Summer used to be my favorite time of year. No school, late sunsets, and no end to the list of Things to Do. Bike rides, the beach, horseback riding, tree climbing— so many memories and so much fun! We always stayed out until the lighting bugs came out. They would blink their way around our neighbor’s mimosa trees and we would chase them while our parents laughed and talked into the night. The next morning we were at it again. Hot summer mornings were spent in the back yard listening to the cicadas echo. By afternoon, we dug into the Kool Pops. Blue was the best. And there was nothing that would get a Southern kid’s attention like the sound of a sprinkler. Every sense was heightened when the sprinklers came out. We didn’t have fancy in-ground things. These were arched wands that had to be dragged around from place to place in the yard, a job every kid wanted. Even now, when I spot a sprinkler on a blistering hot day, it’s hard for me not to pull the car right over, kick the sandals off, and run back and forth through that delightful wall of water. By late afternoon the thunderheads built until the sky could hold it no longer. The storm had to come or it would surely have exploded outside! Eventually the rain would end and the Sun would reappear, like a scolded child who had cried out its tantrum. Time for supper: a BLT with fresh garden tomatoes and a cold glass of Kool-Aid, with watermelon for dessert.
That, my friends, was summertime.
And as rich and full as all of that sounds, there is one activity that is glaringly absent: Vacation Bible School.
As a child, I only went to VBS one time. I don’t really recall too much about it.
I don’t think I went every day that week. But I do remember making a craft and hearing Bible stories and singing. I know I had fun. But we couldn’t go every year and, even though I am outrageously blessed, I wish I had been able to go. I believe in VBS as a tool to reach children and families and as a means of bringing church members closer together. Nothing bonds teachers like staring down a room full of seven year-olds! When we, as parents, place our children in a VBS classroom, we allow them to hear the gospel from other trusted Christians. That reinforces what we have taught our children and can often lend it even more credibility. In other words, our children hear what we have been telling them and they begin to think. And, hopefully, to believe.
So now I serve in VBS practically every year. I have taught almost every age group, worked in almost every department, written curriculum, and directed it. Most recently (just this past week), I had the great opportunity to co-host the VBS Family Night. What a joy it was to create an event where families made sweet summertime memories. Games, activities, time spent in the Word, and so much more – all on a summer evening in the fiery month of July. They had a blast and I did too.
The only thing missing was the sprinkler.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dolly Mink has a heart for women who are hurting. Years of experience in Christian leadership have given her a unique perspective and she is eager to share her observations insights, and words of encouragement all in a way that honors her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dolly serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at River Oak Church in Chesapeake, and on the SBCV Women’s Ministry Leadership Team.
To read more, visit her blog, Grateful for the Grace.