Jess is just about to complete a 12 month internship with Youth for Christ in Australia. This is her story:

At the start of the year I wasn’t really 100% on God. Then as the year progressed, I learnt more about Jesus, I got to know the people at Youth for Christ, I connected with a church in Perth, Western Australia, and I grew more deeply into God. Then I made some mistakes during the year, the consequences of which led me to a place where I had to choose God or not God. I decided to choose God.

At the time I just pushed my struggles to the back of my mind. In public, I would be someone who seemed to have it all together and then I would go home and that’s when all the emotions would come. That was the only time in my life that I’d really considered suicide ‘cause I didn’t want to deal with the challenges I was facing. The only reason why I could deal with it is because of Jesus and the strength He gave me. With His strength, I opened up to others and I really saw the love Jesus had for me through the people he put around me and how much they’ve supported me.

One thing that I’ve loved about his year is that everyone at Youth for Christ is family and everyone has your back – regardless of how much you stuff up. Everyone is there for you, when you’re going through a hard time, everyone prays for you. They were really invested in me even before they knew who I was.

I’ve learnt so much and I’ve grown so much. I think back to the person I was at the start of the year and I think about how much I’ve grown. I feel heaps older. The journey is continuing, I’ve still got lots to learn, but now I know where I stand with God and I’m more comfortable within myself as well.