Fifteen people, one as young as 12 years old, traveled from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Chandler, Ariz., as part of their training for missions.
“Missions are a vital part of how our church teaches discipleship. We not only feel called to the mission field, but to raise up and send out missionaries of all ages,” said Kirby Williams, pastor of New Hope Community.
“We focus on locations within the United States as our entry-level missions outreach in familiar surroundings where we can be of service. The churches we ministered to here in Arizona had plenty of children but no previous vacation Bible school experience.”
Jonathan Gerstner, pastor of Christ’s Community Church, said that they invited this team as a resource to their community and an opportunity to work together to reach others.
Josh Mills, the parent of two children who attended this year’s VBS said, “It was a life-changing event for my kids. My kids were learning and coming home and teaching us, their parents. My children are still talking about it. Jesus became real for them—not just something their parents are teaching. They had their own encounter.” He said that his children are still singing the songs with the hand motions they learned.
The Florida team used skits, puppets, and songs to engage 65 students every evening. During the day, the team ministered in an urban ministry in Central Phoenix.