January 22, 2024

Children Have Fun and Praise Jesus at Vacation Bible School in Chile

Programs are focused on cooking and healthy eating, nature, and worship of God.

Nicolas Acosta, South American Division, and Adventist Review
At Temuco Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chile, little cooks enjoyed hands-on learning of some basic principles in healthy nutrition at VBS. [Photo: Nicolás Acosta]

The summer holidays have arrived in the Southern Hemisphere, and many parents are looking for the best options to keep their children engaged in recreational and educational activities. Chile is no exception, and local Seventh-day Adventist churches are reaching out to families inside and outside their congregations to offer Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs.

Among those churches committed to their communities is Temuco Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Austral Chile Conference. The congregation focused on inviting children from the community for a special VBS program that included theme tracks such as “Children in the Kitchen,” “The World of Insects,” and “A Journey on the Sea of Galilee.” The five-day program offered children in the community a fun and educational experience, giving them practical life tools and Bible lessons, including basic knowledge on how to follow Jesus and live a Christian life, organizers said.

In addition, organizers reported that children participated in hands-on activities in the kitchen, learning the basic principles of nutrition and how to prepare simple, nutritious, and healthy dishes, and how to value the importance of good health. Children were also invited to take home the recipes they implemented, to try them with their families.

“The program has been designed in a versatile way to cater to different age groups, from five to fourteen years old,” leaders said. “Activities were tailored to the needs and abilities of each group, ensuring that all children can actively participate and enjoy the experience.”

In addition to the activities in the kitchen, there were spaces for crafts, ball games, and group activities. These activities were intended to complement culinary learning and help children develop social skills, teamwork, and creativity, organizers explained.

Local children’s ministry director Claudia Silva said she was excited about the initiative and considered it a unique opportunity for children to have fun while acquiring important knowledge. Silva also thanked the support she received from her local church. “I am grateful because the whole congregation got involved, especially the teachers in the group, who gave all they had to put this program together,” she said.

According to church leaders, the Adventist Church in that part of Chile has an ongoing commitment to Vacation Bible School initiatives across the region. “This is a program that will benefit, over the years, many children from families across various communities, no matter whether they are church members or not,” they said. The initiative is now spreading to other cities across the region, leaders explained. “[We want] to ensure that all children have access to this educational and recreational experience during their vacations,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Spanish-language news site.