Vacation Bible School Combines Giving Through Taking

Young Children Learn Lessons About Feeding The Hungry, Homeless

July 21, 1991|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff writer

Megan Walburn, 5, squatted on the porch of a Manhattan Beach home and smiled as she surveyed her handiwork: her photo, framed by cardboard she'd painstakingly colored during morning Bible club.

"I'll give it to my Mom and Dad. Well, I might give it to my Daddy 'cause he has a toothache," she mused.

About 40 children turned out at the Severna Park Backyard Bible Club, one of two clubs sponsored by the Broadneck Baptist Church last week.

It was a week for songs, for snacks and crafts and Bible verses and getting their pictures taken for framing.

And it was a week for learning to give, not just the wooden stools and necklaces the children made for their parents but also food they collected for hungry people.

Each child took home a plastic bag and returned it during the week filled with food to be donated to My Brother's Pantry, anecumenical food bank. As the hot, humid week wore on, a big yellow box on the porch was filled with canned goods and boxes of food.

The children planned to take the food to the front of the church Sundayduring the offering and formally present it as their gift for My Brother's Pantry.

"See," explained Charity Bond, 11, "we put the foodin a bag and bring it here and give it to people who don't have muchfood. It feels good to help people."

Helping people was also the motivation of Joann and Jolly Davis, who opened their home to neighborhood youngsters all week.

For Joann, playing host to the summer clubs for the past decade has been more than a social event.

"Our whole life should be steeped in what we know about God. When I open myhome like this, I hope I'm sharing something about God's openness tous," she said.

Joann and several other women from the church taught Bible lessons, led the singing and games and supervised crafts -- like the making of necklaces with yarn, colored straws cut in pieces and pastel-painted pasta.

"They designed their own necklaces," said Joann. "Some (children) were really creative, and some were just ina hurry to get done, but that's what's good about children. God's made them special and unique -- there's no one like them."

Her husband, who teaches mathematics and computer science at Anne Arundel Community College, helped the children build wooden stools, 16 inches long and 8 inches high.

Jolly thought of the foot stools as a craft project while visiting his hometown in South Carolina earlier this summer.

"I was visiting my mom, and there on the porch was this blue stool that I'd made when I was a kid in vacation Bible school," he said.

Neighbors helped, one donating wood for the projects; a local paint store donating the paint. Tuesday, the kids sanded. Wednesday and Thursday, they put the stools together. Friday, they painted -- bright splashes of pink and yellow, white and blue.

Nicholas Tang, 11, covered wood with a smooth coat of aqua, discoursing on his favorite part of the week.

"I liked learning Bible verses," he said.

"I like trying to remember them. And I liked learning things like, welearned about the verse that says it's as hard for a rich person to go to heaven as it is for a donkey to go through a keyhole.

"We learned that the keyhole was a tiny tunnel in the city wall of Jerusalem, and an animal could pass through, but if it had a whole bunch of barrels on its back, it was harder."

The church, a small congregation in the process of buying St. Andrew's on the Bay parish center forits meeting place, holds two Bible clubs every summer, one in Severna Park and a second in Cape St. Claire. More than 60 children attended the two clubs this year.

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