Never Waste a Moment

By Krisit Sullins

Vacation Bible School has arrived here at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church. The decorations are being hung.  Crafts are being prepped and snacks are being planned.  After years and years of experience, we have a routine and a plan.  However, the reality is much greater than the plan.

For those who lead in ministry, volunteers who give their time, and those who, at all stages of life, find a way to serve, this week is a week of moments.  Moments that are made when teachers, in costumes, make the stories of the Bible come to life.  Moments when adults and children worship together.  Moments when our youth give up their time to decorate, lead and invest.

The best moments are when you see a child grasp the reality of God’s great love for them.

As the AFBC family prepares for Vacation Bible School, our prayer is that God moves in a mighty way.  Our theme, “Finding Messiah”, sets the stage for children to discover how they can know Jesus was truly the Messiah, sent to save us.  We will journey through the Bible finding proof within the stories in the Gospels.

This is more than a program we do, or just an average week in the summer.  It is a time that will be filled with moments for the children who attend.  Often a moment is all God needs to change everything.  Christ, Himself, understood the importance of taking a moment of time to be with children.  He knew their value in the Kingdom.

As each volunteer prepares for VBS, we pray they would see the importance of the task at hand and would embrace the sacrifice it requires to make a Kingdom impact.  We pray for each family that will be connected through VBS, that they would be changed by learning about the Messiah who loves them.  And we pray that God would move in His mighty way so that by Thursday night it would be clear that all that had been accomplished was through Him.

May each of us be able to answer like Peter when Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16

Extreme Love

By Kristi Sullins

And I pray that you may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love Christ. Ephesians 3:18 (NIV)

If you could truly grasp the extreme level of the love of Christ would it change your life? The answer is YES!

This year for VBS we went extreme. VBX focused on the extreme measures of Christ’s love for us. The children journeyed to the vast Artic Tundra, the long Nile River, the highest peak of Mount Everest and the deepest point of the Marianas Trench to examine stories from the Bible that prove God’s love for us knows no limits.

In this journey we saw God work in unbelievable ways. Our average nightly attendance was 229, and there were over 30 children who made decisions during the four days. We had close to 200 volunteers each night willingly giving their time and talents to make the truth of Christ’s love come alive.

VBS is our largest children’s event of the year. It will take hundreds of volunteers and it will use a large chunk of the budget. Exhaustion is always present by the end of the week, and some struggle to understand why we do it every year. Within all of that prep work and exhaustion is the face of a mom who finds out her daughter just prayed to receive Christ, or the connection a preschooler with our senior pastor who dedicates that entire week to be in preschool. The joy in exhaustion can be found in the child who is inside the walls of a church for the first time and is asking questions when they see people praying. It is found in the jars of salsa that go out to un-churched or unconnected families when our church members faithfully give more of their time to go to each person’s home that wants more information about what we are doing at AFBC. For Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, the reality is that the week of VBS is a time for us all to offer our time and talents, and wait expectantly to see the amazing things that God faithfully does.

For four days, hundreds of children heard the truth about love and the One who loves us without limits. That love is the only thing that will truly make a difference in our lives and the world we live in. To grasp the Extreme love of our God changes everything!