Kids get a taste of the Australia at Lakeview’s VBS
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— If you drove by Lakeview Pelham’s First United Methodist Church on July 24 or 25, you might have noticed its entrance was transformed into a tent with a bright redJeep out front.
If you ventured inside the tent, you would have found kangaroos, koala bears, crocodiles and a group of 50 young explorers “looking for God” with their homemade, toilet paper roll binoculars.
This was Lakeview’s vacation Bible school, Outback Rock, that utilized themes from Australia to teach children that God is always with them through every obstacle and everything in their lives.
“That’s important for people of all ages, but especially children in just the permanence of faith being an anchor for their soul,” said Pastor Michael Miller. “We think it was a really positive message and the kids really loved it.”
According to Miller, there were two things they wanted to instill in the 3-to-11-year-old children. They wanted to instill a sense of identity in Christ and a relationship they have with God as well as a sense that God will never leave them.
This was accomplished through help from high school students and adults who would act out Bible stories and lead crafts. The main theme of Outback Rock centered around two characters: Robbie and Digby. Digby had been disconnected from his tour group in Australia, and Robbie was trying to help him find his way back while also showing him that God loves him and was there with him.
“They love it,” Miller said. “In fact, the kids this year were already asking about what we were going to do next year. In their little minds, this is so big for them. So they are just excited.”
Vacation Bible school “packed” the church on Sunday, and everyone was given binoculars as the kids performed and explained everything they learned at Outback Rock. Miller said it is part of giving kids a platform to minister, because kids have gifts from God and Lakeview’s congregation wants to empower them to share.
“I think we have the opportunity through vacation Bible school to strengthen a grassroots movement of good family values,” Miller said. “We at Lakeview are all about building strong families and just teaching those kids at a young age accountability, right and wrong, love and acceptance and tolerance.”