Reflection from a Debate Competition and Beyond (Part 2 of 2)

What a day! I couldn’t believe my own eyes of what had happened during the second day of Universitas Pelita Harapan’s Food Explore 5’s English debate competition in 8/11/12. As I had implied in Part 1, everything could happen and Lord Jesus works in unimaginable ways for human. So, here are the events.

Glory is in the name of the King
And then, team B’s opponent for 2nd preliminary round was… Sang Timur B. Surprised? So were Azaria, Michael and I. Were there any advantages? We were accompanied by Andrew, and along the way to the debate room he gave us constructive advices which are very useful for that debate and next like the manners involving POI, dynamics of speaking, motivations that I have to admit really made me pushing myself to its very own limits, etc.
The motion, “THBT developing countries should focus on the development of GMF”, was our practice motion during the sparring and we won that spar, so I was positive during the case building. We recycled arguments used for the spar and mainly focused on GM’s benefits. Playing as government team, I supposed we could win the debate.
In my point of view, this debate should be ours. But, He had planned another loss for us.
Christians do believe that everything happens in life has its own reason; some of them are left unknown to us until the right time by Lord Jesus. So, when the debate started to went wrong and it was a definite loss for Azaria, Michael and me, we accepted that we were not that good enough and skillful to win that clash. The debate was the worst for us of all 3 rounds because we lost by margin of 5. But, hey, there are lessons from everything, aren’t they?
Right after the debate, Andrew reviewed us one by one. He is a very good debater, I noted. He was able to see what we lacked in that debate which some of them were hearing the opponent’s arguments and dislikes to think deeper of the motion. I guessed Michael and Azaria still had difficulties with their speeches and thinking, but I saw that they’d grown better than the first round. I myself did too, but I couldn’t measure how much it was by myself. The conclusion was we were not really lost that round, because we were not even in our best shape.
Right after that, we went to the debaters’ hall and found that team A didn’t go very well too; they lost from SMAK Penabur 2 who was very skilled in debates. Right there, my thoughts were, “Ok. We arrived in the last round of the competition. There’s no chance for team B to pass to the semifinal, so I want to make the last count.” That moment, I indirectly prayed to Lord Jesus that I wanted to give my best for the last round. My goal to pass for the semifinal had vanished, so I decided to really enjoy this last debate and play the debate just for my pleasure no matter I win or lose.
The opponent for this last round was SMAN 14 and the motion was “THB in fat tax”. Azaria, Michael, Miss Yessica and I went to the debate room with no burden in our hearts. However, the case building didn’t work very well. What I could really think was the counter mechanism that would clash with the government’s fat tax policy. But then I remembered what Andrew had said to us during the motion launch: attack the opponent’s mechanism and bring the argument of small fast food industries. So, using those two things, I created the speeches with Michael and Azaria.
The debate began consecutively. As I have stated before, I didn’t really care if I win or lose in this last round. All I wanted is to have experiences and pleasure to do the debate. Fortunately, the Righteousness One decided that we deserved to win in the debate. Our opponent made several mistakes which gave us advantages; some of them were by not giving the definition of fat tax, lacking of parameter and too much ifs. I directly explained my arguments and mechanism without rebutted government’s 1st speaker – mainly because I forgot to – and eventually gave speech until the time limit which is 7 minutes and 20 seconds! Overall, that was my best performance as the 1st speaker.
Azaria and Michael tried their best to be the 2nd and 3rd speaker – they switched roles for their conformity – but Michael had his hard time to do the speech and spoke in the shortest amount of time he had ever spoken. Azaria herself spoke the longest speech during the longest competition. Despite their best efforts which they rated worst than ever, they were not very optimist that we could actually win the debate. I also accidentally set and switched speeches’ material with Azaria. But Lord Jesus was a very nice God for He gave me power to do the miracle: giving a reply speech in the maximum amount of time which is 5 minutes and 20 seconds. He had given Azaria, Michael and me powers to do the impossible, and if it’s not from His mercy and grace upon us, we wouldn’t win that debate with a margin of 1. A win in the last debate, and all of the sadness from the previous rounds were replaced by gratitude and happiness. It is right that we will find glory in the name of the King who is Lord Jesus Christ.

The greatest present of all is love
We went back to the debaters’ hall with hearts full of joy and gratitude towards Lord Jesus. There, we found out that team A won too, which gave them a slight chance to pass for the semifinal. Watching everybody happy with the competition and each other, I was very grateful to Lord for having given me a chance to meet such amazing and incredible friends.
When it turned out that all of us did not qualify for the semifinal, we were very fine with that. Why? Because, during the competition, we learnt more important things than merely winning it: Lord’s grace upon us, awareness that we can’t do a thing without Him, etc. But, the most important lesson for me was that I finally find the bonds that I lost during the first year of my senior high. Well, it is not appropriate to call it lesson; perhaps ‘gift’ is much more. But, hey, when you’re overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, words don’t really matter, do it?
And now, we’re getting to the hardest part of the articles to be written: my thoughts about all of this meeting.
I will have – and I am having, because when this article is published it is actually the day – my sixteenth birthday this Sunday. As a fiction fan and writer, I was aware that every 16th birthday for heroes in my novels is important to them. Either they will save the world or at least receive precious presents. So, my thoughts right before the competition were, “This week I am turning 16. What changes I have contributed for the world? I barely did a thing. I am not any heroes in the stories. I am sinful, I am mere human with every limitation, but I am repented by Lord Jesus. I am not an ungrateful person if I actually think about these things, but please Lord? Can I at least give a change for the world in that day despite all of my limited capacity?”
So, I jumped to the competition and found these things. And then, in that moment I realized that by writing about these I am actually changing the world. It is a fact that the world now isn’t very friendly. Most people are cold, backbiters, double-faced and full of hatred nowadays; writing about love and compassion is a thing that will slowly reverse the process. It took me some moments to digest and process the thoughts and put those abstract feelings into words, but hey, here you are, reading about my thoughts.
During the 10 hours 11th November of 2012 started, I had received a lot of birthday wishes from my family and best friends, both new and long-lost. During that time too, I silently made an oath to Lord Jesus that will require a lifetime to be done. This oath is for those beloved people of mine, that I will always give them my help in times they need me, for they are the ones who make me feel the love of Lord Jesus upon me.
In the end, I will have to tell you that love is the greatest gift from God for humankind. Because of His love for the world (us) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
May God bless you through this article! Wi de Detrenui es langth uth thgal de drouen et swettlar uth confeca! May the Lord Trinity be with you along the journey and battle you face!

For new friends found along the competition: Michael, Phoebe, Andrew, Liman, Azaria, Nani, Miss Yessica and Yoga. May good fortune and God rule over you!

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