Our team was reunited this morning at Joska. The team remaining in Nairobi awoke early to hop on a long, bumpy bus ride to Joska. The team already in Joska was awoken even earlier (about 4:00 a.m.) by a rooster and some hens that decided to start crowing literally feet away from their pillows. Many of them could not return to sleep.
But when our 16 team members, most of whom were strangers to one another just months ago, were together again an excitement exuded our members. Our Bible Bowl team that started this project explained the tasks that remained undone, and everyone joined together to perform them.
For those that may not be familiar, Bible Bowl is a game that is played by children that makes studying the Scriptures fun. It makes an exciting game (that somewhat resembles what some might recall as the “Brain Game”) focused on the Bible. TPCC has had a Bible Bowl program for many, many years, but to our team’s knowledge, this is the first time that Bible Bowl has ever been taken outside the United States. So, our team’s task was to teach 128 questions (out of the 800 questions in the game) about the Bible to 6th and 7th grade children in about 6 hours of focused study.
Our team tackled this task with enthusiasm and excitement. The children from the slums were very eager to learn the questions and answers. They played games between lessons and they bounced between the game stations. Some teams didn’t even want to play the games, they just wanted to keep studying the Scripture. It gave us great joy.
In the afternoon, we worked on memory verses with the children. Seeing a room full of children — born into conditions that we would consider abusive if our pet dog/cat lived in them — quoting God’s Word in a beautiful rural setting was an unforgettable sight. Their love for Scripture memorization was infectious.
Later this afternoon, we began the first ever Bible Bowl tournament in Africa. The tournament featured 12 teams (all named for some sort of animal) who were literally tossed into their first time using the buzzers 5 minutes before the game had begun.
The African teams did well. Virtually ever team knew the answers to nearly every question asked during the games. At the end of the games today, the boys teams (the Elephants and the Warthogs) and the girls’ teams (the Cheetahs and the Rhinos) advanced to the finals. Tomorrow, the Final Four of Bible Bowl – Kenya will be hosted with the cumlination involving the top girls team playing the top boys team for the championship. The screams of joy and the agony of defeat were present, but every player went away with more knowledge about God’s Word.
In the afternoon, we played basketball and other games with the children. The State of Indiana was represented well as Team USA beat Team Kenya with a nice long 3-pointer. The rim was bent substantially, but we enjoyed this interaction immensely.
Tonight, some of our team enjoyed watching a student worship session, while others took bucket showers to rinse off the sweat from a hard day’s work. Our hosts at Missions of Hope, treated us like royalty, especially when they hand carried many large buckets of hot water across a wide field for our comfort. The “showers” were heavenly.
Overall, our joy cannot be adequately put into words, but there is much about the trip that must be received by one’s other senses. We look forward to a full report of our trip upon our return.
Peace and love,
TPCC July Kenya 2012