From near and far … From the sea shore to the mountains. The 2017 VBS Teams came to minister to children; both on the Navajo Nation and right here on our campus at Navajo Ministries. For nearly five decades churches from across the nation have been bringing teams to this ministry in the summer months to interact with our children living in the Four Corners Home for Children and teaching VBS to youngsters in nearby churches on the Navajo Nation.
This year’s teams included:
- Grace Community Church in Hilton Head, South Carolina,
- Vineyard Church of Knox County, Mt. Vernon, Ohio
- Concordia Lutheran Church, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- The Oasis Church, Farmington, New Mexico
We also provided housing for a team from Disciple Mission Church, Denver, Colorado (This is a Korean congregation- They ministered in Shiprock for the week and prepared a great Korean style meal for all of us on Friday night. They also entertained us with some dancing and other presentations that reflected their beautiful culture)
What a joy it is to connect boys and girls living on the Navajo Nation with Jesus, the Light of the world. All the churches selected have Navajo pastors who enjoy the prospect of bringing in enthusiastic young people from across the nation to interact with the children in their churches. This year the teams went to Riverside Bread of Life in Fruitland, Victory Life Church in Shiprock, Desert View Church in Upper Fruitland and one team ministered to the children living here at Navajo Ministries.
While we don’t have a specific count on those who made first time professions of Christ, (God knows) we did capture some of the comments shared by the team members:
- “Had good conversations with the kids … planted seeds. Great experience for my entire family. Hope we can come back next year.”
- “Great experience! Loved every minute of it!” “Some of the kids had hard lives … just listening to them was impactful.”
- “Had a great time with the boys at the Ministry.” “Our VBS topics were Know, Talk to, Tell about and Love God.”
- “What an awesome privilege to let the children know who Jesus is and what he has done for them..”
- “I was surprised at the level of relationship building we had with the kids and their parents. They captured my heart.”
- “This week helped me grow in my faith and learn more about the Navajo culture.”
- “I was blessed hearing the kids say, ‘You guys had some really neat stuff for us to make this week … ‘I’m going to miss you!’”
- “I feel like we planted some of the most important seeds I’ve ever planted in a VBS.”
- “My kids on the team were so blessed to be here. They love these kids!”
- “One of the kids said, ‘I’ve never had a “bestest” friend until I met you!’”
- “This week has brought me closer to the Lord.”
“This week has reminded me how BIG God is, how much Jesus is working outside of my world view.”
As a child I remember singing the choruses and songs at Vacation Bible School in Lancaster, Pa. One of those songs reflected the love of Jesus to all children. “Jesus loves the little children; all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, black and white; they are precious in his sight.” I imagine that song is not politically correct anymore. But, it did remind us that God created all of us in the world and that He sent His Son Jesus to die for each and every one of us, no matter what the color of our skin is.
Jesus loved the little children when He walked this earth. At one point the disciples tried to keep the little ones from Him. “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18: 16,17)
Our gratitude goes out to all those who came our way this summer to share God’s love with children living here at the Four Corners Home for Children and those living on the Navajo Nation.