"God's Word is TRUE!" What a first day of VBS in Lakeview, OR last Monday! That was our slogan for Day 1- and the adults and kids alike could use the reminder! Most of our memory verses for the week were from Psalm 119, and Monday was one of my favorites. "But You are near, Lord, and all your commands are true." Psalm 119:151 As we loaded up and prayed for God's protection and growth, I couldn't help but think about the command of the Lord to go forth and share His Word- and it brought such joy to know we were teaching our young people exactly how to do that in America! So cool!
We took 13 of our youth group teens, with 4 adults, to the town of Lakeview- the tallest town in Oregon with an elevation of 4800 feet and a population around 2000. Our mission- to give them assistance in putting on a fantastic Vacation Bible School as well as offering some summer night activities for the middle and high school students. And boy, did we!
The minute we got there I saw our kids jump up and get to work. The ones who had been there last year took time to orient the newbies, we got beds made on floors, food packed away, lessons reviewed for the next day and even some time for fun and games that night!
Lakeview Baptist Church, our partner in this adventure, has a house for the girls- the MAD house (Making A Difference) and the boys got to stay in the church. Lots of good places to play Sardines! We got to see the nearness of God as we adventured through a rigorous VBS schedule unlike the one we used, dealt with large crew groups and often times unruly boys. We felt His presence that Monday as we adjusted to life as a family, and 17 people using one shower. :) Oh, good times! And God poured out His grace and mercy for each of us, as we practice compassion and patience to each person we came in contact with.
I had the joy of teaching the Bible Story on Day 1, and it is the story of Peter's miraculous release from prison in Acts 12. Check it out, and I so hope it blesses you as much as it did me. I played Rhoda, the servant who answered the door for Peter. I think my acting skills have improved over the years, because I must have scared more than half of the kids to death as I pretended to be afraid of the Roman soldiers looking for Peter. The preschoolers cried, and one of the 1st graders told me "I was so scared I almost peed my pants!" Nice, right? Needless to say, I am still praying that I didn't permanently damage any of those wee ones, and they walked away seeing that God is powerful and His Word is TRUE! "Let's Go!"
One of my favorite things about these trips, as much as I miss my husband and my daughter, is that I get to spend time with my TAG girls. They crack me up every day, and I get to see a little piece of their hearts as they share their week with me. It is wonderful, and helps me to know how to pray for them in a different and more specific way. Oh, Lord- may we all see how true your stories are, and that we would all have a joyful moment like Peter- as the chains fall off our hands and feet and we run for the pure pleasure of tasting the freedom you give!
All in all, a fantastic mission trip. I will try to post more each day this week so you can enjoy the moments with me, and maybe God will give us both new insight into what ways we can serve the rest of the year. Jesus be close to you tonight!