We praise and thank God for seeing us through the Vacation Bible School (VBS) held at the Calvary Pandan church premises from 30 May to 1 June 2023. This is a ministry 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 which is in fulfillment of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19–20.
The last in-person VBS was held in June 2019. After a hiatus of more than 3 years, the Lord blessed us with a total of 96 children who had registered before the start of VBS. The daily average attendance was 86. Some were from True Life and some from other churches. The rest are either not regularly attending church or not from Christian families.
The theme this year was, “New Creature in Christ!” and the theme verse was taken from 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” A total of 5 lessons each based on the Bible characters, namely Zacchaeus, Peter, Paul, Onesimus and Ruth, were conducted in each department. Each HOD ensured that the 3-day program was packed with all the age-appropriate activities essential to help the children to learn more of God’s Word. The children enjoyed the singspiration sessions, Bible lessons, review questions (in the form of quizzes or worksheets) and Bible-related crafts and games.
Thank God for a likeminded committee, with sister Jenny Kan as our advisor since 2008. God provided 60 volunteers who readily signed up to serve. Each gave off their best to the Master by labouring zealously and joyfully. God sent sister Phoebe to help us design the children’s registration form and the crafts. Mrs Koh led the F&B team who laboured tirelessly to prepare and to serve up meals for all. Sister Swee Chin and her team ensured all the necessary administrative work was properly done each day. Sister Katherine together with an able team of volunteer drivers and bus runners, ensured the safe transport of every child. Thank God for brother York Chiu and the logistics team who laboured faithfully to support the logistical needs of each department and for sister Winnie who joyfully served as Treasurer. Last but not least, the Lord sent pre-VBS craft helpers who worked quietly and diligently behind the scene to cut and pack the craft materials.
Sharing from Luke 17:10, “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.” Indeed, it is a privilege and our duty to serve the Lord who has done so much for us. We are grateful for this opportunity to do our little part for the extension of God’s kingdom. May the gospel seed which has been sown, take root in the children’s hearts and bear fruit according to God’s perfect will and time. May all glory, honour and praise redound unto His holy Name alone! Amen! (Tay Bee Heng)
Teens Dept this year had 13 signups with most attending throughout. Together with 10 volunteers, the department had a refreshing time in VBS, getting to know one another and learning more about God and His Word. About half the teenagers were from other churches or not regularly attending church. It was good for our True Life teenagers to interact and fellowship with other peers, both to encourage and to be encouraged.
Lessons were taught by Eld Mern Yee, Mrs Joseph, Mrs Jenny Kan, and Pr Sam Joseph. The Word of God was clearly and carefully expounded, in a full variety of individual styles which added interest to the teaching and learning. The teenagers gave their best attention and concentration through 5 lessons in 3 days complete with worksheet or assignment. Art and Craft, Games, Singspiration, and Logistics were enthusiastically handled by Phoebe Oh, Eyan Ern, Li Ann, and Daniel. These young men and women really added the zest to the Teens Dept with their youthful creativity and energy.
Above all, praise the Lord for each precious teenager. May the Lord make each one His child and all be saved in Christ. And may they grow in the fear of the Lord and in His knowledge and grace. One mother shared that the children even formed their own VBS chat with their new found friends. May this Christian friendship with one another be an encouragement to these young ones as they continue on their pilgrim way. (Tai Mei Lan)
Upper Primary Department
In this first in-person VBS after a break of 3 years, we thank and praise the Lord for bringing in a good number of children (31) to join us in the Upper Primary department. We had children not only from True Life, but also other churches, as well as some from non-Christian families. It was a joy to see each child listening attentively to the teaching of God's Word by God’s grace. The children learned about a different aspect of a new creature in Christ in each of the 5 lessons. Singspiration sessions prepared the children to receive the Word of God, while memory verse and worksheet sessions served as a review of the lessons. The children also enjoyed themselves during the daily craft and games sessions. We thank God for the labour of the teachers, songleader, pianist, games i/c and class assistants who ministered so committedly and joyfully to the children, as well as those who had helped in the craft preparation prior to the VBS.
The Lord is gracious to use this ministry to touch the hearts of the children, 2 of whom confessed their belief in Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. The parents also shared encouraging testimonies such as this: “Thank you for this VBS! JJ and their friends had a lot of fun and learned much too. They told me they are keen to sign up next year:) see you again then. I know a lot of hard work has been put in for the planning, logistics etc, thanks to you and your team. We really appreciate your labour of love.” We pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of the children to remember all that they have learned and convict them of their need of Jesus to save them from their sins. May all praise and glory be to the Lord. (Joycelyn Chng)
Lower Primary Department
After an unprecedented break of 3 years due to Covid, we praise and thank God for the resumption of in-person VBS, with 24 signups in the Lower Primary Department. The clear teaching of God’s Word, Bible verse memorization and sharing of the gospel by teachers Mrs Jenny Kan and Mrs Leanne Joseph, were well received by the children. They were enthusiastic to sing spiritual songs especially the theme song (a medley of “Things are Different Now” and “New Life in Christ) led by the songleader, sister Bernice and the pianist, brother Gabriel.
Together with the rest of the teacher assistants, sister Candice guided the children in lesson-related crafts and worksheets each day. The children also looked forward to playing Bible-centered games planned and led by sis Ee Jia for both the Lowers and the Uppers. Thank God for brother Andrew followed by sister Patsy who had availed themselves and signed up in time to serve the Lord by reaching out to the children with special needs in our department, not forgetting Isabel who was transferred from Uppers to Lowers to stand in for Joyce who was hospitalized due to viral infection and high fever.
Surely it is the Lord’s work, with the Holy Spirit moving hearts and hands to co-labor with fellow brethren in love, peace and unity to extend His kingdom. The feedback from parents were most encouraging, just to name a few: “Thank God for all the teachers and helpers. Shanise enjoyed VBS and learnt a lot.”, “Just to share, Zac will be coming for VBS tomorrow. He cried and pleaded. We managed to reschedule dental so he will be there tomorrow.” We praise God for a good number who have believed in the Lord. May He watch over these precious souls and strengthen their faith in Him. May the gospel seed that has been sown, bear fruit in God’s own time and will. All glory to His matchless Name! (Tay Yee Fong)
Thank God for a blessed time at VBS 2023. This year it was physically held at Calvary Pandan BP Church. There was an average of 27 children who attended each day. Children were taught the Word of God through Bible lessons prepared by God-fearing teachers. Children enjoyed the activities (lessons, crafts, games, etc.) planned and the parents' feedback was encouraging. Some parents shared that their child/children returned home singing the songs and relating the Bible lessons taught in VBS. I am personally thankful to God for providing a wonderful team in the Preschool Department that served unconditionally. May the Lord be merciful and gracious to enable His work to continue according to His will! (Katharine Zhu)
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