Fort Novosel Religious Services hosts vacation Bible school

By Spc. Alexander R. Puckett, Fort Novosel Religious Affairs SpecialistJuly 25, 2023

Fort Novosel Religious Services Office hosted vacation Bible school July 17-20 at Wings Chapel. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Khari Eze) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT NOVOSEL, Ala. -- The Fort Novosel Religious Services Office made learning fun, engaging and interactive during its vacation Bible school July 17-20 at Wings Chapel.

This year's VBS offered a variety of collaborative learning experiences, including exciting games, heartfelt arts and crafts, spiritually connected music, and science and biblical learning for Fort Novosel youth.

The youth sported color-coded hats and separated into groups to allow for an easy transition to different stations within the marketplace while keeping them safe, accounted for and engaged.

At the arts and crafts station, Luna Heather, president of the Protestant Women of the Chapel, instructed the youth to draw smiley faces. The creation of the decorative works was a symbol of trust and wholeness. “The children trusted God to protect them. They discussed Psalms 46:1, encouraging kids to trust in God when they need help.”

They were also instructed to create drawings that included Jesus as their protector. Compiling their artistic creations was a way to give them a sense of achievement and allowed them to take pride in their work and build confidence.

VBS also dove into biblical history at a station that featured a re-creation of the story of the children of Israel conquering their fear to follow Moses into the parted Red Sea – operated by Staff Sgt. David Owensspicer, 1st Aviation Brigade and VBS volunteer.

When Pharaoh and his army tried to follow the children of Israel, they were drowned in the Red Sea. The volunteers added some interactive excitement to this biblical story by dressing Owensspicer as a pharaoh and the youth sprayed him with a super-soaker.

Mark and Belinda Barker, VBS volunteers, applied science to this biblical adventure.

The youth got into an oobleck, or non-Newtonian, pool and learned how to walk on water. In the Bible, Peter overcame his fear of the unknown to step out of the boat and onto the water to go to Jesus.

Nancy Jankoski, VBS coordinator, created the curriculum for VBS, which allowed Christian groups such as Catholics and Protestants, to enjoy worship together in an interactive way. The theme for Day 1 was freedom from fear, persecution and wants – God gives us what we need, not what we desire.

Chaplain (Capt.) Travis Wilson also provided historic context by dressing as a high priest. The educational aspect demonstrated the “why and how people worship what they worship,” the chaplain said.

Anita Ford and her mother, Carolyn Ford, both VBS volunteers, intertwined music and culture by conducting a symbolic play called “Miracles of Jesus.”

The daily dramas the children took part in at the Bible, music and drama department were all based on hope and faith in Jesus. The overall theme was freedom from fear. Each child contributed to its development, which engaged their thinking and inspired their creativity. Children were not only able to learn the stories directly from the Bible, but they were also able to engage their imaginations and re-create biblical stories with their classmates.

On the last day of VBS, the RSO provided a meal for the children and volunteers to celebrate the return of VBS for the first time since 2019. This year’s VBS was a total success – it was safe, engaging, educational and innovative. The volunteers taught history in a fun and interactive way.

People interested in religious services activities should visit the Fort Novosel RSO website at or its Facebook page at