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June 30, 2015
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July 1, 2015
Hilmar First Baptist Church VBS!
August 10, 2015
Hilmar First Baptist just wrapped up their Vacation Bible School during the week of July 19 – 23, 2015 and with a Family Night Social on July 24th. They were able to provide Bible studies from ages 3-Adult. They had 3 first time decisions for Christ, 7 rededications, and many others who had thought-provoking questions! The average attendance was 117 and their missions offering was $2502.00! (We’ll get to how that happened in a little bit!)
One way their church encouraged others to attend was by sending out flyers through the Post Office, using Every Door Direct to all of Hilmar and Stevinson. This is a great way to reach a large area of people. If your church is in a larger city you can select specific routes around your church. Churches can register for this free service through usps.com under Business Services. Their church also rallied their members to invite people by constructing a small tree in the sanctuary and let members know that for every one person that pre-registered for VBS, a leaf would be hung on the tree. The goal was to fill the tree with leaves. This was a great weekly reminder for the members to be actively inviting people!
During the week of VBS, Hilmar First Baptist provides all of the usual VBS stations; Worship Rally, Crafts, Recreation, Bible Study, Missions and “Snacks”. Their snack time is a little different, in that they provide a free dinner every night for all who attend. Jack Clements, their Snacks Leader, does a great job getting donations from the church family and from the community as well. For instance, a local donut shop donates their leftover donuts daily for the kids to munch on as they arrive. He also contacts Safeway, who generously donates their baked goods that are about to expire for their Family Night Social.
Onto the Missions offering…This year their church chose to give to an organization in Turlock called Jessica’s House. Jessica’s House provides peer to peer support for children and teens who are dealing with the grief associated with the loss of a loved one. Every year Hilmar First Baptist has boys vs. girls competition to see who can give the most during the week. This has always proved to be a very spirited competition! (One year the boys won by less than a dollar!) This year they had an extra incentive for the children. They told the kids if they raised $1000 they could dump a bucket of mud on a beloved (and outspoken champion for boys) church member, Jeff Souza. This created a lot of excitement amongst the kids. Another church member volunteered to have mud dumped on him as well. The excitement continued to grow and so did the offering totals! On Wednesday night, John Silveira, a church member well known for his mustache, was persuaded to get involved. If they raised $1000.00, he would shave off his mustache! Giving was at a fever pitch now and the kids had raised all $1000.00 (and then some) by Thursday night! However, a #savethestache Facebook campaign was started early Friday morning and it was agreed if they raised $300 at Friday’s Family Night, the mustache could be saved. A small yet wonderful problem occurred that night. A counter offer was posed if they raised $2,000 there was no saving “the stache”. To their great amazement, Friday night’s offering was approximately $1300! Only God can cause people to give like this! It was a great way to increase the faith of everyone who was there.
Jennifer Souza, their VBS director, would like to give a special thanks to her amazing assistant Lisa Cox and to the fabulous VBS team at HFBC! In little over a month, they are looking forward to their mid-week AWANA and Youth groups starting up again. The goal is to get kids that attended VBS plugged into these discipleship programs and ultimately their families to come to church and join in belonging of the body of Christ.