The origins of the Czech Bible Championship and its connection with Jerusalem
(for the whole picture history of the Championships go to the website www.bibleprague.cz section Photo Gallery)
The circumstances surrounding the origins of the Czech Bible Championship are very interesting. It all began during the Christian Conference held in Prague in the summer of 1998, when one of the guest preachers was Robert Stearns from the USA. After his message he asked everybody who felt in their hearts a burden for Israel and its people to step forward. Between 30-40 people, including my beloved wife Darina and I, responded. Robert had a message for each of us, a prophetic word. He told Darina and I that we would become a bridge and a highway between Israel and the Czech Republic. We were shocked, though not by the message itself; for by then we had already visited Israel five times and had made some good friends there. What surprised us was that Robert did not know any of this, as we had never met him before.
A similar atmosphere prevailed at the conference the following day. During his message, Robert asked Darina and I to come forward again, this time just the two of us, and he prayed a blessing over us: that we would fulfill our calling and be established as this "bridge."
This message, and the fact it was delivered in front of all the people attending the event, left us somewhat confused, all the more so when, following this prayer, the pastor of the Prague Christian Fellowship, Dan Drapal, told us that in the autumn we were to go to Jerusalem to attend an international All Nations Convocation organized by Tom Hess. This was overwhelming; at the time we did not even know what a convocation was!
That September 1998 we did indeed attend this convocation. It was a beautiful meeting of Christians from more than 180 countries. Included in the seven-day program were group prayers for each of Jerusalem's Old City gates. Darina and I took the bus to Jaffa Gate where we prayed for the peace for Jerusalem.
After this time of prayer we met a lady who expressed surprise on hearing we were from the Czech Republic. We were surprised in turn when she revealed to us that the ancestors of her American husband came from Czech. Before very long Mrs. Roberta Hromas told us she believed we should hear what she had to tell us. And so, for the first time, we heard from her about the World Bible Championship.
This turned out to be the first of many subsequent meetings between us. Roberta told us how it all started: In Israel, there is a long-standing traditional Bible knowledge competition (without the New Testament naturally), whose winner is regarded as a very reputable person. We agreed that studying the Bible and using the Word of God in our everyday life should also be a Christian priority.
Mrs Hromas has been the director of the American Christian Trust for more than 25 years, and she is the author of many books, including "'Passport for the Bible" and " 52 ways how to teach your child to pray".
Increasingly we were persuaded that we should start organizing a contest in biblical knowledge in the Czech Republic.
So we returned to Prague with this vision in our minds and began the first practical steps to bring it about. After meeting with the director of the Czech Biblical Society, Dr Jiri Lukl, and the director of the International Bible Society, Jiri Drejnar I was invited to participate in the meeting of the Biblical forum. Express support for the idea of this competition also came from a representative of the Scripture Union, Mr. Pavel Tuma. In this way the Steering Committee of the Bible Championship in the Czech Republic was established. Today the Steering Committee consists of the Czech branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem represented by its managing director Mr. Karel Sedlacek, the Czech Bible Society headed by its director Mr. Pavel Novak and the Czech branch of the Scripture Union under leadership of Mr. Martin Hejl.
So far we organized seven Bible Championships in the Czech Republic. European Bible Championship was the recent one with international participation from Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Slovakia, Holland, Switzerland and USA. We realized that through good logistic and cooperation links there is no language barrier. We were also witness of the truly ecumenical character of these championships and their joyful atmosphere.
I value very much the attitude of the competitors, back then and now, their enthusiasm for the Bible and its message. I believe that their changed lives will have an impact on many other people outside their closest circles too. I am thankful for our good relationship with the media whereby we are able to fulfill one of the main purposes of the Championship, which is to turn the attention of the people towards the Book of books.
We, Christian and Jews, have got the same God and we have very close values together. We enjoy the fruits from the tree that grows from the same roots and which is watered by mutual understanding and love.
The pictures speak better than words, therefore we recommend you to visit website www.bibleprague.cz where are at section fotogalery pictures from all the championships from the very beginning.
Due to low sign up of the Bible Championship for 2016 in Jerusalem, the event is postponed to 2018 and destination to Prague, Czech Republic. More information will follow on this homepage while all rules and regulations concerning the event still remains unchanged. Meantime, a new chapter of the Bible Championship was opened in Ghana on 6th December 2016.
Best wishes to all of you
On behalf of the Board
Director of the International Bible Championship