Connecting Kids to Jesus

by Kathy Marson, September 11, 2019

From camp meeting to the end of their weeks in ministry, His Travelers are the connection to Jesus for many children, something that will have eternal rewards.

It is the 11th annual Creation Day camp in Idaho's Rathdrum Park. The count is more than 90 kids in attendance. His Travelers, a team of four youth and one adult, are helping with this popular event.

Later in the afternoon, His Travelers Eliana Srikurega, Emmalyn Logan, Amber Engle and Amy VanArsdell hold a Vacation Bible School in a north Spokane, Wash., park where 30-plus community kids attend, many are Nepalese immigrants. They lead games, direct crafts and perform Bible stories through scripts they wrote. Their theme is about how God provides. Stories of Esther, Joseph, the flood and Jesus feeding the 5,000 come alive with puppets, much to the delight of the children, who enjoyed stories, games and crafts so much that many chose to come to Vacation Bible School subsequent days over other community activities.

His Travelers is a program birthed by the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) children's ministry department and is now 10 years old. Wendy Urbin, administrative assistant in children's ministries, heads it up. Each summer young people are selected to travel throughout UCC for several weeks to assist and support churches with their VBS programs. In rare cases they hold the entire event themselves.

Another week finds His Travelers in Athol, Idaho, then a week at Moses Lake (Wash.) Church and one at Spokane's Northview Church. Then during one extremely busy week they teach 12 community children at Discovery Junction (DJ) in the morning and assist all afternoon with community service projects.

The children at DJ are part of a community program through Adventist Community Services. These children have been at DJ in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Ahead program during the school year two days a week. During summer they held a week of Bible stories and food creation. This VBS is an important step in the spiritual development of these community kids as some of them were able to go to summer camp at Idaho's Camp MiVoden because of scholarships and one plans to join Pathfinders this coming year.

Each afternoon of that busy week, His Travelers assist with community service projects for the Ronald McDonald House and the Better Living Center and help with the Christmas in July food drive for Shine 104.9 FM.

From camp meeting to the end of their weeks in ministry, His Travelers are the connection to Jesus for many children, something that will have eternal rewards. Thank you to all those who serve in similar circumstances throughout the conference. Your passion for children does not go unnoticed by the communities in which you serve.

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