Mark your calendars, church! NEW for Summer 2023 

Vacation Bible Clubs

July 10-14

Check out this testimony below on the impact of inviting someone you know,

or participating to make a VBC happen!

More details coming soon.

Volunteer signup in late April; registration in May. 



Here’s the plan: We’ll host 6 identical clubs around our area from 9am-12pm for the week of July 10-14 for ages 5-11. We will be sharing a variety of new ways nearly every person at church can participate and help this outreach happen! Club leaders, club logistics volunteers, club check-in, craft and snack prep, snack donations, inviting a child, and more! Stay tuned. Watch for the volunteer call in late April and for online registration for kiddos in May.

Why? Vacation Bible Clubs is an outflow of our renewed commitment that “being and making disciples is for each one of us.” Especially of our BRBC children and our community children! We have a fun summer week of disciple-making planned for them. These clubs will also be an outflow of our renewed commitment to “a lifestyle of outreach is for each of us.” This is also an awesome all-church effort. Pastor David, heading up youth involvement; Regina Gossage, heading up ministering to our children; our awesome Backyard Bible Club leaders bringing their past expertise to bear; and our Local Outreach team, helping make this an outreach opportunity accessible to every BRBC. How can you be involved? Stay tuned!


Divine faithfulness amidst human suffering
Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28

Jack Elwood // July 2021

My life and that of my family was forever changed by a simple invitation to my older sister, who I have never met. In the summer of 1954, my family moved to Renton, Washington, where my father was working for the government as an engineer.  He was building a home by himself and my mother and their three young daughters ages 9, 7, and 5, were living in the basement, as he worked evenings to build the main floor. My parents were not religious at the time and obviously had a lot on their plates. When the neighbor next door offered to take the girls to a weeklong vacation Bible school during the mornings, they thought it could not hurt.

My sisters came back each day quoting John 3:16 and singing “Jesus loves me this I know.” My mother was pregnant at the time (with yours truly), and they had no idea how this would lay a foundation for generations to come, as their world was about to be rocked by some devastating news.

Over the next few weeks, the youngest daughter, Carol, became quite sick. She was eventually diagnosed with leukemia, and in a matter of 6 short weeks, she died. As she lay dying, she would sing those songs from vacation Bible School, quoting John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, he gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him, will not die but have eternal life.” And tell my parents, “Don’t worry about me, I am going to be with Jesus,” which today is on her tombstone.

The week after she died, my parents went to the church where the girls learned of this Jesus and his love for us. The pastor and his wife led my parents to give their broken hearts to the Lord, and the church rallied behind my family, helping them turn a growing house into a godly home. When I was born, they dedicated me to the Lord and to His work (like Samuel of old). They would go on to have two more sons. All five of their children would go on to grow as devoted followers of Christ and serve in ministry and missions.

Over 50 years later, as the president of a mission agency, I was invited to return to speak at this church and to thank them for their impact and to help commission missionaries from that church. Unbeknownst to me, sitting in the front row of the church, filled with hundreds of people, was an old woman (in her nineties). As I retold the story of my family, I could see her begin to weep. The pastor then came up and said, “That’s the woman who invited your sisters to vacation Bible school.” You see, she had felt that for most of her life, she had never accomplished anything for the Lord. After the service, I was able to tell her about how our family had grown in faith and that now each of my four children, and their spouses and children, were followers of Christ. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the house!

That very weekend I flew to Quito, Ecuador to meet with a group of dedicated missionaries. Our mission had been there for over one hundred years, and we were celebrating a work that had planted scores of churches among many different cultures and languages. In 1956, a group of five missionaries (Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Peter Fleming & Ed McCulley) were martyred there in the jungles among the Auca people. That tragic event has been the most catalytic event in modern mission history over the last 100 years that has probably propelled hundreds, if not thousands, of people to serve cross culturally. The lesson again was that God uses tragic, painful, even mortal events for good, if we trust Him. It does not mean God is the author of evil or that He delights to harm those He loves. It simply means He uses pain for good (Rom. 8:28), even when we cannot see the short-term benefits or understand the long-term impact. It also does not mean we will always see the direct correlation between our suffering and our good, but it does mean we can trust Him and His promise. Like a coach who pushes their athlete in practice, in the weight room, and in the game itself, God uses all of life to help us discover that He is more than able to help us grow in grace, faith, and maturity.

I would experience the reality of the principle only a few hours later in-country in Ecuador, when I received a frantic call from my wife that my daughter’s boyfriend (soon to be fiancée) had just died in a tragic fall, while hiking with some friends. He had hopes of being a missionary in Africa and was my daughter’s first boyfriend. I had told my staff earlier in the year that the weakness in my human armor was my daughter. I have three amazing sons who I love and respect but there is something special about a dad and a daughter’s relationship. She is the “apple of my eye,” and I was devastated for her. I was able to finally get a return flight back to the US, just in time for the funeral and saw her publicly share about God’s grace at the funeral service. I was the missionary, pastor, and mission executive, who usually presides over events like this, but I was being held up by my wife as I was overcome with emotion that I had never experienced before. It was raw, it was real, and it was hard to understand. I discovered that truth understood intellectually is one thing, while truth understood experientially is another. I cannot tie a nice, neat little bow on the lesson and flippantly claim to know the “whys” of such a tragic death. I do know that the promises of God are true, and that is enough for me. CS Lewis once said: “God never wastes our pain.” When we understand that faith does not insulate us from a life of pain and suffering, we discover that God empowers us to live thru the challenges of living in a fallen, sinful world, knowing He is with us and promises to redeem it for our good and his glory. It is our submission to His sovereignty that enables us to live with His promises as sufficient for the hour; at least that is what I have discovered so far.

 Dr. Jack Elwood is husband of one, a father of four, and a grandfather of nine. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Heal Africa USA. He has served as a missionary to Taiwan with the Navigators, a pastor to four churches, and the president of Avant Ministries. He currently resides with his wife Joan, in Round Hill, VA. Contact Jack. <>