Note: Because this is a perennial VBS, the review has not been updated since it was originally written.
Cost: Free download
The three Global Ministries curricula – Journey to Congo, Journey to Colombia, and Journey to India – emphasize that we are all God’s people and interrelated despite differences in faith traditions, cultures, skin colors, and geography. Each VBS program is set-up as a learning center/rotation model that includes worship, small group scripture study, crafts, games, and snacks.
The United Church of Christ and the Christian Church have mission centers in each of the countries featured in VBS programs. Scripture, both Old Testament and New, will help North American children understand other culture. The programs are designed to help children explore cultural differences and similarities. Every service activity has two components, one in a church’s local community and one in the country of study. Leaders are encouraged to use the programs’ biblical themes in selecting local ministries. They may also want to adapt denominational mission programs for those outlined in the VBS curriculum.
Age Levels: All ages but would work best with K-5 grade; preschool adaptations are included.
X Scope and sequence for each program
X Timeline/schedule available
X Detailed resources for creating an immersive experience.
- The flow of daily activities is well-thought out and flexible.
- Volunteers with no teaching experience will find lessons easy to use.
- Each curricula was designed by different people, which is reflected in the strengths of each: Columbia has a very strong scripture component and is mission-oriented
Congo has many details about daily life and very clear lesson plans
India makes strong connections between Christian and non-Christian faith communities.
- These are not “open the box, it’s all ready for you” programs. Congregations with experience running a VBS are more likely to be successful.
- A rich variety of resources are listed for each program, but leaders will need to select the best for their situation.
- Game suggestions need to be strengthened.
- Although there are no pre-recorded music CDs, guidelines for music selections are provided.
- Group worship details are largely left to the director.
Reviewed by Charlotte Greeson.