Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Burnt Offerings for Bible School


It's Bible School time around here. Everyone is gearing up to have a week of fun and Bible learning for their children. Yes, lots of fun and learning, but I think it doesn't shine a candle to when I was a child.

THE last time Mom came to visit, she brought me a bag full of pictures. I found a couple VBS pictures in the pile so let's do a little reminiscing ....  about the wonderful days of VBS when I was small.

I came across this photo from 1968 which had all my closest friends in it.
That's me on the far left. Renee on the far right.
Shari and Joyce on the back row right.

Each of us were always invited to the other's Bible Schools. This particular year, all of us attended (at least on picture day) the Beech Mennonite VBS. Renee, Shari and I were friends from birth and and we attended the same elementary school. You would find us at many of the same functions through the year. Joyce and I become close friends in 5th grade when we were assigned to a different elementary school.

There I am...front row, 2nd from the right.

 This picture is another year at the Mennonite Church where my friend, Renee attended.  The biggest thing I remember about the Mennonite Bible School was playing Red Rover on the lawn and we sang songs with signs that looked like road signs. The had a message like this....

STOP
and let me tell you
of the Christ of Calvary
He forgave my sins and he saved my soul
cleansed my heart and he made me whole

Then there was a song on 'newspaper'

GOOD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
Christ died for me
GOOD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
if I believe
GOOD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
I'm saved eternally
That's wonderful  "EXTRA"
GOOD NEWS

These songs were so special to me that as an adult leading children's ministries, I looked for them and found that they were created by Child Evangelism Fellowship. Kids still love them today! And you can still purchase them. Child Evangelism

My mother was the VBS director at our church, so we were smack dab in the middle of everything there. I remember loading up our station wagon with a abundance of kids. You didn't need a seat belt or car seat back then so we packed in like sardines in a can. Not sure what's so fun about packing into a station wagon, but I have fond memories of it now. Maybe just because you can't do it anymore.

When we arrived at Bethany UMC, there were kids everywhere. We had a great time making beautiful crafts, playing in the church yard, sneaking into the belfry to ring the bell (I'll bet the neighbors enjoyed that), singing lots of songs, raising money for missionaries. It all ended on Sunday night with a program for the parents.

It was a tiring week for my mother, I'm sure. One year, we quickly gathered up all the supplies after the program,placed them in garbage bags, and headed on home. This included the several hundred dollars raised for missionaries. 

 So, the next morning when Mary,  arrived to help with the housework, she picked up the garbage and took it to the burn pile and started the fire....

I'm not sure how long it took to discover what happened, but we did realize that the offering had become a burnt offering! Well, at least we were able to collect the coins from the ashes!

We had some great summers back in the day. What about you? What do you remember about Bible School as a child?