Inter-America Division’s New Vacation Bible Program Explores the Story of Moses

Inter-American Division

Inter-America Division’s New Vacation Bible Program Explores the Story of Moses

“Our goal is to connect children and adolescents to the Word of God and guide them to fall in love with God’s creations, even the insects, who have a purpose and teach us many lessons,” said Edith Ruiz, Children’s and Women’s ministries director for the Inter-American Division.

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The Inter-American Division (IAD) recently unveiled its new Vacation Bible Experience (VBE) program during an online workshop training this week. The one-hour workshop was held for directors, teachers, and volunteers throughout the Spanish-speaking regions of the IAD territory who will run the division’s VBE this summer.

VBE is an annual church event that seeks to reaffirm Bible principles and values for children and adolescents. This year’s VBE, themed “A World in Miniature, Giant Lessons,” will feature, from five insects, metaphorical lessons designed to teach values drawn from the story of Moses. There will also be crafts, games, and other activities.

Workshops in English and French were held on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

Raquel Medina, children and adolescents ministries director of the East Venezuela Union, explains game ideas that go with the VBE program this year. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]
Raquel Medina, children and adolescents ministries director of the East Venezuela Union, explains game ideas that go with the VBE program this year. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

“We are so excited to present this evangelistic program to children and adolescents in our churches and the community, highlighting five amazing insects that teach numerous lessons that can help them in their life,” said Edith Ruiz, Children’s and Women’s ministries director for the IAD. “Our goal is to connect children and adolescents to the Word of God and guide them to fall in love with God’s creations, even the insects, who have a purpose and teach us many lessons.”

The comprehensive VBE program includes themed shirts, pencil packs, an official patch, the instructor’s manual, and other resources available to order, said Ruiz. “Most unions have put in their orders and will soon receive the materials to prepare and train across their conferences and congregations for the Bible experience this summer.”

The online workshop, produced at the IAD headquarter office in Miami, Florida, featured 13 children’s and youth ministries leaders from several unions in the division. The trip provided the leaders with an opportunity for networking and a better grasp of the activities planned for VBE.

hildren and adolescent ministries leaders from several of Inter-American Division’s unions practice one of the theme songs for the Vacation Bible Experience program. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]
hildren and adolescent ministries leaders from several of Inter-American Division’s unions practice one of the theme songs for the Vacation Bible Experience program. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

Raiza Ramírez, Children’s and Women’s ministries director for the West Venezuela Union territory, said it was important to learn this year’s VBE firsthand. “This theme is going to be so interesting and attractive to so many of our children in the community.” Ramirez added that the annual program is not only a big hit across Adventist churches and small groups but also in schools run by other denominations and many public schools.

“We have also used [VBE] to get to communities that do not have any Adventist presence by working closely with personal ministries leaders to target unentered areas. Through VBE programs, we have a plan where food, clothing, and school supplies are distributed thanks to the many donations we receive from parents and church members,” Ramírez said.

VBE brings about a ray of hope to thousands of children throughout Haiti that are faced with many challenges, including church and school closings due to violence and political unrest throughout the country, said Jeannine Extrat, Children’s and Women’s ministries director for the Haitian Union. “For the past few years since the pandemic, we have had to provide our workshops online because many of our churches are not able to open or gather children for the summer program, but we are managing to be as creative as possible,” she added. 

Adriane Cuevas, children and adolescent ministries director of the Central Mexican Union, explains snack ideas they can prepare during the VBE program this year. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]
Adriane Cuevas, children and adolescent ministries director of the Central Mexican Union, explains snack ideas they can prepare during the VBE program this year. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

One of the challenges is obtaining decorative and craft materials to illustrate the theme, Extrat mentioned, but teachers manage to do the best that they can with what’s available for the churches that can hold in-person VBE programs.

“Our role in this work is to encourage each of the conference, mission, and local church leaders involved in the VBE program to hold firm in the faith and cling to God to continue to impress in the minds of children and adolescents the Bible truths that will carry them through their lives,” Extrat said.

“We have a great opportunity to guide children, and in turn their parents, to create better ways of overcoming challenges, persevering and serving others in their path,” Ruiz said.

The VBE workshops for all three languages are available to watch online: 

For Spanish, click HERE

For English, click HERE

For French, click HERE

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.