Once a geek always a geek i guess. Since I was a kid I have always been (no matter how I tried to be cool) a real geek. When my friends in first grade liked James Bond and action heroes, I was all into Ivanhoe, knights and chivalry, they read comics, I read books, they played hardcore games of war, I wanted to save the maiden from the evil Dragon, get married and live happily ever after. I guess that is why I was always more popular with the girls, the boys games ended when hero bedded heroine, my games started with playing house. Then I started with Roleplaying games, computers and finally to top it all of I became a Christian. I guess I am a geek in all senses of the word.
Being a geek is not a bad thing though. I have good grades, a well paid job and a beautiful wife, that realized (as have many other beautiful women) that a geek is really just a great guy once you get past the book in is hand and the monitor in front of his face.
Paying it forward
I have suffered all kinds of ridicule that a geek can possibly meet. So in my pursuit of happiness I have tried to prove to the world that a nerd can indeed be cool, in that endeavor I have found that even though I am now a 2nd Dan blackbelt in KyoDoKan, have my own martial arts school called WSD and even though I have spent years arresting drug dealers, fighting violent street crime, dressing in overly baggy clothing and tried to break every bone in my body rollerblading, skateboarding, kitesurfing and snowboarding, there is nothing that can possibly make me cooler than being a child of God using the brains that God gave me to give as a gift what Ihave received as a gift.
How did I end up in the Army?
A question I often ask myself, sometimes with amazement, sometimes with a sigh. The short of end of the long story is that God called me, He reached out from heaven and in His infinite wisdome He said: This is where I want you to serve. The year was 2001 I was asked to be the main translator for the Salvation Army youth conference in Malmö (it seems there where no other Christian translator available in the whole city of 300.000 inhabitants). I arrived with my StreetTEAM, part of The United church (Then called New Generation International) and a very succesful churchplant in Malmö, my own housechurch was growing exponetially, we had gone from 5 to 35 members in six months and half of those where new converts. All in all we where doing well and the quiet restlessnes lingering in the depth of my soul I accredited to either bad digestion or attacks of the evil one. Forgotten was the prophecy of two years earlier, the prophecy that stated: You will walk in the footseps of William and Catherine Booth. On the very first day of the conference I was standing in the main hall listening to one of the speakers when suddenly God spoke. This is where I want you to serve! With reluctance I accepted Gods never ceasing prompting, and yielded to the preassure coming suddenly from all directions including an invite from the swedish THQ for a full time position doing national youthwork in Sweden.
How the army responded
After a year in Sweden my project was shut down and my ministry ended. To this day I have yet to be told why I went from preaching at a new corps every other weekend, being on the national youth conference comite and teaching at the congress to being completely forgotten and uncalled for in the army as a whole. Without any feedback and without any mentor or leader I was lost to defeat and bitternes, a reluctant member in a corps struggling to survive spiritualy and mentaly. At the same time our corps leaders and closest friends met with the destructive force of the Devil with their marriage being destroyed and that leading to our corps being left in shambles.
Without vision the people perish
I never understood how true this is. My life was suddenly without meaning and all things I had earlier taken for granted was utterly meaningless, I tried to find myself in the shadows of the past and the pleasures of the world but to no avail, there was nothing to strive for and though I never lost my faith in God, I lost faith in everything else including my own marriage. Enter hopelessnes. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, the conversation grave. Hanna and I had finally agreed that divorce was the only option. It was over, my marriage, my life, everything.
A future and a hope
As a joke one of us said, oh screw it, lets go to Africa and be missionaries instead. The other responded, Yes! Lets! Five minutes later we where busy planning our life as missionaries, the miracle a fact. God had healed us in a matter of minutes and turned the darkest night into a morning of hope and love! Even though we where without hope and faith God reached in and saved us from nailing the last nail in the coffin, instead ressurecting that wich was dead and giving us what we most needed when we most needed it!
Onward christian soldier!
So we found ourselves on the mission field, reaching out to others like God did to us, giving as a gift the precious gift of hope and Love that we have been given. We spent 18 months in Latvia with the fantastic Latvian youth. I preached twice at the national True Love Waits conference and started both a SSG study group and our Knightschool.
Time marched on and in Latvia it has became clear that we needed to take another step into officership so we entered into training September 2007 at William Booth college in London as part of the Witnesses for Christ session.
To be continued ….