(405) 425-5070

Vacation Bible School makes an eternal difference

Decades ago, a simple figurine made at VBS became priceless as it set young souls on a path to Christ.

In 1936, when Walter Moseley Jr. was 9 years old, he lived in a South Dallas neighborhood where he played with a group of boys.

The boys were best friends and did everything together — except attend church. Walter, one of the youngest boys, was the only one who spent Sunday mornings learning about Jesus and the heroes of the Bible.

Each Sunday morning, Walter walked the three blocks to church past the elementary playground where his friends played football. He endured their taunts and teasing and walked on, embarrassed but stoic. He figured they were giving him a hard time for fun, but it was still painful.

“Those boys learned about Jesus, and that means everything to me when I think about how their lives played out.”

The summer after he turned 10, Walter walked the same route back from his church’s Vacation Bible School one Monday. In his hand he carried a figurine he had painted at VBS. It was a gift for his mother.

When his friends spotted him, they raced to meet him and asked what he had. He told them. One of the boys wistfully said that he wished he could paint a figurine for his mother. Walter assured him and all the others that if they came to VBS, they would get to make all sorts of things.

They were hooked.

For the next four days, Walter and his friends attended VBS together. Guided by a sweet, grandmotherly “church lady,” they made all sorts of wonderful keepsakes from bits and pieces of yarn and paper, paint and glue.

Eventually, Walter’s friends — all of them — started coming to church on Sunday mornings. By the time they had reached their mid-teens, each one had embraced the message of the Gospel.

They grew up, and, as World War II raged overseas, each one entered the service as he turned 17. One friend died in Italy in 1944 at Salerno, another on Iwo Jima in 1945. Several more were wounded. Walter became a radar operator and was eventually sent to Hawaii at the close of the war.

“Thank you to every person who has ever helped with VBS. May God bless you for your tireless work in the struggle to protect young souls from a world of sin and hopelessness and to put them on the path to peace in this world and heaven in the next.”

Many decades later, Walter recalled this little band of boys and the amazing power of a little painted figurine he took home to his mother that summer day. He expressed how grateful he was to those who worked to make VBS memorable for a bunch of kids the church people didn’t even know.

“Those boys learned about Jesus,” he said, “and that means everything to me when I think about how their lives played out.”


Related: Can America be saved? Yes, say these Christians


Walter was my father. He passed away in 2018 just a few weeks before his 91st birthday.

When he shared this story with me a year before his death, I felt incredible gratitude for the VBS teachers he encountered in his life. They made all the difference.

Thank you to every person who has ever helped with VBS. May God bless you for your tireless work in the struggle to protect young souls from a world of sin and hopelessness and to put them on the path to peace in this world and heaven in the next.

Becky Johanson and Walter Moseley

Becky Johanson and Walter Moseley

BECKY JOHANSON worships with the La Vernia Church of Christ in Texas. She is a retired math teacher and administrator, women’s Bible class teacher, elder’s wife of 49 years, mother of two and grandmother of four. Contact her at [email protected].

Filed under: Children Evangelism Opinion Top Stories Vacation Bible School VBS Views

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

$
Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time