Photography, video and graphic design by Jon Brown.

Based in Nottingham, East Midlands.

See the portfolio and read the latest blog post.

United Kingdom

Welcome to Beard and Bible - the creative hub of Jon Brown.

Looking for a photographer, graphic design or video? You've come to the right place.

I'm Jon, a creative media freelancer based in Nottingham, and it's great to have you here.

A Decade Since DTS

Blog - Beard and Bible

Welcome to the Beard and Bible blog - the thoughts and work of Jon Brown.

View latest work, photography tips, beard maintenance advice, thoughts of life, and cute cat videos (ok, maybe not them).

Creative Media Nottingham, East Midlands. Photographer, Designer, Videographer, Blogger.

A Decade Since DTS

Jon Brown

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.