10 years ago today I began one of the most significant adventures of my life.
It was something that shaped who I am, shattered my faith, and set the path for the following years.
18 years old and barely able to grow a beard, I rather nervously flew out to America to spend 5 months with a Christian organisation called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I joined with 50 other young people from around the world to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) in the idyllic small town of Lakeside, Montana. After a few months of theological training (and many games of Dutch Blitz, Mafia and Signs) a small group of us went to Thailand. There we taught English, worked with local charities, and helped rebuild houses destroyed by the tsunami.
While I was having the most fun I’ve ever had, underneath it all was an increasing spiritual and psychological turmoil. I began to question to my faith and eventually decided I was pretty sure God didn’t exist.
Through this whole process I had the realisation that when you boil it all down there’s nothing more important than getting the answers to these two questions:
1. What’s the meaning of life? 2. What happens when I die?
I devoted the next year to answering those questions. After wrestling with the issues I came to my conclusion. I still didn’t have all the answers to all my doubts but I knew this much was true: Jesus was God, and that following him was our purpose in life, and way to heaven.
There’s more to the story, and plenty has happened since – if you want to see the video of me explaining it a bit more in depth you can check it out here.
A decade on I want to remember all that’s happened. It’s so easy to forget and take things for granted. I also want to say hi to all those who did the Fall DTS 05 in Montana with me. You guys are amazing and I think of you often.