In a couple of weeks Xenos will be hosting over 300 kids for a week of fun and meaningful activities—Vacation Bible School (VBS), which runs June 18-22. Sir Finn, the Dude of Pismo Beach returns as this year’s theme, and VBS Director Claire Howard says the focus of the week is God’s character and attributes.
The week is filled with music, skits, art activities, and games. But Claire says the kids also really love the Bible teachings they hear—whether they’ve heard teachings in the past or they’re new to the Bible.
Claire says, “It’s amazing to see the excitement and joy in these kids as they learn about God. For some kids, it’s the first time they’ve heard about God—they hear for the first time that they are deeply loved and cared for by God, who is seeking them out.”
She says it’s so important to share the gospel with children. She says kids are often more soft to hearing and learning about God in a way that adults are not. And she says they can be very influential. “Many times, God will use the kids of non-Christian families to be the spiritual light in their family. I've been amazed by so many different stories of young children coming into a relationship with God and then turning around and unashamedly challenging their parents beliefs. God loves to powerfully work in young children! We would be foolish to underestimate what God can do through a young child.”
Many kids attending VBS are already involved in Oasis, Xenos’ program for pre-school and young elementary students. For these kids Claire says it’s great that they have more time in fellowship and teachings. “My prayer for them is that VBS will spark a greater desire to learn more about the Lord as well as to use them to reach their lost friends.”
In order to host hundreds of kids, you need hundreds of volunteers—over 200. Nearly half of them are student volunteers, many of whom attended VBS when they were younger. Claire says they are essential to making the week so fun and engaging for the younger kids. She says they help bring energy and they show the young kids that they can be excited about the things of God.
This is Claire’s first year as director, taking over from long-time director Kim Downs, who has helped with the transition. Claire says she is experiencing a phenomenon that strikes most people involved with VBS—“The VBS songs are already stuck in my head!”
Registration for VBS is open now at xenos.org/vbs. In addition to your own kids, please consider if there are any young people—pre-school through those entering 3rd grade—who would benefit from attending. There is a discount for registering by June 3rd and family rates are available.
Also, there is still a need for volunteers. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.