After 62 years of hosting Bible school, Mountain View Fellowship's summer program still is running strong.
The program, which started in 1952 as Marsh Hill Summer Bible School, has brought back generation after generation for a week of fun-filled learning and games in the name of Jesus Christ.
Its most recent Bible school was held from June 23-27.
From top, third- and fourth-grade students gather for their Bible lesson on the front patio area of the church. Mountain View Fellowship Pastor Dan King leads children in worship on the first day of Bible school. Pre-school children come up the path to view the Honduran-style hut on the first day of Bible school. Kids experience what it’s like to live in Honduras first-hand to understand where their offering for the week is going. Pre-school children enter the hut as an interactive lesson. Bob Martin and fellow Why Not You associate Brian Carey kept the hut filled with smoke to give children an idea of what living conditions are like for Hondurans.
Many of the adult teachers at this year's school once were students themselves. Young teenagers who finished their Bible school years just a few years ago also came back to act as helpers during the week.
"It's neat to see kids that have gone through come back as helpers and teachers," Pastor Dan King said.
Sue-Anne Brannaka-Houston was one of the early attendees in the 1970s.
Brannaka-Houston said the program, which used to be two weeks long, was "better than Christmas" for her growing up. When she was 17 years old, she began working with pre-school students and continues to serve as a pre-school teacher at the bible school now.
"It's getting away from the technology and back to the simple basics of 'Jesus loves you,'" she said.
For the past few years, the church has chosen a mission cause to collect offering for throughout the week. King said the group typically collects around $500 to give to causes.
This year, the church did something different to inspire giving to support a new cause, Why Not You Ministries.
Members of the congregation built a hut identical to those inhabited by the people of Honduras to show children what life is like in the country. The donations from the Bible school will help Why Not You install concrete floor and chimneys in Honduran huts.
On the first day of the Bible school, children were brought down a path into the woods next to the church to see the hut and were given a tour of the small structure.
Bob Martin, head of Why Not You Ministries, explained to the kids that Hondurans often have to live with dirt floors and breathe in smoke trapped in the hut when they cook. The hut demonstrated just that.
"Children learn best by experiencing," Martin said. "We come back and try to explain what we experience (in Honduras), but they can't fully grasp it. If we do something like this ... they're in another world."
On Friday, the children were brought back to the hut to see the improvements the team makes while working in the mission field.
Why Not You also has built an orphanage in Honduras and offers school programs to children, bringing uniforms and supplies for children in need.
The ministry does work locally, partnering with the Salvation Army, Big Brother, Big Sister, West End Community Center, the YWCA, Bradford and Tioga Head Start, Bradford and Tioga Housing Authority and other groups.
Why Not You ministries can be found on Facebook and online at www.y-not-u.org