Lava Flows in Pendleton An Explosive VBS Reaches Kids For Christ

Jesus' love flowed like lava during the Pendleton (Ore.) Church Vacation Bible School week, Aug. 3–8. Children visited Lava, Lava Island and learned about Jesus' love in an explosive way.

Suzette McCrary and volunteers worked hard each evening at Lava, Lava Island. Suzette's sister, Sylvia Escobar spent the week energetically leading the group in songs, putting actions with them to provide an emphasis on Jesus. Each evening children met a new character that assisted them in remembering memory verses and learning about Jesus' interest in their lives. After reciting Bible verses, children shouted "Mahalo," the island term for "thank you."

Each day the children headed downstairs in the church into Hot Bible Adventures, where an angel (Judy Jenner) told the story of the shepherds who were "bummed" because the king had not come yet, but that she and all the other angels (children) came to bring them the good news Jesus had indeed come to their world as a small baby and He would save us. Also in the Bible Adventures, Susan Lundquist portrayed a fellow thief, a friend of the saved thief on the cross. Each child received a scarlet bracelet representing their sins, which they laid over a cross representing the sacrifice Jesus made. Then, a robe of white righteousness was draped over their "sins" completely covering them, indicating the forgiveness and life Jesus offers.

Daily trips to the Crater Craft station kept children busy making water bottle insulators, dry erase boards, totes (complete with self-portraits) and other fun projects. The Jungle Gym station provided energetic games, resulting in many balloons and fun outside. And of course, there were tropical treats to be made and consumed by the children each evening.

By the end of the week, on Sabbath morning, children brought their parents to an open house to tour the church building, see the fabulous decorations (compliments of Brittany Sandvik and crew) and visit with friends and other church members. A rousing program was provided with the children showing things they learned throughout the week. Andrew McCrary, pastor, provided a short sermon and then invited everyone outside to a "Tiki Hut" reception, which included fresh fruit kabobs, cookies, tropical fish treats and something to drink.

Truly, everyone felt the "lava flow" of Jesus' love.

Featured in: October 2009