July 31, 2013

By Doug Kraus

Marceline UMC’s Vacation Bible School theme this year was Airplane Pilot VBS – Eagle Express Flight 4031!  Kids (young and old) love airplanes. This VBS was filled with fun facts, games, and stories about flight. On the last day the youth were taken to the hangar at North Central Missouri (NCMO) Airport to fly in a real plane! 
    
Airplane Pilot VBS closely parallels life as well.  Our journey began at the airport – just as our Christian journey begins by learning about the first sin and the promise of the Savior in Genesis. We introduced our trusted pilot, Jesus, and covered topics such as: the price that was paid to purchase our “free ticket” through faith to heaven; the excitement of sharing our “flight” experience with others; and a safe landing at our “final destination”- heaven.  
    
Fifty children, youth and adults gathered together for this exciting Vacation Bible School. The VBS culmination activity occurred when the kids got to fly in one of five planes out at NCMO Regional Airport.  A big thanks to Ted and Randy Stockwell, John and Bill Moore, and Marty Cupp who all volunteered to pilot the children up around Marceline.
    
On Sunday July 21, we enjoyed a wonderful worship, sharing the experiences of our mission team that went to Oklahoma July 13-18.  Eight youth and three adults formed the team that worked and “Walked With The Cherokee.” Perry Leach, a full blood Cherokee, was our guide and foreman for all of our work. 
    
The youth and their leaders explained what the days included, the connection we made with the folks of the Cherokee Nation, the learning we had about the Cherokee’s past at Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, and some fun we had at Tenkiller Lake.
    
We got to Vian, OK at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday; John Moore flew six youth with him; and Donna Moore drove their Suburban. Barry Smith lent us his F-150 Crew Cab truck to carry our tools and part of our team. The drive took about seven hours and the flight took about 1 ½ hours. The mission was a wonderful experience with 170 youth and adult leaders from Missouri UMCs, led by the Conference Council on Youth Missions under the direction of Bev Boehmer.