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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Hands to Work…

In April, I wrote about a local church reaching out to Christians in Israel. This summer, church leaders decided to continue the outreach through the Vacation Bible School.


The children at New Life in Christ Church in Spotsylvania made this banner to send to the members of Baraka B Presbyterian Church in Shepherds Field, Bethlehem.

The banner features felt handprints from the VBS participants and, in Arabic, the Scripture 3 John 1:4: "I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth." 

Missions director Katherine Quann shared these details about the project:


Exodus 17:12-13 " When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset."

Look out and help other Christians that are struggling. Moses was struggling in the battle. Aaron and Hur supported him "until sunset" – representing until the end. It is quite encouraging we read above that Aaron and Hur held Moses hands up. They did this for a long time! We are reminded that in the battle we also need each other.

This is what is represented in this banner of Love. We shall hold up the arms of Baraka so as to not grow weary, and they, in turn, shall hold up ours. The blue background represents the approaching evening.
The children of VBS each created a handprint in felt. These were then collected and placed onto the banner. The hands represent the hands of believers holding up and encouraging the hands of Baraka Church so they do not grow weary. We shall present the church of Baraka with specially prepared material so their children, in turn, can trace their hands and place them around ours on the banner… thus holding our hands up in return. Our VBS’ers also wrote letters to the children of Baraka Church and collected an offering daily for their children’s ministry
"Hands to work, hearts to God" was our motto!
Pictures show Ironing down the hands representing Baraka Church while using a glue gun to embellish with rick-rack and tassles… our backpackers provided the necessary assistance to put this project together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other."
Whew… Holding our breaths… watching the clock… sweaten’ it… this banner of love must be completed in two hours…. will we make it? (one of the pictures)
Many hands (or handprints :), much love and great joy completed this gift of encouragement (on time).
This banner of love will be presented as a gift to the children of Baraka Church by Pastor Doug when he visits, we will also present the felted material, specially prepared, so their children may trace and cut their handprints and place them on the banner surrounding our children’s… thus as we hold up their arms in prayer so as to not grow weary, they too shall hold up ours.
What did your church do for Vacation Bible School? We’re collecting some photos for an end-of-the-summer roundup. So send pictures and a few details to me at