GRANITE CITY — Word of Life Tabernacle has been making fun summer memories for children for many years with its annual Vacation Bible School week.
For years, VBS has been a staple for summer activities in Granite. Each summer, children of local families have the chance to be “whisked away” for about a week to a different land or time period in an effort to teach them about the love of God in an entertaining and informative way.
Word of Life held its VBS last week from Monday through Friday. The Pentecostal church hosted about 30 children for five nights, culminating in a finale on Friday evening where they performed songs and danced for parents and family members.
Diana “Pinkie” Young of Granite City is the children’s church director at Word of Life and she plans and executes the church’s VBS week each year.
“I have been organizing VBS here for 20 years,” she said. “Each year, we try to ‘out-do’ ourselves by topping what we did the year before. It takes a lot of planning. We start in January for something that is held in July.”
This year’s theme at VBS was Mount Everest, teaching children about the mighty power of God. During the variety of fun lessons, crafts and song and dance routines held over the week, the young people were taught that God has the power to provide, heal, comfort, forgive and love forever.
Young said she feels it is important to teach the young generation about God and His love for them. She said God has given her a talent for running the children’s program, which requires a lot of patience and the ability to deal with many different personalities at once.
“We have to bring (young people) in; the young generation in church is so important because without them, the church is dead,” she said. “We feel it is important to get to the young hearts here.”
The goal of VBS is not to convert parents or their children and not even to convince them to join a church. Young said their only goal is for the children who attend VBS to learn and know who Jesus is and about His love for them.
Liz Singleton of Granite City brought her two children and one stepchild to the VBS event. She said her oldest wasn’t too sure about the program at first but ended up really enjoying it.
“My oldest is very shy and I had to make her go this week,” she said. “But when I would pick her up, she was really excited afterward and had to admit she had fun.”
Singleton said she thought Word of Life did a great job and her children were excited to keep coming back each night.