Sunday, March 27, 2016

Loving My God....With Everything!

Finals Competition on Palm Sunday
Tenwek Children's Bible Quizzing Kids and Coaches 2016

     It was a very busy and energetic Bible quizzing season this year with over 200 children participating and 30 coaches challenging their kids to study nine chapters in the last half of Matthew.  We had a second site about 30 minutes from Tenwek (Mosop school) where four different schools with nearly 200 students also participated.  We concluded with a tournament last weekend to determine out top teams in the older primary school division (Grades 6 to 8) and our younger division (Grades 4 and 5).  For the first time that Pam and I can remember, the Bible material we studied and memorized with the kids aligned perfectly with the Easter message this month.   We don't have the final number of medals handed out for scripture memory but well over 100 kids earned gold medals, meaning they had quoted to their coaches, word perfect, either 60 verses (older kids) or 45 verses (younger kiddos)  that we had selected as the most powerful for kids to remember.  Another 50 or more kids earned silver and bronze medals for fewer verses memorized.  Our theme "Loving My God....KABISA" came from Matthew 22: 37-39 the "Great Commandment" passage.  "Kabisa" is a great Swahili word meaning "with everything" or "entirely".  See pics below for scenes from last weekend's final competition and awards..

Pam and Dr. Angela Many doing final stats for individual award winners in both divisions.

Two quizzers having fun during "study" time.

"Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God."

 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"

Action from Palm Sunday tournament with 30 teams involved in the final month of competition. 

The top ten quizzers in our younger division
Lots of fun times on each team with kids making new friends  
One of the verses we asked the kids to memorize this year was from Matthew 19:14 which says  "but Jesus said "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."  On the last Sunday of January we held our first competition for the 200+ kids and as we prepared all three quizzing rooms at the hospital,  dark storm clouds started gathering to pour down rain on our campus, which it does often on Sunday afternoons.   As I looked at the ominous storm clouds gathering, I was alone walking between venues and I simply asked God ..."Father in heaven, would you allow these children to come and have fun, quoting your word,  focused on learning from your son Jesus today without getting rained on and being hindered?"  I guess my faith was a little small as I prayed this prayer with an umbrella in my hand!   God heard my prayer and, I kid you not, the storm clouds passed around Tenwek Hospital, pouring rain all over the hillsides around us but didn't get our quizzers wet at all!   God does hear our prayers, especially when we are looking out for his precious possessions "for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven".  We thank you on this Easter for praying and giving to make this children's program a success this year.  We especially appreciate the efforts of Berrien Center Bible Church in Michigan,  Grace Church in Mooresville, IN,  Woodland Park Baptist Church and Silverdale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN for providing funds and t-shirts for this year's program.  God bless you all!  
Mike, Pam, Kayla, and Ashley

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