November 30, 2022
by Amanda McIntyre
In August of 2022, Ardmore Baptist Church sent a team of 9 volunteers to Antwerp, Belgium to provide a Vacation Bible School experience for the children. Amanda McIntyre shares her experience as one of those volunteers.
Prior to this Belgium trip I was over-stressing about my task of teaching the Bible stories to kids who spoke many different languages and how I would get the message across in a way that they understood. Well, as usual, God has a way of proving my worries insignificant. Once in Belgium, yes there were some students who did not speak English, and certainly no one wants me to attempt Dutch. We did need some of the moms to translate, but there were blessings and beauty in that. We were able to hear the kids discuss and ask questions in their native tongue about the same God that I have grown up learning about. I was able to get to know the moms that helped translate for me and was inspired by their stories. I got to witness students stepping in and translating for each other. Most importantly, I quickly learned that God’s message and these stories know no language barrier. We were able to learn, question, grow and celebrate God’s word despite that.
We had kids whose families were from at least 22 different countries, and spoke English, Dutch, French, Arabic, Chinese … However, that diversity, their diversity was what made the trip so beautiful. They played, crafted, learned, talked, sang, and danced together all week. The joy experienced between all those different kids and cultures is where I really saw God. I had always heard growing up that God knows no borders, but to truly experience it is hard to put into words.
If you have been thinking of taking this trip, if you have thought about it more than once, or find yourself wondering if you should go. Then I believe God is already calling you towards Belgium. You may be like me in thinking that you may not be qualified enough or have enough to offer a mission team going, but it’s not about being qualified. It’s about being willing, willing to go and just be who God has called you to be. If you asked me a year ago, if I saw myself speaking in front of an Arabic church with a translator in a Belgium school, I would have laughed and said “No way.” It’s incredible the places God will take you, and the good you can do if you are willing.
If you are unable to go to Belgium, I have an ask for you. Pray. Pray for Janée and Hary. Pray for their daughters, Maria-Grace, and Phoebe. Pray for each one of the almost 50 kids that joined our kids’ camp that week.