I wasn’t sure what to expect when I asked to review the new Kid of Courage VBS starter kit from Voice of the Martyrs. I have a great deal of respect for Voice of the Martyrs and their work in promoting the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. That said, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I found out that they were adapting that mission into a Vacation Bible School curriculum for kids. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.
The Kids of Courage VBS has been designed from the ground up for kids ages 5 to 13 to present the issue of Christian persecution in age-appropriate ways with the goal of having kids reach out on behalf of the persecuted church in a variety of ways. The VBS is built around the following characteristics of Kids of Courage:
- Trust God
- Get Prepared
- Remember Persecuted Christians
- Forgive Others
- Witness Boldy
Following an opening ceremony each day, kids go to one of five classrooms depending on their each. Each classroom is based on stories related to one country where Christians are regularly persecuted. Those countries include:
- North Korea
Each teacher is assigned only one country so that they can be thoroughly prepared to teach the kids about Christianity in that country each day. The crafts and snacks are also geared to the country that each age group is learning about. Each day, kids will learn about other Christians their age from one of the five countries who have overcome obstacles while learning one of the five characteristics of Kids of Courage. The materials have been well tested, but are also customizable to your specific situation.
The VBS kit includes:
- The Director’s Guide
- Crafts & Classroom Activities Book
- North Korea Teacher’s Guide
- China Teacher’s Guide
- Egypt Teacher’s Guide
- India Teacher’s Guide
- Nigeria Teacher’s Guide
- Resource & Project Guide
- Skits & Plays Booklet
- Photo CD
- Music CD
- Games, Snacks & Songs Booklet
- The Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Map
My Impressions and Review
As indicated, I was a little bit hesitant about how well Voice of the Martyrs could pull off a VBS given the weighty nature of their mission. That said, I also believe kids are capable of learning and appreciating so much more than we give them credit for. Kids of Courage does a great job of teaching kids what it means to have a Godly character all the while showing them how they can give to, and pray for, persecuted Christians around the globe. A tremendous amount of effort clearly went into putting this VBS together, and the package includes everything you need to have an impactful and meaningful VBS. If I had to point to one weakness in the VBS, it would be the music. While much of it is very good, you might need to supplement it with other worship music if you intend to have a time of musical worship as part of your VBS. In short, if your church is searching for a missions focused VBS, I would definitely recommend having a look at Kids of Courage!
I was provided with a copy of the Kids of Courage VBS kit for purposes of this review. I have also borrowed heavily for portions of this review from the Kid of Courage website. You can also click here to see what other readers think about this VBS.