OK, so here is the long awaited post on my trip to Waldport Oregon for our church’s VBA!
It was an AWESOME time…just like the last. They were both awesome, yet in different ways. I really couldn’t choose between Waldport or Latah…there are different qualities in each.
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Saturday, July 12: We drove to church at 11:00 and loaded up our stuff into the different cars, and the trailer. We left our church at around noon, and hit the road. The travel time is pretty long…top of Washington to the midwestern part of Oregon (almost EXACTLY in the middle of Oregon, and right on the coast), so it was about a 7.5 hour drive. We arrived at around 7:30 p.m, and the people at First Baptist Church of Waldport had dinner all ready for us. There are some GREAT people in Waldport. After dinner, we unpacked all of the cars, got our sleeping bags, suitcases, etc, and put them into the cars we were taking to our houses we would be staying at for the rest of the week. I was excited, because I got to stay in a trailer on the grounds of the church…so all my stuff was right there if I needed it. Two other guys stayed with me…my good friend Cameron Partch, and my other friend Kevin White. They are both older than I am…around 23 years old…but we have a great time, and lots of good conversations.
After we took out all of our VBA stuff and put it in a room inside the church to set up the next day, we set up a new volleyball net that Cameron actually MADE. It’s awesome…SUPER strong. The previous net was somewhat of a joke, because it was so flimsy that it kept breaking. This new one is a NICE net.
Here are some cool pictures I took…these are some of my favorite pictures EVER that I have taken.I said I would upload more pictures for this post, so you’re getting more here. It’s taken me FOREVER to upload them all.
Sunday, July 13: Today I got to sleep in for quite a while because it was Sunday, and services didn’t start until 10:00 a.m. I got up at 9:00…and was very surprised, because my fold-out bed in the motor home was actually very comfortable, and I had a great night’s sleep. At 10:00, they had the youth sunday school, where four of the older young adults in our group (around age 22-25) gave their testimonies, some of which were very moving. After the Sunday school, the actual service began. It was a really good service. I and three other people sang one of the songs that the kids would be learning during the VBA, which is actually a very cool song, with real sign language for the hand motions. It sounded really good, because we sang in 4-part harmony, with one other person playing the piano.
After service and lunch (which was a barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs), we got busy setting everything up. We had several carports which were used as tents for different activities outside, which we set up, plus LOTS of crépe paper and such that we had to hang inside. There was a BEAUTIFUL hand-painted “undersea” backdrop for the stage, made by someone from our church as well. After we got everything set up (which took about 3-4 hours), we got to play a little volleyball before bed.
Monday, July 14: Today was the first day of VBA! We had quite a few kids…I think it was about 91. I was working with 7-10 year old boys, and I had 4 in my group. There were about twentysomething 7-10 year old boys total. The ones I had were actually really good, so that made me happy. A lot of the kids that we minister to in Waldport are children of druggies, or alcoholics, etc. Many of them are living with their grandparents. Anyway, all of the themes for the day were the same as Latah…see my previous post for what they were. The day went well, and we had a good time with the kids, all of whom wanted to come back. After lunch, it was our work party day. We all left at 2:00 p.m. in groups of about 5 and went to different houses to do work. Me and 4 other guys went to an elderly lady’s house, and helped pull creeping ivy from her yard. It wasn’t fun work, but we had fun talking with each other while working, and we even came up with a REALLY cool version of the next day’s song. It was the basic tune of the song, but with the other 4 guys doing a chant in the background, and me singing it in a thick scottish accent. When we got back to the church, we performed it in front of everyone, and had them rolling with laughter. Once I get that video from the guy who took it, I’ll see if I can get it posted on here. After dinner we played some more volleyball, before having our guy’s Bible study, and going to bed. I have some notes from some of the Bible studies, which I’ll post later.
Tuesday, July 15: Second day of VBA. Again, it went excellently. However, one of the kids in my group had to leave, because something was happening with his dad…and they had to move temporarily down to Texas. They didn’t know anything about it until today. Today was a free day, so after lunch, our whole group went to a large aquarium, which was about a 15 minute drive from the church. It was really cooL! Lots of cool fish, sharks, and stuff. My favorite part though was the very small “petting zoo” part, where I actually got to touch a couple of stingrays and some sharks!!! When we left the aquarium at 5:00 p.m., we went and had a picnic dinner on a grassy area outside. I got a coca-cola can, and started shoving my trash (like potato chip bags) inside it…when I decided to see how much stuff I could fit inside a coke can! It became a huge joke, because everyone started bringing me their trash, and I was shoving it into every nook and cranny inside the small coke can. In the end…I was able to fit 12 sandwich baggies (ziplock bags), 22 of the “personal-size” potato chip bags, and one paper bag that came from the aquarium giftshop! So now it’s sort of an inside joke with everyone, because I was so obsessed with trying to get the can COMPLETELY full…:D
Here’s some pictures from the aquarium.
Wednesday, July 16: VBA was AWESOME today! Today was the day where we talk all about Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross. I was SO excited, because after one of the story sessions where the story was told about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and then talking about how Jesus raised HIMSELF from the dead, etc, and the kids were told how to say the prayer, one of my 8-year-old boys came up to me and said “I prayed the prayer along with the lady!”
I said: “Oh, that’s really awesome! Have you never asked Jesus into your heart before?”
He said: “Well, when I was three, I did, because my mom told me that I would be a sinner, but I never really understood what I was doing. Now I do understand, and I feel so happy!”
We were all SO excited…it made our whole week.
Also, we were REALLY excited…we broke our all-time Waldport record for most number of kids on a particular day…103 kids!!! Our previous record was 102.
After VBA, it was another work day. One group went down the highway and picked up trash, some other groups went to houses and did weeding, and the group I was in stayed at the church, weeding the flowerbeds and putting down beauty bark. Afterwards, we had dinner and Bible study.
Here’s a couple pictures of the kids at VBA:
Thursday, July 17: We had another decision for Christ today! We were all excited. We don’t usually have more than 1…if that! So it’s good to know that we’re making a difference! After the VBA today, it was another “off” day, so we went to the beach! It was a REALLY nice beach! There was almost NOBODY there…only about 5 people (besides us). We set up the volleyball net, and played several games, and also played a really fun game of Ultimate frisbee…with a MASSIVE field on the beach. I played REALLY hard, and my feet hurt really bad because I’m flatfoot…and I took my shoes off for the running. But I still had a BLAST. There was also a big sand ridge before you get on the beach…about 15 feet tall, that runs the length of the beach. It was probably created by the tide coming up JUST to there so many times that it washed all the sand up to it away. Most beaches have something like that. Anyway, lots of us jumped off of it onto the sand below…it was really fun! It’s REALLY psycological, because you look down, and you’re 15 feet up. But as long as you don’t lock your knees, you land fairly soft. So I have a TON of awesome pictures of people jumping in the air.
Here’s some of the pictures from the beach:
Friday, July 18: Today we packed back up all of our stuff after the VBA (we had yet another decion for Christ today!). The trip back was long, but still fun. It was longer than we expected…we left at 3:00 p.m., and we didn’t arrive at church until around 11:00 p.m., then we had to unload all the stuff, and then load our luggage into our own cars before coming home. I didn’t get home until around 12:30 a.m.! Yikes…
So there you have it! Yet another AMAZING week, which God has really used in my life. My next post will probably be talking about some of my Bible reading and the studies we had.
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