Welcome to my testimony page.
It means a lot to me that you are interested in my life story.
I’m going to warn you, It is a long story 🙂
I’m not the best writer and I didn’t know the best way to write everything down. I probally made many mistakes but I have tried my best.
Hi I’m Jesse. I am currently 19 years old. I’m from the Netherlands. I’m a christian and I have found Jesus as my savior. I believe that everyone has a story worth sharing and I want to start here by telling you my story.
I came to this earth 19 years ago on the 17th of April in 2004 in the city Veldhoven in the Netherlands.
My mom had been through a lot in her life before I came. But at the moment of my birth she was at a good point in her life. Married to the man she loved and she saw my birth as a new start of her life. After my birth we lived in the Netherlands for about three months until my parents decided to move back to Finland. This was for various reasons but mainly because it was my fathers home country. As my birth was seen as a new start mom thought why not have this new start in Finland? She had recently come to know Christ so now she had something in common with her husband’s parents. So we moved. Here in Finland we started to build up life. I was being taught 3 languages. I spoke Dutch with my mom, Finnish with my dad and English with all the friends of my parents. I was a very easy baby and I received love from many people around me. From my parents, family and also many friends. In summary life was perfect. Mom was learning Finnish and putting a lot of effort in adapting to the Finnish culture and she started enjoying it and making friends.
Then one day all of the sudden my father said: I’m leaving. My mom had no clue where this was coming from because we were a happy family. She asked for answers but there were none. Later it turned out he had been having an affair with another woman and he had chosen her over my mom. Now she was alone in a country not her own. Yes she made some friends and was getting better at the language but there is a lot involved in living abroad. My grandparents chose their sons’ side. Therefore the logical choice was to move back to the Netherlands. So mom packed the few things she had and with a little 2 year old moved back to NL. Right before we left I had to say goodbye to my Finnish family. Later she saw me sitting at the front porch rocking back and forward pulling my hair out of my head and scratching my face with my nails. I guess my little mind did not know how to process the thought of people leaving my life.
We arrived in the Netherlands but we had left this country with the idea not to return to it but to stay in Finland. We had nothing. Mom was homeless and alone with a little me to take care of. She had no family to go to. We ended up moving from friend’s house to friend’s house. This lasted a few months. Finally she got a small apartment and continued raising me. Always when she was around me she held herself strong and when I was sleeping she’d be crying in another room. I’m incredibly grateful for my mother because I’ve seen and heard a lot of stories of mothers that had similar situations and ended up addicted to drugs and/or ended up not able to take care of their babies. One thing my mother had was Jesus. He came into her life just a few years before my birth in a miraculous way.
Without Jesus in her life my life would have been completely different.
When I turned 3 mom met the man I call dad Fred Berghuis. The way they met was obviously arranged by God. My new dad also had been through a lot and was a single parent with 1 daughter called: Deborah and she became my sister. They got married and we moved to the other side of the country to Groningen. Here my new life began. God had saved me from a very insecure life and gave me a family: mom, dad, Deborah and my little sister Anne-Lynn.
This was awesome but I still had a lot of traumas and hurt inside of me. Both of my parents had a lot of hurt from their past. Because of this it was not always easy in our home. I started going to school but I wasn’t good at making friends. I was super shy. I started getting older but nothing changed. I had some school friends but I always felt alone. I had one best friend and we would go to eachothers house after school almost every day to play. But then I switched schools and we didn’t see each other anymore. My new class was a nice class but I never got really close with someone. Basically whenever I met someone and felt like they would become friends, I would already be afraid that they would leave me. This fear only grew stronger over the years because there were all kinds of people that ended up leaving me. I was part of friend groups and then I would find out that they went on an activity without me. When I would ask them about it they would send messages like: you are just different than us.
Things like this and friendships alone that ended happened multiple times. I started to believe that whenever someone new came into my life, that this person would leave me in 2 weeks. I never had trust that someone would like me enough to stay and be there for me if I would need them. This had stayed with me for pretty much my whole life.
