BORIVLI, NOVEMBER 11, 2011: This year, the "Vacation Bible Joy" (VBJ) Program for the Sunday school students of St. John Bosco Parish, Borivli was conducted by the Salesian Co-operators. The students were divided into three categories – the Sub Juniors: Stds. I to IV, the Juniors: Stds. V and VI, and the Seniors: Stds. VII to IX. In the month of September few co-operators attended the one day course on VBJ at the Goregaon Seminary to get the material and the ways to conduct the course. Mrs. Leena Dias, a Salesian Co-operator, co-ordinated the activities of the program.
Equipped with the material, the co-operators planned and organized a schedule and a roster of persons showing which co-operators would teach on the scheduled dates. Three co-operators were assigned to a class for each day. The program revolved around the theme, 'Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit'. Each day, the students were taught about one gift of the Holy Spirit and keeping this in mind, each day's module had a certain objective. Two readings from the Bible – one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament - were studied daily with questions and answers. Besides this verbal interaction, the students were also engaged in fun activities like colouring pictures, finding ways through the maze, crossword puzzles, jumbled words, choosing the right word, etc. The readings and the activities were all oriented towards the aim and objective of the day. There was also a concept of memory verse wherein each day the students were taught a verse which they had to learn by heart.
On the last day of the program, the parents of the students were invited for the closing ceremony. The ceremony began with the children form the junior category singing a welcome song. Geeta Menezes, the Co-ordinator of the Salesian Co-operators, then explained about the VBJ to the parents aided by a PowerPoint presentation. Fr. Ronnie Menezes, Parish Priest and Rector, then addressed the parents and the children. He encouraged the children and urged them to continue reading the Bible every day. He also thanked the parents for sending their children to attend the VBJ program. The children then performed for their parents. Those of the junior group enthralled all with their enthusiastic performance of two action songs, "Come fill my world" and "Have you got a sunshine smile". The juniors came next and sang a medley of songs – a delightful mix of English and Konkani. The seniors finally took the stage and enacted a skit showcasing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
For the Co-operators it was a new, challenging and delightful experience. We enjoyed the interaction with the students at all levels. The program instilled a renewed sense of vigour and vitality in us. We thank Fr. Ronnie for giving us this opportunity to conduct the program and thereby proclaim the Word of God.