Summer 2015 Snapshot - Everest VBS

Mountaintop Experience at VBS!

Everest VBS 2015 was a mountaintop experience for me, there’s no doubt about that.  The Bethany team who helped create Everest made this year one like no other, and there is no way to thank them enough.  The dreams and ideas that have been in the works since well before Christmas have now been realized or let go.  The dust hasn’t settled, and we are already dreaming up ideas for Cave Quest 2016… I can’t wait!

I really thought that “Weird Animals” was going to be hard to top.  I personally had so much fun with the music and was so blown away by the kids’ connection with the key points that I didn’t know whether or not Everest could be more powerful.  I was wrong, again…  Every day the kids, and leaders, had real stories to share about the power of God in their lives.  Every day, outside VBS, I saw reminders in my life of how “God has the power to …” Provide. Comfort. Heal. Forgive. Love.  I found myself in situations each day that made it natural to share the key point with friends who had no connection to Everest.

Who do you know who needs to hear or remember that:

  • God has the power to provide!
  • God has the power to comfort!
  • God has the power to heal!
  • God has the power to forgive!
  • God has the power to love us forever!

Everest didn’t lack for fun either!  Trek Rockrambler kept everyone laughing, and I I’m pretty sure nobody expected to see a mountain of foaming bubbles on Tuesday!  I loved hearing the laughter in the halls.  Our station leaders went above and beyond every day to make sure their lessons were relevant and fun!

This year our mission focus set two mountain sized faith goals for VBS.  Early in the year we decided that we wanted to make sure every child who lives in a Kaya home and every family whose children attend the Kaya day programs could have a Bible of their own.  In a culture where books are treasures, owning a Bible is a rare privilege.  So buying 120 Bibles, and getting them to Bolivia, was a God-sized goal.  However, after visiting Kaya in June, we recognized their need for more child sponsors, the consistent, month-to-month support that meets the basic needs of the children.  So we stepped out in faith and committed to a second mission focus goal for Everest – ten children sponsored during the week.  We had to tell their stories.  We just had to.

I have the privilege of being up on the platform in front of our kids during VBS.  Sure, I get to jump around and praise God in ways not every adult would enjoy.  I get to make surprising bubbles and smash giant blocks of ice.  More than that, I get to hear the worship pouring out of our children, rising above the music, filling the room.  That’s a perspective only those of us up front get the honor of witnessing.  It’s powerful and humbling.  It is, without a doubt, my favorite part of VBS. 

This year’s numbers would call VBS a success.  I would call it a success too, but not because of the numbers.  The whole reason we start planning a year in advance; the whole reason we dream and pray and stay late getting ready; and the reason we love doing it all; is because we know it’s not about the numbers – it’s about the children.  Yes, we met our goals for growth and outreach.  Yes, our children blessed our Kaya partners with over $2000 for Bibles and ten child sponsors at a time when it is desperately needed.  But more than all that, we shared God’s Mighty Power with over 300 children.  We planted seeds of faith.  May they bloom and grow.

To God Be the Glory!

Shari Schwedhelm