But even though I felt alone and didn’t have close friends I had this amazing gift that my parents had given me: Jesus. I knew Him and at that young age I had a relationship with Him. When I was 12 years old I gave my life to Jesus at a christian camp.
Again my life would have been so much different if He hadn’t been there taking care of me.
I finished my primary school and went to ‘’Middelbare school’’ (In the Netherlands we have a different school system. This school has people from the ages 12 to 18 depending on their education level). The years I have spent here have been crazy. School itself was super easy. I barely studied but I still got good grades. I played games on my tablet with my classmates in the back of the classes and we had almost more free classes than actual classes.
But a lot of drama happend around this. I was never one of the popular kids. Rather I was being bullied a little because of my belief in God. I never got bullied super hard and I believe this was because of 1 reason: sports. All of my life I’ve been good at sports. I was always the fastest, the strongest, I could climb in the ropes to touch the ceiling and I could do all kinds of tricks on the trampoline. Because of this people were always a bit amazed and this kept me away from too much bullying. If I hadn’t had this I would have been an easy target for all the other bullying. I was still feeling very alone and felt like no one understood me or was at the same level of thinking as me. I started being interested in girls. And this got me crazy. I had many problems with girls.
I’m going to give 2 examples.
There was a girl who I started talking to. We talked a lot and started liking each other. I was super shy so asking her out for a date was too difficult so I came up with this great idea: I was a starting photographer so I asked her to go together to the city to do a photoshoot for her instagram. This was the perfect solution because I didn’t have to say the word date but it would still be a sort of date. So I did, she said yes and we went. On the way to the city she started acting super strange. I had no clue what was going on when we were halfway there she stopped the bus and we went out. We stood at a big parking lot and her mother arrived with a car, picked her up and they left me standing there.
I was so confused. Later we started texting again and she apologized, gave a weird explanation that I half believed and for some reason I was still attracted to her and we continued talking. She pulled more stunts and it became really crazy. A little further in the story we were talking and one day she was telling me she had suicide thoughts and that she tried to take her life that day. I was devastated and had no clue what to do. I tried my best sending her nice texts trying to help her to change her mind. This went on a few times. At one time we were in a call she hung up and she sent me messages that she was about to take her life. Devastated, I went to my mother telling her what was going on. I knew her mom had her own hairdressing studio so we searched up the phone number and called her mom telling everything.
Turned out she was messing with me. Just playing some weird mind games.
After all of this happened you’d think I would end all contact right? No, I continued talking to her. She made up stories that her dad hit her, trying to get into my head again. After a while I finally became sane enough to stop the contact and I did. I ended the chapter there.
But she was not done with me.
A little while after all of this heapend I got in touch with another girl on instagram. She was exactly my type and we started talking. I started to fall in love with her. First of all she was beautiful and secondly she was telling me sweet things and we were talking a lot. At one point she asked me to go to the cinema. I of course said yes and I went all the way from my little village to the city. I was waiting outside of the cinema and guess what: she didn’t show up. She sent me a message telling her she was so sorry but she could not make it for some reason but she would be in the town close to my hometown. I believed her and went to the location she sent me. It was a little skate park outside the center. I walked in hoping to finally see my dream girl. Who is there? The girl that had brought me so much emotional damage that I had gone to a therapist to handle it. And she was not alone. She had her older cousin and a friend with her. She had created an Instagram account with fake photos of a girl she knew I would be attracted to. And all this time when I thought I was talking to my dream girl it was her sending the messages and yet again playing with my heart. I stood there in that old skatepark with my mouth full of teeth (speechless). Her older cousin hit me in the head with a football and I could do nothing but just stand there dazed and confused. All three of them were girls. I could never ever use physical force with a girl so I just let her hit me with that ball a few times. It hurt but I stood there strong like it didn’t hurt. I finally found a way to get out of the park and went away. My heart was hurt, my trust was damaged so deeply. All of my life feeling alone, never having many friends, always afraid of people leaving, problems with girls and now this. I couldn’t handle it. Luckily I had Jesus with me and He was there as a comfort for me. I remember spending days just in my room listening to sad music.
