Forty-two Kansas City area children and youth from seven countries on three continents loaded onto a school bus this week for the first night of Vacation Bible School at the West Lenexa Church. Countries represented included Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and Mexico.
This is the second year the church has invited these young people to join them as part of their ongoing effort to be intentional in reaching out cross-culturally. Church pastor Lawrence Francis and his new bride, Ellen, partnered with Anna Coridan, director of the Nepali Pathfinder club NC4Y (New Change for Youth); Philip Dangal, a volunteer serving the Kansas City Nepali community this summer before returning to Montemorelos University in Mexico; Sweet Pi, member of the Des Moines Karen Company; Steve Smith, driver; and Gail Smith, West Lenexa Church VBS director, to make it all happen.
Sunnydale Academy graciously provided the school bus, and Gary Patterson, SAA cafeteria director, volunteered his time to drive the bus three hours from Centralia, Missouri to West Lenexa, Kansas.
Bus driver Steve Smith had also driven last year but had moved away. Providentially, he moved back to the area the day VBS began. Before unloading his U-haul, he loaded his first busload of children in Kansas City and brought them to and from the first night’s VBS.
The kindness and generosity being shown to these kids in providing them with this opportunity has not gone unnoticed. “The children are responding to the love and lessons shown them,” reported Philip. “Everyone participating is being blessed,” said Sweet.
Bidya, an 11-year-old attending the VBS, said, “I like VBS because it’s fun and we get to learn new stuff.”
Angelina, also 11, agreed. “I like VBS because it’s fun and we get to learn more about God and make new friends,” she said.
“God makes the impossible possible,” said Anna, who led the search for attendees and transportation from the Nepali community. “I’m so thankful the children are being shown the love of God through so many people. Praise God for West Lenexa Church and for Sunnydale. To God be the glory.”