Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – but over the past three weeks my life has been consumed with two very important matters – one, VBS, and the other vacationing! First, concerning VBS. For the most part, the first half of July usually in my life and ministry is almost entirely focused upon VBS.
Every year around this time, the Prater house becomes a little obsessed with Vacation Bible School - in my defense, it is kind of part of my job. (And I guess there are worse things to be obsessed with). It so interesting to me the different perspectives people have about VBS - tired teachers, thankful parents, frustrated tech guys, and people who know that the results of VBS are worth all of the work that goes into it!
Why am I telling you guys this? Because I believe that VBS makes a difference. And I know it’s hard work for VBS directors (and their wives), teachers, and volunteers, but I know that the results make it worth all of the work that you do. So be encouraged, and when you get frustrated, or overwhelmed, or you just can’t get the Boaster song out of your head, remember the opportunity you have to change kids lives forever.
We had a tremendous opportunity to share God's Word with these precious souls. We averaged 86 kids (only counting kids) each day. On Friday evening we had over 200 attend our House Open Program. So many of these were guests and visitors who have never been to our church before.
Following the week of VBS, the Prater family took some much needed rest and “getting away from it all.” The first part of last week was spent in Shawnee around the house – cleaning house, just playing with the kids. We did accomplish some much needed “summer” cleaning and cleanup/organizing of our garage. I also was able to do so over neglected yard work one day as well. Then, on Wednesday, we traveled to Tulsa to “drop the kids off” with grandma and grandpa and Maggie and on Thursday morning drove to Dallas where we spent some seriously needed alone and quiet time together. It was so nice to be alone and not having children tugging on you and crying, etc. and as well to just do whatever we wanted to do - no real plans, schedules, etc. On Friday evening, I surprised Maggie by having us picked up at the Hotel by a chauffeur service in a very nice black Lincoln Executive car where the driver took us on fabulous tour of the mansion and beautiful homes in the Dallas Preston area. We then drove out to the beautiful Lake Hubbard where there were a number of shops, nice restaurants, and a beautiful walking trail near the lake. It was truly a special night to be alone and spend some time telling the woman I married just how special and how much she means to my life.
We came back to Tulsa late Saturday evening and attended worship on Sunday morning with Maggie’s family at Carbondale and Sunday evening with my mom and grandparents at Okmulgee before heading back to Shawnee late Sunday evening.
We enjoyed a great week of time off and rest. It's during this time of the middle of the year right after most of the busy summer season that am also in need of some time to evaluate life, ministry, family, and the future. I critically needed to spend some time with God and His Word instead of making sure I am blogging.
Now, it’s time to get back to work.
Below are some pictures of VBS that just highlight the amazing week we had. I hope to be able to post more pictures later and I'm stilling working on posting now still both the Camp and VBS picture slideshow. Be patient. I'll eventually get it posted.