Branch News

July 2017


A Bible School To Remember

A Vacation Bible School to Remember

We just finished Bible School. It’s Saturday now and to be honest, I’m tired. I’m not physically tired so much as emotionally and mentally tired. Dealing with screaming children who are competing for a “spirit stick” can be draining. Thanks a lot, Samuel! No, really. Thanks, Samuel, you did a great job of getting the kids excited about games. They had a blast. Also thanks to Michael, Jeremy, Noah, and the rest of the games crew.

But it wasn’t just the games they were screaming for. It was the candy (and the, uh, carrots). Thanks to Maurie those kids were trying to kill our eardrums. There were reports of little dogs crying all over the neighborhood from those high pitched screams! Well, okay, maybe not. But it was loud. Those kids got so excited about those containers of super sour gummy worms or whatever it was. They would try to guess how many was in the container and whoever got closest went home with a deluxe load of sugar. You’re welcome, moms! But really, Maurie did a great job of giving those kids something exciting to look forward to every day.

But it wasn’t just the games and candy, there were also the snacks. The snack ladies did a fantastic job. Although I did get one complaint from a little girl who said the snacks were too sweet. She thought an oreo that was dipped in some kind of sweet cream icing and served up was too sweet. I know, crazy, right? And then there was the kool-aid. Of course, Cheryl coordinated snacks while Linda, Mona, Idell, Carol, Sloan, Barbara and crew did their best to keep the sugar flowing! Great job ladies, thank you.

But it wasn’t just the games, candy, and snacks – there were also the crafts. The crafts were just one more way that our theme this year, Operation Arctic, pointed the kids to Christ. Thank you, Virginia, Lenora, Kim, Peggy, Natalie, Renee, Katelynn and the crafts crew! Y’all did an awesome job and we appreciate your service.

Then there was the music. This year, Matthew Melton took over his older brother Joseph’s job. And he did a great job! The kids loved the songs accompanied by guitar and they also loved the hand motions and music on the CD. Thanks, Matthew!

Then the drama – boy, was it dramatic? Jenny had her crew really delivering some zingers (knock at the door, “who’s there?”, “Canoe.” “Canoe who?” “Canoe open the door? I’m tired of knocking.” Yes it was inspired. But we had a blast as Maurie, Caleb, Emma, Caitlyn, Ethan, Steven, and myself had a ball telling a crazy Arctic story that reinforced what the kids were learning all week. Thanks, drama team! Great job.

But that wasn’t all. This year we did something entirely new. One of our rotations was a Bible enrichment time. Susie taught the kids about how the Bible was laid out (Old and New Testaments, different types of writings – law, history, poetry, Gospels, etc.). The kids learned how to open a Bible and find a Scripture reference. Some of the kids had never tried to use a Bible before. Susie (and her crew – Rebecca, Hannah S. and Alec) had them doing Bible drills and the competitions were great. Thanks, Susie! Fantastic!

But there’s more! Our Bible study time was our very first rotation coming out of the morning assembly (because it is the most important thing we do). We had some great teachers (Kristen, Marla C., Shannon Milum, Annette & Lee Ann, Hannah W., and Caleb). We had a bunch of great helpers (Cameron, Josiah, Angela, Chloe, Kailey, Aundrae, Shannon Mangum, Marilyn, Austin & more).

We also had some great helpers doing a variety of jobs – Brandy, Erin, Frank, Zack, Hunter, Marla R., and finally, Hannah Hobbs. Hannah directed all this activity and worked to coordinate it. She has done this for several years now and I am so grateful for her willingness to work hard to help kids know Jesus.

I say all this for a reason. I don’t usually spend a lot of time patting people on the back. But I want our entire church to see that our VBS is a ministry of the entire Body of believers at Branch. I could also list all who gave, brought food or craft items, invited kids, decorated, prayed – except only God knows the complete list of who did what. Jesus said, “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” (Matthew 10:42, NLT)

So if you played games, prepared snacks, gave away sugar (oops, I mean candy), taught the Bible, loved on kids, prayed for kids – well you had a part in at least six kids who prayed to receive Jesus. You had a part in seeds that were planted in many others. Only eternity will reveal the impact of what happened in VBS this week but it was certainly one that will long be remembered. Thank you.

Your Pastor,

Bro. Tim Hobbs

“Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” (Matthew 18:2–5, NLT)