Prayer through poetry caps first day of Torrey Conference 2015

Emotional spoken word provokes inspiration and excitement capping off the first day of Torrey Conference.


Zac Alsens performs during the prayer through poetry session of Torrey Bible Conference. | Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Kyle Kohner, Writer

After an eventful first day of Torrey Conference 2015, which included a humorous and inspirational speech from Carolyn Gordon to kick off the festivities and a lightning storm sparking the evening, “Prayer Through Poetry” capped off a day that caused much “altering” amongst the crowds.

Janelle Paule started off the event with a recital of the poem “Mary The Magnificent,” which was followed by a sign language rendition. The crowd then raved over a hip-hop performance by Brandon Chai, junior business administration major, who spat out rhymes and made the crowd want a longer performance. His jaw-dropping performance was characterized by lyrics such as: “The feeling that I’m feeling that I’m feeling is a different kind of joy” in the song “Joy” and “Praising his name is my purpose and desire” in the song “Desire.” In Chai’s songs, he focuses on “the times we shouldn’t be joyful [so that] we find joy in God.”

That same focus presented by Chai was also reiterated in other performances by the students along with the issue “Brokenness” and how God has altered the individuals into members of the Kingdom.

Zac Alsens, communications major, provided a dichotomy of simplicity and complexity that left the audience in perplexity and awe. Alsens then altered the perceived confusion into an understanding by offering God as an answer who changes individuals from a stage of simplicity and complexity to a found lifestyle devoid of emptiness and scatterness.

Though his performance was short, business administration major D.J. Cortez impacted the crowd by performing spoken word accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Cortez’s most memorable lines included, “If you made me out of dust why am I scared to get my hands dirty” and “I’m a black sheep and I don’t understand why our culture associates black with bad things.” Cortez’s performance can be comparable to Johnny Cash as Cortez dealt with the theme of darkness.

Overall, tonight’s inspirational and tear-jerking performances offered the audience witnesses of God’s ability to change or alter individuals from times of depression, doubt, pain and darkness.

Tonight epitomized what the theme of the 2015 Torrey Conference is all about: focusing on offering our bodies as living sacrifices to the altar of God, thus altering our lives through sacrifice. Through personal experience and the inclusion of others’ experiences, the theme of alteration was played through emotional circumstances correlating with Torrey’s theme of the altær by putting one in the sacrificial position.

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