Trinidad and Tobago
Over a year ago I decided I had had enough of the empty devotions of worship. In my heart I packed my bags and left. I wanted little or nothing to do with church again. Over the next few months I began my search for a devotion that appealed to me.
My sister suggested that I do the Alpha programme. She had done it before and always spoke of the tremendous difference it made in her life. Looking back, I almost didn’t notice how subtly she had changed. I personally didn’t want to hear of another programme that would attempt to convince me of the “goodness” and “truth” of Christianity. I had had enough. As I continued seeking God’s will in my life, rather sporadically I might add, my Aunt also suggested that I do the Alpha programme. I groaned inwardly. No! I was leaving the Church!
Not many days after I had a visitor at my home. Alpha’s facilitator, Mr. Mario Tam, came to personally invite me to Alpha. “Ok, God,” I thought, “I’m slow to understand but definitely not stupid.” I began Alpha.
From the first meeting I came home feeling refreshed and different. Week by week, I looked forward to Alpha and the friendships I realised were being formed as we shared our concerns, prayers, weaknesses and fears. Each week, I admonished myself for talking too much. But it was almost as if I couldn't keep quiet. I wanted to share and to share in others’ sharing.
During the course of the programme I experienced two life changing events. The first was that I ended a long-standing relationship with the man I envisioned spending the rest of the life with. I came to the realisation that the relationship was empty and lacking the true love of the Father. That, I know, would have totally devastated me, if it had happened at any other time. I thank God! Secondly, my Uncle who I took care of died of cancer. I got the strength to cope with these ordeals because of Alpha.
As Nicky Gumbel rightfully said, (in my words of course) head knowledge is one thing. Heart knowledge on the other hand, is what I began to experience through the talks, the scriptural references and most definitely, the sharing of hearts with my class.
Our group was blessed with varying personalities. I changed from being a very judgemental person to being very open, because I came to see the beauty in everyone. As I opened my heart each week I received so much more than I was giving. It was a true love experience. I haven’t gotten to the stage where I attend service regularly yet, but I’m getting there.
Without verbally asking anyone questions God sent answers. He sent me angels. I now want to be that person who speaks about God with not only head knowledge but more importantly, heart knowledge. That is what really changes lives. Thank You, God for Alpha. Thank you, Alpha for pointing the real way to God.