Now this was one example of things that happened. I’m going to tell one more story, if I would go over them all it would be too long.
This story began in that same school. I started talking to a girl and we had some chemistry going. We talked online and would see eachother in school. One day when we both had physical education my teacher asked me to collect some attributes from the other gymnastics hall. So I went and entered. There she was having her class. The whole class started yelling her name and my name because everyone knew about the chemistry. This was a very awkward moment but I thought it was pretty funny. But after this a lot changed. Her best friend started to play a role, she was against me. She started to spread the word that I was stalking the girl I liked. It got worse, for some reason she accused me of sexual assault. I had not even been close to her. I had not even given her a hug so there was no way that was true. The girl itself did not do anything. She did not confirm it but she didn’t deny it either. At this point I was talking more with her best friend than with herself. Now the dad of her best friend was very powerful. He worked together with famous people in my country. He was so close to them that they would make a video wishing his daughter happy birthday. Which she would then post on her instagram. And because for some reason she had something against me that she was threatening me that her dad would call the school and would suspend me and make my life difficult.
All with all, I always had problems with girls. I had a very small self worth and a bunch of other mental problems.
There were 2 things that always kept me going: Jesus and sports.
I have done many sports in my life but one sport that always stood out was: Survival. This is basically a similar course the military uses to train their soldiers but then made into a sport and competition. I turned out to be super good at this sport. I trained a lot and became very strong. Soon my teacher sent me to a group higher. So instead of training with people my age I started training with older youth. This went on super well and I became faster and stronger and not long after that I was running and climbing, always finishing in 1st place. This year I was in the perfect state to join the championships of the Netherlands. So this was my goal: Becoming 1st of the dutch championships of survival. I joined another higher group. Now I was training with the adults. Me being 15 years old at that time was running in the top 5 fastest adults.
And then.. My body said: nope.
I had an internal injury. Again I was devastated because sport was my life. I went to various hospitals but they couldn’t find what was wrong with me. Eventually I ended up in a specialized hospital in the middle of my country. They put me in a big machine and after doing some tests they found out what I had. Turns out this injury normally only affects high skilled race bikers that are 30 years or older. Like the ones who cycle tour the france. There I was as a 15 year old kid. He said to me you are too young for a surgery so let’s see if your body will heal itself because you are still young.
It didn’t so instead of passing people during my training I was now the slow kid at the end of the row. Now my social life was a mess and the one thing I found distraction in and I was actually good at vanished right before my eyes.
I was left with barely anything.
I had many people that left me, played with me and had hurt me. I had not found anyone who understood me in every aspect or even just some. I had here and there good conversations with people but I always tended to be a good listener, because I loved to listen and help people with their problems, but never really a talker. I never told people 100% how I felt or shared my feelings. I kept it hidden inside me because no one understood me. Only my mother did, she had been through a lot so she understood the struggles that I was having. I talked about anything with her and there again I am so glad to have had a loving family gifted by God to be home with.
The only thing I still had was Jesus. He was the only one who hadn’t failed me yet.
My school finished and It was time to choose my college. I was studying to be an electrician and thought this would be my future. My coach told me about being a sports instructor. I thought it was impossible. It sounded super fun but I thought because of my study in electricity I could not change anymore plus my injury had made sure that anything that involved running or cardio was impossible. The thought of becoming an outdoor instructor did sound fun and began to haunt me. I asked my mentor and it turned out I could still change. So this is what I did and a whole new future started to form.
At this point I was still hurt, broken, damaged and still: very very shy. I could not speak out loud in front of even a very small group. I had a huge stage fright.
