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Diary of a VBS Volunteer: Day 1

Day one of VBS completed and survived. This is the fifth year for my teenage son, Luke, and me to lead games for the elementary grade students (first through fifth grades). In the course of the morning, we see about 150 students and 25 small-group leaders come through the games station.

Preparing the games for this year has been a bit different. The outdoor area we have used for the past four years became part of the footprint for our congregation’s new Early Childhood Center. So we moved games to the lawn alongside our sanctuary. Most of this area is on a slope dotted with trees, so there are some challenges, but nothing we can’t overcome.

Today’s game involved throwing beanbags at targets representing the enemies David faced as a young shepherd: lions, bears, and Goliath. The kids really enjoyed the challenge, even if some of the fourth grade boys threw the beanbags so hard that they knocked the lids off of our sand-filled peanut butter jars. Many of the students didn’t want to leave when it was time to get a drink and move on to the next station. Hopefully we can keep this enthusiasm going throughout the week.

My great moment for today was seeing Mattox again. I don’t think his family has any connection to our church or school, but he comes back to VBS every year. When I addressed him by name this morning that he seemed surprised that I remembered him. I told him how much I appreciated his enthusiasm and I was glad to see him back at VBS once again. I pray that the seed of God’s Word will continue to grow in his life.

It’s going to be a hot week once again; many students were asking if we were still going to have our water fun day later this week. We’ve got something tentatively planned for the obstacle course on Friday, but I don’t want to give them too many details already!


Mark Sengele is the Editor of Youth Materials at Concordia Publishing House. Each summer he volunteers for Vacation Bible School at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville, Illinois.

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