Bricktown Gospel Fellowship in Haverstraw, New York, is only six years old, yet it managed a successful Vacation Bible School last month for 33 children—the majority of whom came from unchurched homes in the neighborhood. “We ran for five nights,” says Pastor Tim Tyree, “and it was such an exciting outreach.”

First-graders through sixth-graders got teaching and activities built in part around the popular VeggieTales program, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.” The teenagers in the church were active as staff helpers, alongside the adults. Since the VBS ended, several families have been back to visit the church on Sunday.

During the same month of August, Pastor Tyree and five other members went on the church’s first mission trip, to Quito, Ecuador. They helped a local congregation there do its VBS—in Spanish, of course. Nearly everyone on the Bricktown team spoke Spanish, which made it possible for them to jump in and help teach the children directly.

The New Yorkers had brought along four heavy suitcases full of school supplies, prizes, Bibles and other gear, plus a cash offering of $300 for the Ecuadorian church. After the VBS sessions finished each day, the men got busy painting the church building.

On the way home, one woman told Pastor Tyree, “You know, you said we’d fit right in with those people and feel like one of them. We sure did!” This woman is now spearheading plans for a return trip next year.

Bricktown Gospel Fellowship is a church planted by nearby Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship in New City, N.Y.