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Nov16WedVacation Bible school ignites a period of growth for Newfoundland corps November 16, 2011 by Kay Brett
For the week of August 15-19, 2011, Mount Pearl Corps, N.L., was lit up by the faces of nearly 140 children, from Mount Pearl, St. John's, Conception Bay South and surrounding areas, all eager to learn about God. The theme for the vacation Bible school (VBS) was Pandamania: Where God is Wild About Us! Taken from Psalm 139, the theme allowed the children to partake in a jungle-inspired praise centre. Not only did the children leave each day knowing that God loves them, they also took home the knowledge that there are other kids, their own ages, who love God, too.
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Countless volunteer hours, including behind-the-scenes decorating, lesson planning and food preparation, added to the five-day extravaganza. Tribe leaders, crew leaders, parents and guardians were amazed to feel the energy surrounding the sanctuary as the children raised their hands in worship and praise to God. The song Forgotten was particularly enjoyed by the children as they sang and came to understand that God knows their names and loves them for who they are.
One of the highlights of the week was the very visible presence of our teenagers. Serving mainly as junior crew leaders, their energy and influence on our younger children shone brighter than any light. Just realizing the magnitude of our corps' teens as volunteers is staggering! It represented to our younger participants that there is always a place for them in church and that God never forgets about them and will always be with them.
This VBS taught us that our congregation is truly a family, and our family continues to grow. Since the week-long event, our Sunday school numbers are increasing and our outreach program, Pioneer Club, has gained immeasurable momentum, mostly from outside our corps. Under the guidance of our YPSM Joanne Pardy and the other YP leaders, our other programs, including performance group, teen youth group, beginner and junior bands, junior soldiers and CrossZone continue to increase, all stemming from the energy created by VBS. Our corps members and community are encouraged by the commitment to our young people. With all this corps growth, we think this is a success worth getting wild about!