So today was the third day of Weird Animals VBS. It was one of the most exciting for me yet. We have got the technology all figured out (after a late night of chaining adapters together). It was also the first day that we collected money for our India Mission. For every $2.50 that the VBS kids bring in, a child in India will have clean drinking water for an entire year. It was amazing to me that these kids were excited to participate in helping other kids across the globe. This was my first Cross Story of the day. What some people do not realize, is that many of the families up here live a life of subsistence living. This means that much of their food comes from their environment, often through hunting and fishing. Some of these families do this because they like the style of living, but many of them do it out of necessity. The fact that many of these families live that way and are still excited to help others is a very heart warming thought. One family even brought $30.00! The total for the day was $73.45, and our goal was $100.00 for the week! Every child that brought in money was given a blue balloon to put in our giant, inflatable drinking glass.
My next Cross Story for the day is two of the children named Mason and Keith. As older students they can sometime be reluctant to participate and may need to be reminded to be good role models for the younger students. Today we decided to give them a leadership role in the story time section of todays VBS. Today was about Jesus washing the disciples feet. We decided that rather than have the crew leaders do the washing we would have some of the older kids do it, and that it would help drive the point home. Mason and Keith were very excited to help and couldn’t wait to get started. Not only were they willing to help with the role that they were given, but they also helped gather the smaller children into their groups. It was wonderful to see them fall into that servant role so easily.
My third cross story of the day is a little girl named Caelis. The first two days we couldn’t get her to do anything. She wouldn’t sing the songs, play the games or even talk to us. Today, however, I caught her singing and doing the actions to one of the songs in our “Tail End”. It was so wonderful to see that just by being an example we are reaching even the most reluctant children.
My fourth Cross Story of the day is one of our children’s grandmother, Nellie. Yesterday she gave us all hug for what we are doing for the children, and today she asked if we were going to get to go fishing while we were here. We were told her that we were not sure if it was going to work out and she said “I will bring you some fish.” Later when she came to pick up Megan, her granddaughter, she brought us 2 whole salmon fillets!
My last Cross Story of the day has a little to do with subsistence living. Yesterday we gathered Fireweed blossoms to make our jelly. Today we had to pick some more, as well as some clover. Our friend, Ruhiyyih, picked up ingredients for us to make fireweed jelly and honey. It was our own little experiment in subsistence living (however, most of our ingredients were store bought). After making the first batch of jelly, which turned out great, we decided to use the rest of our blossoms to make another batch. As we were in the process, Ruhiyyih had to leave and we were on our own. A lady from Faith Lutheran in Homer walked into the kitchen shortly after. Mary Anne was in the process of adding the pectin when Elizabeth walked in. She quickly tried to correct us but it was too late. We were using liquid pectin for this batch instead of the powdered pectin that we had for the first batch. She told us that when using the liquid pectin, you have to add the sugar first. We tried it anyway, and we are still praying that it sets up over night. After talking about jelly for a bit we found out that she has lived in Alaska since 1965. It was really neat to talk to someone who remembers Alaska before it was the tourist attraction that it is today. While we were talking to her, Hannah had begun to make Fireweed Honey. Both the Jelly and Honey taste AMAZING!!! We will be bringing some home to share on the day that we present our entire experience to the congregation.
God Bless, Luke