It’s past the middle of May, and that means final preparations for VBS is at full throttle in most churches. The VBS team is praying for churches in their final stages of planning and enlisting workers, praying for directors and church leaders who are working hard to be sure all the details are in place, and praying for kids who will come to VBS and their families. We are also praying for the missionary families that kids will learn about in VBS this summer and expecting God to do big things in the lives of these missionaries and their families.
Each year, we publish an update on the featured missionary families on the VBS website so that churches can have an updated look at what is happening in the lives of the missionaries since the videos were shot and the VBS Missions Rotation Leader Guide was published. This update includes additional photos of the missionary families, any updates on what the kids learn about their ministries in the videos, and their current prayer requests. You can find the updates for the Flooks and Pillays featured in VBS 2013 here. Click on Follow-ups and Helps on the left tabs and then look for Missions Stories Updates. You can download the “Flooks Update from Bolivia” and the “Pillay Update” to get the latest information from these missionary families. Kids will enjoy hearing the updates directly from the missionaries.
Another missionary update we wanted to give is related to Andrew Mann, who was featured in LifeWay’s VBS 2011 Big Apple Adventure along with Proof, a K-9 Assistance Animal trained as a professional therapy dog. Andrew and Proof serve at Graffiti 2 Community Ministries and Graffiti 2 Church in South Bronx. In a blog last November, you can check out here, we asked VBS leaders to join us in prayer as we discovered that Andrew had been diagnosed with cancer and was facing surgeries and treatments. In true missionary fashion, Andrew found ways to minister throughout his treatment and recovery process. To find out more about Andrew’s personal journey and the ministries of Graffiti 2, check out this video produced by Brianne Barry, a City University of New York Journalism student for the Mott Haven Herald here. The video includes Andrew’s story, along with photos, detailing Andrew’s surgeries and cancer treatments.
For more information about Graffiti 2 Community Ministries in the Bronx, visit their website at www.graffiti2ministries.org. Follow Andrew on his blog at cancerousjoy.wordpress.com.
One last exciting update to report on Graffiti 2 is that they will receive a portion of CentriKid Camp offerings from this summer’s camp weeks to support their ministries.
Here’s another look at Think Tank from Lorie Honeycutt. Lorie is no stranger to the VBS team. She has taught conferences for VBS Institutes and Previews and has written for past VBS. She’s always been a great supporter of VBS and so glad to have her join us this year for think tank!
What did you learn about the VBS theme development process that you wish everyone knew? The personal commitment and care each of the LifeWay VBS team members exhibits to get the best possible theme. Each are burdened with the impact their work has on evangelism in the local church. They do not take the job lightly and put forth every effort and much personal sacrifice to get it right.
What was the most surprising thing about VBS theme development that you learned by being part of the Think Tank? As part of our orientation, we did a scavenger hunt around LifeWay to see how each division works to make a VBS theme successful. Needless to say, we had to go to almost every department! VBS requires the involvement and synergistic relationship with almost everyone at LifeWay. Those who do not personally touch a VBS item are most definitely aware and in prayer for its success. Considering the number of employees at LifeWay, this is HUGE!
What advice would you give to anyone who is invited to a future VBS Think Tank? If you are invited, say YES! Bring as many creative ideas as you can, but don’t be married to one idea. There are many reasons why a theme doesn’t make it to print so go with an open mind, a willing heart, and the ability to think ‘outside the box.’ It is a blessing to have had a very small part in the big VBS picture.
We are privileged at the LifeWay office in Nashville to have an employee cafe that is open for breakfast and lunch. The cafe is convenient (especially on rainy days), nutritious, competitively priced, and usually quick.
While the menu varies, most days are pretty much the same with a salad bar, pizza station, grill, and meat and vegetable station. It is good. It meets a need. It is safe and predictable.
But occasionally, on a day like today, it is Quiznos Day at the Cafe! Let the party begin!
On Quiznos Day you get to the cafe when they open the doors or else you stand in a line that snakes out the door and into the lobby. All it takes is one person to return to their office floor with a Quiznos sandwich and the word spreads. People shout the news down the hall. People talk about it in the elevator. People who never step foot in the cafe run with haste trying to be the first in line.
Is it that Quiznos is so much better than the daily fare? No, not really. It is just different and makes lunch seem a little more special.
Vacation Bible School is like (or at least can be like) Quizos Day. Most churches offer great Bible student 52 weeks of the year. It is not that the Bible stories and study offered during VBS are better than those offered each Sunday. They are just different and as a result seem just a little more special.
To all of you who love VBS like to make it special, a very Happy Quiznos Day!