VBS went well I believe -- a lot of kids came in (about 130 on the last day), and although we had the usual problems of overcrowding and lots of distractions, many of them seemed to listen intently. I need to keep reminding myself that even those who didn't seem to listen at all (and there were a few in that category!) may still have been touched because God's Word is powerful and will not return to Him void. We don't know what is happening in their hearts!
Some of the new kids at VBS have been attending Sunday School or the Wednesday Bible Club since then, and we're really encouraged by this. Five children (one of whom is only 4 years old) received their very own Bibles this past week in Sunday School as prizes for having learned and recited Psalm 121 perfectly. They've been working on it for many weeks now!
My time with my family was wonderful! I think they were all a bit busier than they had anticipated, but they certainly helped me out a lot. They were rather traumatised by the traffic and the roads -- one day an accident happened right in front of us, and we ended up taking a lady to the hospital. Or maybe it was my driving that was traumatic! I was "arrested" one day for not pulling to the side of the road when the vice president's convoy was passing. My excuse was that the lead police vehicle, which would usually have "VP Escort" written on it, didn't have any such marking, and I thought it was just a normal police car passing (in which case you get out of the way, but you're not required to pull over and stop.) Anyway, it turns out that the "VP escort" vehicle had broken down and they were using a regular police vehicle as a substitute so a lot of people were having difficulty recognising it. So I apologised politely and didn't say much more than that and played especially dumb when they hinted about a bribe and they eventually let me go.
But apart from such minor catastrophes, we all had a good time. The electricity and water went off and on just enough to give my family a true picture of living in Liberia. :-) Truth to tell, I was more frustrated than them when this happened. Dad preached at the Sunday service in three of the mission churches, and at prayermeetings as well. He also spent some time working with the men at the building site (that's his idea of relaxing!) Mom and Jerusha helped a lot with VBS and the children's work in general, and with the Reading Club which meets twice a week.
July 26th (this Thursday) is Independence Day in Liberia. Apparently liquor is sold freely on that day and on Christmas Day, even to children, and a lot of kids as young as 9 or 10 get drunk. So it was suggested yesterday that we have some kind of program on Thursday -- games and activities for the kids so that they won't be at a loose end and will be less likely to get into trouble. It's all systems go since we're planning this at the last minute. Pray for this effort! Sin is practiced openly and unashamedly all around these children every day, and it's only the Lord Who can keep them from it and make it distasteful to them.