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First VBS … But Not the Last

A hostile community opens its doors after a kids’ program.

ECUADOR — Dozens of kids gathered on the grassy field, eagerly awaiting the songs, games and stories they had heard about. The first day of Vacation Bible School (VBS) was about to begin! And not just any VBS — this was the first day of VBS ever to be held in their rural village.

For many years, the community clung to culture and tradition, resisting any ministry from outsiders. They even burned a church to the ground to drive out a group of Jesus-followers.

Dave, a Crossworld worker in another community, had heard of this village’s hostility toward the gospel but it didn’t dampen the potential he saw for a VBS there ― not just for the kids hearing about Jesus, but also for the long-term relationships that could arise from it. As Dave watched more families arrive for VBS that first day, he prayed: Lord, You’ve given this opportunity. Please use this VBS to turn this community toward You.

During the program, Dave noticed that one parent, Pablo, had stayed to watch. The following day, he again saw Pablo lingering near the back, watching the program. And again the third day. And the fourth. And the fifth!

After the last day of the program, Dave approached Pablo.

“I’ve seen you watching from the back each day,” Dave said. “What did you think of your first VBS?”

“Thank you for coming,” Pablo said. “My father is one of the men who burned down the other church. He’s still opposed to you being here, but I’m interested in the things I’ve heard this week. I’m interested in Jesus. When can you come back?”


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