I know-it's been a long time... But, I'm back, and will hopefully be posting more regularly again!
Today I'm excited to be sharing a guest post by a great friend named Marjorie :) Enjoy!
In the fall of 2016 my parents decided our family should do some mission work over the summer. We all thought it was a good idea, so they began to contact missions. We didn’t get a response until late January of this year, when we received a call. We were asked that we help with Vacation Bible School on an Indian reservation out west. I was intrigued with the idea, as was the rest of my family, and we decided to make a go of it.
June 9, 2017 we arrived at the reservation along with the rest of the VBS team. Adorable kids swarmed the place, reuniting with old teachers and meeting the new. They were quick to make friends with you, and weren’t too shy to come ask millions of questions. There was nothing they loved more than when you pushed them on the swing or played tag with them. Their energy found no limit.
The mission is in a very small town way out in a desolate part of prairie. It is seventeen miles off of a paved road one way, and twenty-five miles out on gravel the other way. Over seventeen miles from a gas station or grocery store. It is made up of tiny houses and a minimum occupation of three hundred people or more. The town is awake at all hours of the night and will sleep in until late in the morning. It was always a shock to see children out at extremely late hours. Considering the enthusiastic kids, it was definitely a good place to have Bible School.
A key factor in running Bible School is passing out invitations. We split into groups and walked from door to door handing them out. While passing out invitations I developed an outline of what to say when people opened their door. It’s good to plan what you want to say beforehand, just to save yourself from an awkward conversation. I would begin by introducing myself and explain which church I was coming from. Then I would move on to the purpose of my visit. I also used this technique when we picked up the children to take them to Bible School. Sometimes the people were enthusiastic about sending their kids, other times they would barely open the door wide enough for you to hand them their invitation. Sometimes you would pray with them, or you would have a very long and meaningless conversation with a drunk. I found I really enjoyed relating to the people we met, and especially the children.
The Bible School was divided into stations, so if you were a group leader you would walk your age group from station to station. The “stations” would include craft, snack, games, bible story, object lesson, and maybe a few others. It was a good system, especially because it would keep the kids hopping.
At one of our locations I helped two teachers group lead the five year olds. A good part of my week was spent holding four little hands at once trying to keep control; playing duck-duck goose in the sweltering sun; and holding several hot, sweaty kids in my lap. There were times when you would end the day in exhaustion. I mean kids will be kids, and there’s not much you can do when 5 of your 17 five year olds all take off at once.
At our evening location, I was given a different perspective when I attended the older girls’ class. It was amazing to become friends with the girls and to discover each of their different personalities. As a whole they could be loads of fun, and it was very difficult to leave them.
We closed off the week with a program, and invited the children’s family to attend. Each group got up and performed something—either a song or a short verse. Afterwards we served a picnic supper and then said our goodbyes to the kids.
Early the next morning we left, and traveled the long hours home.
As a whole my experience there was a very good one. I’m already dying to go back again next year. I feel as if the whole experience changed me for the better and helped me grow in my own spiritual life—and it definitely broadened my comfort zone. I thank God for sending me out west to that reservation—I was really blessed by it.
Feel free to leave Marjorie a comment below!