Children and families involved in Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church Willard, Missouri, raised $3,600 for the Willard School District, allowing students to start the year with no lunch debt remaining from the previous year.
“There was $2,800 in student debt for lunches, so we put out the challenge to another group of people, and they just kept giving and giving,” noted pastor Mark Milioni, according to KY3 News.
Some children in VBS went so far as to pull their loose teeth so they could give their “tooth fairy money” to the offering.
Phil Broyles, director of food and custodial services, said, “Our nutrition department and district is extremely grateful for this display of generosity. On behalf of the students who will benefit from this amazing gift, we would like to thank First Baptist of Willard for their donation.”
The VBS offering is one example of the ways Missouri Baptist churches expanded their impact this summer.
“I have seen some churches, particularly in the ‘boot heel,’ bring in school supplies and do backpack ministries,” Christy Nance, state Vacation Bible School director, told The [Missouri] Pathway. “They collected the items, brought in the backpacks, put them together and distributed them for school kids.”
The ministry of VBS is intended to reach not only children but their families and the broader community, Nance added.
“And you can do that in a two-pronged way: Train your adult leadership, and then incorporate them into developing relationships with families.”