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FOREST CITY | Now that school is out for the summer, many area churches are holding Vacation Bible School as a fun way to teach kids about God's love.

Nearly 70 children from 3-year-olds to fifth-graders participated in VBS at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City from June 4-7.

The theme was "Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus." 

The children learned about salvation through drama, Bible stories, videos, games, songs and crafts related to the theme. 

One of the craft projects was making a boat that needed patches because of the holes in it. 

Each day a "Bible Buddy" -- an animal that would be found on a tropical island -- helped the kids remember the Bible point they were learning about that day. 

Around 50 volunteers, including adults and teens, helped with VBS.

"We have some good teenage volunteers who are soaking up everything along with the little ones," said Krista Hopp, co-director of children's education at Immanuel along with Natasha Banta. 

One of the teen volunteers, Paige Swearingen, 16, attended VBS at Immanuel all through elementary school and then became a crew leader. 

"The kids are just so energetic and it's fun to watch them learn about Jesus," she said. 

Swearingen said it's great to see how devoted the children are to Jesus and how they are absorbing what is being taught.

"They remember every little thing," she said. 

All children are invited to attend VBS each year, not just those who go to church at Immanuel.

It doesn't matter what church they attend or if they don't go to church, according to Hopp.  

"Everyone is welcome," she said. 



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