VBS Foray into the Asian American Church

Group VBS Pandamania

Pandamania image courtesy of Group.com

My kids are at Vacation Bible School this week. Hallelujah! Right?

Except, I’m just a little bit nervous.  My kids probably won’t know anybody else there. And they’re kind of different from the other kids. Unlike our regular church, which is about as multicultural a body as I’ve ever found, the church  hosting this camp is an ethnically-specific Taiwanese congregation. It’s actually the same church that I sometimes attended as a child. While I no longer know many people there, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In the car, one of my kids asked, “Is anyone else we know going to be there?”

“Umm. Probably not.”

I made some lame comment that there was a chance that some friends of ours that we see occasionally might be there (after all, their mom grew up in the same church), but made no promises since I had completely forgotten to check if they were going to go. Stupid. At almost fourth grade, Big Brother is definitely at the age where he will be cognizant of standing out.

The curriculum is Pandamania, which has gotten great reviews from other families on the Internet, and which might lend an added Asian vibe to the program. When we arrived at the building, we could hear some familiar Christian worship band music, but the chatter — the dull roar — of the room was decidedly Mandarin.


I admit. This was my lame attempt at finding a cultural experience for my kids this summer. They can learn Bible stories and Mandarin at the same time! Surprisingly, it was actually suggested by my dad (who isn’t even Christian). Or perhaps that’s not surprising, given that my 60-something father will be watching the boys for two whole days when I fly off to the BlogHer Conference in San Diego. Vacation Bible School will fill three hours of those loooong days.

So that’s why I’m a little extra nervous. Usually, my backup would be that we could drop the program if it really didn’t work out. This time, there’s not really an option. And I hope the boys don’t complain too much or cause too many problems for Ah Gong, since this is the longest he’s ever watched them. And the first (and hopefully not the last) time I’ve been out of town for such a long period.

At pickup today, I spotted an old friend helping to lead the program. She’s also now a mom– of two little girls. I asked her to keep an eye out for my boys, as they’re newcomers and all. But they haven’t complained.

Keep us in your prayers!






  1. says

    We did Pandamania this year, too, and it’s a great program. Of course, ours wasn’t in Mandarin, but that would be totally cool! My experience with VBS is that it’s a new group of kids, not necessarily the church regulars. With the downturn in the economy, VBS is a daycare solution for working parents. Our church considers it a ministry, so whatever brings the kids in, that’s cool. VBS keeps kids very busy, so they won’t have time to be bored. Have fun at BlogHer!

  2. says

    Wow…I think it’s always a little scary when you have put your kids somewhere new without being entirely aware of how it will turn out. My daughter is just three so far and I haven’t had to really worry about that yet, because she’s never been away from me and my husband. I worry too though, that when it comes time, where there be enough places where the kids will look like her or at least appreciate her differences. It’s nice that you at least found someone there that you know who can give your children personal attention if anything does go wrong. That’s comforting. I hope you have a great time at BlogHer! Hopefully I’ll see you there next year! ;)

  3. says

    Thanks for all your comments and support!

    Lucy, I have to admit the “day care” aspect was partly a motivating factor ;) But I think they like the program, and the t-shirts are cool, too. (That’s saying a lot for me, as I usually hate all camp t-shirts)

    Bicultural Mama: VBS is a good way for families who don’t usually go to church to give their children some exposure.

    Chantilly: Thanks! Saw some of the familia today. Hope to see you next time, too!

  4. says

    We are doing three VBS weeks with my 8-year-old son this summer. Pandamania at a Lutheran church was the first of the three. (Our own church is not big enough to offer VBS.) He seemed to enjoy it, although it was a bit less progressive than my type of Christianity! :)

    This week he’s doing a drama camp VBS at another Lutheran church…although he came home in a huff because all the big roles went to the older kids!


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