I remember vividly that first day; I was still a freshman, early in my fall semester. I previously came from church with another on-campus religious organization. The other religious organization, I felt like I didn’t belong to. I was excluded and shamed. It seemed like their main use of power was to point out sinners. Overall, I just never felt loved when I went there.
So on the day I met the UMD coordinator of 100% Triumph, I came pretty empty and lost. I knew that my faith wouldn’t be able to survive, especially if I didn’t cultivate my passion that I’ve had for God. I grew up in the faith and I turn to God in hard times. But later I found through 100% Triumph that it is even more important to turn to God during the most joyous times, thanking Him, and even if everything is going wrong around you, someone who is saved can experience the same amount of joy and more, as someone who has everything in the world. Formally known, during that season, as Salvation and Praise, the club was singing outside of Mckeldin Library. Everyone had such a beautiful voice that there was a crowd of all faiths gathered, some even clapping to the beat. The leaders greeted me and asked if I was Christian. The whole day, I had been feeling dejected and before they appeared, I remember a specific thought going through my head “God, I can’t anymore”. I was experiencing indifference so great that my passion for Christ was waning. Feeling this, I hesitated when answering, but I said yes.
They weren’t just nice, but kind. They weren’t just welcoming, but they also continued to make sure I felt loved. My first memory was singing in front of Mckeldin. I can’t sing well, but I felt so passionate again to sing in praise and thank God for bringing amazing people into my life.
Now just about two years later, I’ve gotten to go to conferences and concerts, where Dr. Emmanuel and Pastor Sarah Emmanuel have enlightened us on the Word. Every experience has been full of life. I dance with all my heart and no matter what is going on outside, I feel at peace and envigored to praise the Lord for the countless blessings. And although coming to UMD was so different, that it was blinding at times, I found clarity in going to the weekly meetings where all stress would slip away and I could refocus on God.
The Beautiful people of 100% Triumph (@ Nandos and giving praise by Mckeldin)