Story and photos by Spc. Samantha B. Koss
Children gathered to praise God Monday as the annual five-day Vacation Bible School kicked off its first day of worship at Soldiers’ Memorial Chapel.
Worshipers danced and sang in the pews of the chapel surrounded by pandas displaying the Bible school theme, “Pandamania, Where God is Wild About You.”
“We want to let the kids experience the love of Christ … and let them know that God is crazy about them,” said Pat Treacy, director of religious education.
Children split up into crew teams and took turns at different learning stations, which included “crazy crafts,” wild Bible adventures and outdoor water games.
Throughout the morning, crew team leaders yelled “God made you” before the little worshipers responded
“We thank you, God.”
“We try to get the kids pumped up to hear God’s word,” said Michelle Fowlers, worship leader.
Smiles and laughter filled the chapel halls as the children learned about their individualism, how God created the world and his love for them.
The crew teams made “Little Me’s” in the arts and crafts station.
Julie Fisher, leader of crazy crafts, taught the children that “God made you in his own likeness and each of you are special,” as they colored wooden replicas of themselves to identify their unique qualities.
“We want to help the kids get out of their shell and have fun,” said Beverly DuBois, crew leader, as she helped children put together their “Little Me’s.”
The youth worshipers took a break for a snack prepared by the preschool students later in the morning after getting soaked during outside water games.
“My favorite station was the ‘Rainy Day’ … I learned about how God created water so we can survive,” said Carson Fuller, 8.
The teams splashed water at each other and raced back and forth during “Rainy Day” and “Dizzy Lizzy” water games.
“The games are meant to teach the kids that God created water so we can live … and he created us to know and worship him,” said Chap. (Capt.) Domenic Grottie, 52nd Engineer Battalion.
Enthusiasm continued to build throughout the morning until noon when the Vacation Bible School ended its first day.
The five-day VBS ends with a family picnic Friday at noon after youth worshipers finish their last morning of lessons at Soldiers’ Memorial Chapel.