Grandma, God, and VBS

By Sharna Clough -  August 25, 2023


Grandma, God, and VBS

I did not grow up Adventist, but I never forgot my grandmother taking us to Vacation Bible School at the Long Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church every summer. 

Grandma was a single mother of seven children living on a farm back in the 1950's. She was very poor and struggled to get by, yet she did all she could to share Jesus with us grandkids.

I can remember her taking us to Vacation Bible School and the musty smell of the building as you entered in.  There was something different about this place.  People genuinely seemed happy to see us.  They appeared to take an interest in us.  I loved the singing and the crafts.  I was a timid girl, but when the opportunity came to earn a beautiful picture Bible by memorizing 10 scriptures and reciting them in front of the entire congregation, I just knew I had to do it!  I had never owned my own Bible until then. I can remember the sheer joy I experienced when I received it!

My grandmother passed away when I was ten years old.  Except for the occasional holiday, I never stepped back in the Seventh-day Adventist church after that.  I graduated high school and dropped out of college soon after.  I was struggling to find purpose and meaning in life.  One day after completing a good deed for an elderly woman, she said to me, “God will be good to you because you were good to me.”  I chuckled as we parted.  But the word “God” had me thinking.  I remembered my fond memories of VBS and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  That day, I decided that maybe I could find meaning and purpose in “God," and I reasoned that it seemed only right to begin with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  

Thirty-five years later, I am not only a  member, but I'm also a pastor’s wife in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now I have the privilege of taking an interest in children with hope that they might find Jesus, too. Because Vacation Bible School played such a memorable role in my childhood, I have a burden to see VBS programs succeed in our churches so more children can experience the same joy I felt.