On our Alumni stories’ series, today we bring you Mongie Silombo. He speaks about the danger of trying to fulfil people’s expectations of you as a graduate and why it is important to do your part wherever you are. Read this inspirational and timeless advice and be blessed.
One of my lecturers would often say this statement in class, “more is given to you and much more is expected from you.” I never understood it until I left African Christian College and was out in the world, with friends, family and colleagues. They knew I was from ACC and therefore expected a different behavior from me – “a Christian behavior -, with less flaws and perfection. At work there was this expectation that I do what Jesus said, and going an extra mile. When my colleagues knock off from work at 3, I should probably stay until 3:30 or 4pm. During services at my local congregation, I also had to produce lessons or sermons that proved that I spent three years studying the Bible. Lastly, I was expected to be a good ambassador for ACC in everything I do. All that were their expectations not my requirements to work in the heavenly kingdom. Expectations from people is what I noticed as one huge stumbling block for a graduate. This is because the moment you do not live up to their expectations, you begin to feel like maybe there is nothing really special about you and you wasted the resources of the college.
Sometimes it can hit one hard when you hear that some of the alumni are busy preaching the word of God in their communities and baptizing hundreds of people every now and then. You begin to ask yourself, am I doing things right? Am I at the right place? Is God pleased with me being a teacher, teaching computers and science in a school or I should go out also and seek the lost? Infact that is what happened to me. I remember having a conversation with the president, Brad, one time asking him if he is proud of us, meaning me, as an ACC alumnus. He wanted clarity on my question and I told him what I see on Facebook from other graduates who are baptizing people often and nothing from me, but I just wake up go and teach. He said a lot of things trying to answer and comfort me, but what motivated me was that he is not looking for results in terms of how many people we are baptizing (and to baptize people is good), but concerned if we are living up to the mission of ACC; which is to glorify God by equipping African men and women for excellent service in God’s Kingdom. That could be in teaching, counselling, chaplaincy, a leader in a local congregation, running a business etc. There is nothing that you do for the Lord that will ever be in vain, meaningless or useless. Even if it is a cup of water for Christ, it matters. Everything one does for Christ matters.
The knowledge and exposure one gets from ACC makes the person to feel great and about oneself, such that we unconsciously feel enthusiastic that we can change the world immediately because we know the feeling of having a transformed mind and heart. You just want to go out and do it and sometimes neglect what 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Doing everything in love, for God is love.” Many times in our chapel meetings at ACC we were advised to always remain humble as we go out to our various communities. We were also given the scare that if we do not humble ourselves God will humble us. Many times when I felt great about what (I am doing) instead of what GOD IS DOING THROUGH ME as his vessel, I will get a blow that reminded me that it is never about me but God.
There is always joy when you hear people thanking God for what one person has done for them, either through emotional or physical support. May God continue to encourage us to love Him dearly by loving our brothers and sisters in our communities. Thank you ACC for your mission, for your love, for what you doing for Africa and for the kingdom of God.