If you’re thinking it’s hard for you to gather your workers and plan for your yearly VBS, imagine how much harder it must be for churches on the other side of the world to gather resources and teachers, find a place to train, and plan for what may be a totally new concept for some areas of the world!
Such is the story of Pantai Baptist Church in Malaysia. They held their VBS training event on June 25, 2011.
In the week leading up to the training, Pantai Baptist Church did VBS volunteer recruitment for Big Apple Adventure at First Baptist Church Subang in Malaysia.
Other than Pantai Baptist Church and First Baptist Church Subang, 16 other churches were represented in this training event. One of the trainers said, “I was going through the list of participants the night before, and the responsibility seemed just so B-I-G. I dared not share those feelings with my teammates as I know the list was circulated, but they don't read, and they won't be at the registration desk. I prayed for wisdom. I just felt we were not adequate to train pastors, so we just asked for blessings to be God's mouthpiece.”
Later he added, “We had pastors coming from Johor Bahru and even Tanjong Malim (north and south of Kuala Lumpur)! We did have three churches that came from other states to attend the seminar. A total of 60 people, from our count, turned out for the training. This number did not include First Baptist Church Subang and Pantai Baptist Church members, so over all, we had about 80-100 people.
“It sure was fun for us. (We always have fun when we do VBS.) We did a bit of going down memory lane because we had team members assigned to wear the different VBS T-shirts we’ve used throughout the years—from our first one (Amazon Outfitters), when someone came to teach us how to do VBS, right up to Saddle Ridge Ranch.
“I think everyone has VBS fever, but the participants have to return to their churches to share. It is June already, and the next shipment of materials is coming in September. The church’s are getting more organized, and they have found it is hard to do VBS at their churches if they have to wait for materials from us. They want to do their own VBS about the same time as we do ours in November. That’s why we got them to come for this training.
“We will be having two weeks of VBS this year—one week at First Baptist Church Subang, and then those who are still on a high from Big Apple Adventure are going to Pantai Baptist Church for the following week's VBS. Both churches have a similar number of classrooms and so forth as in previous years, which actually means double numbers for Big Apple Adventure!
“I am pretty apprehensive, but I know as always it is in God's hands. We will fill the places.”
What insight! What dedication! What faith! What love!
With workers like these around the world, it’s easy to see why VBS is going global. God tells us that the fields are white unto harvest, now all we have to do is go out and gather in His people (John 4:35-38).
Check out some pictures of VBS in Malaysia by clicking on this link https://www.facebook.com/pages/LifeWay-International/110650312316888 and scrolling nearly to the bottom of the first page.