Discipleship, Kids Church, Parenting

I thank God for VBC

Aaah, Vacation Bible Camp. Not something I have to do, but something I get to do. I thank God for the privilege to be part of a huge team of amazing volunteers. Their passion to serve, their love for God and for the children, their commitment and dedication to do things excellently, to push to the end, their effort to work as one team. If you could see the work that each team put in, how it all came together, you would just be in awe. And yes, they may be talented and skilled, but I believe it’s so much more than that. It’s that love that God has lavished on them, that they are able to also love others through what they do. That love and passion truly trickles down from the leadership of Ptr Carlo and Lea, and the Kids Church staff. Their impartation, and even the care they show us volunteers (shout out to Aubrey and Fely), inspires us to give our best to the kids as well.

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most of the VBC volunteers 🙂 photo grabbed from Aubrey

I thank God for the privilege to mentor the praise dance team! We were rarely complete during practices, some of us had trouble with our left and right, our number of praise dancers fluctuated until the very last week of practice hahaha. We played the stay quiet for 1 minute and then 2 minutes challenge, after which of course their noise doubled! But I would do it again next year. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to work with kids I already love and with new kids I have grown to love. Grateful for their parents as well, who entrusted their kids to us. I believe we all learned something from everything we went through. I am just so proud of the team for giving their best! Through hunger, sleepiness, tiredness, and sickness for some, they gave their best to the Lord for 3 straight days. The same passion and joy from day 1 to day 3. Talk about commitment! Talk about the power of the Holy Spirit in them! How wonderfully blessed the Lord was by His children. ❤

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the praise dance team! all except 1. 23 kids in all! 🙂 

I thank God for the privilege to serve with my girls. The first time I joined the praise dance team, Danae, while a participant, joined me. Then, Noelle, while a participant, and Gianna, the youngest volunteer (1 yr old), joined us. Now I don’t dance anymore. Only they do, with other kids aged 5 to 13. I think that fact alone is amazing! Danae and Noelle were participants first, then volunteers. But Gianna, a volunteer first, then a participant next year hahaha.

Somehow we have taught our daughters to give of themselves — their time, talent, and energy (though it is fun for them, they get tired too 🙂 ). To joyfully serve others, without thinking about getting anything in return (except maybe food because they get hungry easily 🙂 ). To love children. Well, we didn’t really teach them. I guess they naturally like little kids. To work with a team. It is not a show, and it is not about who’s the best dancer. It’s about being in sync, not only in their movements, but most especially in their hearts — the goal is to worship God and teach other kids to do the same. To worship God through their talents. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know because it is beyond what I can see. I see them having fun dancing and singing (sometimes too much fun 🙂 ), and I wonder if they get it. But I believe God sees. God knows. And God is doing something in their hearts, growing them into ladies who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

I thank God for the songs. They are full of truths about God that make you just feel loved and want to love God more. I pray that as they continue to sing and dance the songs at home, these truths will be ingrained in their hearts and minds. I highly encourage you to listen and sing them out loud. Dance, even. Here are the lyrics to one of our favorites…

The Maker (Maker Fun Factory)

I see You in the sunrise

I see You in the rain

I see You in the laughter

I feel You through the pain

Everything that You have made is beautiful

Oh, my God I can’t believe my eyes

But in all of this to think that You would think of me

Makes my heart come alive

Your love is like a mighty fire deep inside my bones

I feel like I could climb a thousand mountains all at once

And I never have to wonder if somebody cares for me

I love the Maker

And the Maker loves me

See if you can spot the littlest volunteer! Thank you for the video, Bless and Aliyah 🙂

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I thank God most of all for His abundant grace. None of it would have been possible, even the patience they tell me I have (which I don’t believe I do — ask people who know me hahahaha), if not for the abundant grace of God. All glory to Him!

❤ ❤ ❤

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Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2

 

 

 

 

 

Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Summer is over!

Summer is officially over because we started homeschooling yesterday! Where did the two months all go? As usual, it was hectic with all sorts of activities for the kids and for us. With April and May alone, I created about 29 albums in my Facebook account!

The highlights for me were the following:

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making Japanese fried rice!

Last May 22-24, it was Noelle’s first time at Feed 5000‘s Tiny Chefs class. She is finally old enough to join. She had a blast! She likes to pretend to cook, most especially with my things that are totally unrelated to cooking, i.e. boxes, jewellery, cards among other things. So it was great to see her participate in her 3-day cooking class. She was typically quiet at first, but warmed up already by end of day 1. Because she was the only tiny chef among older kids, I’m very proud of Danae for not hovering over her sister the entire time and letting Noelle do her own thing. I am also very pleased that although I seldom cook, I know I can count on them to help me.

