Stella, Director of Youth Education in a church in Raleigh, NC, shares her experience volunteering at Holy Cross School for Easter Vacation Bible School.
I had no idea what to expect when I signed on for the trip to Belize. It was a most wonderful experience. As we arrived in Belize it was hot….wonderful hot but was comfortable with the breeze. Soothing Green Ocean and white sandy beaches… God is here in many ways, just look around you… BEAUTIFUL!
My going was to facilitate VBS for the children at Holy Cross School, before arriving I had been told that it would be my responsibility to keep kids out of the school construction area once we finished with our VBS. For me this was not hard, I came with my yellow construction tape and ready to handle the children, something I do well.
Seeing Christ in many ways……
Upon arrival to Ambergris Caye ….I was sick ….. blood sugar had dropped to the point I was shaking….I was blessed to be travelling with female friends that noticed that I was not well, as a previous visitor to AC one took me to get some food ASAP, leaving our group on the dock with all the luggage!! Truly these women were there for me, God sent them for this purpose and the rest of the group carried on!
Upon our arrival to the school, Sunday afternoon we were greeted by Mr. Freddie. Then we were blessed to have a young lady who was doing her student teaching at Holy Cross to join us… a blessing for us, because she had been with the children enough to have some insight to how things would go, and how the children would respect our boundaries on the construction area. A large concern with Mr Freddy.
This was God’s blessings from the beginning to us that we were suppose to be here and VBS was what we should be doing even with the construction taking place at the same time. We had all our VBS plans ready and we were prepared, everyone knew what the plan and responsibilities would be for this first day! The first morning was a wonderful day our group of children was not large so we had manageable number of children…..you see with the construction this year we lost many of our teen boys to the construction team!!!
It was the first day that I saw Christ in a young boy….as we did our craft this day, he spoke no English and as I took his hand placed it into paint and he looked up at me ….I saw Christ right there and in this young boys eyes!!! How moving! A piece of my heart just left me……
On the second day we had our first experience with dehydration and stomach issues…..it was here that I saw a young woman that needed my care and I had to be her voice…dehydration is not anything we need to ignore…..I reluctantly left my post as VBS director in the hands of very capable young ladies…they managed the day well as I attended to the sick and became her mother for the day…maybe this is the real reason I am here…..
By wed we had our routine down and we were enjoying the children, our group had doubled from the first day ….we had loads of children and now we are in need of getting the boys to help with VBS because we needed crowd control! This day we are visited by a family that is on vacation….we learn that they want to volunteer for the last few days of VBS….another affirmation.
On Thursday we did the bracelets with the story of Holy Week, as we finished I ask who could tell me the story we just did with our beads? A young boy came up to me and told me the entire story….no prompting by anyone……to have this story given to me by him with joy and delight made the weeks of preparation worth our while……seeing the delight in this child’s face was the spirit truly speaking to me….this mission was a success and we were spreading the word of God to these children in more ways than we would ever imagine!!!!
On Friday we had 100 kids, we did our Sad Day Story and spoke of the happy ending we all knew …..Jesus ascending into heaven…..families joined us on Good Friday and we ended our VBS with a Easter Egg Hunt….Fun and delighted children…
A wonderful God experience….I highly recommend it to all who can go …. to my amazement these children had so little that they were delighted just to have a piece of paper and a crayon to draw with….wouldn’t it be nice to bottle this and bring back to the US….where our kids take sooo much for granted???
I must say that God was there with us the entire week.
Director of Christian Education
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
Raleigh, North Carolina