What do you get when you mix rambunctious kids, tasty snacks, silly games, and gospel teaching?
Besides a whole lot of noise, you get… Vacation Bible School! This year, we’ll be hosting VBS from June 17 to 21. In the days leading up to the big week, we’ll introduce you to some of the folks who make it possible.
Meet Bethany Porter, Marketplace Coordinator!
What’s something folks might not know about where you grew up?
I grew up as a missionary kid in West Africa. Almost every year we went to The Gambia for our regional team’s Spiritual Conference, and volunteers would provide VBS for the kids while the adults met. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from those weeks!
How long have you been worshipping with CGS?
I have been worshipping with CGS for seven years.
What has God been showing you as you’ve meditated on this year’s theme?
Every time I read or hear the story of The Prodigal Son, I am humbled by God’s grace. I’m reminded He doesn’t love us because of how hard we try to please Him, He doesn’t reject us no matter how hard we’ve fallen, and He actually pursues us because of His goodness and love, because He made us His children, in His image. He chose us before the creation of the world and covered us in Jesus’ righteousness.
How are you hoping to convey the things you know and are learning about this year’s theme through the area in which you’re serving?
One of my prayers for each child coming through the Marketplace is that they will get a small taste of being a creator of beauty, and in doing so, get to understand and reflect a little of God’s creativity and beauty. The first description of God in Genesis is of Him as Creator, so by creating beauty, even in a small way, we get to reflect a little of God’s glory. Each booth in the Marketplace uses materials that are authentic to the time period as possible (within the realm of budget and safety!), to help children experience some of the culture, the tastes, the textures, and scents of the world 2000 years ago. I hope this brings some of the Bible to life for each child. I also pray the children see that running away from God means running away from beauty, from truth, and from goodness, and that no matter where they end up, He is ready to embrace them. Maybe that’s a tall order for arts and crafts, but the God who created the entire Universe can use just about anything to bring His children close to Him.
What words of encouragement do you have for parents during VBS this year?
I hope the story of The Prodigal Son is a reminder that no matter how much we love our children, God loves them infinitely more and can care for them infinitely better than we as human parents ever could. Not only that, He is capable of taking their mistakes and sins, redeeming them and using them for His glory. I also hope we realize that to the capacity we love our children–and we love our children so much–God feels that love plus more towards us as parents, and He gladly and gently leads us as we minister to our children.