Bible Quizzing. As many of you know, it has impacted my life greatly, and it has become one of my biggest passions. This trip allowed me to spread that passion and to see how it has impacted others, both in the US and across the world, and that is a huge, important thing to me. Quizzing has impacted me more than words could ever describe, and I am excited about Bible Quizzing, I always will be. I want others to be excited too. I want others to have a chance to be impacted as much, or more, than I was by such an amazing ministry. I want others to have as much joy, passion, and love for Quizzing as I have, and I am always wondering how to spread that to others who may not have it and maintain it in those who do.
When I walked into the 6th grade girls’ classroom, I expected apprehension, both by myself and the girls. I expected them to be shy and nervous about learning this new thing and being taught by strangers. I expected myself to be worried about what to teach, how to teach, what to do, and how they would respond. But, the girls were beyond excited to be learning this new thing from these interesting people. And I was excited and happy to be teaching them. Initially, it was a little more difficult than I had anticipated, because I had to figure out what they already knew about Quizzing and what it was, and how much I had to teach them. But, after I figured that out, I had a great time teaching them. And they had a great time learning.
The knowledge these kids had was astonishing. They knew Acts 1 and 2 well- better than some of the American Quizzers I had seen. I asked them questions, and they answered most of them correctly with little or no hesitation. They were prejumping questions left and right- although they struggled to grasp the concept of completing the question. But, they were beyond excited. And that made my beyond excited. It has been a long time since I have seen such joy, passion, and excitement for Quizzing from such young kids. It has been a long time since I have had so much fun teaching something and helping others learn.
During our “study breaks,” Lydia and I taught the girls the macarena and did the roller coaster with them. And they loved it so much. In fact, the next day, on one of our breaks, they asked to do the macarena, simply by extending their arms and starting the motions. We had fun, and we taught them Quizzing.
During this whole experience, I was left wondering how much of what they were learning were they actually learning. I mean, their entire education system is rote memorization. They memorize something and recite it back. And that had me wondering how much they were absorbing. How much they were understanding. Were they just memorizing the material because that is what they were told to do? However, my questions were answered when it came time for the girls to quiz the guys.
Before the quiz, my girls decided to say a prayer. It was totally their idea. And there were so many volunteers to pray, I was taken aback. It made me think about our prayers before quizzes. How many Quizzers, myself included, pray because it is routine? It’s like a checklist. Introductions. Prayer. Practice jumps. When we pray, we spit off some routine prayer that we use every round and have used every round for seven years. We don’t really mean it. Or maybe we do. I don’t know. But, regardless, this prayer was not like that. This was a genuine, worshipful prayer. It really challenged me to begin thinking about my prayers and how, when, and why I pray. It challenged me to begin to pay attention. To stop praying at certain times for certain things just because it’s “normal.” To start praying for things at certain times because I mean it.
During the break between the two quizzes, the girls began singing worship songs. Again, unprompted. They just began singing. These children memorize the Scripture, yes, but they understand it. They know what it says. They understand the depth of what it is saying. They live it out. They really are the prime example of what it means to live out the Scriptures learned through Quizzing. They are the Quizzers I always hoped I had been. The ones who compete well, and know what the Scripture says, but who also visibly live it. They accepted their loss with love and joy, and their win with excitement and humility.
This whole experience meant so much to me. It reminded me how exciting Quizzing can be. It showed me how excited kids could be for Quizzing. Because I have not seen such excitement in a long time. It showed me how passionate others are for Quizzing. It solidified my passion for Quizzing and allowed me to share it with others half a world away. It was an experience and an opportunity that I am glad I took, and one I would love to take again.