Space to endure brokenness together
Biola Broken strives to provide a space for students to acknowledge their brokenness and ways to cope with issues. | John Uy/THE CHIMES
As Christians, hearing the word “broken” makes one cringe and say, “I’m fine, I’m not broken.” However, Biola Broken provides students with a safe place to open up about their struggles and live out their still broken state.
While technically listed as a club under Student Programming and Activities, Biola Broken primarily holds events such as workshops and prayer walks to allow students to work together on their struggles. Lydia Rankin, Biola alumna and founder of Biola Broken, explained how God worked with her struggles by placing a ‘mirror’ in front of her.
“It was when I realized, you know I had issues with forgiveness, with guilt from past things, I was carrying a lot of shame and it wasn’t until I realized that that I was able to work on it, so God was calling me to a place of taking that mirror and holding it up to Biola and helping Biola go through the process of addressing those issues,” Rankin said.
finding its feet
Although Rankin formulated the idea for Biola Broken her sophomore year at Biola in 2012, the idea began to find its feet this semester. Rankin played the role of president until realizing alumni can not be presidents according to SPA guidelines and now acts as manager. Last semester the core team and executive board mainly worked on researching, fundraising and planning for this semester.
The research team consisted of three students, who each worked on a different aspect of the research, but is now down to one student. Veronica Rios, freshman political science major, works on the research team and with public relations. In researching Rios issues diagnostics and looks up statistics of the situation that will be discussed at other colleges, the United States in general and at Biola.
“I really hope that we can tell people that it’s OK to feel things, you know it’s not bad that you’re feeling something and chances are you’re not the only one who's feeling it...and that there’s ways to cope with it,” Rios said.
providing target information
Biola Broken hopes to help students with their struggles by providing target information massly and then going into interpersonal relationships. An example of this includes when a pastor preaches on a subject and then encourages the congregation to engage in relationships, Rankin explained. They also hope to give information about resources available on and off campus, such as counseling at churches in the area.
“If we can get them to know about local resources or just help them see you know creating an open space where we can discuss about it together and cope together, walk through the pain together then that would be great,” said Tamara Wu, freshman communications and sociology double major and part of the financial and public relations teams.
In order to create an open and inviting space the topics discussed need to include ones that students struggle with. During Rankin’s time at Biola, she completed three big research projects, the most recent one completed last semester. About 30 students from Biola’s statistics classes helped in the implementation, based on where students lived on and off campus to understand the emotional and behavioral health of Biola students.
The results showed one of the needs as understanding spiritual warfare, which was supposed to be discussed in Biola Broken’s event called The Struggle is Real on May 12, but got cancelled due to lack of funding. However, in the first day of the thrift shop fundraiser they raised $500.
need of prayer
Another need discovered was prayer, and on May 8 during Singspiration Rankin announced the beginning of a new Facebook page called Biola Prayers for students, staff and faculty where requests can be made anonymously.
“We’re definitely going to have highs and lows, and how both the highs and the lows are extremely important for us in growing our faith and how at each high and low we are as Christians are required to do certain things, in as far as how we interact with other people and how we interact with ourselves,” Rankin said.
With the semester coming to a close, Biola Broken looks forward to the summer when they will work on putting together a website and making videos of the workshops, as well as next semester when the workshops will begin again. Despite their small beginnings, the team knows God will work through them.
“One of things that God told me, very clearly he made it very clear to me to remember this, is in Zechariah...God he says...do not despise humble beginnings the Lord loves to see work begin. And recognizing that Biola Broken is in the beginning stages of things,” Rankin said.