BEAVER DAM, Ky. (KT) – For the fifth year in a row, the Ohio County Baptist Association reached out to the Hispanic population in Beaver Dam and Hartford area to play host to a Vacation Bible School.
With the help of friends from Bellevue Baptist Church in Owensboro, the Hispanic children enjoyed three VBS days of playing games, hearing Bible stories and learning about Jesus.
Matthew Sickling, the Associational Mission Strategist for the association, said they have ministered to about 100 children over the five years of VBS with about 30 participating last week.
“We’re trying to reach as many as we can, in any way we can, for the kingdom of God,” he said.
Sickling said the Beaver Dam area has a fairly large Hispanic population and there’s hope in the near future that a Hispanic church will be coming. “We have a pastor who is looking to establish a church here,” he said. “We’re praying that will work out.”
Beaver Dam has regular Wednesday night Bible studies and other activities during the school year for Hispanics, Sickling said.
The children enjoyed being part of the VBS, which used the LifeWay “In the Wild” curriculum, he said. Bellevue Pastor Jesus Amaya and other volunteers from Bellevue Baptist Church and other area churches provided the VBS teachers and other volunteers. The association provided refreshments and the inflatables on the final night, Sickling said. He also set up some indoor soccer goals since soccer is their favorite sport.
Sickling said he drives a school bus in the afternoons and has made inroads with Hispanic children and their parents. “I’ve built some relationships as far as trust with the parents,” he said.
While gaining the trust to have the parents to allow the children to visit church, he said the parents are still mostly unwilling to allow their children to join the church because of their Catholic backgrounds.
Still, he said, the VBS has been an effective tool with at least five coming to know Christ as their savior.
The church started an English as a Second Language (ESL) program and the children’s programs grew from that even after ESL played itself out.
“We’ve done it long enough now that some of the kids we started with are now in high school,” he said. “A lot of them have jobs or other school activities but their younger brothers and sisters are coming now.”
Sickling said the language barrier isn’t bad with the children, who communicate well in English.