On Wednesday, June 22, during Vacation Bible School at Hepsibah Church, Seneca, 22 children accepted Jesus as Savior. For those who saw it happen, it was the light of faith penetrating the darkness of a power outage.
Jennifer Adams has been at Hepsibah all of her life. For the past decade, she has been director of the church’s Vacation Bible School and has served as VBS director for the Piedmont Association the past two years. Until this year, however, she had never had a VBS night like June 22.
LifeWay Christian Resources’ VBS curriculum designates Wednesday for the gospel presentation. At Hepsibah, where VBS takes place in the evenings from 6-9 p.m., that was part of the week’s planning. Pastor John McKnight, who has served the church since 1988, would present the gospel to all 1st-6th graders.
At about 6:20 on that Wednesday evening, a storm knocked out a substation, leaving the church without power. When the lights went out, McKnight had just explained sin and was getting ready to tell the children “about Jesus as the answer to that problem,” Adams said.
“You would expect a bunch of children to go crazy when the lights go out — chaos, with a lot of jumping around, screaming, and shouting — but that did not happen,” she said. “They just sat quietly, focused on Preacher John.”
McKnight continued “without missing a beat. The children acted like nothing had happened.” At the conclusion of the presentation, 22 came forward.
The electrical power remained off. A spaghetti supper was served by flashlight. Children were escorted to bathroom breaks by the light of cellphones. Those in charge of music downloaded it to their phones and kept teaching. T-shirt painting during craft time was completed by flashlight. At 8:40, the power came back on.
“We didn’t have electric power, but we had God’s power moving, and that’s all we needed,” said Adams. “This is one [VBS] we’ll never forget.” — SCBC