Yerid Ruíz (right) of the South Central American Union covers part of his face as he hears his name announced as this year’s Bible Connection finale competition by Pastor Al Powell (second from left), youth ministries director for the church in Inter-America and Pastor Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in Chiapas, Mexico, during the online program held Nov. 20, 2021. [Photo: Screengrab]
United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Yerid Ruíz, of the South Central American Union, was crowned top winner of Inter-America’s territory-wide Bible Connection competition this year. The competition was held online on November 20th. Ruíz, 21, who is from Nicaragua, had an emotional moment when his name was announced as the winner during the annual event hosted in Chiapas, Mexico.

Ruíz, who led with a score of 1,000 total points, scored the highest amongst the 23 other regional finalists in the 18th annual event held throughout the Inter-American Seventh-day Adventist Churches. He answered all 80 questions in a time of 9:19. Ruíz is studying tourism and hotel administration in his home country and chose a one-year scholarship at Montemorelos University in northern Mexico among his top-winner prizes.

Jennifer Córdoba, of the Panama Union, trailed behind by a few seconds taking the second spot with a score of 1,000 points and a completion time of 9:58. Córdoba, 17, who is studying science and technology in Panama will get to choose from four other Adventist universities located throughout Inter-America that offered scholarships to the top three candidates.

Samuel Montaño, of the East Venezuela Union, grabbed the third spot with a total score of 995 points, completed in 5:51 minutes. Montaño, 18, is studying engineering in chemical processes and will also have the opportunity to choose a scholarship at one of the four Adventist universities participating in the prizes this year.

The four universities offering scholarships included:

Northern Caribbean University, in Jamaica – 4 years full scholarship

Central American Adventist University, in Costa Rica – 4 years full scholarship

Linda Vista University, in Mexico – partial scholarship for first four years

Colombia Adventist University, in Colombia – one-year full scholarship

All 24 finalists participating this year will also receive prizes for taking part in this year’s finale competition, said Pastor Al Powell, Youth Ministries Director for the church in Inter-America.

“This Bible Connection is all about getting more young people in the habit of studying their Bibles and drawing important life lessons as they face daily challenges in their lives,” said Powell. “Everyone who has participated this year is a winner because [they] all have been studying the Bible for a whole year.”

Finalists answered 80 multiple choice questions valued at 5,10,15, or 20 points on the books of Psalms Chapters 1-46, and their corresponding chapters from Adventist co-founder Ellen G. White’s Patriarchs and Prophets, chapters 62,64,71 and 73. The two-and-a-half-hour online program connected the finalists during the live event.

Powell announced next year’s Bible Connect competition is scheduled for the in-person finale in Cartagena, Colombia. The books to study for next year’s competitions for Adventurers, Pathfinders, and Master Guides levels include the entire Book of Revelation, as well as several chapters of Ellen G. White’s “The Great Controversy.”

The grand finale competition program included music, prayer, and spiritual messages.

This article was originally published on the Inter-American Division’s website.