Trusting in God's abundant mercies alone, the children and teachers of the CSI Parish (Malayalam) Dubai gathered at the Holy Trinity Church, Dubai on Monday, 27th March for the first day of the 2023 Vacation Bible School (VBS).
The session started at 6 pm with the opening prayer by our vicar Rev. Shaji Jacob Thomas, followed by the common sessions and class sessions.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the singing session, including the Theme song - 'Gems of God' and other popular songs : Hakuna matata, My hope is in the lord and Edhigo (Telugu).
The common sessions were led by Rev. Bijin John Varghese, separately , with the first session for seniors followed by the second session for juniors. Bijin Achen spoke to the children on the day's theme "Pearl: Precious creation".
To illustrate the theme, Achen chose to speak on the story of Jonah’s life from the Bible. Jonah was God's chosen messenger to lead the people of Nineveh into repentance. Without realising the significance of God's call, Jonah disobeyed God and chose to travel in the opposite direction (to Tarshish which was 2500 miles from Joppa) instead of travelling to Nineveh which was just 550 miles away. He did this because he wished to see the people of Nineveh punished instead of being saved, since they were the enemies of the Israelites. When the people of Nineveh repented, God decided not to punish them. Jonah hated God’s mercy to the people of Nineveh and came out of Nineveh to see if God would destroy them. God who knows his children inside out, made Jonah understand that every one of God’s creations is precious to Him.
Further, Achen reflected on the verse for the day , Jeremiah 1:5 (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”) to emphasise that each child is a "Precious Creation". The children were then led on a tour of the life of John Bunyan, an English writer and preacher (1628 - 1688), best remembered as the author of ‘The Pilgrim's Progress’. Starting his career as a copper plate manufacturer and later working in the army, John had a life full of challenges. He lost his mother at the age of 16, then faced financial constraints, the death of his wife leaving behind 5 children and his tryst with weakening health owing to tuberculosis. He spent 12 years in prison for preaching the Gospel of Christ, despite the order of King Charles ll to cease evangelization. Even when he was offered a chance to free himself if he stopped preaching, John chose to remain imprisoned and continued his mission. After he wrote the book , ‘Holy War’, John Bunyan was ordained by the king himself, as the Bishop of Bedford. John Bunyan's life stands as a testimony to how God's word can equip His precious creations to become a channel to spread God's love to the millions unreached.
The common session was also enriched with quiz rounds, magic tricks and drawing activities to give an interactive experience for our children. Later in the evening, the VBS students also attended separate classes as per their grades .
The first day of the VBS ended with prayer by Rev. Bijin John Varghese and benediction by Rev. Shaji Jacob Thomas .
VBS 2023 Day 1 Photo Gallery : http://www.csidubai.com/gallery/43/vbs-2023
Day 1 highlights video link : Facebook Link