HomeNewsArticle Display

Vacation Bible School equips military children with spiritual fitness

Children attending Vacation Bible School at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, dance to music in the opening portion of the night’s activities on the week of July 8, 2019. The evening opened and closed with singing and dancing, and the children who attended not only colored in the daily coloring sheet for points toward their teams, but they also wrote poems about their VBS experience. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Children attending Vacation Bible School at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, show off their safari hats, another way to earn team points on the week of July 8, 2019. The theme was safari, and the children were encouraged to explore their creative sides by dressing up for a walk through the savannah and bringing the safari hats back throughout the week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Sarah Miller, a Vacation Bible School volunteer, runs the signing-in of children who attended the program on the week of July 8, 2019, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. According to Jennifer McGonagill, 47th Flying Training Wing Chapel protestant religious education director, more than 40 children attended throughout the week, and more than 20 volunteers helped put on the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—The wing chapel team held a Vacation Bible School for families of Laughlin Air Force Base Texas, through the week of July 8, 2019.

Vacation Bible School was a week for children of Team XL children to build team skills, resiliency, have fun and learn more about their faith.

According to Jennifer McGonagill, 47th Flying Training Wing Chapel protestant religious education director, more than 40 children attended throughout the week, and more than 20 volunteers helped put on the event.

First Lt. William Miller, 47th Flying Training Wing chaplain, sees VBS as a way for children to build their spiritual fitness and resiliency. This year’s VBS addressed that even when life is wild, God is good.

The message focused on different challenges children commonly face. The daily messages were when life is unfair, sad, scary, when it changes or when it’s good, God is always good. These can prove especially relevant to military children because they face unique challenges like parents deploying or moving to different schools frequently.

“Teaching spiritual fitness during the wild times in life is an important skill to cultivate,” Miller said. “This VBS is just one way we as a chapel team, along with an amazing group of volunteers can help children be spiritually fit, grow in their faith and continue to develop into amazing people.”

To McGonagill, it’s very important to be there to teach spiritual resiliency and inspire the next generation in their faith.

“I’m enjoying meeting all the new faces,” said McGonagill. “I enjoy seeing all the people who give their evenings to something bigger than themselves. I encourage people to value their time in Del Rio. Even though we might not spend the rest of our time at this assignment, it’s up to us to make the most of our time here. One way to do that is through VBS.”

Over the five evenings, the children played games, exercising their teamwork, created crafts and explored their imagination. The theme of the week was a safari theme. They earned extra points for their teams, the Rhinos and the Lions, by dressing the part, filling in their coloring sheets, and bringing back their safari hats.