We had a wonderful week at our Summer Vacation Bible Camp. We had a good number of new families join us and several children who did not have a church that they called home. I loved that we had such a great opportunity to share our faith with them. One of the exciting parts of our camp week is when we offer Bibles to children to take home so that they can read the Bible stories on their own.
This year felt like a special year when we gave out the Bibles. I don’t know if I miss some of the experiences since I am not a group leader and because I am taking care of administrative issues, but this year I saw God working through how receptive the kids were to God’s Word, and I saw it starting on the first day of camp. On the first day, I had a group leader tell me that there was already a child interested in having his own Bible, even before I had mentioned that we would be giving them out.
On Thursday we made sure that we offered Bibles and we had several who were interested. Most years I pray that the kids open them up and read them, but I don’t always know. This year, at lunch following the Bible distribution, I had one of the boys come up to me with a huge smile on his face and an open Bible in his hand. He lifted the open Bible toward me to proudly show and announce that he had found today’s Bible verse on his own!
One of our amazing teachers took it upon herself earlier in the week to empower the kids to be able to navigate through their Bibles and she explained it so well that it truly paid off in this child’s joy.
Later that same day I also caught two girls reading their Bibles together. They opened the Bible and flipped from one area to another looking for specific passages and read together what they found. They did not know the joy I found from capturing that moment where I could see God’s Word exciting them.
I loved these moments so much that I shared them the next morning at our devotional time and I learned that there were more moments including one where several kids built a tent during free time and they were all found huddling underneath the canopy reading God’s Word together.
When sharing with others outside of camp, I learned from one grandparent of children who have attended, that even a year after, their grandchild still cherishes the Bible that was received and they often read it together.
I am so thankful for the insight into these moments, to see kids getting excited to read the Bible, digging deeper and growing in their faith. I pray that God continues to cultivate this hunger in these children that they may continue to grow in their faith in their time spent reading His words.
Pastor Tina Rae