Once again we start a new academic year and we are welcoming new members to the team. This year Caitlin and Daniel join us on a gap year with YFC One, the national year out programme of Youth For Christ. We will introduce Daniel soon but first up is Caitlin from Fife in Scotland.
How did you become a Christian?
Coming from a non-Christian background, I was only really familiar with church because of the occasional Christmas Eve service. Any kind of knowledge of God came from weekly Girls Brigade meetings, which I was introduced to at a very young age. From this, I joined the Youth Fellowship group, which is where I learnt more and actually experienced God for the first time. As part of this group we did many different sponsored events to raise money for the church. It was on my first sponsored walk in 2012 where I actually took interest in what I was learning, after this I joined the church, and began to take my faith a bit more seriously. It was on the following sponsored walk in 2013, I prayed for the first time and gave my life to God, at the age of 13. Since this time it has been a long journey as I continue to learn how to be comfortable with my faith, as I forever continue to grow and learn.
Who has been the biggest influence in my life?
My biggest support in my life is definitely my parents, although they are not Christians, they support me in every crazy idea that I’ve had, without their support I wouldn’t be doing this gap year. My biggest Christian supporters would be my church family, all of whom have welcomed me into their church and guided me every step of the way, through happiness and sadness. They are all highly influential and every single person in my church family have shaped me at some point in my life.
What are the key life events that have shaped you?
The obvious key life event that has taken place was giving my life to God, this is something that changed a lot about how I see myself, and most importantly how I see and treat others. This event also gave me the reassurance that God has a plan for me, and that he loves me and knows me more than anybody else in my life.
There were a few occasions in my life, where I needed to be reminded of these things, which always seemed to happen at a Scottish event called PowerPoint. PowerPoint is an event for youth aged 11-20, and is a very powerful time of worship for a few hours on a Friday night, once every two months. The first time I went to PowerPoint was the first time I felt Gods presence, and was a very intense time of reflection, and a change of perspective.
Another, much more recent event that challenged my faith, was the decision of applying to university. In March of 2017, my place had been confirmed, but at this point, I really did not feel that university was right for me. However, I accepted my place, and waited for God to show me any other alternative, right up until the last minute, when I was introduced to YFC. This was a challenging time, as I really struggled putting my life into God’s hands, and trusting his plan.
Why are you doing YFC?
The main reason for doing the YFC One gap year is so that I can grow in my faith, and taking a step out to serve God for a year. I also want to find out what God has planned for the coming years in my life. This year is a massively scary, but great opportunity for me to grow, as I have moved far away from home, and have taken a major step out of my comfort zone. I want to start off the next stage of my life by giving a year to God, and spreading the gospel to as many people as I can.
What are you most excited about?
I’m excited to see myself growing closer to God, and seeing myself becoming more confident. I am excited to see how I challenge and encourage myself and the people around me, as well as seeing what God is going to do in my life, and in the lives of the people around me.
What are you nervous about?
The thing I am most nervous about is being so far away from home, as this is something I have never experienced before. Staying with a host family in an area I’ve never been before is scary.
What to do you want to see God do in your life?
I’d like to see God guide me, on an everyday basis, and for him to show me what he wants me to do in the next stages of my life.