Meet Mikhenna Brown—one of the members of the 2023 National Bible Bee Alumni Service Team!
Three words that are commonly used to describe Mikhenna are observant, caring, and kind. Here are some fun facts about her…
- Home state: Kansas
- Favorite thing about her home state: “I love the trees around our house. They’re beautiful. They also remind me of spiritual truths. For example, the beauty of the autumn leaves is brought about by the leaves dying. In the same way, as we die to ourselves our lives are beautifully transformed by Christ.”
- Siblings: 5 – one older sister, three younger brothers, and one younger sister.
- Things Mikhenna enjoys: Listening to music, playing her violin, having good conversations with her family and friends, praying, reading the Bible, and writing encouraging cards.
- Random facts:
- Mikhenna is left-handed.
- Her favorite song to play on the violin is Mozart’s Concerto in A major, first movement.
- Mikhenna is a night owl.
- Her love language is words of affirmation.
- She loves hymns and owns several hymnals.
Mikhenna, thank you for joining us today! We’d love to get to know you a bit more, and hear some of your NBB story. How many years did you participate in the National Bible Bee before becoming an alumnus, and how did you first hear about the NBB—what got you to begin participating?
- I participated in the National Bible Bee as a contestant for seven years before participating three years as an alumna. 😀 We first heard about the National Bible Bee from a friend at our church who had just come back from Nationals in 2009. My mom purchased the Summer Study materials in 2010 and 2011, but it wasn’t until we joined a host group in 2014 that we learned how to use the Summer Study materials that had sat unused in our bookcase. I must admit that I was a very lazy child and refused to complete the Summer Studies until 2016. When I was around 15 years old, the Lord convicted me of how I was not living fully surrendered to His will and gave me the desire to live for Him. This desire (as well as my older sister qualifying as an alternate in 2016) motivated me to give full participation to the NBB in 2017. I was blessed to have qualified every year from 2017 until 2020.
Praise the Lord that He gave you that desire to live for Him! Taking a quick break from your story as it relates specifically to the National Bible Bee, we’d love to hear how you’re currently living out that desire to serve the Lord. What does that look like for you right now?
- I work at Canterbury Academy where I care for and enjoy the toddler and infant classes. When I’m at home, I enjoy attending weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies with fellow National Bible Bee-ers via video calls, writing encouraging notes, and participating on the Alumni Service Team.
That sounds full, but certainly blessed! Throughout your studies of the Bible, have you discovered a Biblical character you especially admire? And is there a passage of Scripture that is one of your favorites?
- I especially admire Joseph from Genesis 37-50. Joseph had many reasons to give in to bitterness and hopelessness, but he trusted and glorified God. It is evident from his words in Genesis 50 that Joseph was submitted to God’s will regardless of personal cost to himself. His faith in and love for the Lord are so inspiring to me!
- One of my favorite Bible passages is Colossians 2:9-10: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” The statement that I am complete in Christ is especially significant to me. While I sometimes feel inferior and lacking in some way, this passage reminds me that I am complete in Christ. My worth and completion as a person doesn’t depend on me at all, but all on Christ.
That is such an encouraging truth, and one that at least I can always benefit from being reminded of! One more study-related question for you, because I’m curious…What aspect of studying God’s Word do you enjoy the most?
- Cross-references are definitely my favorite thing to study! It’s fascinating how different parts of the Bible connect with other parts. I also love reading a great verse and then finding similar verses from different places of Scripture.
It is so neat to see how Scripture is living and active like that—often Cross-references are how we continue to learn something new in the Word every time we come to it. Back to your NBB story and what you have learned through that, have there been any specific profound truths that the Lord taught you through your time competing in the National Bible Bee?
- The most profound truth God taught me from competing in the NBB is that His Word is the true prize. I knew that God’s Word was the true prize, but this truth did not become personal to me until I aged out of the National Bible Bee. In my two last years competing in the National Bible Bee my goal was to make it to semi-finals. In 2020, my final year of competing, the preliminary competition was moved online due to the pandemic. Only the semifinalists and their families could attend an in-person competition that year. I studied between eight and eighteen hours every day of the Nationals season, but I still did not qualify for semis. God used this disappointment and my aging out of the competition to teach me to believe the many profound truths about Himself and His Word that I had studied during my years competing. One of the most important truths that He taught me is the value of His Word. In His Word, we know God’s will, character, promises, and instructions for His people. This knowledge is critical for us to have a deep and thriving relationship with the Lord. Realizing the importance of God’s Word made me realize that my time studying His Word was worth every moment and every sacrifice I had made to study it. It also has given me the motivation to continue memorizing Scripture and to stay involved in the NBB as an alumna.
Thank you for sharing that—truly the Lord can use those types of deep disappointments to teach us most powerfully. Speaking of the motivation to continue memorizing Scripture, how do you stay motivated to do that now?
- That’s a good question. 🙂 There are several ways I stay motivated to memorize God’s Word. The main way is remembering the reason I memorize: because I want to be close to the Lord and always growing in Him. God’s Word is the best way to learn about God. Another aspect that motivates me to memorize Scripture is that memorizing Scripture allows me to recite God’s Word during times when it would be impossible for me to be reading from a Bible.
What a needed reminder to be faithful in storing God’s Word in our hearts—then it will always be accessible to us no matter our earthly circumstances.
Mikhenna, thank you so much for participating in this interview and for sharing some of the ways that the National Bible Bee has impacted your life! Before you go, would you share with us your biggest takeaway from the program, and your biggest encouragement to everyone as they study and memorize God’s Word, especially for those studying for Nationals right now?
- The NBB motivated me to memorize over a thousand verses. The verses I memorized deepened my love for the Lord and I came to trust the Lord as my Savior, Friend, and Counselor. The verses also convicted me of my sin and pointed me to Christ – His salvation, His grace, His help, and His instructions. My biggest takeaway from the program is that God’s Word is wonderful. Each verse you memorize is a treasure. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I know that the days leading up to Nationals seem to either drag by in tedious study or fly by as verse card stacks seem to grow. I want to encourage you to keep pressing on! Press on to know our Savior better. Not one thing you memorize from His Word will be wasted. Whether or not you achieve your memorization goals, be blessed knowing that you have gained the true prize of knowing God’s Word.
Interview by NBB Alumna: Bethany Boone