Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Bible School

The preach announced that there would be a Bible School meeting this week, and those wonderful childhood memories came rushing back.

I loved Bible School when I was a kid. Two weeks of going to church every morning and having nice women teach us about God, help us do crafts and give us treats was my idea of a great time.

Some of my earliest memories are Bible School in the Ford. We went to the Christian Church, and while I don’t remember the preacher’s name, I remember the way Mr. Krotzer, the Sunday School Superintendent, used to rock up on his toes and down, again and again.

I remember my SS teacher was a pretty girl named Helen. I was a little confused at VBS when she wasn’t my teacher, but I had fun anyway because we did crafts. (Popsicle sticks had a big part of my life.) We learned stories that continued from day-to-day. And that was when all the kids from little to big played wonderful games.

VBS was where I first played Farmer in the Dell. And Red Rover. We didn’t watch a film or do things inside. We got out and ran! Almost anytime a large group of kids came together, there were games that involved everyone. Kids learned to take care of the little ones and get along with the big. 

I went to VBS nearly all the way through high school, and taught after that. Back then, parents encouraged–no, they insisted–their children go. Where else would they learn about how much God loved them?

Remember the songs we sang?

Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

The B-i-b-l-e, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God, the B-i-b-l-e.

Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, we are weak but He is strong.  

Remember felt boards and modeling clay? I taught two-year-olds one year, and they had so much fun together, I couldn’t get their attention. (Hey, they were two.) So I made some silly sock puppets and used a funny voice. They listened with rapt attention.

Oh, and the wonderful Bible truths we learned. The Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, Cane and Abel. How God changed Abram’s name. David and Goliath. The miracle of Jesus’s birth. Jesus when He was twelve and being left at the temple. Jesus and his disciples. Jesus’s miracles–Turning water to wine. Walking on water. Calming the storm. Dying on a cross and rising on the third day.

One of the things I remember most about VBS was the way the women who taught it enjoyed what they were doing. Their love for God was obvious, and they shared that love with the kids they were teaching.

Knowing God and knowing about God is so very sweet. If you have a child in your life and possibly can, find a VBS for them to attend. You’ll both be blessed for it.

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