top of page

Hero Hospital VBS

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

book logo.png


Nurse Jesus Alone.png

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

story service.png

Building a Place for Praise

Important Definitions


South Africa: A country at the Southern tip of the African continent that was ruled by the British Empire and other empires for many years but is now independent.  

Apartheid: When the government of South Africa made racism into law so that being Black in South Africa meant you had much less freedom.  Protestors and church leaders inspired many to end the terrible era of Apartheid.

Historical Guide: Cecilia Makiwane

Cecilia Makiwane

From Ciskei 1982


Cecilia Makiwane.png

Background on the Guide for Leaders:

In 1908, Cecilia Makiwane became the first black woman in Africa to be licensed as a nurse.  Her sister was the first black woman in Africa to earn a degree in Mathematics.  These opportunities for African women to earn advanced degrees were considered an experiment at the time.  Cecilia proved that there never should not have been any question at all about whether native African woman could become nurses, or mathematicians, or anything at all.  Cecilia served as a nurse for years before contracting a rare and undiagnosed illness that kept her from work and ultimately ended her life.  In her short life, she became a renowned nurse and also struggled for justice against racist laws and practices in South Africa, even taking part in 1912 in possibly the first women’s anti-pass campaign where black women of South Africa organized, petitioned, marched, peacefully protested, and went to jail to prove the injustice of being required to carry and present a pass that tracked and limited their travel.  Cecilia was honored in 1982 with a stamp from the short-lived yet independent republic of Ciskei in Apartheid South Africa as well as an award for nurses and a hospital built in her name in modern South Africa.

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).

Builder Book.png

If you are virtual:

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

Cecilia Makiwane and building a place for...

c unfocus 10.gif

Black African

Cecilia was born in 1880 in Victoria District of South Africa.

c walk 8.gif


Cicilia had two siblings and she was the middle child.

Went to School

Cecilia was one of only two African girls in her entire class so she probably felt really different at school.

c spin.gif

First African Nurse

Cecilia became the first nurse in all of Africa who was black.

c point 6.gif
c rise 2.gif


Cecilia was close with her sister who happened to be the first female African mathematician.

c statue 5.gif

Church Family

Cecilia’s dad was a pastor and she lived her life to give glory to God.

C focus 7.gif

Fought for Justice

Cecilia worked with other women to fight against racist laws in her country by organizing peaceful protests and marches.

c dip 3.gif

Hospital in Her Honor

An amazing hospital was built and then recently rebuilt in her honor--although Cecilia would probably pass the praise on to God.

c dance 9.gif

Got Really Sick

Cecilia became really sick and unfortunately, she never recovered.  Cecilia was so sick she had to stop working and died.

c dive 4.gif


Cecilia inspired many other people to become nurses and to fight for justice.  She was even put on a stamp.

Cecilia voiced by Satta Sheriff, student at Wittenberg University and Liberian human rights advocate.

Award Cecilia 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 Cecilia's Awesome page and that they have a sheet of Builder Brick stickers ready.  Tell the kids that their goal is to give Cecilia the most possible Builder Bricks.  For every brick awarded, a matching sticker should be added to the Cecilia'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 doing something to praise God (orange sticker)

Big Question.png

Jesus' Story
Watch the Lego Video about Luke 13:10-17

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 Cecilia is a builder like Jesus, and how we can be too.  (You can enlarge the video within the video player.)

Award Cecilia Bonus Builder Bricks

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

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

story service.png

Award Builder Bricks to the Kids

Make sure all the kids have their I'm Awesome page and Builder Brick 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 doing something to praise God like Cecilia (orange sticker)

story service.png
Big Question.png

Question to Explore

How can you help those who care for people experiencing an illness/disability?

Answer: You can thank them, support them, and work hard like them.


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:

Like all of the Historical Guides we've learned about, Cecilia did a lot of amazing things that earned her a lot of praise from others.  Also like the other Historical Guides, Cecilia didn't do these things to earn praise for herself.  She did these things because they were right and to honor God and because you can honor God by doing what is right.  Cecilia fought against prejudice and injustice to become a renowned nurse.  She fought against prejudice and injustice so that other people wouldn't have to fight against them anymore.  

When Jesus helped the woman who had been bent over for 18 whole years, he was breaking the official rules of the day.  Like Cecilia, when Jesus saw that a rule was hurting people or keeping people from having the freedom that is owed to every child of God, he worked to change the rule.  Some people were unhappy with this.  Other people sang praises to God for what Jesus was doing.  What Jesus and Cecilia did was hard work and risky work but they didn't do it for themselves.  They did it for others.  They did it for God.

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

Go and do it!!!

Building A Place for Praise:

 “And the entire crowd was delighted and cheered, rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. ”

From Luke 13:10-17

Story One
story service.png
story service.png
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 Satta Sheriff, student at Wittenberg University and Liberian Human Rights Advocate, for providing the voice for Cecilia Makiwane.  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.  

bottom of page