This article was originally posted on Nils and Erika Clauson’s blog. They are Covenant missionaries serving in Mexico.
We praise God for the 75 kids (ages 4-12) who participated in the Family Foundation’s (FUNDEFAM’s) 4th annual VBS! This year’s theme was “Aventura en la Gran Ciudad” (Adventure in the Big City) and the main verse for the week was from Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”.
The whole Foundation building was decorated with skyscrapers, taxicabs, street signs, city scenes and the highlight for the kids was the airplane in the missions section that allowed them to “travel” to different places around the world like India, France and Africa to learn how God is at work everywhere.
Each day the kids learned about different Christian values including faith, love, and trust based on encounters Jesus had with different people like Nicodemus, the Roman Centurion, and the bleeding woman. They played games and made crafts based on the theme for the day. They experienced and learned more about God’s love for them and the whole world through songs and dancing, puppet shows and dramas, and even through enjoying a special snack made for them at the snack shop!
The staff of FUNDEFAM is especially thankful for the amazing participation of the 45 volunteers who helped with the planning, preparation and implementation of the VBS. Even as we grieve being unable to receive U.S. work groups to help out with the VBS as in past years due to the drug related violence, we praise God for providing so many local volunteers dedicated to serving the children! Most of the volunteers are participants in either FUNDEFAM’s youth group or women’s club and come from Dos Cerros, the low income communities located on the two hills in front of our building. Others are faithful volunteers with Project Down, another Foundation ministry serving families with children with Down Syndrome. And others are family members of Foundation staff. It was such a joy to see the members of the youth group up front sharing the gospel message, participating in a drama, teaching songs and dance moves or arts and crafts to the children!
God not only provided human resources, but financial ones as well. A couple of the US churches who had helped out with the VBS in the past partnered with FUNDEFAM’s VBS from a distance. This partnership, together with many local friends in Monterrey who helped provide scholarships for the children, made this ministry outreach event possible. We are grateful for the amazing response from both our US and Mexican brothers and sisters who believe that God can touch and change participants and volunteers’ lives through the VBS.
When reflecting on what this experience has meant to her, Alejandra, a participant of the women’s club shared that it was such a blessing for her to be able to serve the children. She felt that her family had grown this week and it now included the 18 children who were under her leadership during the VBS. She was very glad to see her adolescent daughter participating as a volunteer for the week as well. When asking the children about their experience, they responded, “bien chido y me gustó todo” (really cool and I loved everything)! They also shared that they learned more about being a missionary and how to share Christ’s love with others.
On the last day, around 45 parents and relatives of the children came to see and hear about their children’s experience that week, and watch as their child received their certificate of participation as well as a small gift from FUNDEFAM. We pray that these families will continue to participate in the variety of programs for the kids, youth and women throughout the year.