It had been a long day of Vacation Bible School.
The moment all the kids were corralled in my group/tribe, there was ultimate chaos. Several of my kids started running around our tent, tackling each other like the theme of VBS this year was sumo wrestling. Everyone was talking at 100 mph, and I had a dozen voices in my ear. Worse, my long Israelite costume was getting hot and sweaty over my everyday clothes, and a hundred bodies packed into one room wasn’t making it any better.
As my fellow tribe leaders and I began our day and started herding our kids around the various rotations, we struggled to keep the young ones under control. Most of the kids in my tribe were boys around 8 years old, and they were your typical 8 year old guys who loved to rebel against authority (just because), play violent games, do disgusting things, and talk about zombies and Batman. This is very hard to deal with if you’re trying to focus on a memory verse or the religious theme of the day. Me and my tribe leaders was constantly telling them to:
“Listen to the speaker!”
“No wrestling, guys! Stop!”
“Pay attention, please!”
I mean, I felt like a slavedriver for these seemingly uncontrollable kids!! How in the world was I supposed to spend four hours a day always with them, much less a whole week? It looked hopeless, even with all of us groups leaders desperately doing our part. But as I gazed at the countless children, all yakking and laughing (aka screaming), sprinting down the hallways without permission, pushing and shoving, making a huge mess —
I knew I was here for a reason.
I’m here at VBS to be a witness to these kids. I’m here at VBS to help them have an unbelievably amazing week. Most importantly, I’m here at VBS to share my Best Friend, Jesus, with them.
So I began to try to bond with kids. “Hey, what’s your name?” I asked one young dude with shaggy brown hair that reached his eyes. Although he was shy at first, we were soon enthusiastically talking about Barça football, Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, and who was the best (Messi). 😄 Even though the kids were still wild as ever, I began to tolerate their crazy antics. And I began to find that I was enjoying myself. I strove to keep Jesus’ inner joy in my heart – to keep me going, to be a great witness for Him.
This week doesn’t seem so long after all…
Because I know that I’m here for a reason.