A Biblical journey

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2005

&uot;What’s our motto?&uot; First Baptist Church music minister Michael Turner called to the hundreds of youngsters crowded under the tent in the parking lot of his Main Street church, hiding from the hot July sun Wednesday afternoon.

&uot;Show me!&uot; the kids shouted back. &uot;Teach me! Guide me!&uot;

That’s a message that over 200 kids have been hearing, in just about every sense, all week in the church’s Vacation Bible School.

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&uot;I don’t know anyone who knows (how long we’ve been doing this),&uot; said Turner, after pulling out his guitar and entertaining the group with some singing, aided by a backup chorus of campers. &uot;It’s been going since my mom was a kid. I think First Baptist has been doing it since the 50’s and 60’s.&uot;

Kids shake off their sleepiness in the morning with a few songs, then spend some time doing arts and crafts. They’ll head to Bible class and discuss some of the Book’s stories. Then it’s time to get physical with a round of games like dodgeball or relay races.

That’s Caitlin Page’s favorite part of the event.

&uot;I like doing things, not just sitting around,&uot; said Caitlin, 12. &uot;We moved around a lot today and it wasn’t as hot as yesterday.&uot;

The kids recover from the heat in the church’s air-conditioned vans, where they watch videos about missionaries from around the world.

&uot;It’s nice and cool in the vans,&uot; said Zachary Sykes, 11. &uot;I like taking a break, and we get to sit back and watch movies. I think what the missionaries do is very hard, but good, because they’re doing it for God.&uot;

This afternoon, the concluding day of the camp, they’ll get a bit closer to such a worker; a missionary from Washington, D.C. will show up to tell them about his work in the nation’s capitol. All week the kids have been raising money for his camp; by Wednesday, they’d pooled together about $160.

After the day ended with a song, Nicholas Smith discussed his own appreciation for music.

&uot;It’s really fun,&uot; he said. &uot;I like singing because it gets feeling out of me. If I’m sad, I start singing, and it makes me feel better.&uot;

&uot;Our main mission is to reach the children to Christ,&uot; said Heidi Voight, who runs the camp with her husband Micah. &uot;A lot of it is ministering to kids in the area. There’s more community outreach; kids have come from all over the neighborhood.&uot;

It sounded like they came to listen.

&uot;God made everything down here,&uot; said Trent Taylor, 7, &uot;and He died on the cross to save us from our sins and save us from going to a bad place. We pray to Him and sing to Him every day and thank Him.&uot;