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Vacation Bible School breaks down walls with messages of hope

Walking into the activities room on the Buckner Children’s Campus, it is impossible not to feel the air of excitement. Across from a homemade mural of drawings, a group of children watch a dramatic scene take place featuring the popular “Bible Man.”

Each time Bible Man mightily proclaims his title, the kids cheer and shout. Just as quickly, they quiet to hear the short sermon that connects the funny demonstration to Scripture. During the weeklong Vacation Bible School, children in the Family Pathways program and children in foster care had a spiritual outlet for their summer facilitated by Watermark Community Church in Dallas. This is the first time in over five years the camp has been offered, and the kids jumped at the opportunity to experience Christ.

“There are nice people here, and I’ve made a lot of friends,” said 10-year-old Family Pathways resident Destiny. “We’ve been learning about Romans 4:5.”

Each day began with a game, followed by Scripture and crafts. Each event was carefully thought out to provide the best experience for children who have been through difficult circumstances.

 “A lot of them come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect,” Buckner Ministry Engagement Coordinator Sarah Jones said. “This gives us the opportunity to make them feel special and have a day of fun, but also at the same time, let them learn a little bit about God.”

Each day the number of children increased because of the infectious energy of the volunteers. Destiny brought her two siblings to join in on the fun.

Jones recounted the phenomenon with an excited smile.

“So many kiddos had fun, especially in Family Pathways and told the other kids ‘Hey, I went to VBS yesterday and it was so much fun,’” Jones said. “It went from being Mom’s idea to ‘Mom, we have to get there, make sure you drop me off.’”

Even though the children might see the Watermark leaders as superheroes, they are simply young adult ministry volunteers that recognize what God can do in this generation.

“The more time I spend with students and people of the younger age, I realize that if the Lord is going to transform the city of Dallas, He is going to do it through kids,” Watermark Junior High Coordinator Rebe Long said. “We love coming with our kids because it’s an opportunity for them to not only lead and teach, but to see that they are not that different from kids who maybe have a different set of circumstances in life. They look the same, have similar problems, but all of us need Jesus.”

Long also praised Buckner for its commitment to total community transformation.

“We love Buckner. They’re not just giving things away. The more you visit each campus, you find that you don’t need to leave Dallas to encounter kids that are battling broken homes and need for restoration,” Long said. “If you get involved with Buckner and programs like VBS you would be doing yourself a favor.”

To find out how you and your church can get involved with Buckner, visit our church engagement information page.

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