We just completed a record breaking Huejotzingo, Mexico TUtP VBS. The fewest kids we had any of the 5 days was 41 on the 1st day. On Weds. we had 55. We could just barely fit them into the activity room and courtyard. We had a total of 62 different children who came over the entire week. Some of these kids hear very little of the Bible at any other time than when they are involved in one of our activities.
The crafts each day are geared to the Bible story. The kids are supposed to tell the story to their parents when they get home. We know some do. A record-breaking 13 parents attended the last day when we gave diplomas and gifts to the kids. They heard a total recap of the theme story as their children answered questions about the week. For many of these adults, this is the only Bible they will hear.
Each day there were lots of games, Bible memorization, crafts, eating and a dramatized Bible story. The theme for the week was about forgiveness as demonstrated by Joseph in the O.T. Despite how his brothers betrayed him, he knew God had had a plan to work out as a result of their actions, and he was more than willing to forgive them their past evil actions. God through Jesus similarly forgives us because He loves us and wants to have us as His children in a healthy relationship.
I was the taxi driver, driving the Dios es Amor Church van to three houses each morning to pick up various children and adults who lived too far away from the center to walk. At the 1st house, no one was ever home during the week. We kept going just in case as the parents had indicated their kids would come at least some of the days and they have previously been part of our activities. At the 2nd house I usually picked up one adult and two kids. The 3rd house usually yielded 4 youngsters.
We faced some technical challenges as our printer did not always want to print properly. We print out 1 copy of what we need and go to town each afternoon or evening to get all the copies we need for the various crafts. This is cheaper and faster than trying to print out everything at the TUtP office.
At the end of every day, we debriefed our helpers, all of whom were simply marvelous this year. There are a few wrinkles each day that need to be worked on for the next day so we can be constantly improving what we do. This is especially helpful in dealing with a few kids who are disciplinary challenges. Some come from very difficult home situations and thrive on attention. They just don’t always use appropriate ways of gaining that attention.
On the final day, everyone had cake and ice cream. The older girls all got a brand new, lovely doll. Each of the little kids got brand new Beanie Babies. The older boys got spinners and a pen. The dolls and the Beanie Babies I bought at estate sales around Long Beach CA. I can get them so very inexpensively that way. The kids and their parents were absolutely delighted.
Construction on the buildings Abraham and Rachel are building is going well. This will be our new TUtP center in Huejo. They hope to move within 8 weeks. Construction methods are different there than they are here, especially the pouring of the concrete roof which involves a continuous pour on a single day to avoid any leaks or other structural problems. Fascinating.
I leave for Fiji August 30, returning September 14. We will do a medical outreach. Then I head to Romania from September 28 through October 9 to do a seminar on prayer for Romanian pastors. Please pray for stamina and effectiveness. Thanks and blessings!