I remember back in 2011 when for the first time a three-day biblical VBS was held for the children in the Roma village in Slavonski Brod. The word that can best describe that event from a long time ago is “chaos” that our beautiful Lord was shaping year by year into His order.
This year we had our 7th VBS (now called a Mladice Carnival) in Slavonski Brod. The Carnival lasted for three days. We had a Bible program for two days and the third day was only games.
Through the years of working in the Roma villages, and in our personal Christian lives, we see and constantly relearn how important it is to love and to forgive. These were exactly the two topics we presented to the children attending our Carnival. Through Jesus’ parables, the “Unforgiving servant” (Mt 18) and the “Good Samaritan” (Lk 10), in the most realistic way possible, we tried to teach the children what Jesus taught his disciples and a multitude of other people.
Every day, after songs and a biblical skit, we divided the children into the groups. While in their group, children talked with leaders about the meaning and application of the biblical skit. Afterward, they worked on a craft and coloring book that was connected to the biblical message of the skit.
This year we had one little addition in our program. It was a skit about the fight between good and evil, between Super Andy and his partner, Super Kokoš, and Evil Andry. Through these humorous skits, children could see how good prevails against evil!
The third day of the Carnival was for games. The children especially love games, but for them, it is more important to jump and run, and most of the time their focus is on individual success. Our games are group based games led by leaders so that the children must win through cooperative efforts. Children really played hard, but in the end, just one group won. But, in the end, no matter who won all the children got candy!
It was a blessing to see the children listen and participate in the program even though it was very hot outside. It was a blessing to see some of our teens, who just two days before had attended our camp in Orahovica, came and helped. It was a blessing to see that children do not climb or jump on our cars when we leave the village every day (only the last day). It was a blessing that the Carnival program went on in the peace and harmony. It was a blessing that we could have this Carnival in Brod.
Thank you to all the helpers for the 2018 Mladice Carnival! You made it possible to have the Carnival and to bless the children of Slavonski Brod!