We’re all coming down off of an amazingly successful week of Vacation Bible School here at Hillside. God answered so many prayers in so many ways during VBS and we wanted to share all of the incredible work that God did through our children, volunteers, and teachers.
One of the coolest things to witness was kids getting genuinely excited about the gospel, and in particular – The armor of God, what it is, and how we wear it. We know of at least 10 children who took home their very first bible during the week, because they had never owned one. At least 5 children asked us to be counseled on trusting Jesus as their Savior. God provided us with over 115 staff and volunteers to orchestrate our events and they came full of joy and ready to serve our kids; an incredible blessing as over 300 kids attended each day and several children with special needs attended without advanced notice. The kids raised a staggering $2000 to purchase new bibles for the Good News Clubs in our area! These blessings alone are amazing but God continued to do so much more. We had children attend our VBS program from “Kid’s Day” daycare and camp who begged their parents to let them finish out the week to continue learning about the different pieces of the armor of God! They didn’t want to miss the skits, crafts and lessons.
One of the most amazing stories I heard involved a little girl who lives in Austin. She was here visiting her Aunt during VBS week and was able to attend our Kingdom Chronicles fun! Her mother is a Wicca (a form of modern paganism with roots in witchcraft) and during the week she made the decision to receive Christ. We were so encouraged and excited when she spoke of what she believed and answered questions about Jesus and the Gospel story. She seemed to truly understand what Jesus has done for us and who that makes her. She left VBS with a brand new bible and so many prayers for her walk with the Lord. Her Aunt let us know that she is encouraging her niece to find friends from school or in after-school-care who attend church. We will continue to pray that she finds friends and is discipled in following Jesus Christ, and we invite you to as well!
The Lord’s provision was so evident as He protected us from a water shortage from a broken pipe that broke on Monday night! He provided us with extra volunteers who served as others fell sick. He blessed us and our older kids with a safe and successful trip to Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries on Wednesday, where our children were able to serve our community. On top of all of that, He cultivated and encouraged so many relationships among new attenders and new believers with seasoned-Hillsiders. Another way God’s presence was so beautifully seen was through the servants who helped make VBS happen. One of our Hillsiders shared with us, “One of the best ways to grow in Christ is to say,”Here I am, use me!”. I know that I almost always gain more through serving than those whom I serve. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine…My heart was filled when I saw the drama team…To see them serve the King and have fun doing it, to hear the audience reactions and for them to be engaged in the story, wanting more. One day, as the drawbridge closed, I heard groans from the children because they didn’t want it to be over! They wanted more! I pray that God would give me that desire for more of Him everyday. VBS is a tremendous opportunity for outreach but perhaps it is even more of an opportunity for the growth of our own members.”
These are the beautiful stories being written in our body. Praise God! Join us in prayers of thanks and praise for all He has done! We are also lifting up in prayer:
- Our new avenues of communication with the launch of our social media presence
- Future plans for outreach and VBS 2019
- Children who attended VBS to find a home church and deeper relationships with Christ and other believers
- Volunteers who are new believers or not believers; that the relationships will continue to build with the friends they met during the week
- The mission of reaching children with Gospel truth and heart change will over-ride the human desire for behavior modification among our teachers and small group leaders.
We stand amazed at God’s love and grace over us. And things are only going to continue to grow! It is written!
With love and thanks,
The Hillside VBS team