Hong Kong VBS
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Sunday, July 25-Thursday, July 29
We are so excited to host Summer Vacation Bible School over Zoom for our friends in Hong Kong! More than 3,500 Hong Kong children will be exposed to native English speakers and our culture and we will share a whole lot of Jesus and fun!
Each volunteer is asked to sign up for a minimum of one week; serving both weeks is definitely welcome!
Leaders will log in for large group time between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. Central Standard Time and then break off to lead a small group of his/her own a little after the top of the hour. We’ll come back together for closing worship at 8:55 (CST) and be our way by 9 p.m. (CST).
A well-planned list of activities and resources will be provided for each leader, which go along with the Bible theme for the evening. We will also come together via Zoom with other leaders on occasion to share ideas.
Hong Kong VBS Overview for Small Group Leaders
July 18-22; July 25-29
Each volunteer is required to cover VBS for the entire week for which he/she registered, Sunday through Thursday evenings. If you must miss a night of VBS, you should sign up to volunteer with a friend who will be available to cover the VBS night without you when you are gone.
Volunteers will be assigned a small group for the entire duration of the one week of serving. This will allow you plenty of time to build relationships with the children in your group and create a rhythm for how your VBS small groups will flow. It’s also why consistency in serving is imperative!
Volunteer Trainings will be held on Zoom three separate nights: July 11, July 12 and July 13 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. (Central Standard Time). Please plan to attend one of these trainings prior to serving.
As part of your ongoing preparation for VBS, please plan to login to Zoom early in the week you’re serving to be sure you know how to do so. If necessary, have a friend schedule a practice Zoom call with you or reach out to Penny Schramm, firstname.lastname@example.org, for assistance. Please do not wait until the last minute!
What to Expect Each Night of VBS
Volunteers will receive group assignments prior to the first night of VBS, which will include a letter and number designation. Additionally, there will be a list of call-in links on Zoom for each group letter. For instance, if a volunteer is scheduled to lead group D4, he/she would click on the link for Group D from the assignment email. This ensures that the right leaders are on the right calls, as there will be 10 different Zoom large groups happening at the same time.
Volunteers must join their large group calls at 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. The first 15 minutes will be a time for gathering the students and volunteers into the call and providing instructions as needed. The large group session will not officially start until 7:45 (CST).
From 7:45 to 8:10(ish), volunteers and children will participate in a large group worship time. Small group leaders will not need to lead anything during this time. They are simply asked to participate with enthusiasm and joy, as we model for the children what it means to worship and have fun in the name of our Savior. Also during opening worship, the children will see a video with the Bible story and recite together a VBS proclamation in both English and Cantonese.
At the conclusion of large group opening, there will be a few seconds delay as our Hong Kong partners transition each leader and child into the individual small group breakout rooms. When volunteers arrive in the small group, they will need to unmute their microphones before they can speak to the children. The button to do so is on the bottom left side of your Zoom screen.
The American small group leaders are now in charge of their classes until we reconvene for a large group closing at 8:55 (CST). A time warning (or a few) will appear on your screen during your small group to let you know when you are getting ready to rejoin the large group.
Each American volunteer will be assigned a Hong Kong helper who will be available to translate or assist with language challenges, as well as serve as technical support for bringing up any web pages or technology resources cited for small group time in your curriculum. You are encouraged to build a relationship with your helper and partner together to create an interactive environment where children feel encouraged and safe to participate. Many of the helpers will be young (high school age) and will need encouragement to participate, as well.
Prior to your week of VBS, volunteers will receive a written curriculum and resources needed to teach your individual small groups. There will be craft supplies, materials for science experiments, games and anything else that is needed to lead a fun, interactive time with the children. There will also be incidental supplies that volunteers will need to gather from home (ie markers, sugar, water, etc.), which will be clearly spelled out in the curriculum.
At approximately 8:55 (CST), all of the small groups will join back together (the transition will happen automatically) for a large group closing time until about 9 p.m. (CST).
All volunteers are asked to exit from the large group Zoom call at the conclusion of closing and link back into Zoom on the designated debrief line, which will be listed with the other Zoom links in your assignment emails. This is a crucial time of connection, celebration and support for the volunteers.
Fun Fact: The time difference between Hong Kong and the United States is significant. While you will be getting ready for bed, our HK friends are just getting up for their days. Don’t forget to say good morning and have fun with the time differences!
Hong Kong has a culture of respect and waiting your turn. You will often see that children will not answer questions unless you call on them individually. Be prepared to call on each child by name and encourage him/her to answer questions or offer ideas. It may seem like it takes a little longer to get things going, but it will pay off in the end as the children begin to see that you expect them to participate and value their contributions. Sometimes a lack of participation can mean a lack of understanding. Check in with your Hong Kong helper and ask for assistance explaining things that appear to be lost in translation. Please don’t have everything that’s said or done translated into Cantonese, their native language. They do understand many things in English and will rise to the challenge, but do ask for help when you can see it’s needed.
In Hong Kong, there is a great focus on achievement and honor. As we expand our mission time working with the families there, we are learning so much about how to help them understand the Gospel message in a way that resonates with their traditions and their culture. This is best demonstrated and understood by watching this short video about the differences in worldview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2XNoAFtqOw