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Beltsville Holds Vacation Bible School for the Community
By Kermit Netteburg
Potomac Conference’s Beltsville (Md.) church recently had an evangelistic meeting with almost 40 non-Adventists present; however, they called it Vacation Bible School (VBS).
With more than 140 children attending, program leaders said VBS was every bit as complicated as an evangelistic series. The logistics of moving the children, some as young as 3 years old and none older than 12 years old, required plenty of planning and careful follow through during the six days of the program.
The leadership staff of 55 people included more teenagers than adults. This gave the youth a chance to develop their leadership skills and to share their faith with their young friends.
The evangelistic nature included a special Sabbath worship service as the closing event for VBS. Several non-Adventist families attended––some had never been to an Adventist church before.
Pastor Sonia Perez, who led the program, said, "One family was Muslim. The mother came on Sabbath, our closing day, and didn't know what to call a Christian house of worship. She tried temple, then mosque, she finally said ‘you have a very nice facility.’"
Perez added that her two children loved VBS, including the Bible stories.
Each year there is a steady increase in attendance at Beltsville’s VBS program. This year there was a 30 percent increase in attendance over last year.