Blessings in Disguise

Week of Worship student speakers share how God’s light shines through the dark times


From Jan. 16–19, Walla Walla University held a student-led Week of Worship following the theme of “Blessings in Disguise.” Each day, students assembled to listen to their peers share their unique perspectives on seeing God bring the good out of bad situations. 

Brooklyn Gerber, spiritual vice president of the Associated Students of Walla Walla University, says “I really loved ‘Blessings in disguise’ because I felt that most of us students have lived enough life to know that it’s not always great.” She and her team wanted to choose an uplifting topic that would push the speakers to really dive deep into what it means for us, in our lives. 

While Week of Worship happens every quarter, winter presents a special opportunity for students to hear from their peers. This helps build connection and community, and it leads to a shared pride for those brave enough to speak; like Nyasha Pasvakawambwa, who spoke about“Patience,” and Jaden Melashenko, with“Beauty in Chaos.”

On Friday evening, Julia Rivera helped bring Week of Worship to an end with “Finding God’s Hand in the Hard Times.” She expressed the difficulty that Covid brought into her life, and how the restrictions pushed her to move in with her grandmother. When her grandmother later had a debilitating accident, Rivera was glad she was there to help. Not long after, Rivera was faced with a new trial when she was diagnosed with lymes disease. While this would mean a long road to healing, she says how lucky it was that she was living with her grandmother at the time, because it put her closer to the best care. She was able to improve her health, and the online classes due to Covid meant she didn’t have to put her education on hold either. Though these were some of her hardest times, Rivera was able to see God looking out for her, and her grandmother when they needed it most. 

This WoW’s speakers included: senior business major Nyasha Pazvakawambwa, junior music major Maddie Stone, senior business and theology major Kristen Zollbrecht, sophomore psychology and pre-medicine major Jaden Melashenko, sophomore nursing major Tawanda Meda, freshman nursing major Grace Fulton, junior psychology and theology major MJ Metuli, sophomore social work and theology major Alexis Altamirano, senior biochemistry major Julia Rivera, and junior nursing major Rachel Langford.

Posted Jan. 29, 2024. 

Five students on stage for week of worship at the University Church
Julia Rivera speaking for Week of Worship
Julia Rivera talked about "Finding God’s Hand in the Hard Times" for this winter quarter's Week of Worship