Slime time: Pastors doused at Vacation Bible School for a good cause

It was the moment they'd been waiting for. Dozens of children could hardly contain their excitement as Mahomet Christian Church Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteers brought out buckets of slime to pour over youth pastor Jeff Dyson's and senior pastor David Johnson's heads.

"They said, 'You're going to get slimed. You're going down. We're going to make it,'" Dyson said of the children's taunting.

The sliming was an effort to raise funds for Mahomet Helping Hands. Dyson and Johnson challenged the children to raise $250 by the end of the week, but when the children more contributed more than double the required amount at $562, the pastors knew they were in for a treat.

As the children poured the slime consisting of applesauce and green food coloring over the pastors' heads, VBS volunteers and children alike screamed in excitement.

"That was cool and funny!" a child said.

Last week, children learned about the book of Daniel in the Bible.

"It was Daniel and his buddies and they went through five days in Babylon," Dyson said.

The church averaged 75 4-year-olds through fifth-graders each night. Children traveled in a smaller groups, known as a tribe, to five different stations featuring crafts, food, games and more.

"My favorite part was talking to the kids as they were leaving and hearing what they got from the night," Dyson said. "One said, 'Daniel didn't get eaten tonight!' Another said, 'The three guys didn't get burned!' It's interesting to hear their takeaways."

On Thursday, Katelyn Harder, Janet Marquissee and Joyce Roberts assisted with the craft, which happened to be a lion magnet.

Earlier in the week, the children decorated frames for the Cunningham Children's Home as a service project.

"They (the children's home) told me when I called that sometimes they (the youth) only come with clothes and a garbage bag," Marquissee said. "They said to create something they (the youth) could put in their room that would be encouraging, so we took our Bible verses and we let the kids decorate."

Roberts, who has assisted with the church's VBS for over 20 years, found herself helping lead the crafts for the first time. But her favorite part is always the music.

"The kids get really enthusiastic, and it gets them going and they're singing those songs for days after Bible school."

Harder, who is from Las Vegas, volunteers with VBS each year she visits her grandparents, Jim and Linda Maltby.

"I'm only here for two weeks," Harder said, "but I love helping out with the kids. They're so adorable and they're really nice."

For Harder, volunteering at Mahomet Christian Church's VBS is special to her as she previously participated in the VBS as a youth herself.

"I have so many memories from VBS," she said. "I just like getting to see them experience it because I know it's a really good experience and you'll remember it for a really long time."

That's exactly what Dyson hoped the children would walk away with at the end of the week.

"You don't know what one little thing a child is going to remember later and take away later in their lives," he said. "It's worth every moment even though it gets tiresome."

The weeklong programming was made possible because of the efforts of 48 volunteers and over nine months of planning.

"You can't do it without the volunteers," Dyson added. "Their work and effort are so worth it."

Dyson said he collaborates with other churches in the area to try and plan the area's VBS programming on different weeks.

"Everyone tries to be on a different week so that kids can go and hear different positive messages," he said. "The church community here in Mahomet, they love spending time with the kids. All of those churches need to know that they're touching the lives of these kids during the summer."

At the end of the week, Dyson said he and the volunteers may be tired from giving up a couple hours of their evening each night, but both he and the volunteers take great joy in it.

"You see the smiles, you get the high-fives as you leave and the hand hurts at the end of the week because you've given so many high-fives," he said. "But it touches so many lives and it is so worth it."

Categories (2):News, Religion

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