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photo credit: Jo Tomas

On May 16-18, we had our Vacation Bible Camp in church. It was Danae’s first time to volunteer as a dancer and it has paved a way for her to volunteer in Kids Church as well. She’s enjoying it and is always willing to help. We really appreciate how the teachers are so accommodating. They told me one Sunday that they let Danae lead the dance and they, the teachers, just followed her! My hope is Danae will get a sense of fulfilment in giving of her time, energy and talent as she serves God by serving His people. My hope is that she will understand that it’s not about what she does, but what God does though her, that it’s not about her and her ability, but about God’s grace and love for her. It was also a joy for me to volunteer alongside my daughter. Looking forward to Noelle joining us in the years to come.

In April, Danae joined McDonald’s kiddie crew again but this time with their best friends Ana and Andrea. I am so grateful that my girls have great friends whom we know will influence them to love and obey God too; friends whose parents we know and actually look up to. It helps that they are our senior pastor and leaders in church haha. Noelle enjoyed getting McDonald’s goodies daily that whole week and is excited to join them next year!

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drive thru!

Summer 2013 has been another fruitful summer for our girls, for us all actually. My life has never been busier, but it’s worth it. 🙂

My Kids, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Spiritual Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

My Kids at Vacation Bible Camp

Danae and Noelle at Pandamania, May 17-19Danae attended her 3rd Vacation Bible Camp this summer, while it was Noelle’s first ever! Danae attended her first Me & My Dad Camp last April, an amazing time for her and King. She also wished for a Me & My Mom Camp and a Me & My Sister Camp after that haha. She joined McDonald’s Kiddie Crew and had piano lessons too. But because Noelle’s only 3 and she already had her summer school last year to sort of prepare her for Nursery this school year, we didn’t have anything lined up for her to do except VBC (though technically, kids have to be at least 4 to join).

I never had much problem leaving Danae in any class because she was almost always willing to stay even without me. Noelle is the complete opposite. Her summer school experience last year showed me just how clingy she was, and she was the same even in “Kids Church 3” (she means kids church for 3-year-olds) this year. When she was interested to go, she didn’t want to join Danae’s age group. She wanted her own age group, but she wanted me to stay with her, which I did.

One Sunday, however, I was able to leave her in her class room and I was able to attend service! I guess our never-ending pep talks, encouraging her not to cry in class because she’s a big girl, finally worked. The teacher only came to get me during the last 15 minutes because Noelle was asking for me, but with no tears!!! What a breakthrough! I knew then that I wouldn’t have problems during VBC. I was so proud of her.

All in all, my kids’ VBC experience, or I should say OUR VBC experience, was really memorable. As usual, Danae enjoyed her time with friends. There was no doubt that she would actively participate in the activities and learn from the shows, songs, and stories, which she did. Noelle, as usual too, did not participate as much. There were a couple of times I saw her just sitting with a teacher or a classmate, while others danced and a few more others ran around haha. She did her crafts and watched the shows, but I only saw her sing and do the actions during graduation (in her seat and with her teacher). But that didn’t really matter. The fact that she actually stayed in class for nearly 3 hours for 3 consecutive days already made me extremely happy! I also appreciated what Ptr Carlo said about Noelle, that she would approach and comfort any classmate who was upset (so cute). He also said that my two girls knew how to respect authority. Praise God for that haha.

Noelle’s the type who listens only to what she wants to listen to. When we’d read books, it’s like she doesn’t have time to sit and finish the story! I didn’t really expect her to understand or remember the lessons in VBC, but I was surprised that she was able to share with me the stories of Elijah (though a lot unclear haha), Moses and Hannah. She’s got a wild imagination, so some were accurate and some were not hahaha. Still, it made an impact on her, enough to make her remember.

If there’s one big thing I learned about Noelle this summer, it’s the fact that she listens, pays attention, understands, remembers more when we make the stories animated and acted out, not just read. Which means, the VBC volunteers did a great job conveying the Bible stories through their plays. They got through to a 3-year-old! All the volunteers were actually amazing. Their dedication, their energy, their heart….WOW!

I can’t tell you enough how great it was, except by telling you that I got so inspired to join and volunteer next year! It’s simply not enough for me to bring my kids there, wait and pick them up again. I want to be a teacher (and a dancer) too!

So to Pastor Carlo, Lea, Grace, Leni, Merlee and all the staff and volunteers who labored out of love for God and His children, thank you! You guys are the best! 🙂