It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m at home enjoying some rest and relaxation. (Do you sense my sigh of relief?)
For the past 3 months, I’ve spent my Sunday afternoons with 8 local kids for Bible Quizzing. It’s an annual event here at Tenwek, and each year it’s bigger and better than the previous year! When I first heard the announcement, I wasn’t interested. Sunday afternoons are for naps and family time, and I didn’t want to sacrifice this ritual. But then, as the announcement continued, I heard that the focus was I Samuel. Well, needless to say, I knew that was a sign from God that I needed to invest in the lives of some kids so that they could fall in love with the story of Hannah (and many other stories in I Samuel) for 3 months of my life.
The last 3 months were busy and sometimes tiring but very rewarding. We studied selected chapters in I Samuel. We covered the story of Hannah conceiving a much-wanted son and later giving him, Samuel, back to the Lord. We studied how God called to Samuel while Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, turned away from God. We learned how God sometimes answers our prayers even when it’s not what is best for us as we studied how Saul became the first king of Israel. Then, we saw how God chose David to defeat a giant named Goliath and also anointed him king over Israel. So much good material to learn and study and hide in our hearts. May the Holy Spirit call these stories and lessons to mind when it would be most helpful to the hundreds of kids who spent the past 3 months in the Word.
Here is how it worked: we were divided into teams of 8 kids and 1 coach. We met every Sunday afternoon for a big group devotion. Then, we broke into our teams to study. Each week, we had one or two chapters to learn. The kids studied situation questions (who said it to whom), general questions, and finish the verses from each chapter. Every several weeks, we compete to see who knows the material better.
Then, last weekend was our big finale. We finished the regular season on Saturday. My team did really well and won both of the quizzes!
Our wins put us in the finals, which were held the following afternoon. Somehow, we lost our spark overnight and we lost our first quiz. My team was eliminated from the competition. It was quite disappointing, but I was so proud of the way they studied and learned the material. Congrats to my Pillars of the Earth!
The afternoon was filled with Bible Quiz after Bible Quiz to determine who would receive the trophies. The last quiz, the one to determine first and second place, was so close. It came down to the last question! The teams were tied on question #19. As the girl answered the last question correctly, the audience lost control. Everyone was so proud of both teams and so excited for the winning team!
Once the audience settled down, we began the awards ceremony. Five of my team members received medals for memorizing Scripture. The first, second and third place teams were awarded ribbons. And then the individuals who scored the most points were given trophies.
And no Kenyan ceremony is complete without two things: showing proper appreciation to those who helped and speeches! We extend our arms to measure the appreciation. Then, we make a big, loud clap. Finally, we direct it toward the person we are appreciating.
So today, as I’m staying in bed all day with terrible nausea, I’m thankful that Bible Quizzing is over. I’m also thankful for the 3 months spent with these students. It’s time well spent to teach the Word of God to children!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for his Word! I love how it is alive and active, sharper than a double-edged sword.
2. Pray that the memory verses and information the kids learned will penetrate their hearts. Pray that their efforts will be rewarded by God. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use their head knowledge to teach them how to apply it to their lives.
3. Pray for all the WGM missionaries in Kenya who are gathering at the coast for the annual retreat. Pray for safe travels, rich fellowship and spiritual renewal for all of us attending.
4. Please pray for my tummy. It is not liking the malaria medicine I’m taking. Thanks!
“and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” I Samuel 17:47