The name of D.T. Miles is probably as unfamiliar to you as it was to me prior to last week.  Ms. Miles is credited with originating the concept of Vacation Bible School in Hopedale, Illinois, in 1894.  Miles, who was both a Sunday School teacher and a public school teacher, started a daily Bible school for children during the summer months.  Her first effort in 1894 lasted four weeks, and classes were held at a nearby school.  An “Everyday Bible School” was organized four years later at New York City’s Epiphany Baptist Church by Eliza Hawes.  The “EBS” was primarily developed for underprivileged children and was conducted at a rented beer parlor.  In 1922, Dr. Robert Boville of the Baptist Mission Society founded the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible School.  In 1923, Standard Publishing began printing VBS curricula, with enough lessons for five weeks and written on three different age levels: kindergarten, primary, and junior.

Those first efforts, dating back 117 years, have resulted in a ministry approach utilized by churches all over the world each year.  Did you notice that the earliest catalysts of the concept in the 1890s were women?  To this day, Vacation Bible Schools could not happen and would not happen if it were not for the dedication, creativity, energy, and talents of godly Christian women who love children and love teaching them about the love of God and the story of Jesus.  Yes, I know that men are frequently involved as well, and for that I am very grateful.  But I guarantee you that VBS would not exist if it were just up to us guys!  Not to mention that the kids would only eat Oreos at snack time rather than delicious home-baked goodies. 

So, thank you, ladies, for the beautiful sets you construct, the creative crafts you develop, the Bible stories you teach, the songs you sing, the patience you demonstrate, the cookies you bake, and the young hearts and lives that you touch with the love of Jesus!