When I was deciding last year whether to continue in the volunteer position that I hold at church for another year, one of my biggest fears in keeping it was Vacation Bible School. We would be heading into a year with no Director of Christian Education, the last VBS I had even attended was when G was two, (where my job had been to help in the nursery -- a whole other story for a blog post one day), I had never been on the organizing side of a project such as this, and it certainly sounded like a whole bunch of volunteer recruitment to me (Remember me? I'm the one who hates to ask people to do things).
I would like to say that I stayed in the position and told God, "Well, God, I don't know how to do this. You'll have to help me with it," but that's not what happened. What I did was to tell Joe (our pastor) that I would keep the job I had, but that someone else would have to be found to do VBS, because I couldn't do that."
The time came to start making plans for VBS and an opportunity arose to combine forces with a few other churches in our area, which we decided to do. "Someone else will have to be found to do VBS" became "Kim will need to find someone do VBS" (Notice the oh-so-subtle difference which really means that Kim will have to ask someone to do something?) My idea was to find a triad of coordinators -- three experienced volunteers who would be able to share the responsibility and burdens of moving this project from thought to actuality. Two people I asked said yes, one said no, and one never gave me a response. Close enough.
Our church accepted the task of dreaming up and implementing the craft protion of VBS. Keep in mind that this VBS is not pre-packaged -- it's a custom effort, so the crafts had to be selected and designed by what my mother would call "the seat of their pants." I helped our duo put together a crafty committee, and then I went on vacation. My intention was to jump into the craft effort when I got back, but other things conspired against that. Other than a few tidbits here and there about progress, that was the last I heard about what was going on. I worked promoting the VBS in our church, and maintaining a web page for the event, but had no hand in the crafts.
This week has been two teacher training meetings. On the first night, I got to see what wonders this duo of power and their committee has done. Eight crafts, all prepared, all organized, all supplies ready and sheets of instructions printed out. The biggest joy was to watch this duo in action. One of them is one of the most talented teacher of children I know (and also one of the most self-deprecating). The other is AC Moore in a red-headed package. Their sense of humor is as dry as the Sahara, but they worked as one unit, and I just sat there in amazement and laughed myself silly. There is a huge WOW factor in going from "we need crafts" to seeing them all sitting on the table before you.
Last night the rest of our volunteers came in for training. Why am I always amazed that people say "yes?" That they take their time, show up, learn how to assemble a snow globe from a baby food jar and glitter, and then tell me that they'll be back every night of VBS to be volunteers? Maybe, now that I think about it, it's amazement, but it's also joy -- I'll take joy and amazement any day.
I do have worries about this whole enterprise (not about the crafts, but other parts). I was sitting at the computer yesterday evening before the training, talking to S, about to launch into a whining litany of my worries about VBS -- small space, curriculum (do we have one?), fluid decision making skills, parking, etc etc etc. I started my rant with the sentence, "The purpose of this week is to teach children about God; to bring children closer to God..." Before I could start ranting, S said, "And that's why I don't worry about it." What a way to stop me in my tracks.
It occurs to me this morning, in a kind of shell-shocked way, that, even though I didn't say, "God, you'll have to take care of this," that that is what He has done. He found the perfect pair of people to do the work, He has convinced wonderful people to give of their time to make it all happen, and maybe He has kept me out of it, so that now I can look back now and see His handiwork.
Trust God -- that's my lesson in all of this.
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I guess if He can handle heaven and earth, He can handle vacation Bible school.
Images: Fog and sun on the hill at work. What you can't see are the people in cars behind me wondering what the heck I'm doing.