“After the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27, 2011, we didn’t feel right about going about business as usual, especially when it came to VBS. So many churches were damaged, and others were in Disaster Relief support. We decided to take VBS out to the community areas that were hardest hit by the tornado. We wanted to provide some positive activities for kids who still lived in those communities—something that was for them and not about the storm. We also wanted to encourage churches in the hardest hit areas that may not have been able to do VBS on their own.
“We contacted the pastors of Rosedale Baptist Church, The Soma Church, and Alberta Baptist Church, and they were very interested in partnering with us to provide VBS in their communities. Our student ministry also led a backyard Bible club for a mostly Hispanic neighborhood.
“The result was outstanding! The attendance and enrollment grew each day, with our highest attendance on Thursday—710! We were surprised at the number of older kids (above grade 6) who were attracted to VBS activities. We were able to give a Bible to every kid in VBS, cookies and Kool-Aid®, and even lunches at some locations. Our congregation could not have been more supportive.
“Everyone was encouraged by the workers from the other churches and by the kids who participated and their families. Even on the hottest days while they were working hard, many of our workers began to say things like, ‘This is the best VBS ever!’ ‘We should always do VBS this way!’ and ‘We need to do things like this more than once a year!’”
Thanks, Beth, for letting us tell your church’s story. Connecting faith and life . . . what’s your favorite Big Apple story?