Jesus decided that it was time to change this
I sat in a service in church and I don’t even know anymore what the preacher was preaching about but my heart started to beat out of my chest and at that moment the preacher said that there were people at the sides where you could go for prayer. My heart was pounding, I knew very well what was happening, because that’s what Jesus always does in these moments, I thought oke oke Jesus im going 😉 So I stood up and walked to the prayer team and just started telling them my story. They started praying for me and at one moment she stopped and asked me: Have you forgiven your father? I was like wow euhm yes I think so. She asked me can you say it out loud? I opened my mouth and I Just couldn’t speak. I tried it several times but every time I started I just stood there with an open mouth and no words.
I just learned that I had not forgiven my father yet. The lady that prayed for me prayed for it and told me to pray about this for myself.
I went home after the service and constantly had to think about it. I started praying for it and 2 weeks later I had a super good conversation with my mom and we talked about everything that happened in my youth. We prayed together and at the end with Jesus’ help I forgave my father in my heart and I could say it out loud.
At this point my life changed completely. I felt like a different person. I started liking myself again. I started the journey towards loving myself and believing that I mattered. I felt like my shyness dropped down to the floor.
My study for outdoor instructor had begun and for this I had to speak in front of groups. For some reason I was able to. I started to act like an extrovert instead of an introvert. This was only the beginning. I started to like my new college. I became good at it and started to get diplomas and certificates. At the end of my first year I got the opportunity to get an internship at a great company in the outdoor world. And with them I went to Spain, Slovenia and Italy. I got even less shy. I learned how to speak with strangers and how to sound and look professional in front of groups. All with all it was an amazing internship. When I returned to the Netherlands God opened other doors for me and I became more active in my church and started doing outreach in my city to do activities with strangers in the neighborhoods to play sports with them and to talk/listen to them. They were amazing experiences and my relation with Jesus kept on growing.
Time passed by and I saw Jesus working in my life. The summer was approaching and there was an outreach planned from an organization connected with my church. I felt called to join the outreach to Spain.
The summer of 22 completely changed my life again. I went to Slovenia for the internship with the outdoor company but I was here with a different feeling. Every night I would be in my tent when the others would go out to have fun. (I had become like an extrovert but on the inside I’m still a big introvert and after a long intensive day I need time alone to rest).
Laying on my bed I would rest and think. Every night there was a song that came up and gave me shivers. It was a song by Tauren Wells called: All God’s Children. The song starts with the story of a girl this is the first couplet:
‘’She’s all alone in the shadows The depths of her soul gone shallow Her body for sale like merchandise The scarlet letter of the red light Father died at the hands of a cruel disease Mother cried as she tried to find food to eat She was traded for change as a slave Hasn’t even turned 13’’
Shivers every time I heard it. There in my tent I was thinking: Why am I living my dream, traveling to great countries, doing awesome activities, having everything I want. When there are children being abused, tortured, their future taken away from them, forced to live in the shadows? How unfair is this? It was right there that my mindset switched from living for myself to living for Christ, living to be a blessing for people in need. From this moment doors started opening to Spain and it was clear for me that God wanted me to go to Spain.
I remember coming back to the Netherlands and telling my mom what had happened and what my new plans were. Fighting against human trafficking and moving to spain. She was of course sad about the thought of me living far away but she completely supported me and so did my dad.
I had a lot of organizing to do so I started planning everything out. I went to the earlier planned outreach to Spain and got to know an awesome group of people. All I knew was that God wanted me to go to Spain but where? I had no idea, until I finished this amazing outreach. I told everybody: I will see you in a few months! I had found Alicante to be my next destination.
I got back home and continued planning. God wasn’t going to let me just wait a few months doing nothing until I would go to Spain. No, He had a plan for me in the waiting.
The next events happened: It started in Belgium. It was very cold, the Belgium forest was covered in snow. My church had organized a boys camp in the Ardennes. It was a camping trip and at the time of planning it looked like there would be normal camping weather, it was not supposed to be cold and snowing. Everything was already planned so we went anyway. We started the trip with our well known dropping. They dropped us in the middle of a forest with a few clues to find the camping ground. This was supposed to be an easy walk but it took us nearly the whole night to get there. We were walking with heavy backpacks through the snow in the freezing cold weather. When we came to the camp we were almost frozen. Even the fire did not really warm us up. Exhausted everyone started to set up their tent.
