The Many Meanings of “VBS”

Posted by Owen Fuller on July 28, 2011 in life less than perfect |

Kids singing songs at Jackson Church of Christ's vacation bible school

VBS.  You may have heard those letters a few times this summer and have a good idea what they mean.  However, last week our family learned that VBS can have many meanings.

When you hear “VBS” the first thing that likely comes to mind is vacation bible school.  This time of year it’s not uncommon to see signs out in front of churches advertising VBS programs for elementary school children.   It’s a great way for churches to reach out to the community.  Ask anyone who has been involved with putting one on, and they are sure to tell you that plenty of the kids attending are not regular church attenders.  Often times VBS may be the only time many of these kids will hear about Jesus and salvation.

Jackson Church of Christ in Montezuma, IA where we were the featured missionaries for this year's VBS.

Last week we were the featured missionaries for a VBS at Jackson Church of Christ in Montezuma, IA.  The theme was “Hometown Nazareth Where Jesus was a Kid.”  The children learned about what life would have been like for Jesus growing up and ways that our lives are similar to his.  Stephanie and I…well, mostly I, as Omri was uncooperative…shared for about 15 minutes each day.  It was easy to build on the theme and share about life in Congo and the needs there.  The lessons were short, but when you’re dealing with kids that young, 15 minutes is an eternity!  I would try to keep the kids engaged by asking lots of questions, especially whenever I’d see VBS (vacant blank stares).

Larinda passing a sponge full of water during a race. The goal was to get as much water into the bucket at the end of the line.

Between songs, lessons, and us sharing the kids got to play outside.  Sending a bunch of kids outside is normally a great idea, except that the Midwest was in the middle of a killer heat wave last week with the heat index reaching 115 most days.  I’ve run into some people from perpetually dry climates who have no idea what I mean when I say heat index.  Basically it’s the effect humidity has on how hot it feels.  When you feel like you’re about to die from 95-degree heat, the humidity comes along, grabs you by the throat, and shakes you a like a rag doll.  Never mind the meteorological definitions, that’s all you really need to know about heat index!  To keep the kids from passing out or drying up like raisins in the VBS (violently burning sun), most of the games involved water.  I think some of the kids actually cared more about getting wet than winning whatever games they were playing (as they should).


The "vehicle borne sheep" complete with "coffin balls."

The kids also got to make crafts.  Larinda and Gabriella liked the clay bead necklaces.  The VBS (vehicle borne sheep) have also been a hit at the house here.  Gabby has been reminding me that the “coffin balls” are falling off though.  Hmm…moving on…


To add to the craziness of an already busy week we decided to have a VBS (very big sale). We are anticipating leaving for language school in Quebec in January.  Since the chances for a good turnout to a garage sale in December in Iowa are…negligible…we decided we should do it while it was still summer.  Guess which weekend was our only free weekend.   Ding ding ding!  Since last weekend was our only option we spent many hours late at night and into the morning sorting, cleaning, tagging, and boxing years of accumulated stuff.  As we were doing it we also prayed several times for nice weather!  (Which we ended up being very blessed to receive.  Thank you God!)  Most of the large items, including dressers and love seats, sold Friday night.

Our very big sale. Most things sold Friday before the rain came Saturday.

For the icing on the crazy cake, I decided to help my aunt with an IT project.  Years ago I interned for her at the company where she is an Enterprise Systems Manager.  Every now and then she will ask me for some help.  I always like having the opportunity to get my hands on something IT related, so I was excited to do it.  The tasks weren’t hard, but it did add to the to-do list.  For you other nerds out there who are wondering, no it did not involve VBS (Visual Basic Scripting).

Monster makes some of the few energy drinks I can tolerate. I like Khaos, which is half juice. We also tried Rehab, an iced tea/lemonade blend, and it's not bad.

It’s safe to say that we had a VBS (very busy schedule) throughout the week!  At one point we realized we were only catching an average of 3-4 hours of shuteye a night and subsisting on a diet of mostly Monster energy drinks–which some would say is VBS (very bad stuff).  It was at that moment, in the wee hours of the morning, that I turned to Stephanie and said, “Ve’re barely sleeping…VBS…get it?”


Yeah…that was pretty much the low spot of our VBS week, and where I’ll end for today.  Thanks for reading!


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