There are so many stories I want to tell you about my mission trip to Kenya, but - Holy Moly! - we are smack in the middle of Vacation Bible School! In fact, today is the third day of it and I am ABOUT TO EXPLODE!!! Not from frustration or exhaustion, but from excitement! It’s the BEST WEEK EVER!
To be fair, and don’t hate me, I get to be on the easiest and most fun team in the entire VBS: preschool music! We sing and dance with two-year-olds, three-year-olds, fours and fives. In 20-minute sessions, we clap our hands, stomp our feet, wave our hands and sing every Jesus lovin’ song we can squeeze in. It’s. The. Best.
On the third day of Bible school, the tired is kicking in. Kids have played their little hearts out and can sometimes be a little cranky. The third day of a mission trip is the same. The devil knows good stuff happens on the third day (Jesus arose, Lazarus arose and Jonah was puked out of the fish) so he tries to fight good things. Still, tonight was G.L.O.R.I.O.U.S!
I heartily applaud parents and grandparents who take their kids to VBS, especially if they have worked all day. It takes discipline and extra effort. But the rewards are PRICELESS!
Tonight, several twos and threes sang and did the motions for the very first time. We were sitting in the floor singing “Deep and Wide” when it happened. I wanted to grab my phone to capture the moment forever but couldn’t. A little blonde girl who had been so very timid on the first day, warmed on the second and threw her heart into it on the third! I got tears in my eyes as I watched her move her hands deep and then wide. It’s the first time she has known that song! When we sang the “B-I-B-L-E” she made a little book shape with her hands. My heart melted.
Our theme was “In the Wild” so we sang a song about awesome animals God made. We hopped like bull-frogs, stomped our feet like elephants, ran fast in place (which was hard to explain) like a cheetah and then slow, slow, slow like a turtle.
My most favorite of all the songs, actually they are all my favorite, but this is the number one: "My God is So Big." I’m not sure if you know it, but the lyrics are: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His, the valleys are His, the stars are His handiwork, too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.” Whew! I love that! We sing it at a regular tone and then with the deepest voice we can muster up. I have to put my chin down to my chest to do it and am always afraid someone is taking pictures. (Pictures always come at my worst facial expressions during Bible school!)
After the deep, deep voice verse, we whisper it and then sing it as loud as possible one last time. We have hand motions that go along with it.
When we sing the last round it takes my breath. The kids are singing with all their heart and might! I picture God all the way up in heaven listening to us all the way down here in Big Branch of Abbott. And HE IS SMILING!
One little boy who has been partial to his pacifier for a long time got caught up in the music tonight, on the third day. At first, he was watching. He had heard the songs on the first day and the second. Suddenly, HE HANDED ME HIS PACIFER…and began to sing, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do…” He even did the hand motions! A three-year-old girl who always stays on the fringes of participation and wants to sit during music was doing the motions, too! I smiled but didn’t act like it was a big deal. Oh, for these kids to love God! To trust Him and know that He really is BIG and nothing is too hard for Him!
“Thank you” and “God bless you” to everyone who serves in VBS this year and those past!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.