Haiti VBS attracts over 550 kids

By July 12, 2012

Haiti (MNN) — More than 550 children attended Vacation Bible School two weeks ago in Lavictoire, Haiti, where the Christian World Outreach (CWO) high school team served.

This group of students left Denver, Colorado to hold the VBS for kids June 25-29. They started with 475 kids on the first day and ended with 553 kids.

The high school team worked with a local church in Lavictoire to put on its second annual VBS. They gave daily Bible lessons and testimonies, and did crafts and games with the children.

CWO is well known for providing training to local church pastors and community leaders. The goal of leadership training is to provide individuals with skills that can be used to improve the conditions in churches, schools, communities, and the entire country.

Greg Yoder with CWO says their church development work has a broad range of ministry. “One reason we do [VBS] is that we can come alongside them and it puts the word out to the community that this is a church wanting to help the children…. The churches know that to be effective in Haiti, they need to minister to the community in all different kinds of areas.”

And the Lavictoire church, in coming alongside the Denver mission team, met several of their children’s needs. Nearly 20% of Haitian kids under the age of 5 are underweight. At the VBS, high school students and church members fed the children a meal of rice and beans every day.

They also ministered to the kids’ spiritual needs. The Gospel message was shared on the very first day of VBS, and throughout the week children made decisions to commit to Christ. The church’s pastor will follow up with those kids and their families.

CWO continues to have a long-term focus on the children’s ministry with the church in Lavictoire, Haiti. “We don’t want to go in and then that’s it–they’re on their own,” says Yoder. “We’ll go back again so we can continue. The lessons we taught the first year were all evangelistic in nature. This year, we taught more: here’s how you can serve others, here’s how you can share the Gospel with others.”

The team of high school students also blessed the local school community where lots of the kids at VBS attended. Yoder says, “One of the things that happened out of that group was that we raised a little more money than we needed for expenses and for feeding the children. The teachers at that school haven’t been paid since February, so we’ve been able to also help give a little extra money so they can catch up the teachers’ pay.”

The high school students were also personally impacted. “These young people right away were coming alongside and saying, ‘Hey, how can we continue to help this church, help this school, help these children?’ First, I just say, ‘Pray for them. Don’t forget them,’” Yoder states.

Yoder goes on to say, “That’s one of the reasons we take groups: to help people be aware of what’s going on in Haiti and the other countries we work in.”

Pray for the ongoing ministry to kids and families in Haiti. Pray that the saving message of Christ would change many hearts.

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