Update from the Arce Family in Venezuela
Over the past several weeks we’ve seen countless kids come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
It all started when we found out that city officials would not allow us to do VBS in the way we’ve done them for so many years. Our VBS’s have usually been filled with hundreds of kids ranging from 6-13 years of age, in about 2 or 3 different major locations, like schools, parks as well as our church.
But seeing the government here is still implementing the strict and flexible weeks due to COVID, we were given the permissions to do VBS, but with no more than 15 kids per event. I’ll admit I was frustrated. So was my family, our staff, and even the church. We were all upset, because we’ve seen the government host major events (while breaking their own rules), but then they wanted to demand we obey the rules.
So, what we decided to do was host our VBS’s at each one of our small group locations instead. At least each hosting family (and the members of each small group) could work hard and aim at the kids in their direct vicinity. Obviously we weren’t allowed to go out in cars, with horns and whistles and clown costumes to invite as we usually do. So we went door to door, within the confines of a 1 block radius (as we were informed by officials).
We had city officials at almost each one of our small group locations keeping close watch over us. But we were smart about it. We offered the officials meals, drinks, and any accomodation they needed. We even made the city officials part of our team that week. We took the kids temperatures as they each came in. We had extra masks for each kid that didn’t bring one. We showed them how diligent we were trying to be. We made these officials feel part of our work team.
Now, here’s the thing. We know how VBS works. The first day is always the smallest day. Only the kids that saw the invitation come, but on the next day — all the other kids that HEARD ABOUT IT come as well!!
It was so cool to see the city officials struggling when they would see dozens upon dozens of kids show up the next day. You could see how much they were battling and debating within themselves how to say NO to so many kids that needed food, attention, and most of all, the word of God.
This picture below pretty much sums up how most of our VBS’s looked each week.So far, we’ve had 8 Vacation Bible Schools, hosted at 8 of our Punto Life locations in our tri-city area. And over the next 2 weeks, we’ll host 6 more. We’ve had one city official saved so far, and the rest have spread the word to other city officials about how efficient our team is. It’s actually made the permits come in quicker. SO WE ARE PRAISING THE LORD AND THE WAYS HE WORKS TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PERFECT WILL.
To all our dear friends and ministry partners, thank you so much for your prayers and for being such a support to our family and the ministry God has given us here in Venezuela.
Dan & Lucy Arce