Vacation Bible School, 2009

Crocodile Dock

Day 1, Sunday, July 12

The 2009 Vacation Bible School began with the children divided into 4 groups; Pre-School (Friendly Fireflies), Kindergarten (Proud Possums), 1st & 2nd Grades (Truthful Turtles) and 3rd, 4th & 5th Grades (Courageous Crocs).
The children were introduced to the Bayou Swamp and the Crocs by Skeeter.

After some singing and learning of songs, Pastor David taught the children the daily Bible Verse, God Answered, `I will always be with you.` (Exodus 3:12).   He also taught them the Bible Point   God is with us, to which the children were to respond by saying, Fear Not!.   Those with quick replies were given treats.

The Children then went to different activities of games, snacks, crafts (where they made Life-n-Light lanterns) and the Bible Story.

The Bible Story began with Moses tending his sheep on a mountain top.   They saw the burning bush and heard God speak to Moses in the burning bush.   God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let God's people go.

The evening ended with singing and a video about Chadder the chipmunk's Bayou Adventure through the swamp in search of the Monster Croc along with his guide Fraider, who was afraid of everything.   Jasper, who ran the souvenir shop, gave them supplies and pointed them in the right direction.

This year's Mission Project was for the Elkhart County Humane Society.   There was a contest between the boys and the girls to see who could raise the most for the animals at the Humane Society.  On Day 1, the girls took a slim $3 lead over the boys.

Day 2, Monday, July 13

On Day 2 the children continued to learn songs plus a new Bible Verse, I will show you that I am the Lord. (Exodus 7:17).   The new Bible Point was, God is powerful.  Again, the children were to respond with Fear Not! when they heard this phrase.

The Bible Story continued with the children learning about the first 9 plagues that God sends to Egypt.  Each time the children met with Pharaoh they shouted Let my people go!
After each of the 9 plagues, Pharaoh told the slaves, NO! You will NEVER leave Egypt!

The adventure with Chadder and Fraider continued with them losing their flashlight and getting lost in the swamp.   They became frightened in the dark night as they heard noises and saw something approaching.

The offering for the Elkhart County Humane Society found the boys taking a sizable $20 lead.

Day 3, Tuesday, July 14

Day 3 began with singing and learning new songs.   The Bible Verse for the day was The Lord kept his promise. (Exodus 12:42).   The Bible point was God does what he says he'll do.

The craft for Day 3 was making T-shirts with the words, Fear Not! on the front.

The Bible Story continued as God spares the Israelite's sons at Passover.   The children participated by placing the lamb's blood around the door frames of the Israelite's homes.   They also learned that God's tenth plague took the lives of first-born sons of Egypt.   Pharaoh finally relented and let the Israelite slaves go free.

The lost Chadder and Fraider are found in the swamp by Nola who runs an Animal Rescue Center (Nola's ARC).
Continuing their search for the Monster Croc, Chadder and Fraider found themselves stuck in the swamp mud.

The girls charge back on Day 3 with a $5 lead for the Elkhart County Humane Society.

Day 4, Wednesday, July 15

The singing continued on Day 4 in preparation for the finale on the last day.   The new Bible Verse was Don't be afraid!...He is risen from the dead. (Matthew 28:5-6)   The Bible Point for the day was God gives us life.

Day 4 was game day.   The children enjoyed cooling off in the sprinker trying to retrive 22 crocodile eggs before the other team.   The water was refreshing on a warm day.

The Bible Story was about Jesus dying and coming back to life.   The story began with a special Passover meal to remind God's people of the good life before becoming slaves.   The children ate crackers as a reminder of the flat bread that the people ate at Passover and they tasted red juice as a reminder of the blood painted on the door frames at Passover.

Then Jesus was arrested by the soldiers and was eventually nailed to the cross.   Jesus gave his life for our sins.   On the third day, the people found an empty tomb.   Jesus had risen from the dead.

Chadder and Fraider escaped from the swamp mud and meeting up with Nola again.   As they moved along in the swamp boat, they saw the stranded Monster Croc.   The Monster Croc, however, turned out to be a person in a crocodile suit.   Their attempt to rescue the Monster Croc was hindered by a real alligator.

