Whew! What a summer just flying by and taking all the hours in the day with it!
I have had a rough time keeping up with my posts and lots of busy on the homefront – being especially remiss in my Sonrise National Park Vacation Bible School reports! It is not lost on me that our last lesson involved a “busy beaver” – which is what I’ve felt like all summer.
Exploring “True Riches,” it was a blessing to meditate on the virtues of the beaver – and the secret to his wealth and success – hard work coupled with the faith that ALL his needs are provided daily by his Creator God in the design strategy of nature and habitat.
Miss Brenda gives our weekly announcements and leads us in prayer . . .
Beginning our time together with praise and worship, the little kids inside . . .
And, the big kids outside . . .
The Park Guides escort their groups to each station.
Ranger Ed was at the Fireside Frontier with the Bible lesson – illustrating God’s provision for everyone through the “miraculous meal” Jesus served when He fed five thousand men PLUS women and children with only the meager lunch of a small boy’s two fish and five loaves of bread.
Of course – in proper historical and cultural context – those loaves of bread are not like the loaves we eat today. Ranger Ed showed with his hands just how small and flat – the size of a large cracker – these “loaves” of bread really were!
The story is recorded in Mark 6:30-44 and John 6:1-14 in the Bible. It is one of two times that Jesus fed thousands from the smallest of resources. When crowds would follow after Him to listen to Him speak, they would not want to leave even though they were hungry. Jesus blessed what food was there and commanded His disciples to distribute it among the people – the resource never waned – and there were multiple baskets of leftovers at that!
We see God’s provision in nature everyday. Beavers have plenty of wood and water provided for them in the habitat where God placed them. They take what is provided and work hard to build their home by their river food source where there are plenty of fish for dinner. In this same way, we can be sure that whatever “habitat” the Lord places us, there will be provision, therein, for all our needs – by His hand and blessing. We respond with hard work and stewardship to take part in His resource provision – be it physical, emotional, or spiritual – God provides our needs right where we are!
Snack time illustrated our beaver friend with ice cream, chocolate sauce, candy eyes, mini-marshmallow teeth, and a chocolate wafer for the beaver tail. There was provision for whomsoever came to the table – and yummies all around!
Outside after snack, teamwork with tools illustrated how to use what is provided to accomplish the task!
Our little ones celebrated the fish the Lord multiplied with a bit of paste and sequins to decorate the cut-out craft – and googly eye for fun!
The memory verse brought up the tail . . .
The following week was to be a special water-fun night – but dark clouds were gathering and leadership feared another fierce thunderstorm. But, there was no fear for providing an alternate plan! True to what we’ve been studying about the provision of the Lord, two mounds of shaved ice were donated to a re-draft of the evening’s plan. We would keep the kids outside and engaged in a snowball fight with snow building games – in JULY – and easily be able to retreat to the shelter of the building should the rains and thunderstorm scatter our way.
What a blessing that the storms were on a different course . . . the kids had a blast! One of our littlest angels shows off the icy snowballs . . .
But, she cleared out of the way when the bigger kids started a battle in earnest!
Then, it was time for teams to build from the provision available – not a summer sandcastle, but a wintery ice castle – or sculpture – as the case may be.
One of the teams came up with a winning idea! Filling one of the orange cones that marked the play area with snow, the cone became a mold for a sculpture creation.
Three turrets later . . . the last of the castle markings were made . . .
A moat, of course!
Winners were declared and it was time to praise the Lord – all the age groups together! Not a raindrop in sight!
Then, sitting them down like the Lord inviting the five thousand to sit – snack was blessed and popcorn and ice cream was multiplied amongst all . . .
While Miss Kathy was distracted by a rainbow in the distant sky.
Someone else got the storms – we got a glorious evening of joy and laughter in ministry to our smallest saints!
More adventures to come at Sonrise National Park VBS this month – stay tuned!!
Sharing Sonrise Provides this week with Spiritual Sundays