First Baptist Church, Danville, Arkansas, almost did not have Vacation Bible School this summer (2001). Pastor Delton Beall emailed me recently with the good news that they had gone forward with VBS and 30 children had made professions of faith!
Just last week, he contacted me again. On Thursday night, August 30, Delton got a call to go to the local hospital. A nine-year-old girl named Windy had run out in front of an 18-wheeler traveling through the middle of town. She had been killed instantly. Her brother and five sisters had gathered at the hospital. Their mother had gone to Russellville, about 20 miles away. Delton told me this was not the family’s first tragedy. The dad had committed suicide a year ago. After moving to Danville to be near family, their house had burned to the ground. Now Windy lay dead in the ER.
What do VBS and Windy’s death have to do with each other?
Windy was one of the 30 children who had prayed to receive Christ in VBS. Delton shared her story at the funeral and invited anyone who was not a Christian to follow Windy’s example. On Sunday night, September 2, Windy’s mother and a sister went forward to profess their faith and were baptized.
“I will never look at VBS without thinking about this little girl who in one week sang praises to Jesus and prayed to receive Christ and six weeks later lay in a casket at that same altar,” Delton said. “I wish I could tell this story to Southern Baptists who may be thinking about giving up on VBS and soul-winning.”
Did you know that VBS is the number one way churches discover prospects for Bible study? In the summer of 2000, more than a half million prospects were discovered. And 91,477 VBS participants made professions of faith. Every indication is that this year’s results in changed lives will be even greater.
Pray today for Windy’s family as they mourn the loss of this daughter and sister. Pray that the other members of the family will come to know Christ. Lift up in prayer the 29 other children at First Baptist Church, Danville, who accepted Christ this summer. And praise the Lord for the spiritual decisions made in VBS in your church.
Written by Jimmy Draper and first published September 11, 2001. At the time Draper was President of LifeWay Christian Resources.