VBS left the building this year and went out to parks, backyards and basements in our communities. We had 15 sites across three counties of Boone, Kenton and yes… even Hamilton. Our Daily Average Attendance (with rain on day 1) was as follows:
We reached children and adults that may have never come to this campus. We reached children and adults who were just passing by and stopped to listen and ask questions! We reached our families in a way that was different in method but with the same message. We could not have done it if God’s people had not stepped out of their comfort zone. We planted seed and worked our Lord’s field. God not only used this to reach hearts, but He also changed hearts of many that served.
There are testimonies from folks who were not sure it would work and God changed their mind. There we those who said they didn’t want to do it but did it anyways and God changed their hearts as they served. There were those who built relationships even in a short 3 days and didn’t want it to end – and plan to continue building those relationships.
Thank you, Elders, for taking a risk and allowing us to try something new for our church.
Thank you, church, for having the confidence to speak, the courage to stand, and the heart to sacrifice.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to be a part of what you are doing to establish your Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven.
– Syl Masih, Director of Children’s Ministry
See below for testimonies from some of the Campsites!
- Camp K sites >>>
- Central Park & Arboretum
- Good Shepherd International Church
- Heartland Pointe Trailer Park
- South Fork Park
We had the opportunity to host a Camp K campsite at Boone County’s Central Park & Arboretum. Our team consisted of our small group members leading the music, lesson & general organization of our site plus two college students and a high school student serving as our fun-tastic “Game Masters.”
The first night had a great turnout, coupled with a sky full of rain clouds; thankfully the rain stayed away long enough though for us to rock out with our sweet dance moves, learn about Solomon & wisdom and play some high-speed games before the heavens opened up. Night #2 was even more amazing as we welcomed two non-church families into our tribe – one of which was invited when our staff offered them a bottle of water and some crafts to take home. This was incredibly encouraging since our lesson that night focused on a spiritual heart check-up and presented the Good News of Jesus!!
Friday evening wrapped up the week fabulously with the campers learning about how to use one of their most powerful muscles – their tongue! Which was perfect because they were learning new verses each day from the book of Proverbs and earning cool stickers for each verse they knew. This quickly became one of the most loved activities – who knew animal stickers could be so influential!
Taking VBS out of the building was so awesome and we were incredibly thankful for the chance to meet new families from Grace (and our neighborhoods!) and equip kids with God’s Word, all the while getting to know each other better as we served together.
– Rebecca Pierce
On Sunday, July 12th, only one volunteer had signed up and with the 19th deadline quickly approaching I started to doubt God’s leading in this adventure. It would take too long to explain how He answered the cry of my heart, but by Wednesday, July 16th we had a core team of four. There were ten of us who attended training at Church, each one hand-picked by the Master himself! Having the support from Grace Fellowship and the provision of quality material helped me immensely in managing the first of what I hope will be many VBS’s to the youth of Good Shepherd. And knowing some of their backgrounds, I think they deserve the best! With daily preparation and each task delegated to my volunteers, Camp K felt like a major production where the main theme would be “look what God has done”. What a joy it was to observe everyone participate, especially the young people from our youth group. One of them has already expressed a desire to help next year! The smiles, laughter and joy expressed by the “campers” are more than anyone could ask for. They make this bachelor feel like the wealthiest man on this planet. Those who attended Carnival really enjoyed that excursion down South.
Sunday, August 2nd, at Good Shepherd, we went through the whole VBS in about 30 minutes and blessed the whole congregation. I am so proud of “my” youth leaders and “our kids”. Thank you to all of you at Grace Fellowship Church. You have helped make Camp Kilimanjaro North Hills a success. I’ve heard comments like “Outstanding” and “Well organized”. All because of you, for the Glory of our King! The success of this event was only possible because of the hand-picked team God provided, the support of Grace Fellowship Church, and the professional material produced by AIG!
– Emmanuel Remy
About three years ago God put a burden on my heart for the neighborhood of Heartland Pointe Trailer Park where many of my Spanish-speaking students live. I started praying and asked others to pray for this community, not knowing what we might be able to do or how we could ever pull it off. It was one of those things that seemed almost impossible, but I felt very strongly that it was something that God had placed in my heart so I was excited to pray and see what He had planned.
Camp K was clearly the answer to my prayers – or at least the start of the answer!
God’s hand could be seen from the very beginning. The office manager welcomed us to come and even asked us to help in other ways. We had opportunities to pray with hurting people just while passing out invitations for the VBS. My aunt sent a check so we could buy Bibles for the kids, and it turned out to be exactly the amount that we needed. God kept reminding me that this was HIS thing. VBS week was amazing! Crazy… but amazing!
Over 20 people from Grace Fellowship Church and Iglesia Hispana Bautista de Erlanger came to help. People went above and beyond in so many ways to show the love of Christ to the kids and the parents. There were around 45 kids and several parents who heard the good news of Jesus. We are praying that those seeds fell on good soil and that they will grow and bear fruit. As a result of Camp K, a few of the families have already visited Grace, a group of teenage boys is meeting with the Spanish pastor from Erlanger Baptist to practice soccer and talk about God, and some of the ladies from Grace are praying about starting a Bible study with a few of the moms they met through the VBS. I believe that this is just the beginning… and I am overflowing with thankfulness! God is good!
– Abby DeLange
One of the biggest thrills of serving at the Japanese-specific campsite was knowing that the children and adults heard the life saving news of Christ. While this may not be shocking by American standards, in Japan, where less than 1% of the population is Christian, it is very rare to hear The Good News of Christ.
One of the moms that attended is returning to Japan this week. As she returns to a very spiritually dark country, we celebrate that she heard Truth in America and we take hope in God’s promise that His word will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish what He desires and achieves the purpose for which He sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
– Janelle Spence