Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD’S glory has shone upon you!
Discovery on Adventure Island invites children to arise and shine because the light of God's love has come and is shining on them. The children will be empowered by exploring ways God shines great light in the world and by learning how they can also shine God’s light by reflecting what they’ve learned. Through stories in the Old and New Testaments, this program will show students how connection with God brings the invitation to shine God’s light in a world that needs it now more than ever.
From a whimsical lighthouse on the tropical, enchanted Adventure Island, children (Explorers) begin their quest in search of five mysterious infinity lanterns that help light their way on the island. These lanterns are the light of Love, the light of Trust, the light of Faith, the light of Joy, and the light of Hope.
In each session, children (Explorers) with the guidance of the lighthouse keeper and Adventure Island expert (Beacon the Puffin), will discover map coordinates and clues from their Reference Book (the Bible) that help them find each lantern. They will also learn the ways God’s great light shines in the lives of familiar Bible characters and explore how the same light can be shining in their lives!
Through this VBS, children will learn many ways of sharing God’s love everywhere they go!
The Creation Story (Genesis 1:1-2:9)
Pathfinder (key learning): Arise! Shine with Love!
The story of Creation helps children understand how we can shine God’s light of love on all creation! As children explore God’s loving creation through six days of work and one day of rest, they will witness, beginning with light, how God called all of creation good. Through this experience, they will be reminded that God's purpose in creation is good. We should strive to take care of the environment God has provided. We can also care about the people around us by shining the light of love everywhere we go.
Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-20
Pathfinder (key learning): Arise! Shine with Trust!
The story of God calling Moses through the burning bush helps children understand that we can shine God’s light of trust by answering God’s call! Even though Moses felt inadequate to follow through, he had to trust God in order to experience God’s power in the world. We often trust our fear more than we trust God’s words to us. But when we are able to confess our fear and put our trust in God, we experience God’s miraculous work. We arise and shine as we witness God’s glory through all life’s ups and downs.
Faith Through the Roof (Luke 5:17-26)
Pathfinder (key learning): Arise! Shine with Faith!
The story of four friends whose faith led them to lower their friend through a hole in the roof for Jesus to heal demonstrates to children that we can shine our light of faith by acting on who God is. Children will not only see faith demonstrated through the act of the four friends, but Jesus’ response to the man who was paralyzed. Instead of immediately healing the man, Jesus forgives the man’s sins first. This might seem odd, but children at Discovery on Adventure Island will understand that this is exactly what a life of faith is like. We come to God with the needs we know we have. God addresses those needs, but through faith, we also learn about other needs we were unaware of. Like the man who was paralyzed and his friends, God affirms our faith. And that faith allows us to arise and shine God’s light in the world.
The “Lost” Parables (Luke 15)
Pathfinder (key learning): Arise! Shine with Joy!
Through Jesus’ telling of the “Lost” Parables, students will understand that we can shine God’s light of joy when we share God’s light together. Students will explore how finding a lost sheep and a lost coin, and the return of a lost son can all be occasions for celebration and joy. Like the father in the story, God is pleased when we celebrate what God celebrates. And, when we do, we shine with joy in the world.
Mary at the Tomb (John 20:1-18)
Pathfinder (key learning): Arise! Shine with Hope!
The story of Mary, Peter, and the disciple Jesus loved at the empty tomb reminds students that we can shine God’s light of hope by sharing Jesus’ good news with others! As Mary hears her name spoken by the risen Jesus, children are witness to the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection. And as witnesses to the hope found in Jesus, children are invited to share this hope with others and shine God’s light of hope to all.