Hey Gordon! We need photos of a mother elk walking down a snowy road and a baby elk following close behind. Oh—and we also need photos of all the VBS rotation locations in Alaska, someone ice fishing and that rare flower, oh, what's it called? The one that only grows in the Arctic?
Welcome for a brief moment to the world of the VBS graphic designer. It was 2005. The VBS team was working fast and furiously on VBS 2006 and we needed pictures of elk and puffins and all sorts of other Alaska-related things. Since elk are not commonly seen walking around downtown Nashville, we wondered, "Who 'ya gonna call?"
How about the Alaska Chamber of Commerce?
So, I called and a nice lady answered, "Oh sure. We have all sorts of photos! I'd be glad to help!" Jack pot! I started rambling through the list of photos we needed. "What's this for anyway?" she asked. "Well," I said, "I'm a graphic designer at LifeWay on the VBS team and..." The lady quickly interrupted, "VBS! I'm the VBS director at my church here in Alaska!" College Heights Baptist Church, Soldotna, AK.
You know, the older I get the less surprised I am when God does those "even though I'm running the entire universe I still make time just for you" kind of things. That phone call started a friendship that spread through the whole team and continues to this day.
So, without further ado, allow me to officially introduce (drum roll please) our Honorary VBS Team Member at Large and VBS Geek of Week, Diane Somers!
On a rather serious note, in 2008 Diane experienced some serious health/neurological issues (a rare version of encephalitis) and stepped down as VBS Director. Diane says: "This happened just before I bought a ticket for a mission trip to London to do VBS there again...but couldn't. I haven't been able to work until this year. I'm trying to just decorate instead of being the Director (which I loved)...so, maybe God is giving me permission to go after it again!" It just goes to show, you can't keep a VBS Geek down for long! God bless you Diane! We'll keep praying for you too!
And now, a few more words from Diane Somers - VBS Geek of the Week:
What have been or currently are your VBS roles (state, association, church, director, etc.)?
First of all, I’m flattered that you and the team remembered me for this blog. VBS work is the only thing I miss from my passed abilities! I wish my new brain could be in charge of VBS again, but for now, I can decorate again! I love it too…thank You, Lord. I was able to decorate this year and had a wonderful time.
What is your "geekiest" VBS moment?
Allow me to add to this one, Diane. Some of us on the VBS team had the chance to meet Diane face to face in January 2007 at the VBS Preview event in Glorieta, NM. Every time we turned around Diane was there! Short of bringing her sleeping bag to the EXPO room she was with us 24/7… and we loved every minute of it! Diane, along with her State Associate, were able to convince Jeff Slaughter to come to Alaska and do a training conference with the Alaska Team. Diane made it happen! There's a great story about an extremely deep snow drift and a snowmobile you'll have to ask Jeff about someday. Priceless. Back to you Diane! (I've always wanted to say that!)
Here's a pretty geeky moment! I'm still around these kids
and they remember VBS with me! Cool!
Below are a couple pictures from this year's VBS here in Soldotna!
My husband build the taxi ramp!
What is your favorite VBS theme to date?
My favorite VBS? Arctic Edge of course!
What makes you continue to do VBS year after year?
I love meeting people and seeing the group get larger and larger. I also love to see kids learn at an early age about the God and what He means to us. It’s a great way for the whole family to live and learn about God. I enjoy every minute of it!
VBS Preview is just around the corner! Hope to see you there!