Before the camp had started I had told everyone that I was going to sleep outside without a tent. Just my sleeping bag and a water resistant cover. I didn’t know it was going to be this cold but hey I wasn’t going to break my word. People told me I was crazy to sleep outside in these circumstances but I just had to do it. I’m not gonna lie, it was a very cold night. But I made it.
The next morning there was this guy who started talking to me about what I had done that night and we had a fun conversation and kept on talking for the rest of the camp.
After the camp we followed each other on instagram and then never spoke again.
Up until one day I saw a notification from him. He told me he wanted to go bushcraft but didn’t know with whom to go. He told me he remembered me because in that camp I was the guy doing something extreme. At the end he said it’s a bit weird but maybe we could go do some bushcrafting. My answer was simply yes lets go when are you free? He didn’t really expect this answer to be so quick and direct so he told me he hadn’t really planned anything yet. I said no problem.
We planned it all out and before we knew it, we got out of the bus with a heavy backpack in the middle of nowhere in a Belgian forest. We had a great time and enjoyed nature. One of the nights we were laying on the ground with nothing but our sleeping bags, next to a little creek. We had just finished our self-made dinner. As we were laying there enjoying nature we started a conversation about God. He knew who God was but he didn’t really consider himself a christian and he had no relation with christ. We talked for hours and had an awesome time. At some point I asked him if he would be okay with me praying for him and we ended up praying together.
A few days later when I was back in my house, I received a long message from an unknown sender. I opened and read it. Turns out his mother had an organizing role in an upcoming Alpha-Youth course. She told me that she had heard how her son experienced camping. At the end of the message she asked if we could meet for a coffee. So we met and she told me about the alpha course and asked me if I would be interested in giving my testimony for the start of the course.
I was amazed. A few different thoughts went through my head and my old stage fright thoughts came up but I said okey tell me when and i’ll be there.
A few weeks later the time had come, I went over, got on the stage and did my testimony. It was a great experience. At the end of the night I walked over to the organizers and said: I don’t know why but I feel like I don’t want to leave. Is there any way that I could get involved in this? The week after I was part of the team.
The following weeks were incredible. I was one of the conversation leaders and got to talk with all the participants and while trying to get them closer to God, I myself was getting closer to Him as well. A whole lot had happened in this course. We had eye opening talks from people we invited to share their testimonies or teachings, we saw God healing right in front of our eyes, We had amazing food and we had people being touched by the Holy Spirit.
An awesome course that I highly recommend anyone to take: Alpha.
I can gratefully say that God had saved me from a bad future and took me in His hands and gave me a purpose. To live for Him. I have had many encounters with the Holy Spirit and they where / are awesome. I have felt Him shaking up my whole body, I have felt Him make my heart beat crazy fast. One of the encounters that I remember the most clearly was In a healing service. I had walked to the back of the church for prayer and I was sitting in a chair with 2 people beside me praying. The Holy Spirit came and filled me completely. I had goosebumps that remained the whole moment all over my body, I could not move even one finger, I felt the heat of His presence everywhere and it was incredible.
The last 2 years had been incredible and though there were many ups and downs I had so many encounters and moments with Jesus and the Spirit that my life had changed.
The date on my flight ticket started approaching. I was excited but it also became more real to me. It was actually happening. I was moving out of my parents house, into a different country, different culture being 18 years of age.
These thoughts didn’t stop me though, I had Jesus with me so what could go wrong?
January 2023, I said goodbye to my family, friends and church and got into the plane without a return ticket. My journey had started.
