“Who is Jesus?” asked the little girl.
The seed was planted, not just in the girl’s heart but also in mine. The Vacation Bible School curriculum we brought on our Vermont mission trip didn’t quite meet the needs of the children we met there. Most had never heard of Jesus. We were trying to build on a weak or nonexistent foundation. So, for the past year, a VBS curriculum has been developing titled, “Who Is Jesus?”
The first six months was mostly a steady stream of prayers and sporadic brainstorming for ideas. Many VBS curriculums include a DVD, which students watch each night of VBS. The DVD has mini-episodes of a drama that unfolds throughout the week. Each night reinforces a spiritual truth. The script for the "Who is Jesus?" DVD was written first, before the other materials.
The last six months has been a whirlwind. An increased stream of prayers followed by more focused writing. Writing the script was not as difficult as finding someone to play the part of Jesus. Initially, the criteria were that he had to have a kind, bearded face and a strong voice. Several people were considered but there was always a little something that didn’t quite fit what we had envisioned.
It was based on their looks, voice, schedules, and personalities. Even though we knew we would not find a perfect man to play the part of Jesus, We knew we couldn’t ask someone who was blatantly defying God. No matter how good of an actor he is, he wouldn’t be believable. So, we had to add another item to the criteria. In order to reflect the character of Jesus, he has to love Jesus.
Finally, after two, long months of praying for a “Jesus,” God sent us the right man for the job. But our obstacles didn’t stop there.
It rained on two of the four filming days. We decided to work a rain shower into the script and film in it because we needed to get the project done. The rain threw snags into the filming. It also produced a stunning rainbow at the end of an outdoor scene where the main character accepts Jesus Christ. How beautiful is that?
The last episode was also filmed in the rain. The man who played Jesus was not in this episode so he was not there. However, we did have about twenty other volunteer actors there who were all smiles despite the rain. We made quite a stir on Main Street in downtown Forest City. Cars slowed down—and not just when the fire truck went by blaring it siren.
Peering through the raindrops and underneath umbrellas, people wanted to see why this large group was standing in the middle of town—in the rain! They may have had difficulty finding Jesus, but He was definitely there.
Please pray this week for the mission team in Vermont. When the children ask this year who Jesus is, pray God will use the people He has sent and the curriculum that was prepared to answer their questions.And what about you? Who do you say Jesus is?