A church in another country wants to hold Vacation Bible School, but doesn’t have enough volunteers to run the program. How can you help them? Many of us would think about putting together a short-term mission team to go and serve as VBS volunteers.
That’s just what a group of Christians in Brazil did when they heard that First Baptist Church in Narragansett, Rhode Island, needed help to run its VBS program this summer.
One of the ministries of TeachBeyond Brazil is offering various camp experiences. The Baptist church in Rhode Island has been sending volunteers to help with the English camp, and church members developed long-lasting relationships with the Brazilian camp staff.
Eduardo Kern, who coordinated the Brazilian side of last year’s English camp, explains how this came about.
“I’ve been serving with Acamp-Serra Gramado (TeachBeyond’s camping ministry) for about four years now, coordinating the last English Camp we had in 2016. From this camp many friendships started, and I became really close to Peter Whitman from First Baptist Church. He became sort of a spiritual leader and counselor to me and other Brazilian staff and campers. From this relationship some dreams started to develop, like the dream to take a group of volunteers to help First Baptist with its annual VBS.”
Peter, an elder at the church, was deeply moved when serving at English camp in 2016. He made a strong connection with the young people on staff and with those who attended.
“There are about 10 to 14 volunteers planning to come, God willing,” Peter said. “They are now applying for visas and we hope they all get approved. They are also raising finances for the visas (at $160 each) and travel, which has a lot to do with who comes. Our church has been having special offerings to help offset the costs of travel for them. We are really excited about this and the Lord has blessed VBS so much all ready.”
“I have been blessed by so many new relationships,” Peter continued. “It continues daily as we share blessings, prayer requests, and encouragement with each other. Now the list has grown to many that I have not met in person but have been introduced to through others from camp.”
Pray for the Brazilian team and the VBS at First Baptist. If you would like to volunteer in a TeachBeyond English camp overseas, visit this web page.