Reaching Grandma Through a Kids’ Ministry

VBS ministry
Who says VBS is only for the kids? Hear Mira's story — how she, a grandmother, is hearing the Good News alongside her family. Photo by TEAM

Mira heard the Gospel when she was 7 years old. But it didn’t come alive for her until missionaries held a vacation Bible school — for her grandchildren.

When it comes to VBS, you may think it’s all about the kids. After all, their parents aren’t going to be at craft time or enjoy the snacks your church made or listen to the Bible story you prepared.

But a church in Guadalajara, Mexico, is discovering that God has big plans for the grown-ups who take kids to VBS.

A 6-Year-Old’s Prayer

TEAM missionaries Carlos and Sandy Rios held their church plant’s first VBS program in 2015. They were excited to have just one kid, a 6-year-old girl named Adonia, come to Christ!

But there wasn’t much time to celebrate.

Just as Adonia started living her new faith, her parents’ marriage fell apart. Her new faith was quickly put to the test.

Despite her young age, Adonia turned to Jesus for strength and comfort. At night, her mom, Irene, would hear Adonia pray, “Lord, use me as an instrument so that my mom can become a Christian.”

As years went by, Adonia’s father became hostile to the faith. He forbade Adonia to go to church or read the Bible. But Irene’s heart softened.

Two years after Adonia gave her life to Christ, Irene followed in her daughter’s footsteps. And that Easter, they were baptized together!

A Family Impact

After Irene was saved, the Rioses decided to try something new with VBS — a follow-up outreach to entire families.

The church had always invited parents to their closing program, but this time, they wanted to do something more intentional. They decided that after VBS they would go to families and share follow-up stories for six weeks.

VBS ministry

Follow-up outreaches allow for more opportunities to intentionally share the Gospel with every family member, not just the ones who attend VBS. Photo by TEAM

That summer, six kids from one family joined in the fun of crafts and Bible stories. But no one realized the biggest impact would be on their grandma — Mira.

A Second Chance for Salvation

After VBS, Carlos and Sandy started coming to the family’s house to share Bible stories. They shared about creation, Noah, Abraham, the 10 Commandments and the story of the resurrection.

The family ate it up. The children’s mom even invited her boss to join them!

But no one was more enthusiastic than Grandma Mira.

Mira shared that when she was 7 years old — the age of her youngest grandson — missionaries had come from Africa to share the Gospel. For decades, she had let their words lie dormant. Now, she was ready to learn more.

When the six weeks of planned Bible stories ended, Mira asked Carlos and Sandy to keep coming. They started a new Bible study together, and even a near-fatal blood clot couldn’t curb Mira’s enthusiasm. She was anxious for a new story as soon as she got out of the hospital.

Carlos and Sandy pray that, soon, Mira will come to know Jesus as her Savior.

As God continues to work in Mira’s heart, please pray for Carlos, Sandy and other missionaries who will lead VBS ministries this summer. Ask God to keep using this weeklong children’s ministry to impact families for eternity!

Do you want to learn more about serving with VBS or other camp ministries around the world? Explore opportunities with TEAM today!

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About the author

Bethany DuVal

Bethany DuVal served as TEAM's marketing manager and editor. She is passionate about helping others tell their stories, whether they're missionaries on the field, new believers or part of a missionary support team. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading books and hiking in the Smoky Mountains.


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  • Thank you for sharing this excellent story! This was a very encouraging thing for me to read, and it shows the impact that a good children’s ministry program can have. I hope other kids ministry programs and churches will read this article and be inspired by it like I have.

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