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Hero Hospital VBS

 “Home to God's Outrageous Love”
From Matthew 21:14-16

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Let's explore the amazing stories of Jesus and the people he inspired.

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Building a Place for Hope

Important Definitions


Saint: Someone who is special in the eyes of God because of the amazing things they can do for God.  Martin Luther says that we are all saints.

Hope: A belief or dream that you can grab onto to lift your heart and soul, not just once or twice but everyday you need it.

Historical Guide: Saint Fabiola

Saint Fabiola

From Fabbrica of St. Peter's.  Sculpture by Lazzaro Morelli.


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Background on the Guide for Leaders:

We don’t know Fabiola’s whole story but we know quite a bit from the eulogy written for her by Saint Jerome as well as some possible letters written to her from Saint Augustine and from Jerome.  Fabiola, a noble woman of 4th century CE Rome, is also an official saint of the Catholic Church.  In the Lutheran Church we see her as both saint and sinner, like all of us.  Fabiola’s first husband was awful and she was able to divorce him under Roman law and marry someone else.  She did exactly that, but the church of the time disapproved.  They hadn’t figured out yet that God’s grace includes a woman who is divorced.  Some say that what Fabiola did next was out of a desire to restore her standing in the church but it seems pretty clear that she was motivated by genuine compassion.  Fabiola sold her belongings and used the fortune to start what appears to be the world’s first public hospital.  Everyone was welcome there, no strings attached, and Fabiola brought in the best physicians of the time to provide 24 hour care while serving many patients herself.  The hospital was such a huge success that Fabiola petitioned with church leaders like Jerome to have new cathedrals and churches include space and money for more hospitals.  Fabiola left a legacy of care and concern for others that ensured places of hope and healing be built for countless people.

If you are virtual or in person:

Have the kids and participating adults get out their Builder Book for Hero Hospital.  They will use the book to follow along as you talk about the Historical Guide's Story, Jesus' Story, and as they think about their own story.  As you'll see, they'll as use the book to award Builder Brick stickers (printed on ordinary 1x2.67 inch address labels which are then cut in half).

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If you are virtual:

Sharescreen this interactive graphic and let the participants take turns in choosing an animation of Fabiola for you to click on to learn more about her story (Fabiola's story is also included in the Builder Book):

If you are in person:

Show this interactive graphic on a large screen and let the participants take turns clicking on an animation of Fabiola to learn more about her story (Fabiola's story is also included in the Builder Book):

Saint Fabiola and building a place for...

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We are not sure if Fabiola had any siblings but it’s possible she was an only child.

Went to Church

 Fabiola spent lots of her time attending and helping out at church.

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Roman Noble

Fabiola was born in the 300s CE in Rome, capital of the Roman Empire (now Italy).


Friends from a Different Country

Fabiola was friends with Saint Jerome who lived in Syria in the Middle East and she was friends with Saint Augustine who was African.

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Lost a Loved One

Fabiola’s husband died and she missed him very much but never lost hope.

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Started First Hospital

Fabiola gave the money to build and helped to design the first public hospital in the whole world.

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Fabiola volunteered a lot at her hospital and cared for the sick personally.

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Called a Saint

Fabiola has the title Saint because her faith has brought hope and inspiration to countless people.

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Advocated for Change

Fabiola worked with her friends to make sure that powerful people made the right decision to build many many more hospitals.

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Gave Hope to Many

Many people came searching for Fabiola’s hospital because they knew that any person could find help there.

Fabiola voiced by Rev. Dr. Laura L. H. Barbins, Bishop, Northeastern Ohio Synod, ELCA.

Award Fabiola Builder Bricks!

Ella Loved to see new places -

She travelled all over the United States and even the world but called Ohio home.

