Part 5. Be sure to give thanks. Vacation Bible School. That’s what has been on my mind since I said “yes” on February 26th, taking on this role for the first time as Director for VBS Area IV here in South Korea. There’s a lot of things I can say about this role… but I’m going to try and restrain myself from writing 10 pages of material because you are probably extremely busy. HAHA (Actually, I will also break it up into 5 days worth of material so stay tuned and let me know your thoughts as we go.)
- This is the Lord’s work. Read Part 1/5 here.
- God will provide what we need, in His own timing. Read Part 2/5 here.
- Remember you are NOT alone. Read Part 3/5 here.
- Share your vision with the team. Read Part 4/5 here.
5. Be sure to give thanks!
I recognize that this VBS was not all my doing. Many, many, many hands went into making this work, and work well. God put gifts in people and they were given opportunities to use them and from my perspective to use them for the glory of the Lord. These hands were from VBS volunteers, paid chapel staff and other supporting organizations and people who simply in doing their specific jobs well were helping to expand the reach and success of this ministry. I thank all of you! In this blog post, I’d like to highlight 3 persons, keeping in mind that there were 72 other volunteers plus staff and organizations that I cannot thank here. Each helped in their own roles and I am grateful.
Decorations was done by Kristina. I believe she was my first “yes” to a major role. Even though she had plans to be out of country for the summer and this was her first time in a role such as this- she handled it beautifully. All things decorations including collaboration with the design of flyers for publicity went through her. She was very organized (with the planning for each space, materials needed to make it happen, and timeline of production utilizing weeks of opportunities for the community to join in and get involved). Her prodding of me to get answers helped to keep me on track. She handled all the parameters and information that she was given with self control and prayer. (That is a huge blessing to me as a Director.) I asked Kristina to take what she had (the information about the theme as well as the skill sets God had already given her), a tight budget, and the vision that Decor opened the minds and hearts to the possibilities that our creative God WAS indeed Good through the transformed chapel building and chapel annex building spaces and she used them all well. We just don’t know what aspect of VBS will speak to the persons that God drew to help or to participate in VBS this year. The decorations were beautiful and were all received with glad hearts by an off-post church that LOVED them and came with several vehicles and staff to pick them all up right after our VBS closing rally was over for their own VBS. The hundreds of hours contributed by her and her family as well as the hundreds of hours given by volunteers and chapel staff during the production and set-up under her charge helped to keep our VBS costs for decorations so low and volunteers not serving all night long to set up. Thank you.
I didn’t know this about Kristina before but her work with cardboard was years in the making. I saw a FB post where she had made something from cardboard for her son and I just love how years later, God uses those same skill sets even further for His glory in such a big way. Even in her previous job as an Executive Assistant, her skill sets from before were used in a mighty way for the Lord through this ministry outreach and it showed in her organization and dependability for the task at hand.
Another leader that I’d like to mention here was Shannon. Shannon was the Safari Celebration “rally” leader. Someone asked me after VBS was over how I got Shannon to do this role. I said I prayed about specific people to join the team. When people came to mind for what I wanted them to do, I approached them face to face (or via a video call) and specifically asked them to consider the role and I shared with them WHY I thought they would be a good fit. I got to know Shannon at a PWOC retreat. Shannon knows how to work a crowd with honest (hilarious) observations and conversations. She can talk to kids and youth and I thought she might be the one to pull off what I hoped would happen. (And I even had 2 other people approach me about her for this role so I knew others saw these things in her as well.) My vision for this role was that I wanted the YOUTH to lead the songs, to be upfront and set the example for the others to follow- not another adult. She absolutely did that by forming and engaging a team of volunteers who thought they’d give it a try. Well done!
Finally, (remember how I said I can’t write a book here!?!?!?!) I want to highlight Pastor Woody, our sponsoring VBS (military) Chaplain. I found out after VBS was over during our leader’s AAR (After Action Review) that HE found out that most military chaplain’s only do the “bare minimum” when it comes to the role of the “sponsoring VBS chaplain.” (And actually, I heard from others that they received minimum help from their chaplain.) This was not the case this year. Maybe it was because we already served together as I help with the Tuesday Youth Group in various ways and this chaplain is also the sponsoring chaplain for our Youth Group as well. I learned more about Pastor Woody because although I didn’t get to go to the Philippines over spring break, what ended up happening was our Youth Chaplain, Pastor Woody, planned a back to back Middle School and then a High School spiritual retreat over the spring break and I served at both of those. God laid a foundation and was growing roots to a great working relationship between us both through serving through these events to impact our youth and community. I am so thankful that Pastor Woody was present and fully engaged each day of VBS. Operating without a co-director, YOU were my other hand that understood the purpose and mission aside from just hosting an annual VBS. Together, along with the rest of the Team and chapel staff, we accomplished our goals. I sincerely thank you for going above and beyond your chaplain peers and it shows from what we were together able to do. We bridged VBS to the chapel services by purposely inviting participants and their families to either service where we presented what we did to both congregations. And your input in our closing AAR stressing the need for a written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will greatly help the next VBS Director immensely if it is actually done. Thank you for your full support throughout this journey and well done.
There were 73 other volunteers and 10 other chapel staff that I did not name here. As I said in your individual note of thanks to each one of you (please go by the chapel to pick it up along with your Certificate and framed photos of our VBS group and the Volunteers), each of you were valuable members of our VBS body and team whether you filled an up-front or behind the scenes role- your efforts have had impact upon those who came and those who served. Really! There are ripple effects to what we do (and don’t do)! Thank you for showing up each day and giving it what you could. God continues to be at work in and through each one of us!!! Thank you so much for volunteering with this ministry!
So….. if you made it to the end of this VBS blog post series- you get a medal. Sike! Seriously, I know this was a lengthy series but I wanted to take time to remember and document so many of the different ways God provided through this #vbsareaiv 2019. May it help someone else say yes to this role or be encouraged as God leads you next. Be sure to share with me how this resonated with you!
BONUS there is one more post in this series. This is my “confessions.” I’d also like to share what I would do differently next time, should I lead something like this again.
Read all of the VBS posts here https://sejanashines.com/category/spiritual-growth/vbs/