It is almost VBS week – our favorite week of the year! The church will soon fill with adult and teenage volunteers who will decorate classrooms, organize supplies, practice skits and songs, line up at the copy machine to multiply coloring pages and word finds, and everything else required to have this campus ready for the little ones’ arrival on Monday morning.

This is our 13th year volunteering at VBS, so we know the routine and over time we’ve seen the themes of camping, beach party, superheroes and outer space repeat. We’ve clapped and sung along with all the different worship leaders who have brought the stories to life in music and fun. We’ve felt the VBS energy – which is like no other energy – in Fellowship Hall when everyone is together to kick off the day of fun. We’ve high fived more kids passing in the hallways than we can count and seen more Diet Coke and Mento candy explosions than one should. But we keep saying yes to the call to help each year because at the end of the week all we feel is blessed.

Blessed to be part of a church family that makes children and teens a priority. Blessed to get to spend a week with 20-plus children who enter the classroom in only two ways – running all out or shyly stepping forward. Blessed to meet new friends and see friends we’ve known for years, but who we only see at VBS, all hysterically matching in the color of the day. Blessed to know popsicle sticks with a little paint and glue still make the best picture frames. Blessed to know when we open the Bible in our classroom, the red words of our story teach us as much as they do the kids. And most of all blessed to be able to experience the whole week with each other.

Our friendship began when our now driving teenagers were toddlers in the Day School, and VBS has been an annual tradition since. Some years our spouses have questioned our sanity and why our respective dining rooms were filled the first week of each summer with tents, camping signs, beach chairs, fake rocks or whatever we created for our class. We would always tell them the same thing we are sharing here; VBS is the best week of the year! And not just for the kids.