St. matthew || Spokane, WA
by Elizabeth Mantz, Kingdom Workers Volunteer
Greetings from the Spokane, Washington mission team! We all experienced ups and downs, but St. Matthew’s Vacation Bible School turned out to be a huge success. The team came for 10 days to help the church of St. Matthew’s. There were five Kingdom Workers who volunteered to come, but the church was blessed with numerous helpers from their own congregation. We started our week by first decorating the church for the VBS. The theme was Everest. It was great to see how a smaller church came together and used everyone’s talents to help decorate. It was amazing to see it all come together to create a mountain top themed church.
The week of VBS was filled with amazing kids. On the first day you could tell that most of the children were nervous to be there, but come Friday all they wanted to do was stay. It was amazing to see children, who never heard God’s Word before, hang on to every word of the Bible story. I personally think that seeing the light in their eyes is one of my favorite parts of doing a mission trip because it reminds me that everyone is not as lucky as I was to grow up hearing the gospel. The VBS program that the church put on had the children do an activity called “God sighting.” This is where the children told their crew leader where they saw God on the day before. The crew leaders would then write their answers on a sticky note, and hang them all over church. I went after the VBS to look at what some of the children wrote. This is what one little girl wrote, “I was nice to my brother.” When I saw this I could not help but smile. I thought it was funny, but after thinking for a while I thought about how it is amazing that the mind of a child can be so pure. They know that they do not have to do an amazing thing to see God or please him, but by just being nice to one person you can see how God is in your life.
I am so glad that I came on this trip! All this week I have heard that from various members that without the Kingdom Workers volunteers this would not have been possible. Every time I hear this, I tell the person thank you but it is not us who make it possible it is your congregation who has such a compassion for their God and Savior. So as I draw this post to a close I say thank you to the people of St. Matthew’s who have been very kind, and to encourage them to keep up the good work. I would also like to say I will be keeping you in my prayers, and may the Lord bless your church and all that you do. For the Lord said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:19.
~Revelation 2:10- "Be faithful even to the point of death and I will give you the crown of life."~
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From the pastor::
We ended up with 113 kids and 53 volunteers. We were blessed to have the 5 Kingdom Worker volunteers work with our 53 members as partners. It was mutually beneficial. Due to the rain we had on the only day when the 5 Kingdom Worker helpers could do canvassing, they weren’t able to do that this year. However, they definitely had many interactions with non-member and unchurched families during their VBS experience. They also received experience doing follow up visits on those non-churched families. They will be taking back with them some great outreach ideas and strategies that they can implement in their own congregations in the future.
After VBS week, I received the following email from a parent: “Thank you so much for your amazing Vacation Bible School. The kiddos had a blast. I have been needing something for them to do, and this was an answer to my prayers. I really appreciate your kindness AND all of the wonderful, smiling people at your church. They have all been incredibly kind and everyone is saying Hello to us, even in the parking lot. You are all doing wonderful work and I am so grateful to be blessed by your service. Please tell your congregation thanks from all of us in the community.”
Another parent told me that she will be bringing her 3-year old son to our Sunday School while she attends the Adult Bible Class. Our principal spoke to several families who are interested in our school for their children. This does not even include the Facebook comments and verbal comments I received from parents throughout the week. I wish I could have recorded them all and shared them with you. Very encouraging and heart-warming!
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