It has been awhile since you’ve heard from me. My apologies. Since the pandemic started, life has been very different as you all know. At this time, I would normally be driving back home from spending a summer of ministry in B.C. My head would be spinning with images and stories to share of God working through each of the teams in their communities. But the reality is . . . I’m sitting in front of the same screen that I have been at for most of my work this summer.
Since some of my talents lie on the technical side, I offered to run an online Vacation Bible School for the teams that travel North to lead VBS for the kids. (If you’re interested, you can see the different community sites at: www.lampvbs.org.) Much of my time was spent updating the videos and links to the various sections (puppet skit, Bible story, craft idea, music, etc.) to each team's site.
It has been fun to watch and hear the different songs and skits that the teams use in their community. One group even included examples with the kids from the previous summer. A couple of the teams attempted to connect via Zoom with the children and adults from their community. I anticipated lots of hits on the team’s classroom pages and maybe a dozen kids connecting on the Zoom video calls, but the numbers were much lower than my expectations.
One team wasn’t able to connect at all with the kids in their community, while another team had three people on the first day and only one for the next three video calls. A new team is having a Zoom meeting with contacts in their new community in hopes that when the pandemic lifts, they would be able to travel to meet with people who they talked to online.
Somewhat discouraged, I was reminded that my home church group prayed for at least one kid to connect to a Zoom call, and we did! Kids and adults are viewing our virtual VBS classrooms, but we don’t know how well the message was received. It is our hope and prayer, however, that they know we and God care about each one of them!
Remember the story of the Good Shepherd, about how Jesus seeks us? The parable mentions how the shepherd cares for each sheep as if there were not another in the whole world and if one was lost, he searched for it. (John 10:11-15; Matthew 18:10-12) We are called to be His messenger of the Good News of Jesus Christ, whether God calls us to serve one or one hundred.
This summer was not what anyone wanted or expected. I have still been able to connect with teams and meet new people online who might have gone this summer. Ministry is happening but in a different way. It’s exciting to know that connecting through Zoom and a virtual VBS classroom with Bible lessons is a possibility for the communities that LAMP serves.
God works in His own way and timing. We need to trust that God is leading and guiding us as we continue to step out in faith to share the gospel with others.