Breaking the piñata at the vacation Bible school put on this summer by St. John’s, Port Moody, which had a Mexican theme. Laurie Fox photos.

On a Sunday afternoon in mid-August, the church of St. John the Apostle, Port Moody, settled into its peaceful and quiet transformation for the night, awaiting the invasion of 42 children and some 30 adults to raise the roof for this years Vacation Bible School.

Sure enough, by 9 am Monday a chorus of "Never Be the Same," the theme song for the week, had begun and the children were ready to go. At first a bit apprehensive, but within two minutes they all were clapping and singing. The song leaders were dancing and signing up a storm.

All in all it took 48 adults, the Youth Quest group, and the Church School to prepare for an incredible week. Planning had begun in January of this year, and slowly but surely the whole community became involved in some way. Those that were not able to help in hands-on ways were asked to pray for the children and the planners.

All generations participated during the week of Vacation Bible School. The children loved having "grannies" help them with the crafts, and the young people help them with the games. The gifts of artist and deacon Trudi Shaw transformed the church for the week and the Sunday morning following into a Mexican village.

Snack time at St. John’s vacation Bible school, which attracted 42 children from the parish and neighbourhood

What impacted me the most this year though were little episodes during which caring and love seemed to abound. More than once I noticed a young person compassionately taking care of another child who might be momentarily sad or lonely. When our Mexican piñata broke, there was no whining, pushing or shoving to gather the goodies cascading down.

On the last day, the children gathered at Fiesta Finale to sing one last time "You Gave Your Life." I looked down and saw one of the youngest children with her hands folded over her chest, her head bowed, and her eyes closed, singing very seriously the words "The least that I can do is give my life to you." Nothing more needed or needs to be said.

At St. John Port Moody's Mexico-themed Vacation Bible School children take apart the piñata, prepare a snack (upper right), and have their feet washed after making follow-Jesus foot prints.