Vacation Bible School is over, thank you God! It was fun but stressful, and I'm ready for a break. As I said earlier, the theme was Light of the World, based off of John 8:12 that reads Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Here's the postcard I had printed up, though I did grey-out the personal info:
After the initial opening session, the kids were divided into 3 groups - ages 5-7, 8-9, and 10-12. From there, they alternately went to the lesson, games, or dinner. The lessons were taught in a room lit by only blacklights, so the kids thought that was really cool. The gym was the main room where we had opening and closing sessions and ate dinner. The overhead lights were off except 2 dim lights so the lit decorations showed up well. White christmas lights crisscrossed along the ceiling of the hallway entrance as "stars," a cross made of white Christmas lights was on one wall, and the stage was lit by another string of white lights. 2 huge black fabric panels were donated, so we painted Light of the World on one with yellow and white. On the other, I painted a cross and crown. Those 2 flanked the projector screen.
My awesome husband took care of the lessons, so I honestly don't know much about what he talked about...
Day 1: The verse for this lesson was Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. To go along with this, we built a maze for the game. Tables were set up in 1 of the Sunday School rooms, and boxes were taped underneath to create a maze with a few dead ends. Kids went through it first with the lights on. The 2nd time, they began at the exit of the maze and the lights were off. Going backwards prevented them from memorizing too much of the maze. Even the teenage workers had a blast with the maze, especially in the dark. The point, though, was that it's a whole lot easier to see where you're going when you have light. Without Jesus, we're just feeling around in the dark, hitting a few dead ends along the way. We may find the end goal, but it'll take much longer. Prizes were given to the fastest in each age group.
Day 2: For the lesson, the scripture was John 8:12 (the basis for VBS). DH taught about how Jesus is the light in you, so He's always there. You can talk to him about anything, even those deep dark secrets because He already knows them and still loves you. The game was hide & seek in the dark. Whoever was "it" used a flashlight to shine on people when they found them. As a filler, we also played musical chairs. Glow sticks were taped to every other chair, and prizes were given for the last player of musical chairs and the last one found in hide & seek. They might typically be kid games, but even the older group enjoyed them...it's all more fun in the dark.
Day 3: Final day! It was also Water Day for the games, so for the sake of time and convenience, the kids all stayed in the gym to be taught the lesson at the same time. The verse for the lesson was Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. We talked about how to portray Christ-like behavior so that we could be the light of the world. An altar call was given each night, but this one was made out to be a bigger deal. After the altar call, I talked a little about being brothers and sisters in Christ. I had used a paint pen to sign my name to the banner with the cross and crown and invited anyone who would confess that Jesus is their Savior to sign the banner as well. It was to be a Family Banner as well as a public declaration of faith in Jesus. DH got permission to leave the banner hanging in the gym for awhile, which is also where the youth group has service on Wednesday nights and DH preaches the Contemporary Service on Sunday mornings. We'll give the teens who didn't help at VBS a chance to sign it on Wednesday.
We also took up an offering each day to pay for VBS. I'll be fundraising before next summer so that we actually have a VBS fund. To turn the offering into a competition, 2 of the teen helpers were good enough sports to participate in a sliming. If the girls brought in the most money, the male helper would be slimed. If the boys brought in the most, the female helper would be slimed. Girls won by a long shot :)