Imperial Community Church (ICC) Youth Group took the reins of leadership for this year’s Vacation Bible School, July 11-15, with inspiration from Deuteronomy 6:18: “Do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD.”
VBS Director Mrs. Susan Sanchez, wife of ICC Pastor Albert Sanchez said, “We paired adult mentors with youth-group teens, but basically, the teens ran the program. It is exciting to see these teens blossom as they begin to use their gifts, recognizing their own abilities and strengths.”
Mt. Everest was the visual theme with large images of cold, snow-covered peaks of Mount Everest.
“It is my first year being involved with VBS, doing skits and getting kids involved, and it’s pretty cool,” said youth director, Jonny Sais. Dressed in heavy coat and fur-lined cap with ear flaps, Sais, opened each evening with a skit and closed with review and prayer.
The youth chose their own positions with the director pairing them with mentors. Imperial High Senior Brianne Sanchez met with her mentor Francis Eager, retired missionary to Africa, before teaching each night’s lessons from the books of Ruth, Matthew, Daniel, Judges, and Acts. Each lesson pointed to choosing God’s way over man’s way.
“When I came to VBS, crafts were my favorite part and I wanted to show that expression to the youth coming now,” said Alexis Zinn, senior, who headed the crafts. Mentor Marla Jones, an experienced 4-H leader, found her assistance was minimal as Alexis had prepared well.
Matt Woodward led singing with mentor Amanda Guerrero, church pianist, then lead game time with mentor, Janie Yocupicio, who works at the Navy base with MWR. Jacob Maddox was paired with Whitney Wendell for snacks.
Teens were at church all week prior to VBS week, making props, decorating walls, and cutting out art lessons.
Senior Matt Woodward said he was helping, “So that children can learn about God and hopefully they can come to Christ. That’s the whole point of VBS.”
Erica Marshall, incoming freshman shared, “I met Jesus when I was 10, but realized much later that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. That’s when I accepted Him as LORD. I want kids to realize that Jesus is the only path.”
Many adults members assisted in registration and additional teens helped each group of children. The children’s parents were encouraged to join the opening and closing sessions with the goal of reaching families along with their children.
About 20 youth regularly attend the weekly youth night every Thursday from 5 – 8 p.m. After an hour of homework during the school year, they take notes and interact in an hour Bible study, followed by an hour of games (or more homework time if needed).
“We are going through the book of John in the Bible,” said Sais of his youth group.[envira-gallery id=”80856″]