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Ministry Focus { VAC AT ION BI BL E S C HO OL } Whispers of a Melody Lead to the Fire of Christ at VBS Watch children sing, dance and laugh at a GFA VBS program. The faint hum of voices in song came wafting into Ayyapan’s living room as he watched television. The melody tickled his ears and seemed to linger in the air, vying for his attention. Ayyapan hadn’t heard this tune before, but the more he listened to it, the more fascinated he became. A yyapan soon switched off the TV and ran outside, following the trail of the melody. He reached an open field filled with children and stood curiously watching them enjoy an afternoon of singing. He found out the young boys and girls were taking part in a Gospel for Asia Vacation Bible School program. When they told him the festivities were open to all people of any age, 20-year-old Ayyapan joined in. “I spent time with Christian children for about two hours for the first time on that day,” Ayyapan says. “The Sunday school teachers taught me good action songs and treated me with so much love . . .” Ayyapan returned home singing new songs and filled with a new type of happiness he hadn’t experienced before. The next day, right after he finished his breakfast, Ayyapan jetted out the door to attend the VBS program, taking his older brother, Randhir, with him. When they arrived, the two brothers were surprised to see the children joyously welcoming them with clapping. Soon, the children started praying to Jesus for them. Overpowered by the Holy Spirit’s presence, Ayyapan and Randhir—who grew up performing all the rituals of their traditional religion—found themselves joining along. 14 | Gospel for Asia | “I could not stop myself,” Ayyapan recalls. “So I too started praying loudly and joined with them in praising God.” When a few GFA pastors prayed over the brothers, Ayyapan said they both felt a blazing fire kindle within them. “We could understand the work of Jesus Christ in our lives,” he remembers. “Jesus helped me to realize His divine love. … That was the day I experienced Jesus taking away all of my burdens.” After spending the rest of the day alongside the little children, being renewed and filled with the Lord’s love, Ayyapan and Randhir went back home to tell their family about the only true Giver of Life. “Jesus touched me with fire,” Ayyapan remembers his brother telling him as they walked home, “and [He] promised me His protection.” Now, thanks to the high-spirited singing of a group of children, Ayyapan’s whole family has discovered new life in the amazing grace of Christ. Think About It Ayyapan felt no shame or embarrassment, even being 20 years old, when he joined the young boys and girls for their Vacation Bible School program. In South Asia, it is typical for young men and women to participate in VBS or Sunday school programs without any age restrictions—and the Lord is using these programs to spread His love like wildfire.