by Marilynn Colcord
Jesus' love flowed like lava during the Pendleton Seventh-day Adventist church's Vacation Bible School week, August 3-8, 2009. Kids visited Lava, Lava Island and learned about Jesus' love in an explosive way.
Suzette McCrary and her team of active volunteers worked hard each evening at Lava, Lava Island. Suzette's sister, Sylvia Escobar spent the week energetically leading the group in songs, putting actions with them to provide a better emphasis on Jesus. Each evening the children met a new character that assisted them in remembering their memory verses and the wonderful way that Jesus is interested in their lives. After reciting the Bible verses each night, the children shouted "Mahalo", the island term for "thank you".
Each day the kids headed downstairs in the church into Hot Bible Adventures, where an angel (Judy Jenner) told the story of the shepherds that were bummed because the king had not come yet, but that she and all the other angels (children) came to bring them the good news that Jesus had indeed come to their world as a small baby and that he would save us. Also in the Bible Adventures, Susan Lundquist portrayed a fellow thief, a friend of the saved thief on the cross, a friend that was still in prison but who hoped it was true that all his sins could be laid on the cross and covered with Christ's righteousness. To give this idea more reality for the children, they each received a scarlet bracelet representing their sins, which they laid over a cross representing the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Then, a robe of white righteousness was draped over their "sins" completely covering them, indicating the forgiveness and life Jesus offers each of us.
Daily trips to the Crater Craft station kept the kids busy with making water bottle insulators, dry erase boards, carrying totes complete with self-portraits and lots of other fun projects. The Jungle Gym Games station provided energetic games of every kind, resulting in much running, many balloons and tons of fun outside. And of course, there were tropical treats to be made and consumed by the children each evening.
At the end of the week on Sabbath morning, children brought their parents to an open house where they could tour the church building, see the fabulous decorations (compliments of Brittany Sandvik and crew) and visit with friends and other church members. A rousing program was provided with the children participating and showing off the things they learned throughout the week. Pastor Andrew McCrary provided a short sermonette and then invited everyone outside to a "Tiki Hut" reception that included fresh fruit kabobs, cookies, tropical fish treats and something to drink.
Truly, everyone felt the "lava flow" of Jesus' love as we reached out to the children from our church and community, as well as their parents. It is our prayer will understand that Jesus is waiting for them to place their scarlet sins on Him and receive life forever. Mahalo.