Covenant decided to do a Vacation Bible School of sorts in July. Now, if you are at all familiar with church life in the Bible belt, that sounds exactly right to you. July = Vacation Bible School. Sure, of course. Further, if you have been following this blog for awhile, you know that, as a tiny church plant, Covenant has limited volunteer manpower and resources, (as in, exactly the kind you would guess would be needed to pull off a Vacation Bible School). Further, Covenant does not have a permanent building. We rent space in a dance studio for Sunday mornings, rent office space at a local coffee shop for meetings and counseling and then beg and borrow from other churches, community centers and church members’ homes for all our other meeting space needs. Just call us the nomad church. I don’t describe us this way to complain. Far from it. I am continually amazed and humbled to see how God continues to provide us with the people, resources and the space that we need to meet exactly when we need it. I love that our church so hard-working and is often the recipient of such generous and varied hospitality. And I am so thankful for it. It’s just that when you are talking about vacation Bible school, it’s hard to think about it outside of the context of a lot of volunteers and a building (at least for this home-grown, Bible-belt girl).
Enter the most amazing, precious group of kids and a kind, generous sister church. Grace Bible Church in Killeen, Texas is one of our sending churches. Daniel Davis, Covenant’s lead pastor, interned at Grace for a year before heading out to plant Covenant, and our church family has been the beneficiary of wise, godly counsel and various resources and support through Grace Bible Church. We are so grateful for them for numerous reasons, not the least of which is their contributions to our Vacation Bible School in July.
You see, Grace’s version of Vacation Bible School is called “Backyard Bible Club” (BBC). Grace trains teenagers from their youth group to teach stories, lead songs and play games with elementary aged kids, puts these trained teenagers into teams and sends them out to parks and backyards throughout their city to engage neighborhood kids with the story of Jesus. And these teenagers are so good at what they do. We were so grateful when Grace sent two teams of teenagers (and chaperones, of course) to Pearland to help run these BBC’s in our neighborhoods.
So for one week in July, we had five different BBC’s running- two in the morning, two in the afternoon and one large one in the evening- at different homes and parks throughout Pearland and one in Deer Park. Covenant people banded together to provide housing, meals, snacks and evening entertainment for this group of teenagers, as well as provide snacks, pass out invitation and open their homes for the clubs, and the Grace kids did an awesome job of engaging and loving the kids they came in contact with at the parks and homes, allowing us the opportunity to get to know our neighbors a little bit better.
Not that this week went off without a hitch. No way. About halfway through the week, the Grace kids were struck with the stomach bug that had been going around Covenant for the previous month. One by one, each of the kids fell. We felt awful about it. And yet, in God’s kindness, He orchestrated that they stay at the home of Covenant member who works nights as a pediatric nurse and has contacts who can call in an emergency anti-nausea prescription when needed. In addition, not all the kids got sick at once, and the ones who were well enough were eager and willing to carry on the clubs, even though their teams were short-handed. We were truly amazed at the Holy Spirit at work in these precious kids, making them so ready and happy to serve in spite of difficult circumstances.
Covenant continues to be overwhelmed and humbled by God’s provision and perfect equipping of every thing we need to accomplish the tasks that He has given us. It is awesome to see Him work.