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Vacation Bible School: growing faith and community

Kelly Gray, 366th Fighter Wing catholic religious coordinator, leads children in a song and dance during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

Kelly Gray, 366th Fighter Wing catholic religious coordinator, leads children in a song and dance during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

Children cheer during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

Children cheer during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

Children learn crafts at an imagination station during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

Children learn crafts at an imagination station during Vacation Bible School (VBS) August 6, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. VBS is an annual event put on for youth to grow their faith and strengthen community relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Few things are more pure than a child’s smile, more infectious than an uncontrollable laugh, or more important than a good friend.

Each summer these smiles, laughter and friends can be found at Vacation Bible School (VBS).

The Liberty Chapel hosted VBS this week, Aug. 5-9, 2019, for over 110 youth.

VBS is a place where kids from preschool up to sixth grade can have fun learning about the bible while making lasting friendships within their community.

“We welcome youth from all denominations and diversities to come together and worship however they like,” said Kelly Gray, 366th Fighter Wing catholic religious coordinator.

The theme of this year’s VBS is “Roar”.

Decorations have been collected for over a year in anticipation of this week. Over 50 volunteers from the community came together to make an immersive experience for the kids by decorating the chapel, the annex and Gunfighter theater like a jungle.

The volunteers also coordinated themed activities for the kids to include crafts at imagination station, song and dance, games, bible adventures and videos.

“This event makes just as much an impact on the adults that is does on the kids,” said Juanita Yarns, 366th FW protestant religious education coordinator. “We love to see the kids’ faces brighten up as they learn and play.”

VBS is a great opportunity for the community to grow together and build relationships, especially for military kids who have recently moved here and may be having difficulty finding their place in the Gunfighter family.

“Not every child may be used to events like VBS,” Gray said. “But by the end of the week if even one child takes the lessons we teach and holds on to them, either in faith or in kindness, it will have been worth it.”

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