A Heartwarming Experience: Vacation Bible School for Seniors

A Heartwarming Experience: Vacation Bible School for Seniors – Have you ever wondered what Vacation Bible School (VBS) would be like for participants in their 80s, 90s, and even 100s? This intriguing question was confronted by the leaders at Baptist Home in Ozark as they embarked on a unique journey to bring VBS to their elderly residents earlier this summer. Surprisingly, they found that VBS for seniors wasn’t much different from the cherished childhood memories of the younger generation.

A Heartwarming Experience: Vacation Bible School for Seniors

A Heartwarming Experience: Vacation Bible School for Seniors - Have you ever wondered what Vacation Bible School (VBS) would be like for participants in their 80s, 90s, and even 100s? This intriguing question was confronted by the leaders at Baptist Home in Ozark as they embarked on a unique journey to bring VBS to their elderly residents earlier this summer. Surprisingly, they found that VBS for seniors wasn't much different from the cherished childhood memories of the younger generation.
“Embracing Youthful Spirits: Two Residents at Baptist Homes Find Joy in Coloring During the VBS Program.
#VBSforAllAges #JoyfulMoments”
Photo credit: BHHM

Pam Workman-Chainey, the administrator for the Ozark campus of Baptist Homes, shared that residents described the VBS experience as making them “feel like kids again.” Baptist Homes, a group of facilities sponsored by Missouri Baptists to care for the aging, decided to recreate the joy of VBS for their residents.

Just like in an older blog post, Adult VBS, VBS is also for Senior Citizens. My mom likes to call herself an advanced teenager. But, I do believe VBS is for everyone! Regardless of age or ability.

“The residents are still talking about the event and how much they enjoyed the week,” Workman-Chainey expressed. “They seemed to love the theme, music, crafts, and especially the old songs from VBS when they were younger.”

This heartwarming endeavor began two years ago when Workman-Chainey and campus pastor Ron Adrian reminisced about their own childhood memories of VBS. However, due to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, they had to put their plans on hold.

In January, they, along with Dan Swadley, a former pastor and now a Drury University instructor, started working diligently to organize VBS activities. Swadley led the music and provided a four-part teaching series on the armor of God.

The VBS was tailored specifically for the residents of their campus, including those in independent living. It featured daily special music, crafts, and refreshments provided by their campus auxiliary.

Remarkably, the event enrolled 72 participants and had an average daily attendance of 47 throughout the week. Thirty-six participants received perfect attendance awards.

Among the attendees were two remarkable individuals, Fawn Barnhart, aged 103, and Mary Hagler, aged 100. Workman-Chainey also shared the touching story of a 94-year-old gentleman who attended VBS for the very first time in his life.

Ron Adrian described the event as a “spiritually enhancing experience” and believed that the residents greatly benefited from the teaching of God’s Word, singing the old VBS songs, and the camaraderie with fellow attendees.

Joshua Hall, the associational mission director for the Greene County Baptist Association, also participated in the event, expressing his amazement at the wisdom and experience of the VBS participants. Many of them had served as pastors, missionaries, and dedicated laypeople throughout their lives.

Witnessing the residents not only engage in missions but also actively participate in Bible study and worship, complete with the motions, was indeed a blessing.

This remarkable VBS event marked the first of its kind on the Ozark campus, but Pam Workman-Chainey expressed her hope to continue this heartwarming tradition in the future.

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Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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