Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) praises the Lord for seeing us through this year’s Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). This year’s theme – “Sing unto the LORD” – was drawn from Isaiah 42:10, “Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.” The children were taught six lessons altogether from selected Bible passages based on the theme.
The LORD has been good to GCM. It was a challenge to find a venue to host this year’s DVBS, but God had prepared 202B, Ponggol 17th Avenue for our usage. He gave us 49 children (from ages 2 to 12) to learn about “Sing(ing) unto the LORD.” He also provided 7 teachers for the 3 classes: Nursery to Kindergarten (N-K), Primary 1 to 3 (P1-3), and Primary 4 to 6 (P4-6). In addition, He moved the hearts of 14 volunteers to help out in the various aspects of the event.
202B Ponggol 17th Avenue is a familiar place for many of the children; it is the home of The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM). As such, there were some enthusiastic ones who came very early daily over the 3-day event. There were also those who loved the venue so much that they didn’t want to go home, and had to be “dragged” home!
The children were divided into three classes for Bible lessons. The N-K class used the hall on the ground floor, whereas the P1-3 class had their lessons held at the porch just outside the house. The P4-6 class had the privilege to use the “hallowed” hall of Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI) for their lessons. Overall, everyone enjoyed the conduciveness of the premises.
One of the lessons’ objectives was to encourage our Christian children to glorify the LORD God with their own songs. They are to sing like Moses or the psalmist regarding how the LORD had helped them in times of afflictions and difficulties. Another aim of the lessons was to declare the glory and praise of God to the unbelieving children, that they might come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The children also had 3 hours worth of craft lessons, where they were divided into two groups. All of them made a box and a frame, plus a file and a notebook for the older kids, as well as a letterholder and a tambourine in the case of the younger ones. All these items were made from recycled materials, such as Bible Witness calendars, which have Scripture verses on them!
An interesting feature of this year’s DVBS was the Bible activity time, where the children were given opportunity to share their reasons for singing unto the LORD. Below is a selection of what some of the children said:
- “I will sing of the great mercies of the LORD … Mercy is to withhold due punishment. When we sin, we deserve to be punished. But God is merciful! He withheld our punishment, and saved us from our sins by sending His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross of Calvary on our behalf. Thus, we sing to remember God’s mercy unto us!”
- “We sing because of the kindness of God … He gave His Son to die for us so that we can have salvation. We sing when we recall what God has done.”
- “We sing for a testimony unto the unbelievers … When we sing Christian songs and sing unto God, unbelievers also listen. Then we can tell them who our God is and share with them the Gospel.”
- “We sing to declare His glory and wonders … The Bible tells us many things that God has done. He created the heavens and the earth, He gave us salvation, He did many miracles. We can sing songs that tell of these wonders God did!”
Needless to say, the children looked forward to the games time daily. The children were divided into two teams to compete with one another. There were different games planned by respective volunteers over the 3 days, which were executed with the help of many others, including adults. Though the adults were there to help oversee and organise the games, they sometimes couldn’t resist joining in! Certainly, each afternoon was a fun-filled time for all the participants, even the spectators.
Finally, there were those who laboured at the back of the house to feed the children and volunteers; also not forgetting those who helped to ferry the children to and fro the DVBS premises. They are the unseen workers of the LORD! Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped in one way or another – whether it be in the designing of the registration form, the planning of various activities, or the execution of them all, etc. Truly, may the LORD help us remember to sing His glory and praise all the days of our lives while we have our being (cf. Psalm 104:33)!