Each summer at St. Michael’s, children, teens, and adults gather to enjoy a week of Vacation Bible School together. Children who attend are blessed by experiencing the love of Christ while making friends, playing games, doing fun science experiments, and more. Teens learn valuable leadership skills alongside their peers. Adults share their gifts and talents to help bring the Bible to life.

VBS is a safe, welcoming environment for children to learn about Jesus, for teenagers to learn valuable life skills, and for adults to step into leadership roles…But the St. Michael’s program doesn’t stop there! We encourage campers and volunteers to look beyond themselves to the larger community. For the past several years, St. Michael’s has purposefully participated in meaningful, kid-driven outreach projects, called Operation Kid-to-Kid.

This summer’s projects will continue to grow compassion and awareness in our campers:

To serve the local community, campers will once again assemble lunches for St. Michael’s Sack Lunch Ministry. Over the course of the summer, this ministry expects to serve over 700 lunches!

Campers will also personalize “Prayer Pillowcases”. Pillowcases are sewn by a local grassroots women’s group, Girlfriends Care, and will be donated to St. Michael’s VBS.  Each camper will write a prayer on a pillowcase for its recipient. Prayer Pillowcases are then distributed via North County organizations Solutions for ChangeBrother Benno’s, Fil-A-Belly, and Bread of Life.

St. Michael’s campers have come to look forward to combining their coins to raise donations for an outreach project that connects with the annual VBS theme. In the summer of 2015, as campers climbed the heights of Mount Everest, they raised $210 (alongside a matching gift) to support earthquake relief in Nepal. This year, as campers explore dark caverns underground at Cave Quest, they will be introduced to some amazing cave-dwelling animals. Campers will learn about the importance of each creature and their role as stewards and protectors of God’s Creation. With that in mind, Operation Kid-to-Kid to will transform into Operation Kid-to-Bat!

While they tend to get a bad rap, bats are essential to maintaining balanced ecosystems all over the world. Alarmingly, their numbers are in steady decline. Twenty-six bat species are listed as Critically Endangered, fifty-one are Endangered, and close to one thousand are Vulnerable.* This summer’s outreach will support the work of Bat Conservation International, an international organization that exists to educate people and protect bats from extinction.

2016 promises to be another memorable year at St. Michael’s Vacation Bible School. Please join us in praying for the campers and volunteers, and for each of our outreach projects. To God be the Glory!

*Statistics taken from www.batcon.org.

Written by Becky Gleason, Children’s Minister.