#MyStory :: Pam Zangardi - VBS Changed My Life

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At the tender age of 10 Pam walked into a VBS all on her own and heard the very first and only Bible verse in her life, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever should believe in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” She memorized those words and clung to them for the next 30 years. “VBS is what started it all, its when the seed was planted,” Pam said.

Fast forward to July of 2009. Pam brought her children to VBS at the Church at Severn Run. “I didn't really care if they learned about Jesus, I really just wanted them to go somewhere for the day so I could get a break, but God got my attention.”

As Pam walked her kids into the doors that day the verse for the week was displayed on the screens...John 3:16. She knew right then and there that God was calling her back, calling her to have a personal relationship with him. Pam began coming to church and the following year she signed up to be a leader at VBS. “I was terrified that I didn't know enough, that I wasn't qualified or ready to lead children in the discussions, but God showed up every time and I realized that he doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”

Pam looks forward to leading at VBS now, and does it every year. “I don't only find satisfaction in seeing the kids grow and learn, but I grow and learn so much by teaching the kids and listening to them.” She tells anyone and everyone about how important VBS is.

“If you can speak into their lives when they are young and plant a seed, it could change their whole life.” She hopes that one day a child will look back 30 years from now and say, “My life was changed because of that week at VBS.”


If you would like to participate in VBS this year, you can get more information here.

Falling in Love Jesus-Style

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This summer, the Church at Severn Run was SUBMERGED! The entire campus was flooded. Don’t worry! It wasn’t with water, but with Jesus and kids and a whole lot of laughter!

I felt God pushing me to volunteer. I am in school, a mommy, and recently transitioned from working 60+ hours as a restaurant assistant manager…I was tired. With finals in two classes and an additional two just beginning, I was busy.

At least those were my excuses.

I thought that I had missed the deadline. Then one Sunday, while I was sitting in the service, they announced they still needed and were accepting volunteers. Once again, I felt Jesus nudging me. So I did exactly what He told me to do.

I volunteered.

I didn’t know where they would have me helping out, but then I got the email from Pastor Steve. I was assigned to the 10 year old group. Monday morning rolls around, and I drag my three year old out of the bed at 6 a.m. He, like his mommy, is not a morning person. So we head to the church, still not completely excited about the idea of being there.

By the end of day one, I was amazed at the change in my heart. I was so excited for the next day! I began praying not only for God to work in their hearts, but also in my own.

I can definitely say, “If you want to have fun, all you have to do is ask a room full of 10 yr. olds what questions they have for Jesus.”

Our lesson was on Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night. At the end of the lesson, we asked, "What are the questions you have for Jesus?"

I was not prepared for what would follow. We got many, many questions. In fact, so many that we had to skip game time at the end to finish asking questions. These questions included:

  • What is Jesus’ favorite color? (This I expected.)
  • Do animals go to Heaven?
  • Does God really care about me?
  • So what happens if someone hears about Jesus and says maybe later, but they die before they can pray?
  • What happens if a baby dies and can’t get saved? (Broke my mommy heart!)
  • Why was Jesus born?
  • Why did God create Satan?
  • So God created everything… so he has magic? Like Harry Potter? (NO! Jesus is not Harry Potter. PLEASE do not go home and tell your parents Jesus is Harry Potter!)
  • If God created everything, who created Him?
  • If God is God, and there’s only one God, then how did He send His SON? (Wow! You kids are good.)

In complete honesty, there were about 50 more questions that Miss Jess and I had to address. At the end, we handed out little cards that asked the children to choose an answer:

  • I have already accepted Jesus into my heart as my Savior and Lord.
  • No, I am not ready to talk about Jesus.
  • I want to know more about Jesus.
  • YES! I am ready now to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord.

Two little boys, handed in cards saying “YES! I am ready now.” In the rally that day, I stood there as little guys prayed and accepted Jesus as their Savior. I took a picture with them and told them how VERY happy I was for them.

I came home and told my husband that I was “falling in love Jesus-style.” I spent three days with these kids and my world was flipped upside down! I saw their hearts.

The motto for this week was “Jesus knows. Jesus sees. Jesus saves.” Boy, was it true!!!! These eleven 10-yr olds snuck their little way into my heart in less than a week. Jesus really does know, see, and save. He used these little children to completely change my heart! I will forever be grateful for the days I could spend with these children!

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”    
Matthew 19:14

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