VBS offers kids, families summer fun, faith

by Pfc. Byun Hye Joon
U.S. Army

YONGSAN GARRISON -- Summer is a busy time of the year as many families move in and out of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. In the midst of all this, the South Post Chapel offers an opportunity through their vacation Bible school (VBS) program for children to learn, grow and have fun.

 This year's VBS, which ran from July 13 to July 17, was slightly different from the ones in the past.

 "This year, we decided to draw a line between the good neighbor program and focus on Department of Defense Soldiers and their families, as well as the families of civilians and contractors," said Brian Oh, director of religious education. "The military community gets priority and that's what we believe."

 According to Oh, approximately 300 people participated in the event. About 200 were children and the rest were volunteers with accompanying family members.

 The VBS program included the convocation and four different stations where the children could practice what they learned through several activities. The whole program was organized so that visual, audio and kinesthetic strategies could be used to enhance the overall learning experience.

 "Vacation Bible school is very important for little kids," said Oh. "There are so many opportunities to learn outside the community, but instead of getting away from where they live, we want them to realize that they can learn something without having to go far. Five days can be very short, but it's long enough to help them take a few lessons home with them."

 It is a great for the Yongsan community to have vacation Bible school in the summer because there are so many families transitioning in, said Anna Staton, the base camp and summit celebration leader. It is a great way to welcome new families and get them involved early on.

 The team behind the program expects the positive effects to go beyond the scope of the five days and also flow over to the rest of the community.

 "We really hope the kids can see God has the power to equip them with anything they need in their lives," said Shelley Goscha, VBS director. "We also hope the new families will enjoy the chapel and will join one of our services."

 The South Post Chapel provides approximately 90 different worship services and religious programs throughout the week including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and many others.

 "It gets very busy," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Young D. Kim, USAG Yongsan Command Chaplain. "But we like to spread the goodness in the community with these types of events so people know what we're doing here."

 According to Kim, all this would not be possible without the team of volunteers at the South Post Chapel.

 "Yongsan is very blessed because we have these talented people," said Kim. "We are always ready to support our community. Everybody is in our prayers."

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