2016 Hualien VBS - Day 2 - Jennie Zhang

Though we wake up tired every morning, we are constantly reminded what a blessing it is for us to have the opportunity to minister to the Hualien kids. We begin the days with the daily bible journaling, sharing, and praying, helping us prepare for the day spiritually as we are reminded and renewed in the knowledge of God’s mercy, greatness, and love for us. We end our morning meetings around 8:00 AM, eating Taiwanese rice balls and drinking soybean milk. The kids begin to show up 8:30 AM, rushing in with excited expressions and asking us to play with them. Seeing these kids ready and elated for a new day of VBS also energizes us as we prepare to spend another day with them, teaching them about the Gospel and showing God’s glory and love for them as we interact with them.

Our VBS started with the normal small groups, and my group (Group 1) was excited to have 2 new girls join our small 4-kids group. The new girls were very quiet, but partially because they already know someone in our group, and partially because our Taiwanese helper had a very friendly aura, the kids were able to quickly adapt in our group as we played name games and “Never have I Ever” tofamiliarize the new kids and help them interact with our original group. Next was worship. Though there were a handful of rowdy kids at the front, the majority of the kids were very well behaved and eager to sing and dance. After an exciting worship session, we watched Day 2’s skit- Nicodemus and Jesus.

The skit was hilarious (the dirty vs. clean underwear) but also very straightforward in delivering the message that Jesus knows our sinful selves and that we need a Savior. The kids loved it, and thus as we broke off into small groups later to discuss the skit, they all remembered what happened in the skit very well.

Next we worked on English and memorizing the bible verses in both English and Chinese. Compared to the Taipei kids, the Hualien kids had a lot of trouble pronouncing the English words, yet it was encouraging to see them give their best in memorizing (or for English, enunciating) the verse in both languages, repeating the verse many times without giving up or complaint. Their positive and undying attitude gave us fresh strength to keep on ministering to these responsive kids, which was quickly rewarded through their active participation in recounting the Gospel backbone (God, sin, Jesus, response) with me.

After a fulfilling lunch and nap time, I worked with Tiffany at the science station, which for today, was buoyancy boats. The labs went well for all the groups, as they engrossed themselves in making their unique foil boats, actively competed with each other to get the most coins on their boats, and helped the teachers clean up afterwards.

Unfortunately, as many teachers didn’t get much sleep last night, we did not give our best for these children in the afternoon. As a result, one of my prayer requests would be to pray that we will manage our time well and sleep more so we can be more energized in the afternoon.

Overall, this day was very smooth, and it was encouraging to see the kids grow in so many ways, spiritually and with each other. We continue to pray, hoping to see more fruits in the last two days to come.