Our mission is to reach the people of this world with messages of hope and salvation—and that includes millions of children. So this year 3ABN put together its very first Vacation Bible School!
The Micheff Sisters (Brenda Walsh, Linda Johnson, and Cinda Sanner), along with an army of volunteers and our 3ABN production department, have worked day and night to bring this program to life. And, praise God, on Monday, July 16, children around the world joined in, singing our VBS theme song! However, what none of them could have known about was the incredible miracle behind the scenes—in the last few seconds!
Anything Can Go Wrong
To produce a program of this complexity requires hundreds of hours of preparation. But not even the most seasoned producer can anticipate all that can go wrong at the last minute!
“It started with the air-conditioners on our production truck,” says Will Worf, our production truck driver and graphics/character generator operator. “The temperature was pretty close to 100º F that day, and one of the fan motors burned out. While the other unit was still working, the humidity built up quickly inside the truck and caused all sorts of problems as we tried to finish up our roll-in segments.”
3ABN audio engineer, Joel Baker, was in the truck that day. “It was very strange, but the audio board began acting in unpredictable ways,” he says. “The motorized volume sliders would suddenly jump around, and my hands weren’t even on them! I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
The effect was that they had to start over many times, putting the whole production off schedule.
There were other problems going on, too. Segments that had to be edited were not working right, and the complex system of transferring video and audio wasn’t working, either.
As the hours ticked by, the hosts of the program, the children, and the staff struggled. Many prayers were sent to Heaven for help. But as the time for the VBS open to roll approached, it was obvious that they wouldn’t be ready. One computer in particular was acting up, and the decision was made to call Master Control and put up a “crawl” (words across the screen) saying that the program would be delayed. However, that wouldn’t be an option either, since the computer that puts the “crawl” on the television screen was down, as well!
Nothing Short of a Miracle
“It got down to the last ten seconds, and the computer still wouldn’t work,” says 3ABN producer, Cheryl Volsch. “We were all praying, even as I counted down the seconds: ‘Eight, seven, six, five, four, three….’”
Then, suddenly, it began working, and the program went to the air!
“It was nothing short of a miracle,” says Brenda Walsh. “How could it be anything else? The Lord knew we needed a miracle to bless all the children around the world who were eagerly watching for 3ABN’s VBS!”
3ABN founder, Danny Shelton, was in the control room and saw it all.
“I’ve been doing television for close to 27 years, and we’ve had many close calls when it comes to getting ready to go on the air. But I believe this has to be the number one all-time close call! As Cheryl said, it went down to nearly one second to airtime before it started working. But as a result, no one at home had any idea of the nerve-wracking situation we all were in. We were praying hard—and, as usual, God answered our prayer! He commissioned us here at 3ABN to take the gospel to the world, but from time to time He reminds us of who really is in charge…. And we Praise His Name!”
We praise the Lord for this miracle. Brenda reports that they’ve received phone calls and e-mails from excited children, parents, and VBS leaders far and wide. “We’re just overwhelmed with what the Lord is doing,” she says, adding, “Please pray for these precious children, and don’t forget to pray for us, too!”
3ABN’s Vacation Bible School will air July 16–20 on 3ABN television, but the VBS Kit and DVD programs will be available beginning August 1, 2012. Call us at 618-627-4651, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT (UTC-5). Or order the VBS kit online at store.3abn.org.
Jesus loves the little children—and so do we!