Last night, we concluded Vacation Bible School with a BANG -- the thunder was banging as we drove home!
The boys won the penny offering with a bang (although the girls are quick to point out they won three of the five nights.) We collected several hundred dollars in pennies, which will be given away to Mercy Ships, where children will receive life-saving operations. (When you look at the result, everybody wins!)
I love VBS. It's an opportunity for me to get to know the children -- and to be THEIR pastor. I don't get to do that very often. The grown ups keep me too busy.
Of course, the kids already have an outstanding pastor in Jeremy Mavis, who leads the excellent children's ministry of Hayward Wesleyan Church. He's fantastic.
During VBS week, however, Jeremy gave me the privilege of showing the students a brief film clip (Chadder's Theater) -- and then leading them in prayer. That was the sweet part!
I love the prayers of children. I love their faith. I wish grown ups had half as much faith as that!
On Thursday evening, we "brought in the net", asking the children to open their hearts and give their lives to Jesus. Over 60 of our children responded to that invitation! It was precious.
Last night (Friday), a beaming mother sought me out. She had tears in her eyes. She said, "Something wonderful happened to my little boy! He's had some troubles -- but last night, my son came home from Bible School and announced that he invited Jesus into his heart.
'I'm a NEW MAN now, mom! The empty hole I had inside me has been filled up!'"
Another young fellow (3rd grade) pulled me aside on Wednesday and asked, "Am I too young to ask Jesus to come into my life?" On Thursday, he was the first one to respond to the invitation. Friday, he came -- glowing with joy -- carrying a homemade construction paper card for me. It had a big cross on the front. Inside, it said:
"Pastor Mark, Thank you for helping me know Jesus."
I love Vacation Bible School