We recently held our annual event, the Bible Olympiad, at the Mercy Foundation.
Every year we focus on one book in the Bible. We gather the students from the different schools at least two times a year – one for a Friendship Meeting of Participants and one for the Final Olympiad event. In the past few years, we studied the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. This year it will be from the Gospel of Luke. The students from all the schools study this particular Gospel (as well as other Bible study materials) in order to prepare themselves for the Olympiad. The teachers are also involved. Our spiritual coordinators work to get the school team ready therefore, they organize fun and meaningful events dedicated to the Gospel throughout the school year. March 17th was the day of The Friendship Meeting of Participants. A pre-final meeting allows the students to test their knowledge as well as familiarize themselves with the event and grow in unity. This Meeting’s theme was “A journey through Israel”. The whole program was designed so that the students can follow the same journey through the same towns and geographical places that Jesus went through when He was on earth. The plot was taken from the first 10 chapters of the Gospel of Luke and students had to visit 10 different geographical places that were marked with specific events (Jesus’ miracles, healing, etc.) that the Gospel mentions by name. When they arrive at a place, they had to answer several questions about the specific event of this place without knowing what this place was. They had to guess it by the questions. All the teams had maps of Israel’s territory at that time and they had to put names of the places they guessed on the map. At every place, they had to accomplish different funny and meaningful assignments, once accomplished, they receive a piece of a secret code that they would have to solve at the end of the game.
The whole code was a cipher referring them to the event’s main message (Luke 5:24) and the Bible was the key. This event was unique because we had a special guest from China, Mr. Phillip Cao, who is a master of Jewish history. He encouraged the participants to keep studying the Word of God while they are still young. The atmosphere was truly friendly. We tried to divide up all the students from all the schools into different teams, so that in each team there can be a mix of older and younger students from different schools. It helps them to grow in unity, friendship and fellowship. There was also a team of teachers. At the end of the game, students who showed the best results received fun and useful gifts.