I arrived at the terminal of Alicante. Back in the Betania camp I had made a friend whom I had told about my idea, he had decided to join me in this journey. He arrived that same day. We got out of the airport and were being collected by our camp friends. They drove us to the airbnb we had rented. We unloaded our stuff and now we could really say our adventure had begun.
The next few days we spent exploring the city on our longboards and enjoyed the fact we were living abroad under the sun. We started working on our plan. We needed income and we needed an apartment. Every day we woke up and went to an internet cafe to spend hours working on ideas for income, searching for apartments and getting our documents in order. It was hard. We spent many hours without any success. He needed to get a visa because he was from the states which was a very difficult process. Although I’m an eu-citizen my process wasn’t easy either. Paperwork in Spain is a nightmare (especially when you are used to the way everything is organized in the Netherlands).
It was hard but we had a great time being in Spain. We had a great church and I really felt connected to it. During the week I often stopped by at the bible school where we had our camp.
With contacts in the church we found an apartment that was perfect. We signed the contract and this was my first ever apartment and I was super excited over it. Now I had my own apartment in spain. We lived here, spent hours every day to find work and solutions and would watch a movie and eat pizza at night. It was a really funny time.
when during the day when we were not working on our laptops we would be skating around the city with a friend from the camps it was awesome
Time passed by and there were still no solutions for money in sight. Banks started to grow smaller and smaller and my friend’s end date on the visa started to appear closer. He had not found a way yet to get the full visa and work was very difficult as well. So one day he told me that he thought it might be better that he went back to the states. This was sad news for me because all of my life people had left me for various reasons. But I understood his situation.
The day of his leaving arrived and I went with him to the airport. We said goodbye and he got on his plane.
Now I was alone again. I had an apartment that was too expensive to pay for all by myself, I still didn’t have a job and my bank account was almost empty. I said to God: I don’t want to give up but I have no clue what to do.
I went to church and there was a new family that had arrived here in Alicante. They were looking for someone to rent a room in their apartment. I had a contract with my house owner for 4 more months so I was afraid I was not going to receive the deposit because I would break the contract by leaving earlier. Here God helped me. He had sent another family that was also looking for a place to live and with the help of someone from church we arranged that I would leave the house and that they would enter right away. This was a gift from God. I received the deposit back so I could pay the family the rent for my room.
Now I lived with a latin family. I really had to get used to it because our cultures were almost the opposite. But I really liked them. I became friends with their children and we would watch movies together or go out together.
Now the housing situation had been solved but by paying the rent for this room I basically spent almost all of my money. I bought the cheapest food I could find in the supermarkets and ate a lot less than I normally did. The next month appeared and that meant I had to pay the rent again. I didn’t have anything and I prayed to God and told Him I didn’t know what to do.
He provided for me. I received the exact amount I needed to pay for everything. I have bible verses that God gave my over and over again that became my life motto:
Matthew 6:34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. And: Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘’Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
God told me over and over again to wait upon Him and trust Him.
I Got a job in Alicante city center. I was very happy because this ment money. I started working here. By now I had really built up a social life with many people from the church and met up with them often. Because of this job I was not really able to do this anymore. And the apartment where I rented my room was very far away from the church, the bible school and basically everyone I had come to know. I started to be on the depressive side. I spent days in a row being all alone in the apartment. The family left the house early and came home late so even then I barely saw. I started feeling very lonely again. I did not like my job really and the hours were very annoying plus the pay was so low that: At the end of the month I came home with the envelope of that month’s earnings. I emptied it and gave 80% of the money away for rent, paid my phonebill, health insurance and kept 50 euros for myself to spend that month.
At this point I had spent quite some time not having money. I came from the Netherlands where I worked for myself and if I worked full time I would receive more or less 3.000 per month and now I didnt even have enough to pay for good food. I told God: this is not really what I had in mind. Before I came to Spain I had hired a company that promised me that they would arrange a job for me in Alicante so the plan was to Survive the first 2 or 3 months on my own and then I would have started the job they would provide for me. But they didn’t deliver.
I did not feel happy at all. I felt very alone and started going towards being depressed.
