THE CHANCELLOR, MALAWI DIRECTOR, LECTURERS, MEMBERS OF STAFF, EXECUTIVE MEMBERS OF FULL GOSPEL ASSEMBLY, FELLOW GRADUATES, FAMILY MEMBERS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
by Paul Mpasu
I am very honoured to give a speech on behalf of my fellow students. It has been a great honour to be part and parcel of the students of International Maranatha Institute.
We started this journey last year in October with our knowledge almost blank. Some of us came not sure about what we were embarking on. It took the patience of our lecturers to have us settled and begin to take this school seriously. May God bless our lecturers and continue to strengthen them as they tirelessly keep on doing the noble task of shaping church leaders to become true servants of God, who will “rightly divide the word of truth.” When we commenced our classes with the famous “Holy Spirit the comforter,” we immediately realized that our leaders are there for serious business. It was tough but we persevered. At times, we felt like we would not be able to make it but our lectures were always by our side encouraging us that we would make it. Some of our colleagues walked unsteadily and fell along the way. Therefore, my word of encouragement to them is that I have learnt with relief from our lecturers that to them, there is still a chance to finish their studies this year as continuing students. In actual fact, there are at least two in our midst who failed to make it last time. But here they are, today they are part and parcel of this graduating crew and we are very proud of them.
To our beloved lecturers, I would like to salute you for the wonderful job you have done on us. We joined this school empty, but we are going back full of knowledge and wisdom. We can ably help others who are in the dark. We were at times problematic, but you treated us like your own children. May good Lord bless you and empower you even more so that many people may benefit from the good work you are doing.
To my fellow graduating students, let me say this to you; when you are destined for greatness, you will meet issues on the way and that is a sign that you are going in the right direction and the enemy wants to shift your focus. When the Israelites were coming out of Egypt, venomous snakes attacked them but it took only those who ignored the pain and raised their eyes to the bronze snake which was a shadow of the crucified Christ on the cross to live. When you focus on Jesus Christ all these other things get dimmer. I understand it has been a very long journey full of difficulties. However, despite all these obstacles that we have encountered during this journey, we have managed to get through. These obstacles could be our friends, family members or relatives who did not want us to study. These obstacles could also be laziness and tiredness, sometimes we felt lazy and tired that we would not even be able to do our studying or go to school. But regardless of the difficulties, we endured until we have reached our destination. For us to reach this far, it is because we ignored the hardships that we have been encountering throughout this journey and forged ahead with our focus on Christ as well as on our studies. Our faith in Christ, our fortitude and our steadfastness have enabled us to succeed. And for this reason, I would like to congratulate you my fellow graduating students for your success. In Mathews 28:19 -20, Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all his commands. Similarly today as we go out to the world, Jesus Christ commissions us that we should go everywhere to proclaim his name. We must make sure that we bring peace and unity into our communities, we must also make sure that everywhere we go we spread the gospel.
To the chancellor, I would like express my sincere gratitude to you for the assistance that you provide for the students. Today, education is a privilege to the rich. It is hard for the poor to get access to higher education, but with your grants we have managed to complete our studies. May God bless you so that your assistance could be sustained.
Finally, let me thank all those that have come to this eventful ceremony. May the good Lord bless you for your coming. Thank you.