By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Children at vacation bible school (VBS) at First Baptist Church in Tarboro are learning to face their fears and trust in God.
“Our theme is Colossal Coaster World, so it’s facing your fears,” said Frances Wright, co-director of VBS. The church has a mock roller coaster set up in the sanctuary to illustrate the fear that some people have of the amusement park ride.
“Trusting in God can help you overcome your fears in everything you do,” Wright said. Every activity at VBS relates to the “Colossal Coaster World” theme, from the biblical lessons about the apostle Paul facing his fears to the snacks at “Cotton Candy Café” and the crafts.
The children made a ferris wheel craft Monday morning.
“They are doing the verse for the week. That way they can practice it all week and learn it,” said Valerie Pearce, arts and crafts director. “They have to turn their ferris wheel ‘til the words come up in the right order.”
The Bible verse of the week is 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
To Francisco Vazquez, 12, making the craft was the best part of the day.
“I had fun in here,” he said.
Vazquez, Daniela Rauda, 12, and David San Juan, 11, are experiencing VBS together this week.
“We’ve been friends ever since we were small,” Rauda said. “We go to VBS here every year. The thing I like about it is you meet new friends and you learn new things that you never knew.”
VBS combines learning and fun. Outdoor games were 9-year-old Joshua Staton’s favorite part of the day.
“We were doing tug-of-war and bean bag toss,” he said.
“We’ve got an obstacle course, cornhole, tug-of-war,” said Mark Williams, recreation leader. “Basically it’s a time (for the kids) to get some energy out.”
Back in the classroom, Magdalena Moreno, 12, said she learned that “Paul was scared of the Pharisees.”
“We’re studying the life of the apostle Paul and how he had to dare to speak up and dare to take a stand. Paul had to overcome his fears and trust God and do what He called him to do,” said Pastor John Rosal, pastor to the church’s Hispanic congregation and co-director of VBS.
Moreno typically attends the Spanish service at First Baptist, but she is learning lessons from the Bible in English this week.
“Probably about 70 percent of the kids who have come to VBS over the past several years have been Hispanic. The Hispanic community has been a big part of VBS,” Rosal said.
Overall, 138 adults and children are involved in this week’s VBS at First Baptist.
“It’s a wonderful outreach to the people in the community,” Wright said.
One of the goals of VBS is to teach the children Scriptures, which will be a “guiding light” in their lives, Rosal said.
“We hope for them to get to know about God and we would hope that that would have an impact on their minds, that they would have a Christian worldview,” said the pastor. “We’re trying to sow a seed in their hearts and their minds.”
VBS will be held every day this week from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.