Michigan Group 2021 – Day 4…

Today was our first day of Vacation Bible School for the campus and staff kids. If you couldn’t tell from the pictures, the theme this week is “Ocean Commotion”! We transformed the cafeteria into an underwater room with hanging fish, balloons, sea creatures, inflatables and bubbles. There is even an “ocean” tarp! We started our day off welcoming the kids, introducing the week and reading the first three chapters of Genesis. Shelley read the story and then taught the kids the memory verse and a memory verse song. We learned three other worship songs and did motions to those as well. The kids all did a great job! They will be working on memorizing their memory verses throughout the week.

They then had a contest to earn points for their team. The kids all had the chance to guess how many goldfish were in a clear container. They fit a whole 1,053 in the jar! The guesses ranged from 5 to a few million, and Red team won the contest with the guess of $1,002.

The kids then broke into four teams and each team had two team leaders.  They took their time decorating their bags, using markers to draw a wide range of things! After this each team came up with a team chant. Our team (Telly) had a little help from Mr. Tom and came up with, “Jesus, Jesus we love you…Jesus, Jesus how about you?!”

After we had lunch the kids returned for the afternoon session to do games and a science activity. Emma took the lead on the science activity and filled the kiddie pool with “oobleck” or cornstarch and water.  The kids were able to put their hands in and then we took turns walking in it.

The kids had a lot of fun playing in the oobleck! I asked them what it felt like, and while at first they all said it was firm, they then exclaimed it was like water.  Woodjerry even shouted “it’s like magic!”. In typical VBS-in-Haiti fashion, it was very messy BUT they loved it! Even Miss Beth took a turn walking through it. We took some time to debrief together and we talked about how just like when the oobleck is under pressure it becomes firm, when we’re under pressure we can stand firm with God. The teams also played each other in a balloon popping game similar to capture the flag. My team won twice!  It was awesome to see them work together and get all their energy out!

My team (Emma), the blue team, is currently tied with the green team for first place. I happen to think our cheer was the best, but Mr. Tom says he and mom did better since theirs “was about Jesus” (insert eye roll).  Each team gets points for winning games, reciting the memory verse, team cheers and bringing their bags back each day.  When they earn points they get to pick a prize. The favorite prizes today were the fish shaped water guns!

After the games were over we closed the afternoon with a few songs and a closing skit by Sharon and Abbey.  They taught the kids about the blue whale and how sin is “a whale of a problem” in our world.  Day one of VBS was a success.  We are really looking forward the rest of our week with the kids! The rest of our evening was spent prepping for day 2 and playing cards with the staff.

The days seem to be going by so quickly.  Its hard to believe we are already closing day three here in the Mole!

Dad — Abbey guessed what your comment would be earlier today and she was spot on, she even guessed Chick-Fil-A and everything! Glad to hear everything is going well at home. I miss you all lots!

Mary — in case you haven’t seen this yet, we made it  🙂  I can’t wait to tell you all about it next week!

Telly & Emma


Day one of Kids Camp (VBS) was a hit. A huge thank you to my awesome team of Sharon, Telly, Emma, Lily and Shelley for their unending energy and creativity to carry our theme of Ocean Commotion.  Shelley sharing the lesson of the “beginning of time”, Telly leading songs to the Ocean Commotion theme, Sharon & Abbey Sambaer searching for “grace”, Emma & Lily carrying out crafts, games and snacks.  All in all an amazing day #1.  Looking forward to days 2 through 5 the balance of the week.

Abbey, Ms. Beth, Lydia and Malaya are an awesome support team here at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, Mole St Nicolas serving in many ways. We could not carry out our program and events without their support.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue through the week and reach the hearts of the children on campus.

Blessings to all!!
Mr. Tom

** Sherri W. — Thanks for the support my big sister! Keep checking in. Love you, XOXO Shelley

** Brian, Andrew and Audrey – All is well with me. I love you to the moon, and in a minute! XOXO : ) Shelley

** Romeo United Methodist Church — You are here, I feel your love. Shelley


Please feel free to leave comments! It’s like getting mail at camp!


  1. Wow. You guys are rocking it! Great work! Love all the pictures. It helps us back home get a closer look and feel for what you’re doing and helps us be able to pray more specifically for you.

    I’m kind of afraid to say much since Abbey can read my mind now! Ha. Boys are good. Still haven’t broken out the big board but they did comment that they have “WAY more chores than when mom is here.” I’m ok with that! Yesterday they folded clothes, burned the cardboard, dusted and vacuumed, brushed the dog and then pulled some weeds. But they also played with their Legos a great deal, rode their bikes and swam. I ran 4 miles yesterday and bested our 4 mile rhythm that we set before you left last week, Telly. It was hard, but it felt good … when it was over. Burgers for dinner. Today (Tuesday) the boys want to eat like a king for breakfast, like a prince for lunch and like a pauper for dinner (after hearing Keith say that at church a couple of weeks ago!), so that’s the plan.

    We love you and miss you. Can’t wait to see you next week and hear all the stories. Give Woodjerry a fist bump for me!


  2. Looks like everyone is having fun, Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back, Shelley.

  3. It looks like you are doing amazing work! Thank you for sharing the updates with us it is great to follow along with the team. Our prayers continue to be with you from Romeo, MI!

  4. Love seeing all these photos. Shelley, Andrew is following in your footsteps. He is a leader at camp invention and helping others. And of course both Andrew and Audrey are as sweet as ever! Very amazing things you are doing there. Keep up the good work!
    Love you, Mom.

  5. VBS looks like great fun–love all the smiling faces! So good to see all of you loving on the kids and being hands and feet of Jesus there! You’re making a big splash for sure! 🙂 Shelly

  6. Hey to Mom and Dad (aka:Tom and Sharon). Sorry I’m late to the game. Loved getting caught up on all that you’re doing! Sounds like a great time so far with the team! Glad VBS is off to a good start and I’m sure the kids are loving the Ocean Commotion.

    Tula Kate had a great birthday celebration yesterday and got your card in the mail. She was very excited!

    Tenley told us that she wants to come see you and “swim in your lake.” She can’t wait for you to get back!

    Taft’s team won their first tournament game and then lost tonight. He played really well and had fun!

    Love you guys!!

  7. Hi Shelley, everyone sure looks like they are having fun and learning a lot. Keep up the good work! XOXO Sherri

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