By Chyrece Campbell
CAMP BANDINA – On Saturday morning April 7 the test proctor said, “Time. Pencils down.” The room filled with the sound of pencils hitting the desk like popcorn at theTexas Bible Bowl 2018 competition here.
More than 110 participants passed up their last Scantron test paper and then the once quiet room filled with conversations and laughter, as well as sighs of relief. After almost two hours of answering 250 questions on 1 Samuel, some participants asked each other questions about the test while others grabbed their Bibles looking for answers.
“Bible Bowl is not about testing and memorizing esoteric facts about the scriptures, but reading and learning the amazing story about God’s redemption plan for humankind,” said Deasha Cuttrell, from League City Church of Christ.
“This year was my first time doing the power round and I was so scared I cried,” said Reagan Campbell, 10, from West Bexar County Church of Christ in San Antonio. “But I felt better after my mommy hugged me and prayed with me.”
A closed-Bible, 25-minute test, the power round is very difficult. It’s administered before Round One and is not required for elementary participants like Reagan. The power round helps aid in determining first place winners as there are always just a few points between the top scores.
The 180 participants were grouped into tribes to allow children and adults to get to know each other and to build relationships between congregations. Tribes participated in ice breakers, games, eating and testing together, as well as times of service.
During Saturday evening, awards were given out to the top ten in over 10 categories. Lubbock Christian University gave out three scholarships to high schoolers. The TBB Board of Directors awarded scholarships to two high school seniors: Alyssa Sandefur and Branden Hart, both from League City Church of Christ.
“I had no idea I was winning a scholarship. Deasha asked me to write an essay and then last week called me to ask if I would do a devotional. I said yes because I love to help and share my faith,” said Branden Hart.
The three day weekend ended on Sunday with breakfast and worship.
“I enjoyed studying God’s word and feel sad that next year will be my last year as a student. I always love fellowshipping with others and I can’t wait until next year,” said Casey Lay, 17, from San Antonio’s Northwest Church of Christ. Lay is currently a junior in high school and has been participating since third grade.
Next year will be Texas Bible Bowl’s tenth anniversary. On April 6, many will test their knowledge of John’s gospel. If you or your church would like to participate or donate to scholarships go to texasbiblebowl.org.
By Chyrece Campbell