I’m tired, sweaty and cranky.
This week has been crazy; I’ve been getting up early, working on my feet for hours, and enduring high heat and humidity with no central air in my Korean home (it doesn’t exist) and no A/C in my car (it doesn’t work). The sweat puddles on the seat of my Galloper as I drive from my muggy home to Vacation Bible School (VBS). I open all four windows, desperate for the breeze that blows thru them when I exceed 30 mph. Each day that I arrive to our local elementary school I endure the thirty long seconds that it takes for the old and wore out window motors to roll back up their windows. I watch them rise like paint drying on a wall, sitting there in my sweat soaked seat, the air stifling. As hot as those three minutes are, the walk from my truck to the VBS entrance doors is almost excruciating. Like a lost person in a desert who sees a mirage of water but can’t move any faster toward it for sheer lack of energy, I so desperately look forward to that super cold blast of A/C waiting for me only 100 yards away but can’t muster the strength to move my legs any faster towards it.
Walking through those doors is like entering a different world. The air is fine. The energy is powerful. The brotherhood is uplifting. The children are charming. This is God’s place. God lives here. This school, with its yellow brick walls and cheap linoleum floors, is His mighty tower and we, His children, are not only thriving in it, we are singing, dancing and praising in it.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
The sing and dance-along songs blare from the auditorium to the registration table and down the classroom halls. I pick up a pen to sign my children in and a smile forms on my face. It’s contagious. Sure, all of us volunteers are weary. We go home at the end of every day and flop on the couch. After a not long enough rest, we begin our preparations for the following day. But the moment we walk through these enchanting tower doors all stress, all weariness, all worry melts away. And it melts at an alarming rate. Before my registration pen hits the table from where it came my energy is sky-high. My voice is two octaves higher as I chat with those two and half times my junior. I make silly faces without even realizing it and my arms wave in the air to songs like My God is so Great and My God is Powerful.
While my kids learn about Elijah and Elisha at Bible Explorations and Imagination Station, I busy myself taking photos of children to document the day’s collaborative study. I quickly mesh it all into a PowerPoint, which is then played as a condensed story at the end of our four-hour praise and worship gathering. It’s a lot of work, but no more than what any of the other volunteers are doing on a daily basis this week. Actually, I’d say my duties are the easiest of the bunch, but if you were to ask any other volunteer, they’d probably say the same. God places each of us within His tower perfectly, according to our skills and talents. He gives us strength, but not only that. He gives us joy in that strength. The righteous flock to Him, as we have this week, rejoicing in the halls and auditorium of our local elementary school and in the sanctuary of his Spirit.
This six-minute video of our week at VBS is a testimony of God’s great power, glory and strength. In His name we gather. Through Him we are safe!