More things happened. A company that I had hired to help me set up the legal for starting my company in Spain caused me a lot of trouble. Because they didn’t speak English they always refused to go on a call with me to explain everything I had to do. The communication went very bad and for some reason because they didn’t tell me clearly how far we were in the process, all of the sudden I found out that I had a debt of over a thousand euros with the Spanish government. Besides all the money trouble I had things happening with my family. Trouble with my biological father. I Have a sister that I have never seen in my life. I’m very curious about her so I searched for contact with my biological father with the question if I could see at least a photo of my sister. His answer was very hurtful and was basically just a no. This plus some more family things and other relational things all came at the same moment. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I had a mental breakdown. I was in Betania in a room by myself and I just cried and broke down before Jesus and just said I don’t know. Maybe I have to go back to the Netherlands to get money to be able to pay for the debt. But I don’t want to give up either so Lord help me please tell me what to do, give me a sign.
I was in tears feeling terrible and all of the sudden I heard in my head: go running. I thought what a stupid thought. Why am I thinking about this right now? I tried to push the thought away but it wouldn’t go. I said: Jesus this is a very funny thought. I have not been able to run ever since my injury began 4 years ago. I’ve had prayer before and 2 times I was being touched and I was convinced that I was healed. but both times when i went to run it still hurt.
So what is this thought doing in my head now again? Right now when i’m already feeling miserable?
There it was again: Go running.
I said okay, If this comes from You, if You want me to run I’ll run. I wasn’t really dressed for running but I emptied my pockets, left everything in the room and walked into the burning hot sun. I thought: I asked for a sign so maybe Jesus will finally heal me. Full of positivity, I set my first step and started running. It felt good, I had always loved it. I left the neighborhood and was running beside the sea. Hurt, that is what I felt again. My injury started again. I thought no. i’m not going to give up maybe God wants to test my faith so i kept running. The sun burned on my face, i was super thirsty and every step hurt. Tears filled my eyes and i could barely see where i was going all i saw was a big blur. One more step, one more step i pushed myself. I entered the town where my church was and remembered that usualy at this time there is a service. So that was my goal run as far as the church. there will be water and cold air to restore. Again i pushed myself to keep running until i would arrive in the church. In the distance i saw the building becoming bigger. I finally made it. I run around the corner and there was the church. Closed. I wanted to scream. I was clueless. i started walking back towards the sea thinking i might just jump in the water to cool down. I arrived at the beach and saw people everywhere and though ugh. So i just kept on walking until the beach and city ended and i could not walk further. I sat down on a big rock looking out over the sea.
There was not much left of me. My entire body hurt on the outside and on the inside because of my injury. I was super thirsty and the sun had burned my face. My mental health wasnt much better either. I felt alone. I didn’t have money. I didnt have time to spent with people. I was not yet depressed but getting close to it. I had some problems with people. I had noting to look forward to.
I just sat there. Not thinking about anything not knowing wat to do. Too tired to get up.
I don’t know how long i had sat there, i had no sense of time. Then i heard a notification from my phone. I picked up my phone to look what it was. Out of nowhere i received a message from a friend who asked: how are you. He knew maybe 10 words in english so we had not really communicated because i didn’t speak spanish. There was no logical reason for him to have sent that message without any context right at that moment. I just started crying again. I responded in spanish: not so good. He asked: where are you? I told him and he said wait there i’m coming.
In all of my life there had never been anyone who had done that for me. And this guy who didnt even speak my language arrived at my location and took me out for dinner. We spoke for over 3 hours in Spanish. Yes in Spanish, the language that I did not yet speak. I don’t know how but i just started talking in spanish and for some reason he understood everything and when he spoke to me i understood him. I told him my whole story and he listened and told me things about his own life and encouraged me.
He paid for the food and lent me his bike to cycle home because my body was nowhere strong enough to walk back.
This was such a sign from God. God was telling me I was meant to be in spain.
