On Wednesday 16th September 2015, we had the privilege to attend a chapel session at Pepperdine University. Every Wednesday morning, the pepperdine community meets to worship God together and to listen to a speaker and on that day we were invited to take part in that community worship. After a small worship session, we had the honor to listen to a very eloquent speaker, the campus assistant chaplain Eric Wilson. During the 30 mins of his preaching, I could hardly contain my tears ( Monique and Maya were definitely worst than me), God definitely spoke to me through him. His message was entitled “ Broken but not alone” and in a very eloquent manner,he talked about how at the end of it all we are all broken, if we have lived long enough the world has left us wounded and bitter and we sometimes wonder how we got where we are. BUT he also says that we might be broken but we are not alone because we have a heavenly father who loves us and who will never abandon us. He also says that God uses our brokenness to speak life to others and that God will use our weakness and our wounds to bring hope to humanity. This message was powerful for me and the team because it represents the reason to why we are in America and also it is the message that God wants to transfer to all the people we come in contact with.
The message was definitely a reminder to the group that we are not here to have fun but that we are here to proclaim the goodness of God and to share a message of Hope. This message stuck with me when we visited all the classes in Pepperdine and had the debate that night on the role of the church in solving social conflict, the underlying message was the same “ Broken but not alone”.
In Dr Satchel class, we discussed about stories of inequalities around the world but most of all we watched a documentary about the way in which black people were treated in America and it was so similar to the way Tutsis were treated in Rwanda, The form might of discrimination might be different but it was also very similar, we had conversations about how to re-humanize our experience how to value people and how to always remember that we are WORTHY human beings.
Before we left, we attended church and the church had been growing through a series called “ The story: finding our story in God’s story” and what a great way to end our time in Pepperdine. For me this message just added to the reflection that I had been having for the last few days.
Stories of pain, wounds, hatred,discrimination are part of what makes us human, as long as we are all human we are going to experience betrayal and hurt and our heart will be broken BUT there’s hope and that hope comes from our Good father. God promises that if we allow him he will use our wounds and hurts to change the world.
End of it all, our time at Pepperdine reminded me that this is not our work, we are doing God’s work we are not proclaiming and showing off the work that iDebate Rwanda is doing because we are the smartest people in the world and know everything NO we are showing the world that God can use a small nation that went through the worst tragedy in the history of Mankind to inspire the world, the same way God used Israel, he will and is using Rwanda . The same God can use a small debate program to inspire and challenge people.
It’s not us, it’s the God we serve.
At the end of the service in Malibu they played a song that represents well the journey.
“Good Good Father” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djrY_eFDOwE