Hey guys. Gordon here. This is not just another Geek of the Week. It’s actually two – three to be more exact! I met Melissa, Laura, and Georgina (Melissa’s Mom) at VBS Preview in Ridgecrest. Within moments of meeting them, it was clear. I was in the presence of future candidates for VBS Geek of the Week! So, it is with great appreciation we, the VBS team, bestow not one, not two, but three “Geek of the Week” awards to Melissa Lasseter, Laura Miller, and Georgina Watkins, aka “Mom”!
1. What is your geekiest VBS moment? [re: Melissa] “My first VBS announcement (for Saddle Ridge Ranch) caused quite a scene. I was so nervous! Dressed as a cowgirl with a pink cowboy hat and boots, I interrupted a deacon giving announcements in church that Sunday morning. His surprise was genuine! The congregation loved it and looks forward to the skits each year![re: Laura] One Saturday afternoon, Laura and I (Melissa) were out shopping for VBS decorating supplies. While driving down my street, Laura spotted a neighbor’s trash pile with a bunk bed thrown on top. She slammed on the brakes, threw the car in reverse and backed up claiming that she found the covered wagon! We spoke to the neighbor and the bunk bed ours. It weighed a ton so we recruited my husband to load it up. After some work, it became a fabulous Saddle Ridge Ranch covered wagon! So, we are not above trash picking to find great props. [re: 2011 January Preview in Ridgecrest] 9 women + 2 cars (caravan/road trip from Florida to Ridgecrest) + lots of snow and ice + 7 degree weather (“NOT FUNNY for a bunch of Miami girls!) = one great experience and mega excitement. [re: registration for Previews] While in the middle of our VBS 2011, we made an appointment to watch the 2012 web launch. We registered for BOTH the January Preview AND the Kissimmee Preview! [re: Laura] Laura squeals and does “The Happy Dance” in the middle of the office while opening supplies for VBS like brand new boxes of markers! It’s all for the cause! [re: Mom] “I’m just along for the ride!”
2. The back story, how they met, what’s their VBS working relationship: April, 2010 was a defining moment for Laura Miller. Long story short and amid circumstances beyond her control, Laura found herself facing a giant – her struggling church as well as the surrounding community were counting on Miami Shores Baptist Church to conduct their annual VBS. On top of that, it was only 2 months away. Laura had taught VBS but never directed VBS.
Unwilling to give up, Laura invited Melissa to drop by her place of business where she told her the whole story. Since Laura hadn’t directed VBS before and Melissa had it seemed clear what had to be done…Melissa had to be the one in charge! Laura promised to be there every step of the way – she would be Melissa’s right and left arms!
Melissa, though surprised by the request, accepted the challenge. With the decision made, the pair headed to lunch, where Melissa discovered that Laura had stashed the Saddle Ridge Ranch Super Sampler in her car in the hopes that Melissa would say YES and take the it from her. Brilliant!
With lots of prayer and optimism, the struggling church rallied and gathered 117 children for VBS! 11 of them accepted Christ as their Savior! The Lord took care of obstacles and cleared paths. They work together like a well-oiled machine – their strengths and weaknesses complement each other!
PS – to sum it all up – their working relationship amounts to: Melissa was officially voted on, Laura doesn’t let her forget it and (to quote) “We haven’t had this much fun working this hard in a long time!”
3. What’s your favorite part of VBS? We love every part of VBS! We love the planning, the decorating, the announcements, and the stress of getting things done![Melissa] I have come to love Friday Night Family Night. I would attend in the past, but I was not a fan of the chaos, etc. One of my favorite parts is watching the children learn the music and motions. When they understand the meaning of the words and how the motions fit in with them – it makes me so happy. [Laura] My favorite part is that the church voted on Melissa! [Mom] I’m just along for the ride!
4. Why do you do VBS? Because we CAN’T NOT do it. How can we not share Jesus with the community and our church? How can we not give the children the opportunity to hear and experience the Good News? How can we not open the doors to our church and welcome the neighborhood kids? How can we not fulfill the Great Commission? How can we NOT? The song from Big Apple Adventure “I Will…” summed it up for Melissa!
There’s more to this story but we’re going to save it for another time. You’ve gotta hear how this team made their way to Ridgecrest from their home in sunny Florida. See ya’ll in Orlando!