During summer vacation, children can focus on their friends, their hobbies, and for some, their journey with Christ.
Freedom Baptist Church on U.S. 1 North in Rockingham finds many ways to keep kids busy, smiling and learning about how they can connect faith with their life. Each year, Freedom holds a vacation Bible school at the beginning of summer. This will be its largest evangelical outreach to children during the year.
Each year, the church comes up with a theme for its vacation bible school. This year the theme was “Big Apple Adventure - Where Faith and Life Connect.” Different areas within the church were decorated to look like different areas of New York City.
“The over 125 children that participated this year were in awe of the decorations and especially the sanctuary that was turned into Times Square,” said Steven Wilson, Freedom’s vacation Bible school director.
According to Wilson, more than 40 volunteers spent a week of evenings decorating the church for the event.
“We wanted to do it up big this year for the kids,” he said.
The adventure started with a family night that included a bounce house, 18-foot slide, a dunking booth and apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Each night during the week students attended a worship rally, learned music in “Times Square,” made crafts in the “Crafts District,” ate New York themed snacks at “Mid-Town Snacks,” played games in “Central Park,” and had a lesson on how they could connect life with faith.
To help them accomplish this, the children participated in a mission’s project in which they brought canned goods and an offering each night to replenish the church’s pantry for families in need. The children stocked the pantry with more than 200 cans, and the church collected more than $300 in offerings that will also go back into the pantry.
“We ended the week with a commencement service that showcased what the children had learned,” said Wilson. “All the fun and games would have been in vain, had we not shared the love of Christ with them. We were excited that 18 children made decisions for Christ during the week.”
Vacation Bible school was just the start of many summer activities planned for children in the community this year. Freedom will also begin a program called PB&J — Praising, Believing, and Just Having Fun — during July.
“This will be a time for Kindergarten through fifth grade students to come together during the week to have some fun in a loving environment,” said Wilson.
The children will not only have a Bible devotion time, but will get the opportunity to go on field trips within the community like local parks, the bowling alley, swimming pools, and other surprises during the month.
The first week of August, the church will host M.U.S.I.C. camp for Kindergarten through fifth grade as well. M.U.S.I.C. stands for Musicians Understanding Service In Christ and is an annual program that gets students involved in music and in missions.
“This year’s theme is ‘Solid Rock’ which will focus on music related to building your life on Christ — the Solid Rock,” said Wilson.
During the week the children will also learn to serve others in the community through a mission’s activity with Habitat for Humanity. At the end of the week-long camp, the children will share what they have learned through a musical performance.
For more information on upcoming children’s programs, contact Freedom Baptist Church at (910) 895-3111.
— Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ex. 43, or by e-mail at email@example.com.