The 10th National Bible Quiz Grand Finals had 40 contestants at Central United Methodist Church in Manila. The biennial event reflects 20 years of fruitful partnership between The United Methodist Church and the Philippine Bible Society.
The contestants at the Jan. 21, 2017, event were the champions from the different local, district and conference levels.
The four rounds of the competition include two rounds in which they answer questions about the Bible, and a third round in which contestant recite a Bible verse. In the fourth round, the top five in each round do verse expositions — comprehensively explaining and describing Bible verses. The whole process of elimination took at least six months.
In the junior division, the top three winners were Bridget Hilary S. Cruz, Philippines Conference, first place; Khyle Kidron Salitico, Bulacan Philippines Conference, second place, and Catherine Eladio, Northwest Mindanao Philippines Conference, third place.
Senior division winners were Niomi Nicole Salitico, Bulacan Philippines Conference, first place; Angela Joy Balod, Northern Philippines Conference, second place and Faith Eunice Rubante, Central Luzon Philippines Conference, third place.
"There is joy, thrill and power in studying, memorizing and meditating the word of God! I pray that I would be able to put into practice whatever learnings that I gained from this Bible Quiz,” said Cruz. "Because of this Bible quiz, I know Jesus deeper.”
Salitico relayed her great learning along with her overwhelming joy: “My great learning is not just memorize the scriptures, but to put those into practice. A changed heart of an individual will be the beginning of a changed hearts of family, community, then the country."
Salitico mentioned the significance of unity, time and discipline.
“Efforts pooled together is the secret; this would have never been possible without the whole team working together.”
Ably seeing and standing
Among the 40 contestants are two with physical challenges.
Faith Eunice C. Rubante said that being blind never prevented her from joining, "so here I am as one among the finalists."
Rubante has been exposing herself to the Bible for a long time, first in audio and through braille from Resources for the Blind.
"Studying his words made me strong,” she said. “It developed my confidence and enabled me to share God’s glory in my own small ways."
In her big preparation, Rubante said that prayer was the most important element.
"I was praying to ask the guidance and wisdom from God to overcome this challenge. I believe that joining this will ultimately show how great and faithful God has been to my life.”
Kyle Jeremiah M. Pabico’s inability to walk due to cerebral palsy has never stopped him from doing his passion to learn the Word of God and share it.
"I was able to survive all struggles and hardships through God’s grace and guidance and I was able to know more about God through our morning devotion at school, and recently, by leading our small group’s devotion," he said.
Davao Area Bishop Rodolfo Juan stated his message to the entire connection:
"For every United Methodist to enthrone the Bible in our hearts … for us to purposively disciple and nurture our children. We need the teach them not only to read the Bible, but to meditate and memorize verses. Deuteronomy 6 is a clear mandate to teach the future generation," he said.
Nora G. Lucero, general secretary of the Philippine Bible Society, said, "We praise God for the lives of the young that have been touched and transformed by His Word through the years.
"Everything will pass away but never the Word that transforms."
Mangiduyos is a correspondent for United Methodist News Service.
News media contact: Vicki Brown, news editor, email@example.com or 615-742-5470.