I still didn’t have money to pay off my debt and had a lot on my mind but I had hope again because I knew God was with me.
The Betania camp was coming up. The camp that was the reason I had come to Alicante in the first place. I really wanted to go but I did not have any money to pay for it. Beside that I still had to pay of a massive debt. Some time had passed since the event where God gave me a sign that i was supposed to be here in spain. I was going down again and i really wanted to just trust God so i did not make any plans to go back. I was still working at the job in downtown Alicante and traveling from the city to the church twice a day what took a lot of time. I didnt know what to do and i though: Maybe when the camp starts i can wake up early go all the way from alicante to Betania to get to the kamp program bring my own food and then late at night go all the way back to alicante and do this for 10 days. It wasnt my best plan ever but i realy wanted to go.
I was thinking about this when the leader of the camp sent me a message that read: We have received scholarships for the camp. If you want to go let me know and i will make sure youll get one. I was supper happy about the fact that i could go. But one big detail that i still had not figured out with my pervious plan was the job I had. I couldnt just disappear for so long.
This news had of course made me happy but i was still buried under all the other things i was dealing with and i said to God: Lord i don’t know what to do again. I will quit my job to be able to go to the Betania camp and if You want me to stay in Spain let me know during the camp. Otherwise I will go back to the netherlands.
A dared move but by this time God had been providing for me every month so that i always had exactly enough to survive. And He had told me many times: Trust Me. So deep down I knew that if it was His will for me to stay in Spain, He would make a way.
The camp started. The first few days I didn’t feel happy because of personal things that had happened in my personal life and with my family. I was going to the services and really did love those parts. I read the bible every morning together with a good friend and I prayed everyday Lord i really want to stay here, If you want me to go back I will go back but just give me a sign because i want nothing but just to follow you. He heard me and He answered BIG:
One morning I was eating my breakfast and the leader of the camp walked up to me and told me he needed to have a word with me. He also said his wife would be there. I was afraid. I thought I did something wrong and they needed to talk about it. With a beating heard i was sitting on a chair with both of them sitting right in front of me. His wife started speaking and said: We received an anonymous message from someone and they paid off the whole debt you have with the government.
I looked them in the eyes not being able to say a word and again my eyes were filled with tears.
God just provided for me again.
The rest of the camp was incredible. We were filled with the Holy Spirit and had an amazing time.
After the camp without my big debt I went back into normal life. The rest of my problems had not disappeared but I was again closer in my relationship with Jesus. I knew that these earthly problems were not a problem for Him. It wasn’t only pink clouds afterwards but I knew that God had a plan for me in Spain.
I moved out of the city and started living in the room where i am currently staying. Close to the church and Betania.
We got to my current present. It is still very big on my heart to fight human trafficking and I’m looking forward to do a lot with my church. I dont know what my next step is but I know that God loves me and has a plan for me. All I have to do is trust my Maker and follow Him wherever He will lead.
God has a plan for every single person on this earth. It is your own choice to follow the dreams that He has put inside of you. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. He is always knocking on your door. All you have to do is let Him in.
I’m not going to promise you an easy life with Him. But it is the only life that will give you fulfillment. Only He can fill up the emptiness inside of you. There is nothing in this world that will be able to fill it for you. We are here in this world to make His news known to the people around us. To save them from the dark place where they will end up if they continue to live their lives without God. No matter how good of a person you are, even if you are a good person and you take care of people around you. If you do this without Jesus in your life it will have no meaning.
If you are a sinner and you think you have done too many wrong things to deserve His love, I’m telling you. He died on the cross to save you. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, what situation you’re in. It’s never too late to give your life to Jesus.
I shared my story and I want to challenge you: Tell me your story. Start writing it out, voice record it or film yourself telling what has happened in your life. Everyone matters and all of us have a story. Your story could be the one encouragement that someone needs. Don’t be afraid of what people will think about you and take the step. I would love to read, listen or watch it. Go create and tag me in it or send me a message if you want to start.