SONOMA – I’m Alphonse Mek, originally from Enga and later from Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces.
I come from a background of struggle.
My father, Pok Kyngal, died when I was about six years old. Just before he died he took me in his loving harms and cried as I watched. This memory is fresh in me.
Just recently, on 24 July this year, my adopted daddy, Mek, also died while I was studying here at college.
I thought I had lost all my potential and all my hope but I prayed and God gave me peace in my heart.
My mother is illiterate and so she found it hard to raise me and my brothers and sisters. The last girl, Macklyn, was in my mother’s womb when Pok Kyngal died.
My mummy is a hard working mother who always cares about our lives. But without father’s advice I was determined to be self-reliant at home and help my mummy in whatever way I could.
I faced a lot of challenges during my schooling. Sometimes I did not have school fees; sometimes I did not have proper clothes.
Fellow students looked down at me because of my stature, not because of my character. But I learned to love them.
One of my challenges came when I was selected to do Grade 11 at Anglimp Secondary School and on the first day in class I realised I was the only person without new clothes and a pair of shoes.
I cried within my heart and when I got home I cried to the Lord but he did not give me a pair of shoes or new clothes but he gave me peace in my heart and a small voice that said: “There is always hope in the storm.”
Regardless of anything else, I never missed worship on the Sabbath and I never missed church activities.
Mt Kora Adventist School in Jiwaka became my home of hope. I prayed in church at daybreak and in the morning went to school.
I brought all my problems to God in prayer and by doing so clearly saw the beauty of my future.
In Grade 12 I studied theology to become a gospel minister, and in 2017 was selected to attend Sonoma Adventist College to study theology. I am now in my third and final year.
The photograph was taken recently on the Sabbath at Kambubu Adventist Secondary School, when I was ordained as a gospel minister in the Seventh day Adventist Church.
I am looking forward to Sunday 24 November, less than three weeks away, which is my graduation day – and that will be a great day to dance with tears of joy.
But there will be more steps to go and I have the faith and commitment to become a gospel minister in the near future.
One thing I know from my life is that struggle and hardship can shape you as a person. I also know that nothing is free, success comes through endless struggle. Whatever happens, you must always trust God that there is hope in the storm.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, all of us struggling to find success in life, we must allow God to take possession and rule in our hearts and rely on Him in times of trouble.
The future you are fighting for is with Him. He designed your existence just before you came to exist. God has a plan for you.
My entire life will be lived to served God’s people. There is no other greater job on earth.