Our Vacation Bible School (VBS) at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, KY enjoyed Bible stories, skits, games, lessons, crafts, songs, laughter, snacks, prayers, worship, field trips, and lots of “water talk.”
Three of the VBS team members had just returned from an Living Waters for the
World (LWW) installation and VBS mission trip in Honduras. We used lessons we had learned in Honduras and combined those with the newest LWW curriculum, “Water All Around the World.”
Children, teachers, and volunteers learned the importance of living our faith by sharing pure water around the world. Further, we learned how this ministry can bring a deeper meaning and sense of purpose for our lives and for the lives of others. Sharing water is a way of sharing our faith. We emphasized that in sharing God’s water, our faith is strengthened and emboldened by what we can learn from people around the world. In this sharing, we often receive more than we have given. Finally, we are reminded that we have the opportunity to begin our mission work right here and right now – by being good stewards of water and good stewards of the earth, our island home.
Favorite VBS moments include the students’ uproarious singing of “Use This Water,” the tender voices chanting “Taste and See” and the determined desire to act out the Bibles stories rendering how God uses water to give life, to save, to heal, and to quench spiritual and physical thirst. During these moments of organized happy holy chaos, it was no problem again and again to get the children dressed in costumes to serve as the Samaritan townspeople, the Hebrews, the Soldiers, the Samaritan Woman, Moses, Pharaoh, Jesus, and more. The skits helped all involved to embody the story and the message associated with the notion that “Jesus Christ is the Living Water for our Bodies and our Souls.”
Was VBS successful? Yes! The children, teachers, volunteers, the faith community, and those new to the faith community were reminded that our bodies and souls are dependent upon the Living Water that is Christ Jesus and that everyone needs pure water to live the healthy life that God desires for humanity. Equally important, the parish community experienced the excitement of learning about the mission of Living Waters for the World. We had a portable LWW system in the parish hall for a demonstration several Sundays prior to the beginning of VBS. The congregation was aware that several of us were traveling to Honduras in advance of and in preparation for this VBS. And they had lots of questions upon our return! Many people, adults, and children, expressed a deepened desire to engage this Water Talk, to be conscientious stewards of water and to help others be assured of access to pure water. In doing so, we found ourselves drawing from the Living Water, drawing closer to God in Christ, and drawing closer to one another.
Thanks be to God.