30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 141, Newton Post Office, Singapore 912205
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
Report by Tay Bee Heng and VBS Staff
The Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a ministry of True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church to children ages 4 to 12 and teenagers ages 13 to 17. The objectives of the VBS are (1) to evangelise children with the Gospel of Christ and (2) to teach them the Word of God to fulfil the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20).
VBS Theme and Lessons
We thank God for seeing the VBS through the past 11 years since it started in 2008. This year, VBS was held from 30 May to 1 June at Calvary Pandan Bible-Presbyterian Church. The theme “Answering the Call of God” was chosen, based on the theme verse in 1 Samuel 3:10, “And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
A total of five lessons were taught in each department, namely Preschool, Lowers, Uppers and Teens. These lessons were on answering the call of God by Abraham (Gen 12:1–5), Moses (Exod 3–4), Samuel (1 Sam 3), Jonah (Jon 1–4) and Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1–22). Focus was placed on how each Bible character responded to the call of God, followed by application on how each child or teen can answer God’s call to salvation and to service.
We thank God for moving the hearts of True Life brethren to sign up as volunteers and for their willingness to take up the assigned roles. God knows our needs. We had no lack of volunteers both young and old, as God had providentially sent just the right number.
Our hearts are encouraged by faithful brethren who had laboured quietly behind the scene, weeks or even days before VBS – brethren who had spent time cutting and packing the craft materials for all the children; those who had transported and arranged the chairs and tables to meet the logistics needs of each department before, during and after VBS. We are also thankful for the exemplary zeal of more senior brethren who availed themselves to serve the Lord, especially in the area of food and beverage, despite some difficulties faced. It was encouraging to see the younger volunteers learning enthusiastically and serving joyfully in the VBS. We pray that the younger generation will remain faithful and be ready to serve in a greater capacity in God’s good time.
Truly, God in His infinite wisdom has endowed each volunteer with different spiritual gifts to serve Him. “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ … For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Eph 4:7, 12).
God’s Provision of the Children
The registration for children started at the beginning of March and the numbers came in quite steadily from March to April. 75% of the parents have gone online to register their children. A total of 120 children was finally reached towards end of May and the average daily attendance stood at 110, an approximate 92% of the total number of children registered.
We thank God for His bountiful grace and mercy upon all the children and volunteers who were kept safe and sound throughout the three days. Above all, we are thankful for the gospel seed that was sown in the hearts of children who have not heard the good news of salvation. For those who come from Christian families, the gospel was reiterated and their salvation was assured through God’s Word. Evangelistic efforts were made in each department through lessons, through interaction with children or teens and whenever opportunities arose.
More than a hundred parents and guests attended the VBS Night. Our beloved pastor, Rev Jeffrey Khoo, preached from Matthew 19:14–15 urging all parents not just to send their children to VBS but also bring them to Sunday School. He reminded them to “train up a child in the way he should go (according to God’s Word): and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6); “Salvation is of the LORD.” (Jon 2:9). We trust that God’s Word faithfully preached that night would not return unto Him void (Isa 55:11).
As we offer ourselves a living sacrifice to serve God, we pray that we will not regard VBS as just another yearly exercise but continue to serve the Lord fearfully, faithfully and humbly, out of love for Him and for the children. Though VBS 2018 has successfully concluded, may we be soberly reminded that it was solely God’s mercies upon us, to fulfil His good will and purpose through us. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10). May all praise, honour and glory be due unto His matchless Name!
The Teens department had a promising start with about 21 children signing up. However, as the schools began their holiday programme, some of the students needed to pull out. On VBS days, we are thankful we had an average of 13 children, still a comfortable number to work with.
The lessons were spread out with two lessons on day 1 and 2 and one lesson on day 3. The lessons were well-received, with the teachers putting great efforts to present the lessons with clear outlines and take-away points. The highlights as follows: (1) We introduced a faith checklist with some probing questions to test the teens’ understanding on pertinent spiritual doctrines. A special time was set aside to discuss these questions so that they would get a better grip on doctrine and have their doubts clarified. (2) A skit was planned and carried out smoothly, thanks to the team in charge of the props and the teacher who coordinated the skit. Though preparation time was not sufficient for the skit, the enthusiasm from the teens made it easier. They were also old enough to help with the props and memorise their lines. (3) Games were decentralised and 4 games were planned around the theme. The teens had more interaction time with one another and the fellowship was warm. All had an enjoyable and enriching time.
The Uppers saw an average of 29 students. Each day began with the sharing of the gospel to those who have yet to hear it. May Lynn and Murni led in singspiration. They introduced some hymns and explained the meaning of the lyrics. The lessons were taught by Eileen, Mei Lan and Sam Goh. The lessons included the attributes of God, the nature and purpose of God’s call and the responses of some biblical characters. There were worksheets, crafts, games and videos to supplement the lessons.
Thanks be to God for blessing True Lifers with jobs involving children. A significant number of participants were students or tutees of True Lifers. The gospel of Jesus Christ was freely offered to them. Some responded by praying to God to save them. All praise and glory be to God.
We thank God for an average daily attendance of 31 children ages 7 to 9. After group prayers, the programme began each day with singspiration led by Bernice and accompanied by Lai Peng. The 5 lessons which were vividly taught by teachers Jenny, Sok Sin and Leanne, exhorted the children to answer the call of God to salvation and to service. A Bible scrapbook done as craft over 2 days, reinforced the lessons learnt through key words and memory verses. A good number of children accepted Christ while others were assured of their salvation. The children enjoyed the games which were meaningfully planned by Alissa and facilitated by Sophia and Clara. A video clip screened on “Saul of Tarsus” drew an attentive response.
Thank God for granting all volunteers (including Shih Min, Fu Zheng and Loreto) the grace, patience and strength to minister to the energetic and inquisitive children during meals and games. Thank God for a likeminded team where everyone served with joy and gladness. We echo the words of Samuel, “Ebenezer … Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” (1 Sam 7:12b).
We thank God for the many preschoolers (4–6 years old) who came. Quite a number of 3-year-olds were also able to join us this year.
Over the 3 days, the children were taught how some of the Bible characters answered the call of God and what we could learn from them. The gospel was shared. The children were separated into 3 classes for their lessons, crafts and games. They also enjoyed their meals and singspiration. They were especially excited when they were preparing for their song presentations at the VBS Night.
We also thank God for the volunteers. They were granted much strength and joy by the Lord as they took great care of the preschoolers.
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