St. Andrew, Alliston transformed itself into a deserted island during the week of July 9-13 while it offered a Vacation Bible School for local children.
The program was called “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus.” Each morning, 52 children (the castaways), 20 adults and 17 teenagers would meet at the morning “Castaway Sing & Play” to learn a Bible point and a key Bible verse.
The program was designed to emphasize to everyone involved that when life causes you to feel like you have been shipwrecked, Jesus has promised to rescue you. The theme was reinforced as the children travelled from one station to another. These stations included: “Imagination Station,” where children learned, through engaging science experiments, how God can make the impossible possible; “KidVid Cinema,” a daily video clip featuring children living out their faith and having an opportunity to explore their own lives and faith; and “Ship Rec Games,” fun-filled games that allowed the children to celebrate their outdoor voices and God-given energy.
To describe how lives, both young and old, were enriched throughout the week could fill a novel. We listened to children share some of the difficulties they have experienced in their young lives. At the beginning of the week, they tentatively asked questions such as, “Is God real?” and were grinning from ear to ear when they were told that God loves them.
It was music to our ears to hear the children singing the songs and dancing with their crew leaders with no inhibition. The teenagers who were volunteering this summer were outstanding.
A highlight was our ability to give each child and teenager their own Bible to take home with them. The Bibles were provided by the Canadian Bible Society. The older children received a copy of Spark magazine, provided by Gideons International. We would like to thank both organizations for their generous contributions.
To celebrate the Vacation Bible School, the participants’ families were invited to a Sunday worship service that included testimonials from children, teenagers and adults, as well as music and video clips from the week. A barbecue lunch was held after the service.
Sheila Dickson is the youth and family coordinator at St. Andrew, Alliston.