The evening ended with singing and dancing.   Then the children and teachers whispered their sins into plastic bags and the teachers closed the bags and hung them on a lighted cross.

Jesus appeared and greeted the children.   He then removed the bags of sin from the cross and took their sins away.

Day 5, Thursday, July 16

The final day began as it had all week.  The children practiced their songs in preparation for the evening program for their parents, family and friends.
The new Bible Verse was Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. (Exodus 14:13)   The Bible point was God cares for us.

The Bible Story told of the Israelite's travel and wandering through the desert in search of the Promise Land.   As they were camped next to the Red Sea, the Israelites became scared as Pharaoh had sent his soldiers to destroy them.   As the soldiers approached, Moses raised his staff and the sea parted, allowing the Israelites to pass safely through on dry ground.   As the soldiers pursued the Israelites through the open water, the sea closed upon them and destroyed all of the soldiers.

Chadder, Fraider and Nola were able to rescue the Monster Croc by distracting the alligator.   They discovered that the Monster Croc was actually Jasper.   Jasper dressed in a large crocodile suit in hopes of bringing in more tourists to keep his souvenir shop from going out of business.   He saw that this was wrong to be deceptive.   He was able to keep the shop open after they came up with a plan to have the shop be the Information Center for Nola's Animal Rescue Center.

The evening program went very well.   The children recited all the daily Bible Verses and Bible Points.   They then sang the songs they had learned during the week.

The Mission Project for the Elkhart County Humane Society was very successful. The chidren raised $306.30 in addition to the material items donated, like dog bisquits, shampoo, etc.   The winner between the boys and girls was a tie due to a last minute donation.   The real winners, though, were all the animals at the shelter who will benefit from these donations.
A big THANK YOU to all the parents and children for your generous giving.

The program ended with the children leaving the dimly lit sanctuary with their lighted lanterns, singing This Little Light of Mine.

Refreshments were served in the Fellowship Hall for the parents and children.   The children's name tags were drawn from a box and they were able to choose toys from the Crocodile Dock display.
For the final event, the children got to see Pharaoh and Skeeter get a swamp pie (whipped cream) in the face.

God Bless and thanks to all the parents for allowing your children to participate in the 2009 Vacation Bible School; to learn about God's word, how he lives in us and the hardships and final success of God's people.
Thanks to our two co-directors, Kris Hochstetler and Celeste Weesner for a great job in organizing the 2009 VBS.

VBS was also a great success because of the outstanding staff of volunteers to help with all the children. VBS attendance was between 40-50 children each night.

Louann Pontius Jane Rapp Leroy Schrock
Dana McDaniel David Hochstetler Amber Campbell
Geneva Cook Linda Rodman Keith Cook
Sandy Wolf Ray Hochstetler Deb Beehler
Patricia Puffer Joy Moore Celeste Weesner
Kirk Weesner (Pharaoh) Pastor David Becky Buss
Regena LaPlace (laptop tech)           Mark Cook Garry Puffer (Decorations)
Cindy Campbell Gary Buss (Jesus, Decorations, class)           Gail Greenlee
Maggie Farwig Sarah Miller Angela Cook
Sharon Hirstein Elizabeth Starr

Thanks also to those individuals and groups that gave donations that were used as props, class materials and overall program needs.

Donors and Other Support
Larry Pappas Kathleen Stout Mary Miller
Arletah & Ray Hochstetler                   Marcia Clark Lil Beehler
UM Women's Group Nila Young Greg Clark
UM Mens's Group Jan & Cliff Bender Irene Cook
Sharon Hirstein Cindy & Mark Campbell Marcia & Gary Cook
Gary & Becky Buss Leroy Schrock Jim & Geri Angel
Geneva Cook Rich Shigley & Linda Squibb                             Rita Wirt
Joyce Cook Jean Green Sharon Shinn (Secretary)

Please accept our apologies for any names we forgot to mention.

See more photos at VBS Photo Gallery