The plans were made, the dates were picked and the supplies and people were ready. However, things were not to go as planned this year for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Fundamento de Vida in Westbury.
The plan was for Summerfield’s First Baptist church, a partnering church from North Carolina, to come to New York for a week and help Pastor Victor Carranza’s church in Westbury do VBS, park outreach and street evangelism. Pastor Victor usually rents space in a dance studio in Westbury for church services and for VBS each year. Just weeks before VBS was to begin I was called by Celina, the pastor’s wife, and she sadly told me that they may have to cancel VBS this year because the space they rented was being condemned by the town and they could no longer use it for services nor for VBS. We were all upset by the news; but, God had a plan bigger than we could imagine.
Within days of being put out of the meeting space Pastor Victor found an existing church in the area that opened their doors in the afternoon for his church to meet regularly, Celina found a community center that would rent us space for a three day VBS and a local park gave us two days to do a “field day” for kids in the park. When we looked at a map we found that the community center was right next door to the park we would be doing the park outreach at and about a mile from the church they would start meeting at that week. We had worried and stressed and God had a plan all along.
God blessed the week that Summerfield’s First Baptist Church was with Fundamento de Vida. Not only did 45-50 children show up each night and many children attend the park outreach days but the week provided a connection with the community center that the church may never have had if they did not meet there for VBS.
The community center leaders went out of their way to help by giving food to the children and opening up extra rooms for us to meet in when our number of children grew too large for the room we rented. Many of the community center’s camp children joined us for games and stories in the park. We were even visited by the commissioner of parks who came out to thank the church for all they were doing. Pastor Victor and his church was invited to set up an information table at their community park event day in August where, we were told, “Thousands attend each year."
Now I could leave it at this and it sounds like the best week ever but God did not stop there. On the last night of VBS several children and one adult accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God is so good!
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21