful that such a search would reveal another as skilled as Proof. Of course she can fetch, sit, lay, and roll. She can shake, crawl, jump, and even hug to warm the coldest soul.  All of that is handy as she performs her work.  Some dogs like her are trained to help smell, search, and find. While others’ duties involve helping the blind. Proof is unique, though, she is a missionary, maybe the first of her kind.

This morning is much like all the others. Proof expectantly awaits her master’s approval to devour her morning breakfast. Unlike many of her canine companions she patiently waits . . . and waits . . . and waits . . . until she hears . . .”Okay, Proof.”  The hard, dry food is gone in a flash.

Descending four flights of stairs, Proof and her master step out on the stoop of the building and head down the street. Proof steps off the curb and on another as she crosses the street trotting alongside her master’s feet. They continue past a colorful wall tagged with graffiti, that’s the art of the city.

Turning the corner reveals a long, straight street of six-story buildings. Walking below black fire escapes which hug the front of each building, they proceed past many stoops which lead to black doors. Behind each of these black doors are many more black doors, the doorways to hundreds of homes. From these stoops many watch Proof gait by, some sitting, others standing, some young, others old. Ms. Whittie and Mr. Cruz each say, “Hello, Proof!”

Continuing down the sidewalk, Proof hears her name, “Proof.”  Looking around, it comes again, “Proof up here.”  Proof’s gentle gaze looks past a power line strewn with sneakers. Who knows how they got here, but now abandoned by their owner, they become a backdrop in the city, one of much lore. Above these hanging shoes to a window on the sixth floor, a hand is waving vigorously back and forth. This is the typical morning parade.

After a friendly wave and what seems to be a smile from Proof, the two move forward past a concrete clad park where children often play. Today with the children in school, no children are afoot but two squirrels squabble over an acorn, one chasing the other to a towering elm. Turning the final corner they arrive on the block where behind the green door Proof daily works . . .

To Be Continued . . . In the meantime, visit Graffiti 2’s Web site www.graffiti2ministries.org to find out more info about the work that takes place in the South Bronx. Also, click on the following link to download an order form for your very own Proof t-shirt. Proof Order Form Proceeds benefit the ministry of Graffiti 2.

*”Proof God Exists” is an original work of Andrew Mann. All Rights Reserved.