VBS is done for another year. The jungle vines, the fake palm trees, the hundreds of stuffed animals are packed away yet again. The craft room has been cleaned up. The snacks have been eaten. And I am home with my people.
It was a crazy five days. It was busy. There is a nearly constant stream of work that needs to be done in order to stay just one step ahead of 90+ energetic third graders.
I am thankful. Not simply because it is over, though I am glad to be home with my feet up. I am thankful for so many reasons. Each reason bearing a name and a face.
I am thankful for Gary, Colin and Jeremy who were there each day, setting up great outdoor games and just having a great time playing the recreation games with the kids.
I am thankful for Ryan, who told the story and shared God's voice with a bunch of amazingly quiet and attentive kids.
I am thankful for Eilene, Heather, Karen, and Nia who welcomed the kids of the other volunteers. They took them outside to play, fed them snacks, changed diapers and doted on littles while the Mommas were busy elsewhere.
I am thankful for Lindsay who mastered the snacks like a boss.
I am thankful for Renae, Elaina, Rosie, Kim, Ruth, Cassie and Michelle who helped all those kiddos make really fun, and sometimes really messy crafts.
I am also thankful for Cassie as she stood at the front and led all those kids in singing some really fun songs complete with actions.
I am thankful for 18 teachers and helpers like Makenna, Sophine, Lynae, Chloe, Greta, Evan, Tessa and Holden who were there each and every day to show some love to the kids in their classes.
I am thankful for Nancy who was so helpful in so many ways as she met our secretarial needs over the past month or more.
I am thankful for Bob and the way he was so gracious to help us in whatever way he could even as we got in the way of his janitorial duties.
I am thankful for the church family who donated snacks, crafts and prayers so that our week could be a wonderful success.
And I am extremely thankful for Shalene, Cassie (again!) and Tanya who so fearlessly coordinate our program. With seemingly effortless teamwork they pool their efforts and cover every single need. They are such a joy to work with.
The faces of those third graders keep going through my mind. And then they are followed with the names and faces of all those who showed up this week to show them what it is like to be loved and to point them to the One who loves them
Grateful. So very very grateful for our week, the third graders, and all our many volunteers.