Thanks for your prayers for the VBS in Paynesville. We can certainly testify that God answered prayer, both in bringing in new kids and in giving help and strength to teach. Now keep praying that the lessons taught will remain in the hearts of the children. We had four or five kids in at Sunday School today who were at the VBS -- pray that they will continue attending!
Someone remarked that hopefully I can take a bit of a rest now that the VBS is over -- not so! We are continuing Sunday School and Wednesday Bible Club throughout the summer -- in fact, I'm continuing the full schedule of Reading Club and music lessons as well. I believe the summer months are maybe the most important time of the year to reach out to the kids -- it's true that some will be travelling here and there to "spend time" with family members, but many more will be at a loose end and will be looking for something to do while school is closed. So we don't want to miss this opportunity.
In fact, these couple of months are going to be very busy indeed, so I would really value your prayers! This Friday is Liberian Independence Day, and we are organising a "program" as they call it here -- meaning we are going to have games and activities for the children for 4 or 5 hours, and snacks and icecream etc. Last year (which was the first year we did this) we had around 200 kids -- and we only decided to hold the program four days before Independence Day. This year the kids have been talking about it for weeks, and everyone is saying that we are going to have a lot more than 200 kids. My concern is that we don't have enough helpers for more than 200 -- keeping in mind that once we get a signed consent form from the parents and allow the children into the school property which we're renting for the day, we are responsible for the kids' safety etc. So please do pray that plenty of helpers will show up and that everyone will be kept safe -- and that we'll have the energy we need to get through it!! LOL.
Then the next week, we are planning a short 3-day VBS in our Rivercess congregation. This will be the first time that we've done this. I have visited there before of course, but I've only ever stayed one night. We plan to go early on Thursday 1st August (it's a 4-5 hour drive depending on the roads), and return on Saturday evening. So we'll have three meetings with the kids. Nathan Barco (who is the children's worker in Paynesville and who works closely with me) and a couple other young men from Paynesville will be going to help out. In fact, Nathan is going to teach the lessons for the three days, which will be a first for him. Pray for him as he teaches, and for me as I teach memory verses and songs etc. We may also hold a seminar for children's workers/SS teachers while we're there. On a practical and personal note, please also pray that accommodation will be sorted out, and that I will be able to sleep at night! I know that might sound strange, but on previous trips there, I've hardly slept a wink for feeling that "things" are crawling over me all night. I'm laughing as I write, but it's true nonetheless. Probably a combination of the heat, the few "things" that might actually have been crawling over me, and a lot of imagination on my part!
Speaking of crawling "things", we had a visitor in church today. Most visitors are warmly welcomed, but this one was of the four-legged variety and was NOT welcome, especially since it kept appearing right beside the piano where I had to sit and play. And then the pastor went and decided to sing an extra hymn today, so I had to sit up there even longer! AND one of my SS students (for badness or what? I don't know) kept pointing at the mouse every time it came running out from under the bookcase (about a foot from my foot), so it wasn't like I could just try to forget it was there.
Although, ok, it was kinda cute -- I think it was a baby. And it was probably almost as scared as I was! The people must have thought I was getting a bit Pentecostal, since I was probably almost dancing at the piano. You see, both my hands were busy obviously, and then one foot was working the pedal, so my free foot had to keep hopping around on the floor just to discourage the mouse from coming too close.
Back to the VBS schedule, our last one this summer is tentatively planned for the last week in August, and that will be in Ballah Creek. Details to follow, Lord willing!