If past statistics are anything to go by, there will be about 13,000 children and young people attend Vacation Bible Schools which are held by most of the 71 churches of the Advent Christian Conference of India and the 15 churches of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches during the month of May, which is the summer vacation month throughout India.
VBSs are usually held over 5 or 6 days of a week. Sometimes they begin early in the day and provide a hot breakfast and a snack lunch for all who attend, but most often they start at about 9.30/10.00 am and provide a cooked lunch for those attending. They usually include games, handcrafts and other interesting activities, and of course two or more Biblically based lessons for children and young people of various age groups each day. The final day usually sees the children’s groups performing skits or dances, followed by prizegiving and snacks, and parents are invited to attend. Many of the children and young people who attend are from Hindu households, as the parents use VBSs in their area as a school holiday activity for their children. Many adults from the church congregations are recruited as teachers and helpers, and the pastor usually gives a Christian challenge to those attending the final day’s activities.
Following are details from some of the churches which have had their VBS early in the month…
At the Teynampet Prayer House of the FBHC, pastored by Rev. Regi Christopher, 180 children attended in the first week of the month. The Teynampet church is literally in the middle of a slum area and as you can see from the pictures their relatively small building was again “full to the brim”!
At the FBHC church at Ramapuram, Rev Solomon Rajan is the pastor and he wrote…
“Vacation Bible School was conducted at Ramapuram Blessed Hope Fellowship Church from 29th April to 4th May. 40 children attended the VBS with 15 teachers leading them. The theme of the VBS was Eternal life-giving Jesus. Many children were blessed as they got to know the love of Jesus.
Every day snacks were provided. On the last day the children participated in all programs like dance, memory verses, drama and finally were gifted prizes and sent home after a happy chicken biriyani meal. President of BHFC, Pastor Jerald graced the occasion as chief guest and distributed the prizes. Thank you for your prayers.”
Pastor Balu Nayak, leader of Balunayak Banjara Tribal Ministries, which is one of Yesuway Jeevan Mission’s ministry partners based in Mahabubabad in Andhra Pradesh State, has sent pictures of the VBS activities held at their branch church in Baluthanda.