HOUSTON—Most Baptists seldom consider senior-adult living communities in the same thought with Vacation Bible School. But Parkway Place, the Buckner Retirement Services senior community in Houston, has served as the site of a children’s VBS the past two years.
A resident suggested the idea to Shannon Schmidt, activities director for the assisted- living portion of the facility. Schmidt contacted Child Evangelism Fellowship, which sent out a team of youth volunteers to help with the Vacation Bible School.
Each year about 25 children have attended—each child related to either a resident or a staff member of Parkway Place.
That arrangement is “so neat,” Schmidt said. “My children are always wanting to know where I work and what I do, and next year I will be bringing my son. He’s 4.”
The VBS has become important to many of the residents, she said.
“This is a very exciting week here. It brings them back to their youth, and also it’s a way for them to give back and teach the children. Also, children just make you happy,” Schmidt said.
Resident Beverlye Dodd is thrilled to have the Vacation Bible School at Parkway Place.
“I have taught Bible school for 50 years. I’ve been a born-again Christian and privileged to be a servant of the Lord since I was 9 years old,” Dodd said.
As important as the VBS is to her, she knows it is just as important to the children.
“I can see it in their faces and their expressions, and I overhear it in their private conversations,” she said.
Children always have been a big part of her life. She is the mother of three children and the foster mother of 27.
Dodd enjoys being around children at VBS and seeing how they lift the spirits of residents.
“I love them to pieces. They are good company. They teach us something new every day,” she said.