Michigan—Preparation for the Buchanan Church Vacation Bible School began early this year. Invitation fliers attached to balloons were handed out to children at the town's Memorial Day parade. But driving past the church between July 18 and 23, attention was drawn to the large red and white striped tent in the side yard. This year’s VBS attendees used the tent for their opening exercises, even though the weather was unusually hot and humid.
Members of the Buchanan Redbuds Pathfinder club helped in the main program by leading singing and performing skits. An unusual thing for this year's VBS was the number of twins in attendance—two sets of twins from the visiting children and one set from the Pathfinder club! One visiting twin, Darius Goins, even brought his guitar to play along with the song leader, Daphne Kent.
The VBS was progressive; each activity was held in a different part of the church or yard. Inside the church sanctuary was The Bible Discovery Museum, which was also this year's theme. After their hands were stamped each night, the children entered into a different "hall" of the museum—Hall of Forgiveness, Hall of Faithfulness, Hall of Kindness, Hall of Dedication, Hall of Love—to discover things from the Bible. The pastor told stories about different Bible characters that coincided with each hall—Joseph, Moses, David, King Josiah and Mary. Live, talking "mannequins" dressed in Bible character costumes appeared as the curtain in a doorway was opened when a button was pushed by the museum guide. Each character told about an ancient artifact, such as Joseph's coat of many colors, a shepherd's rod and Mary's bottle of perfume.
On the second evening, Paul Ray, an archaeologist from Andrews University Institute of Archaeology, talked to the children about his job and shared how archaeologists find artifacts from Bible times. He also told what happens when artifacts are found. Ian Freeman, one of the attending children, said, "It was interesting to hear about what got buried a long time ago."
Each evening also included recreation, Bible study, lessons on prayer, projects and snacks, which went along with the theme. The night when Joseph was portrayed, little boy cookies in brightly striped icing coats made by the VBS leader Gloria Hickman, were handed out. Recreation time included water balloons and other games, led by Darah Regal with the help of her two sons and their friends, and also the Pathfinders. Zane Freeman liked playing the game "Duck, Duck, Goose" the best. Michael Marotz looked forward each evening to the prizes given for memorizing a Bible verse.
All of the volunteers and Pathfinders working together made this a successful VBS despite the unbearable heat. All those who attended, including two-year-old Seth Freeman, enjoyed themselves!
Judi Doty, assistant communication director, Buchanan Church