Midwest Mission

Senior Teaches at Vacation Bible School over the Summer

Alivia Caples, Staff Writer

Summer is known for relaxation and parties, but for Senior Caleb DuPree, it served something different. Each year during the summer his church has a program that educates children in the midwest. 

“VBS stands for Vacation Bible School,” said Caleb. “At VBS, we teach kids about lessons in the Bible and the Gospels. Also, how God affects them.”

DuPree and his fellow peers set off to accomplish their mission but they would not be doing VBS in Texas. Instead it would be 817 miles away. 

“The VBS we hosted was a week long,” said Hammond, Caleb’s best friend. “In a small town called West Point Nebraska.”

Caleb’s church has been known for doing this trip. He has been a big supporter of the program since he was little.

“It’s been a community service for the past 30 years. I started going on the trip in 2009 and stopped in 2013. I went as a VBS student with my parents and two siblings,” said Caleb. “But this was my first year as a teacher.”

Since he was no longer a student of VBS DuPree’s parents would allow their son to go by himself. They would show their support 817 miles away.

 “I was not hesitant in the least for Caleb to go to Nebraska without any immediate family members,” said parent Daniel DuPree. “We knew he would be fine and would be very helpful to those he was working with in serving others.” 

With his parent’s support, Caleb’s fear became conquered in small steps. Step one, getting on the bus and dealing with his thoughts of skepticism.   

“I got on the bus and I felt regret because I was with a youth group that barely knew me,” said Caleb. “I only had my best friend and a few others that I knew.” 

While Caleb’s thoughts of fear kept at him, his best friend was beyond excited to experience a new year of VBS. Hammond was a ball of positive energy Caleb needed. 

“I was so glad Caleb was with me on this mission,” said Hammond. “We spent time bonding as brother and sister in Christ.”

Although, Caleb’s peers were supportive he still needed to face his social anxiety head on; how he does it is inspiring. He used his religion to fuel his motivates. 

“I had a job to do and I wouldn’t let my anxiety get in the way,” said Caleb. “I needed to be a spiritual example for everyone, but most importantly the kids I’d be teaching at the VBS.”

Caleb’s positive outlook paid off and it did not go in vain. He put forth every possible effort he could. 

“I remember working on lessons with Caleb and staying up late until our lessons seemed perfect,” said Hammond. “We as counselors get to express God’s love to them through our words and our actions.”

Acknowledging his fear and facing it were two different battles, actually confronting it becomes a whole other challenge itself. Caleb still needed to overcome his social anxiety. Caleb improved by not allowing himself to shut down. He faced his dilemma and really did fall in love with VBS. He made new friends and kept his mission in mind which made him completely forget about his social anxiety. Caleb allowed himself to be exposed to a new environment. 

 “I had prayed for God to change my life this summer and he did,” said Caleb. “The VBS at Nebraska was a huge part of God’s answer to my prayer.”