^^My whole team
I did it again. This summer was the second summer I was able to go to New Sweaden, Maine with my church and do a vacation Bible school there. In this post I want to share what I learned and inspire you to consider going on a mission’s trip. I posted about the first time I went to Maine here if you want to see a comparison. Earlier this year I posted about the preparation for the trip. You can click here and here to read those.
A little bit of background for everyone, my church had been going to New Sweaden, Maine for 19 years to host a vacation Bible school (VBS) there. All the kids (Preschool to 12th grade) are invited to come and participate in a week filled with games, Bible lessons, crafts, songs, and snacks. It is from 9am-12pm everyday.
This year I got to be part of the teaching team and we taught the preschool through 6th grader Bible lessons everyday. We had roughly 37 children attend VBS . My church brought a total of 34 team members (11 adults and 23 teens) to help pull off this VBS.
Each VBS day consisted of an opening (where we sang the VBS songs and watched a video skit), then there were four rotations (crafts, games, worship, and Bible). There were four groups PreK and Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th, and 5th and 6th. Then we finished up the morning by singing more songs and talking about the day and what the kids learned.
^^MCing with two of the other girls at the carnival
In the afternoons, we would have devotions, play group games, hang out, or prepare for the next days VBS. On Wednesday evening we had a carnival for the kids and their families which included games, singing songs, and having a cook out. While we were there, it rained almost all the days and the temperature was roughly about mid seventies all week. We stayed at the school where we hosted the VBS.
Some fun memories:
-My friend Georgia and I saw that it was pouring down rain outside. We decided to run outside and run around in the rain and under the pounding stream of gutter water. The problem was we had to be in the cafeteria in five minutes…… Fortunately, it all worked out.
-Something that really touched me was when we were practicing the verse with the preschoolers. They had trouble the whole week memorizing the verse and never wanted to say it by themselves. There was this one girl Milana who hadn’t spoke that week, not even to say her name. She was asked before anyone else if she wanted to say the verse. We were all shocked when she nodded yes and then proceed to quietly repeat the verse with the hand motions. This surprised all of us. It shows how God can work in unique ways.
-One evening we spent time praying with our small groups (the group we meet with during the school year). We praised God and also gave our requests to Him. It was such a peaceful moment and praying came so easily.
-Two of the nights we went outside and sang worship songs after we had finished devotions. The songs felt like they were picked for me. Plus, I was introduced to two worship songs I love, Not For a Moment (Meredith Andrews) and O Come to the Altar (Elevation Worship).
-On Friday at VBS, we all got in a circle at the closing part and sang all the VBS songs plus did the motions. It really touched me how everyone (adults, kids, and teens) all came unified together to do it.
What God taught me:
Humility. We were reading through the book of Philippians and almost everyday there was something in the devotional about humility (and that isn’t even the theme of the book!). Not only that, different events that took place through out the week really helped show me that He is in control and that I was really having a prideful attitude.
The second main thing that God taught me, which goes along with humility, is ignoring our problems does not solve them. I went into the trip struggling with some things and it was harder because I had not tried to solve them I just let them go. In Philippians, Paul shares a few of his struggles and that really hit me. If he can humble himself and talk about what is wrong in his life so can I.
One other thing I found on this trip was a new way to study the Bible. I had never really known how to study the Bible before this trip. The way we did it was by answering seven questions. The first four questions are about the setting, who is it about? Where is it? When is it? What is happening? The next three are more detailed, what is the message? Why is it important? How can it be applied? And that’s it! This worked for me and I’ve been using this format since I got home.
^^Another group shot. I will miss everyone 😦
The week of Maine was such an eye opening, thought provoking week. While at the same time being a blast. I said this last time I posted about my trip and I will say it again. If you have the opportunity to serve on a mission’s trip. Take it. Yes, it can be scary to step out of your comfort zone, but you will learn so many things you otherwise wouldn’t.