First Baptist Powell held its Vacation Bible School June 5-9th, 2023. We had 288 children register and 279 actually attend over the course of the week (this reflects a 13% increase from 2022). Our average daily attendance was 244. Of those who registered, 16 indicated that they do not have a church home, 189 said they go to a different church, and the remainder were FBP kids. There were over 110 volunteers who served, including youth and adult workers. Our youth volunteers were some of the best we have ever had. They served faithfully and were flexible to assist wherever I or someone else might ask them to help. I believe this is due to a few factors:

  1. The raising of expectations through required meetings and recommendations.
  2. Encouraging leaders to disciple their helpers and teach them how to serve.
  3. Most importantly, through the kindness of the Lord to answer the prayers that our church culture would consist of self-sacrificing members serving the body.

On Thursday, the older elementary group (4th and 5th grade) were visited by the Gideons who handed out 41 copies of the New Testament and a dozen cards with the Gideon Bible app code containing a download link to the entire Bible. We also had the opportunity to give Bibles to a couple of seven year old brothers who mentioned to their leader that they had no Bible in their home. The gospel was shared daily, not only during the lesson, but also through all that we did–games, crafts, science experiments, snacks, drama, and more. By the end of the week, the children could recite all of the pieces of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:14-17:

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Many hid His word in their heart by memorizing daily verses. I know that many gospel seeds were planted and ask that you join me in praying that they would fall on good soil and bear fruit in the Lord’s timing.

The children also participated in a mercy project which will, Lord-willing, bless our community. Our church had a collection during the month of May which resulted in approximately ⅓ of the items we used to pack bags for the homeless, containing non-perishable food items, water, toiletries, and a gospel tract. The children themselves brought in the remaining ⅔ of the items over the first part of the week–our barrels literally overflowed, and it was wonderful to see! The children packed over 270 bags toward the end of the week and each child was able to take a bag home to use to bless someone else. We received a number of items that were not beneficial to our specific target group, and we donated those items to our ministry partner, Men of Valor, along with multiple pounds of beans, rice, and canned goods we used for our VBS science rotation.

After VBS, we donated our curriculum materials and decorations to two different churches. One of the churches (to whom we gave the bulk of the items) will continue passing the items on after they use them. We did this last year as well, and the materials we passed along were used by two churches after us and are even being used by another church this summer! Praise the Lord for providing ways for us to bless our community, a local ministry, and sister churches to continue gospel work. May the work of the Lord be multiplied through our Vacation Bible School!

Check out the video recap of Vacation Bible School 2023!