Despite Katrina, Summertime Church Tradition Continues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Despite Katrina, Summertime Church Tradition Continues

Behind a pile of rubble that used to be the sanctuary, you can see children at play.

"We're going underwater," said a group of children playing with water toys.

And inside a donated double-wide trailer, you can hear laughter and prayers.

"God said I will send rain on the earth," the children recited.

Vacation Bible School is still going on this summer, even though Katrina took away so much of First Baptist Church of Pass Christian, including the house and auditorium where classes were once held.

"Stress has just been a big part of their lives, and the children have lost so much," said program director Nancy Crocker. "And we felt that we needed to try to give back to them just a little bit that would give them joy and comfort."

Church leaders thought no one would attend on the first day. So imagine their surprise when 39 young faces showed up.

"We were so excited," said Crocker. "Because we had really been praying that God would send the children that needed to hear His word.  There were many tears shed this morning."

The session would not have been possible without help from volunteers from Central Baptist Church in Melbourne, Florida.

"We're so thankful, so very thankful to have them," said Crocker. "They are the most wonderful people that we have ever met.  They came for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that was to help the children."

And the program would not have happened if it weren't for the faith and determination of members of First Baptist Church.

"I think this is the time that we need to reach out and wrap our arms around them and love them," said Crocker. "I think this gives us an opportunity as adults to do that. But it also gives the children an opportunity to see that we love them."

The theme of this year's program is "Arctic Edge," in which the children learned that when they face adventures, fears and challenges, they can always find courage by turning to God.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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