So this is for anyone who needs to hear something good this week.
Last week, we invited about 150 kids to Eastport Bible Church for our weeklong VBS Kids Camp. We had a great time all together, singing songs, watching skits, doing crafts, playing games, eating snacks and making new friends.
But underneath all of that fun, deeper things were happening in the hearts of those kids. Each day, every age group from Pre-K through 6th Grade spent time learning more about Jesus and the great ways that He wants us to live our lives. They learned that Jesus gives us all kinds of things, including hope, love, courage, direction and power. They also learned that Jesus loves us and that He has great things for us to do.
Often times, kids don’t get a lot of credit. People view them as young and immature and not able to do much. But the truth is, is that kids are amazing. They can do great things at any age. They can help and love and serve when given the opportunities to do so. So we decided to give them an opportunity to do all of these things.
We asked the kids that came to VBS to bring in their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. We told them that we would collect this money every day and that it would go to help other children.
The children that we wanted to help, live in at the Paradise Orphanage in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Through an organization called Kaya’s Kids, we would send money that could help to provide for the needs of the 125 children that live at the orphanage.
The money would go to help provide for basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and education. Most importantly, these children would also have the opportunity to know that Jesus loves them and that He has great plans for their lives as well.
So all throughout the week, our VBS Kids brought in their coins. We collected the change from Tuesday through Friday. We did add a fun incentive telling the kids that whatever group brought in the most change could have the opportunity to slime one of our leaders. Steven’s side ended up bringing in the most money and so at the end of the week, he was the recipient of the slime.
In the end, would you believe that these 150 kids brought in $1225.00? Who would have thought that asking kids to do something as small as bring in coins would result in such a large sum of money? We even had two of our students who purposely set out to raise money by setting up a roadside iced tea and bracelet stand by their house. They, along with so many of our children were determined that they could let their lights shine and make a difference for others.
We are so, so proud of these children and the great joy that they will bring to the children at the Paradise Orphanage. Most all of the kids from our VBS Kids Camp were right from our community with the rest being from communities all around us. At times in the world, it seems like so many things are negative and so many people are doing negative things. But it is my privilege to share, that last week, this was something beautiful and something positive that happened right in our community, and I could not be more grateful and proud of all of these amazing children.