DOON—During the first week of June the children of Doon attend Vacation Bible School at First Reformed Church.
Fifty-five children — ranging in age from 4-12 — attended this year.
Vacation Bible School has been held annually for many years, back to when one of the directors was a child.
This summer the school was in session June 2-6 and used the theme “Roar” which carried an African adventure atmosphere.
The Vacation Bible School has three directors:
- Trish Huyser is the main director who opens and closes the activities.
- Tami Bakker is in charge of technology, registration and craft sessions.
- Bridget Vander Tuin takes care of decorations, gets supplies, makes T-shirts and runs the kitchen.
“The three of us make a fun team and we all work well together,” Vander Tuin said. “Our ideas flow together and we feed off each other for how the week is to work.”
The primary thing the children learned at the school was that God is good no matter if life is unfair, scary, sad, changing or good.
“We feel this is one time that we all come together as a community,” Vander Tuin said. “It is so much fun to see all the little ones from Doon come together and learn about Jesus and sing, play and eat snacks together. It is also one way we can reach out to people who may not have a church family.”
Vander Tuin said the children are always eager to attend VBS. However, even though the school is accompanied with eagerness and anticipation, there is a challenge to get enough volunteers.
“It is always hard to get people on board in a timely fashion,” Vander Tuin said. “We always have enough, but if we had more it would make it easier for some of the leaders with more little ones to handle. The one positive thing that has happened as we went to the evening VBS is how the men have come on board. This has been fantastic. Men are very essential in the learning with kids and they really look up to them as well.”
If people want to help with the Vacation Bible School, Vander Tuin urged them to volunteer through helping with decor preparations and getting crafts together in advance. Vander Tuin said people have been amazing with helping with little items that were donated. Another way to help VBS is to inform others in and around the community of Doon about the weeklong session and help those people feel welcome.
“This event really brings out community together,” Huyser said. “All kids are welcome and it’s fun to see the kids that are too old to attend come back to help with the younger kids. There is nothing like hearing kids praise God together.”
Money was raised during VBS for the Willard and Anthony Ruzicka family near Verdigre, NE, who lost everything on their farm when the Niobrara River Spencer Dam broke on March 13 due to floodwaters.
“We found out about the family in Nebraska because we went to a workshop in Mitchell, South Dakota, where we met a young mom who was a director of her VBS,” Vander Tuin said. “This young woman, Candice, escaped the floodwaters in the middle of the night with her husband and three children on a tractor, running over fences or whatever they needed to get away. Her husband’s family had sold bulls to that family for many years and they lost their whole entire farm. Candice shared their story and we decided this is where the offering this year needed to go.”