Amongst the lessons, love

Published 11:19 pm Saturday, August 29, 2009

For many of those attending, Vacation Bible School is about fun times with friends during the summer break from regular school. For others, it’s a chance to teach kids about the love of Jesus Christ. For participants of one VBS program this year, it may have been about those things, but the program also provided an opportunity to follow Christ’s command to “Love your neighbors” by collecting money and food for the Suffolk Kids’ Café.

By joining together to present a special, coordinated VBS program called “Trekkin’ with the Spirit,” members of St. Paul’s Episcopal, Suffolk Christian, Suffolk Presbyterian and West End Baptist churches took an interdenominational approach to the annual summertime church program that already would have set it apart from other churches in the area, most of which worked independently on their own Vacation Bible schools.

But the four participating churches took things a step farther this year, working with children and families involved in the “Trekkin’” program to raise $3,710 and more than 900 pounds of food for the Kids’ Café, which is run by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Much of the money came from a desserts auction, where participants walked away with cakes, pies and other goodies that cost them as much as $100 each when the bidding was over.

Kids Café is a place where children receive a free, nutritious evening meal in a safe and supportive environment. It is located at John F. Kennedy Middle School, and in a city with more than its share of children who go to bed hungry on a regular basis, it is a blessing to those it serves.

Likewise, the children, families and churches that worked to collect the money and food to support this worthy organization are a blessing to the community and to their faith. Their generous donations prove that they learned valuable lessons about love during their time at Vacation Bible School this year.