By Pat Carlson
St. Luke needs a liaison willing to be trained to help lead an Easter VBS with MOST Ministries this spring in Mexicantown, Detroit. That exciting opportunity got me thinking about the first time I got a chance to share the love of Jesus in a cross-cultural VBS setting …
My very first MOST Ministries Vacation Bible School team that I lead was to Mongolia. Actually, this was the very first team that MOST had sent to Mongolia so nobody knew much about Mongolia or what to expect. For me this was an adventure that I looked forward to. I read books about Mongolia, books on cross-cultural servanthood, and brushed up on Biblical storying.
St. Luke needs a liaison willing to be trained to help lead an Easter VBS with MOST Ministries this spring in Mexicantown, Detroit.
Our only direction was that we would be teachers of teachers and we would be spending almost day and night with these teachers for over two weeks. The funny part was they thought we would be young and we thought they would be older adults. Not the case.
We modeled Biblical storying (told a Bible story in the oral tradition), developed three ways for the children to retell the story, made a craft related to the story, and the children’s homework assignment was to tell the story to three different people when they went home. We wanted the teachers to develop a close relationship with the students assigned to them by working with them in the retelling and the craft.
The ‘final’ was that the teachers had to plan the Friday program for the families of the children. They chose which story from the week they wanted to present, which songs to sing and which testimony to share, and which story they would develop themselves.
It was so well done that I was in tears. Who would’ve thought that the Great Flood could’ve been dramatized behind a sheet with balloon animals and sounds from their keyboard? My most emotional point was when two teachers left the stage while singing to give their students a big hug with tears in their eyes.
Guess which story they developed? The story of The Lost Sheep. Sheep are big in Mongolia. They know all about lost sheep. They know how important a shepherd is and how a shepherd knows each sheep by name and the sheep knows the shepherd’s voice. Why was I surprised?
Sometimes we find we are not really teaching anything new, but we are extra hands and feet of Jesus empowering the teachers in reaching out to the community in a little different way. We are glorifying Jesus by making Him a little more famous in the children and maybe their families who may have never heard of Him before.
This is why I think it is such a great opportunity to partner with the Latino Mission Society of Detroit. We have the additional hands and feet to make Easter VBS possible. Easter VBS is scheduled over Detroit’s Spring break in the afternoons April 21-28 at Pan De Vida Lutheran Church in SW Detroit. We have an opportunity to share in the outreach ministry in a cross-cultural mission field in our own backyard.
Sometimes we find we are not really teaching anything new, but we are extra hands and feet of Jesus empowering the teachers in reaching out to the community in a little different way.
What we need to get started is a liaison. The primary role of the liaison is to be the communication link between MOST Ministries and our St. Luke team. The liaison will be trained by MOST for this role so it is a unique opportunity to gain servant-leadership experience plus missionary and cross cultural experience. A candidate for this role is someone who has a servant heart and loves their Lord. It is someone who also has organizational skills and enthusiasm for the mission.
The liaison will need to assume this role as soon as possible since the deadline for submitting team applications is January 21. Responsibilities continue until after the VBS event when the last team meeting covering debriefing has taken place. There may be future MOST domestic or foreign short-term missions where this role would again be needed. But if you would like to talk more about making yourself available to serve as a liaison between MOST and St. Luke, please contact me (Pat Carlson) by email ASAP!
“Pan De Vida” is Spanish for “Bread of Life.” John 6:35 records Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” What great news to share!