The first summer that we moved to the States and I heard the letters V-B-S being talked about, I wondered if it was some kind of disease or something ... I had never heard of the term 'Vacation Bible School' before! As a result I was a little wary when I answered the request to get involved. Just what was I getting myself into?!
Three summers later, it all makes a lot more sense and last week our whole family were able to get involved in the fun and craziness of the VBS week at our church here, Coshocton Christian Tabernacle. The theme was 'Sky' and while it was a long week with late nights all round, it was such fun to be a part of and well worth it!
Each year there are 'Penny Wars'. Boys vs Girls each night. Who can bring in the most pennies, usually weighed and counted before the evening is out. This money goes to fund the following year's VBS, so that it can be free for the 120+ children that attend from the local community. This year from Monday to Friday they raised over $1,500 ... yes, in pennies! I'm glad I wasn't on the counting team, that's a lot of pennies!
On the first evening, they announced the mission they would be supporting in the final Sunday service's 'Penny War', when all the kids could bring their families to see what they had been up to during the week. I had been interested to find out who it would be as they had mentioned that this year it was going to be really exciting and being in our line of business, we're always interested in different mission news. Imagine the surprise to hear that we, The Beckwiths, were the mission!
I had the chance to share briefly in the final service what we would be up to when we leave here in December. The response and giving yesterday was overwhelming and humbling, all at the same time. One of the biggest sacrifices for us when we started working with MAF, was totally relying on God, churches and supporters for our finances. Every step of the way God has been 100% faithful in his provision as long as we're faithful in following his pathway for us. Even now 3 years into the process, people's love and generosity is still just as surprising and overwhelming to me but without it we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing. Thank you so much to everyone at Coshocton Christian Tabernacle for surprising us once again.