I am Annette 29 years old and at the time of writing I am in the middle of my graduation phase of my Applied Psychology study. I also hope and assume that when I lead this journey this summer I will be a graduate Applied Psychologist.
I grew up as the youngest of 5 a reformed family that was a member of the old reformed church in the Netherlands. I can’t remember other than that I was already engaged in faith and I was also already really experiencing God in my life as someone who cared for me. Only I didn’t really know how to become a child of God. Until I was 19, I struggled to gain assurance of my faith. I read the Bible, asked people read books about it. I was looking for in conversion stories exactly that part of how do you know you are a child of God. In the Bible that you have to believe it. But how do you know you really believe? At one point, I felt God hurt by not believing He was my Father. If you say to your earthly father I don’t believe you are my father that would hurt him too, wouldn’t it? Thus I began to believe carefully and faith began to land with me.
In 2013, I went to Oxford for 3 weeks where I participated in an international outreach. My reason I went? I was bad at English and really wanted to go to England to learn the language and I didn’t see any other possibility. It seemed like a nice thing to do. Somewhere I have always had an evangelism and missionary urge despite not yet being strong in my faith myself. These 3 weeks were the best weeks of my life. I will never forget it. When I got back home I was extremely homesick and wanted to go back so badly. I learned so much more than just English there. I never doubted that I was a child of God after that and it really boosted my faith. In addition, it also awakened my missionary desire and was the beginning of many missionary and evangelistic journeys I made. Including Beach mission trips. In 2020 to Texel and in 2021 to Texel and Albufeira and last year I got to be tour guide for the trip to Sunny Beach just as is the plan this year. It is so cool to be traveling with passionate Christians to tell people the Good News.