Several months before the competition, we started brainstorming about the possibility of us "older kids" going down to Orlando to experience the Bible Bee. It had never worked out for us to go, but we had wanted to, especially after hearing so much about it from the rest of the family! After some prayers and more brainstorming, we found a great deal on tickets and made plans to fly to Orlando! The rest of the family left on Monday, and we were able to work a few more days before heading out (via air:) to join them Thursday.
Chels, Mitch, Carson, and I had a fabulous trip, by the way.:) The four of us had road-tripped together before, but not flown, and our first time flying together was great fun. It definitely beats flying alone, in my opinion!
Thusday evening we met up with our family and a bunch of friends at the Sweet Tomato Restaurant. It was great to see them again and catch up on all the news since they had left at the beginning of the week.:) They were having a great time reciting the Word of God and hanging out with wonderful friends, and we were thrilled to join the party!
Some of our friends rode with us in the bus for the ride back to the hotel.
This is "we the spectators"! It was a THRILL to watch our siblings compete! We loved getting to be there to cheer them on.:)
the Junior Division
Here are Taylor and Denver, rejoicing together after learning that they were advancing to the Semi-Final Round.
the Primary Division
We enjoyed hearing a few songs from the "Glad" quartet.
"Oh, how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day." -Psalm 119:97
Liz, Denver, Hudson, and Taylor with some of their friends.
This is so typical of Denver and Taylor- Denver so chill and confident, and Taylor all intense and focused. They balance each other out really well, and throughout their studies and competitions this year, they have constantly been encouraging and pushing one another. Of course their was some brotherly competition going on, too, since they were competing against each other in the Junior Division.:)
or may not have been some wild screaming and yelling when the Senior Finalists were announced and Joshua's name was called!!!
Only the second time in Bible Bee history that siblings have competed against each other in the FINALS. We were pretty proud of them. =)
Everret Chew (2nd place), Denver Bontrager (3rd place), Taylor Bontrager (4th place), Carrie-Grace McConkey (5th place), Noah Farley (1st place)
"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." -Job 23:12
Brittany Schlichter (2nd place), Rionna Flynn (3rd place), Daniel Fierer (1st place), Joshua Bontrager (4th place), and Caleb Hoverson (5th place)
The competition was a beautiful, God-honoring event. Josh, Denver, Taylor, Elizabeth, and Hudson worked hard and competed well, but more than their scores (which were fantastic, and of course, make me quite proud) I am thrilled with the discipline that my siblings have built into their lives. They love the Word of God intensely, and the hundreds of hours spent in His Word continue to change them and impact the lives of countless others. This is the reward that cannot be measured by scores, ribbons, or cash prizes. The Bible is the most important thing in their lives- the first book they read every day, the place they go when they are seeking Truth about an issue, and the words they engraft in their hearts so they might not sin against their Savior (Ps. 119:11).
I close with these words from Jeremiah 15:16:
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mind heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O Lord God of hosts."