Make sure all the kids have their Builder Books opened to the Fabiola's Awesome page and that they have a sheet of Builder Brick stickers ready.  Tell the kids that their goal is to give Fabiola the most possible Builder Bricks.  For every brick awarded, a matching sticker should be added to the Fabiola's Awesome page.  Bricks should be awarded for all the things she did to build up Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of God.  That includes things like this:

  • One brick for every example from the story about music (pink sticker)

  • One brick for every example of making something or being creative (purple sticker)

  • One brick for every example of learning and exploring ideas (blue sticker)

  • One brick for being a good example and leading the way (yellow sticker)

  • One brick for accomplishing something new in life (green sticker)

  • Two bricks for bringing hope to others (orange sticker)

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Jesus' Story
Watch the Lego Video about Luke 8:40-56

Let's check in on Brick World to see what's going on with Jesus--the ultimate builder of God's Kingdom.  Keep an eye out for ways Fabiola is a builder like Jesus, and how we can be too.  (You can enlarge the video within the video player.)

Award Fabiola Bonus Builder Bricks

Make sure the kids still have their Fabiola's Awesome page and Builder Brick stickers.  The kids can now give Fabiola bonus bricks:

  • Two bricks for every connection made to Jesus’ Story (red sticker)

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Award Builder Bricks to the Kids

Make sure all the kids have their I'm Awesome page and Builder Bricks stickers.  Tell the kids that their goal is to award the most possible Builder Bricks to everyone.  For every brick awarded, a matching sticker should be added to their I'm Awesome page.  Kids can give bricks to themselves, to each other, or you can give them bricks.  Every Builder Brick given should be explained.


Builder Bricks can be awarded for any of these reasons (or reasons you can come up with):

  • Two bricks for following Jesus and helping people like he did (red sticker)

  • One bricks for something about music (pink sticker)

  • One brick for being creative or making things (purple sticker)

  • One brick for learning and exploring ideas (blue sticker)

  • One brick for being a good example and leading the way (yellow sticker)

  • One brick for being a good team player (green sticker)

  • Two bricks for bringing hope to others like Fabiola (orange sticker)

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Question to Explore

What should you do if you experience an illness or disability?

Answer: Grab on to hope and share hope.


Bring it all Together, Brick by Brick

It's up to leaders how they want to share this reflection with the participating kids and adults.  You can read it, share it conversationally, or simply use it to help answer questions that might come up:

Sometimes when someone experiences a new illness or disability they feel like they aren't really themselves anymore.  Some people who experience an illness or disability for a long time might start to feel like they aren't a whole person anymore.  Hope is the reminder that you are always the awesome whole person that God made you to be.  You may not feel that way right now, but the feeling can change with hope.

Fabiola didn't lost hope for a time because made her feel like she wasn't her whole self.  They were wrong.  Fabiola never stopped being God's blessed child.  She found hope in helping others who felt hopeless.  She kept meeting more and more people with illnesses and disabilities who felt like they had no hope.  She couldn't let that continue so she used up her fortune building the first public hospital.  Everyone was welcome.  Fabiola checked on every patient herself to make sure they were cared for properly.  Hope flourished in that place.

Jesus took hope with him wherever he went.  When a little girl was really sick, her dad went to Jesus for help.  The crowds were so thick Jesus couldn't get to her in time.  She died.  Her friends and family thought all hope was lost.  Hope is never lost if Jesus is around.  He brought her back to life and she had a snack.  

Today you are challenged to make your church into "a place for hope." 

Go out and do it!!!

Building A Place for Hope:

 “Jesus said, 'Daughter, now you’re healed and whole. Go in Peace.  Live well, live blessed!'”

From Luke 8:40-56

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About Author

About the Authors

Hero Hospital is a collaborative effort of people and churches in the Southern Ohio Synod and beyond.  Dan Jacob (Ministry Associate at Wittenberg University and Youth Leader at Peace Lutheran in Beavercreek) and Gary Pecuch (SOS Youth and Family Ministry Coach) have organized these efforts. Special thanks goes to Rev. Dr. Laura L. H. Barbins, Bishop, Northeastern Ohio Synod, for providing the voice for Saint Fabiola.  If you're curious about how all these original materials were made then check out Inkscape (graphic design), DaVinci Resolve (videos), Animatron (animations), EZgif (gifs), Artfire (lego minifigures), Audacity (audio clips), and Wix (website).

The site also showcases much of the other work of Dan and the artists he works with.  If you'd like to support projects like Hero Hospital, please consider heading over to the Make Mobile page to check out another major project that could use your help.  

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