Traveling for God's Children

by Diana Burns

Left to right, Desiree Andrews, Sierra Walley, Rebekah Rogers, John Wilson, Brenna Nakamura, Cedric Clendenon, Patty Marsh, Shalice Gross, and Raimona White. Not pictured is Shannon Fujimoto.

Sierra Walley, John Wilson, Rebekah and Rachel Rogers enjoying creating art out of balloons. Can you guess what it is? Yellow, with a stem and some petals...

Spokane, Wash., August 15, 2012 -

If you live in Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) there is a good chance you will catch a glimpse of a His Travelers team trekking through your area to a nearby Vacation Bible School or day camp. The summer of 2012 marked three years for these energetic and Spirit-filled teams. Their assistance to churches with VBS and community outreach projects has been so successful that three teams served 23 churches throughout the conference.

Patty Marsh, UCC children's ministries director, recently shared inspirational stories from the teams.

One team was leading the first VBS the Otis Orchards (Wash.) Church has conducted in a number of years. More than 20 kids and older teens were attending. When asked to name Bible characters, only one child could name any. One girl knew people by the name of Mary and Joseph, but no other child could recall any Bible stories. None knew of Jesus. Team member Rebekah Rogers says, "I had to explain to them about the Bible, that there is an Old Testament and a New Testament." None attended church. So imagine the surprise of the team when one morning, during the pre-program prayer and worship, a group of the older teens arrived early, asking, "Could we come in and join you?" Of course they were welcomed, and all were richly blessed. It was clear that God was working in the lives of His children.

On the other side of the conference, in Condon, Ore., another His Travelers team was also working in the lives of children. One day team member Desiree Andrews was about to pray with the group when a 5-year-old stopped her and asked, "Will you teach me to pray?" Andrews quickly obliged and led him as he said the prayer. As the prayer finished his twin brother asked sweetly, "Now will you teach me to pray also?" Without hesitation, Andrews began the prayer session again.

During a week spent in each location, team members also share in community outreach, door-to-door visitation and youth ministries. In several locations, balloon artistry with hand-delivered invitations to homes near the churches greatly increased the VBS attendance. Please pray for these children to continue to grow in their relationship with their newfound Savior and King.

If you'd like to book His Travelers for 2013, contact Patty Marsh at 509-838-2761. Visit "His Travelers" on Facebook to read stories and see pictures from this summer.