With COVID-19 forcing Dwell’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be canceled, its organizers offered an alternative—materials for people to host a small scale VBS in their backyard. Kim Allen and some other moms in her Cranbrook neighborhood took up the offer, and hosted 14 kids for a week’s worth of Christ-centered activities.
Kim says her family was saddened to hear that VBS was canceled, but her mother-in-law showed her that Dwell was offering a “backyard” version, appropriate for someone to do with neighbor kids. Kim says, “I thought, since I know of four Jesus followers in my neighborhood, not all Dwell members, maybe we could try to put something together for our kids. We had a few meetings with the moms, and added another mom. We delegated tasks and God brought it all together.”
The majority of the kids served were 3 years old and younger, so they planned for 3 days’ worth of one hour activities. There were 14 kids involved, including a couple of kids who served as volunteers.
Kim says, “We used the superhero theme and reworked the content the Oasis team provided to make it suitable for younger kids. We had a verse for the week, Ephesians 2:8—‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God’—and read it each day. We had a mini teaching, sang songs, and had an activity and craft. On our last day, we had a ukulele player come. We also had someone in my home church design a Jesus superhero logo and we put that symbol on posters and on the capes that the children decorated.”
Kim says it was all well worth the effort, with the kids having fun, and hearing about God’s wonderful offer of grace and forgiveness. She says it also brought great unity among the moms involved, and has led to further plans—“It was very encouraging and uplifting to serve with them. We also plan to do a day camp later in the month and invite more neighbors.”
Kim has a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, who both joined in. Her niece joined in as a helper, and her daughter helped as well, including sharing a comment about God in one of the teachings.
Kim says one friend who came with her son does not yet have a relationship with God. She says all the moms showed her love and made her and her son feel welcome, adorning the Gospel message.
The Dwell VBS team stands ready to help you host your own backyard VBS. You can find materials at this link. Of course, if you host, please follow all COVID prevention guidelines. And if you've also hosted one of these events, please let us know--email Jeff Risley at RisleyJ@dwellcc.org.
Please pray that this backyard VBS will serve as a springboard for these kids to establish a strong walk with God as they grow!