Children 'keep in step' at Vacation Bible School
August 7, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Chaplain (Capt.) Jerrod Glenn and his wife, Rita organized a fun-filled week for the children of Fort Sill with Vacation Bible School at Frontier Chapel.
The theme of the week was "Gotta Move! Keepin' in step with the Spirit." The program designed for children in kindergarten through fifth grade happened July 29 to Aug. 2.
Highlights of the week included singing worship songs, trying fun snacks, making creative crafts, playing exciting games and listening to and discussing Bible stories.
The program also included taking up an offering to give to missions. The chosen mission group was OneVerse. This group travels around the world to remote villages where there is no written language, only an oral means of communication. The translators immerse themselves in the culture and learn how the people interact. From that experience they develop a written language for the group. Then the translators are able to create Bibles written just for them and share the gospel.
Sixty-five volunteers participated at the VBS and served the children of Fort Sill. Some were kids themselves as young as 11 years old but were eager to serve. The 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade co-sponsored the event with the chaplains and provided volunteers as well. They helped with the sound system, security and volunteers at each station.
"Seeing the adult volunteers be as excited and as enthusiastic as the kids, really pulled the kids into the activities," said Rita Glenn.
She said they were very pleased with how smoothly everything went. Having the active duty Soldiers from 30th ADA Brigade was great and they were an amazing help.
Glenn anticipates this event will help pull families into the Fort Sill chapels for upcoming fall activities. She hopes the community will see all that the chapels have to offer.
Crew leaders were volunteers charged with the care and inspiration of a small group of children during the week. Their job was to guide the kids through the various stations. To the kids, their crew leader were their main point of contact. Many connections were made through this close interaction.
"It made me feel very special when one of my kids gave me a hug or asked me for my help with a craft," said Jessica Ceballos, crew leader.
Chaplain (Capt.) Andrew Dressler, Bible story station leader, had a great experience this week being able to teach children how to find verses in their Bibles and gave them the chance to read those passages to their peers. Many of the children had never been taught how to find verses and some even struggled with reading. One young man came to Dressler after class and thanked him for allowing him to read to the group.
Ann Chorman, missions station leader, said that it was an awesome week for the volunteers as well as the kids. They learned about a group of people from Papua, Indonesia who had no written language and through the help of OneVerse they were able to receive their own Bibles.
The story gave many of the children a new appreciation for what they have in their lives. Chorman said she was particularly touched by the story and felt very thankful.
Commanders from various units were invited each day to give a brief talk about the theme of the day with the children. They each used different methods of gaining the kids' attention. One commander dressed up in a combat type outfit complete with camouflage face paint to illustrate obedience.
"They used real world examples to really capture the theme of the day," said Glenn.
During the week of fun there were also touching moments. One moment happened in the craft station. The kids were given boomerangs to decorate with stickers of the fruits of the Spirit. But one young man decided he would rather just write "Jesus, I love you soooo much" on his. The craft leader was moved by this gesture.
The overall feeling of the volunteers was excitment and inspiration to share the week with kids. The kids were having so much fun in all the activities that the week just flew by for them.
"The best part of the week was Bible story station, because my dad teaches it," said River Dressler, age 10.
The chaplains and volunteers left Frontier Chapel at the end of the week with a feeling of satisfaction, and another successful Vacation Bible School complete.