Vacation Bible School at Village SDA Church used flight-related object lessons to inspire children to focus on heavenly themes. Furthermore, the children collected offerings to help a mission pilot who transports people from islands to a mainland hospital in the Philippines. A major highlight was a real airplane brought to Village SDA Church by the generous staff of the Andrews University Airpark.
Duane Habenicht, from the AU Airport, brought a small aircraft so kids could explore, touch, and learn about airplanes. He hoped to encourage young people to visit the Andrews Airpark about flight and mission opportunities. Youth Pastor Junior Vertus brought in a working model aircraft to demonstrate various flight components. Pastor Junior said: “…we are teaching our kids that Jesus is our pilot through this life, and this plane is bound for glory.”
The backdrop on the main stage had a giant aircraft taking off. Small wooden planes were built as one of the crafts. And, Pr. Ron Kelly followed the acronym “PLANE” to present spiritual messages every evening. The acronym was shorthand for remembering Biblical stories of faith about: Paul, Lazarus, Abraham, Noah, and Esther. These things were done with the goal of pointing young minds to a higher purpose.
One such higher purpose was to raise money for Andrew Hosford, a mission pilot in the Philippines who recently lost his fiancé in a medical aviation accident. His ministry involves flying injured people to medical help from wherever it is needed. Kimberly Spare, one of the VBS leaders, reached out to Andrew and asked if there were any needs because the VBS theme was related to his type of ministry. He was happily surprised about getting support such as gas or other supplies to help the missionary effort. The children collected offerings and deposited them into a wooden airplane offering box made by Barry Wilson.
Andrew sent a pre-recorded video to show to the children at VBS. The video explained his mission work of flying people from islands to the mainland hospital. He told the kids that it takes trust in instruments when flying through clouds and that you should trust Gods leading.
Kimberly Spare, one of the co-leaders, said the idea for the theme came to her because of her daughter’s love of airplanes and because Adventists have the three angel’s messages, so why not use the airplane theme to help kids understand that the good news needs to be proclaimed all over the world? Kimberly stays involved in VBS because she has a passion for kids and wants to help them have a strong foundation in Jesus Christ. She prays that this foundation will carry them from childhood into eternity. She loved VBS as a kid at Village SDA Church; and now she is blessed to not only be a part of it, but to have some of her own children serve as volunteers.
Kimberly Spare and Sue Mondak have led the VBS program at Village Church on many occasions. This year, there were over 300 registered kids and about 100 volunteers every night. There was also a 4-and-under group of about 70 kids, included in the total number of those registered. Sue Mondak helped the younger children praise God for His love through song and story.
The program appears to have been effective at helping spirits fly high. For example, volunteer Vickie Hess loved seeing all the smiling faces return every evening. Another volunteer overheard someone answer the question of wether or not their child enjoyed the program, saying: “I think so because she didn’t want to leave.” As the program progressed, some children brought siblings or friends to receive a blessing.
Hopefully these efforts will help yield a rich harvest in the near future by inspiring the young to fly smoothly over the woes and tragedies of life, and to fly low in mission to deliver the gospel. Mission pilot Andrew concluded his VBS video message with this suggestion: “Maybe when you grow up you can join me here in the Philippines. May God bless you.”
Author: Robert Rice, Bible Worker at Village SDA Church
This story has previously been published online by the Lake Union Herald
Photos by: Robert Rice