An Open Letter to Vacation Bible School Volunteers
July 20, 2017
Dear VBS Volunteer (or Servant, or Worker, or Helper),
Thank you from the bottom of this momma’s heart.
Thank you for the days and weeks and months of preparation. Thank you for thinking about this week long before summer even started. Thank you for praying over just the right program with just the right message for my child to learn.
Thank you for the scheduling headaches, the hundereds of color-coded spreadsheet changes and the hours of word-crafting to make every invitation, form and announcement clear and concise. Thank you for arranging and rearranging everything so those last minute arrivals could have a place in your circle.
Thank you for your creativity, ingenuity and hours of labor to turn a simple building into a cave of wonders, a fun factory, a medieval castle or an underwater seascape. Thank you for the joy and delight that lit up my child’s face when she walked in and saw a desert or a space station. Thank you for the styrofoam rocket that looks like (but isn’t!) A jungle gym, and the cardboard doors that only need one more zip tie.
Thank you for the time you spent learning songs and stories, and having those simple words revolve in your head at all hours of the day or night. Thank you for practicing the hand movements so often that the last time you sang “God is For Us” you accidentally took your hands off the steering wheel and almost hit a curb.
Thank you for buying supplies, organizing supplies, buying more supplies and distributing supplies.
Thank you for putting aside your adult dignity and wearing silly hair, funny costumes and dancing around with your hands in the air like you just don’t care. Thank you for wearing the same shirt five days in a row even though lime green, neon orange or bright purple aren’t your colors. And thank you for spraying that shirt with fabric refresher when you forgot to wash it.
Thank you for adjusting your schedule, taking vacation time and putting off those chores that will be waiting for you when you get home.
Thank you for the smile on your face when you see my child walk in the door. Thank you for remembering her name and asking for a high five. Thank you for your tired cheek muscles and sore back at the end of each day.
Thank you for pouring into the life of my child when you sometimes feel like you don’t have enough in you to pour into the life of your own.
Thank you for keeping her safe while she’s in your care. Thank you for guarding the doors and keeping the peace. Thank you for the hugs when she’s homesick, the encouragement when she is unsure of the answer, and the patience you show when she talks during the story.
Thank you for donating food, craft supplies and that most precious commodity – your time.
Most of all, thank you for reflecting the light of God in the life of my child. Thank you for showing her what it looks like to walk the walk and talk the talk. Thank you for giving her a tangible example of the love of Jesus that has come down for us all.
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.