3rd Year Archaeology, Uni of Edinburgh
"I was born in Glasgow, but only lived there for a few years before my family moved, first to Australia and then to Nepal. In Nepal, I grew up in a close-knit community of missionaries. People came and went in our community, and I learned to enjoy friendships while they lasted. The constant fluctuation of people probably also brought my family together - my parents and my sister were the only people that I had constant contact with for more than a year or two at a time, so we learned to rely on God as a constant friend.
At the time, I didn't realise that my life was any different from anyone else's. It wasn't until I was older that I realised just how much my parents had given up to go to Nepal. At the time, the country was in the middle of a ten year long civil war and it was illegal to be involved in converting anybody to Christianity. Despite all of this, my parents still went to Nepal because they knew that everybody there is loved by God and deserves the opportunity to hear about him. They relied completely on God to keep the hospital, that my Dad worked in, running and to keep us safe from conflict, sickness and dangerous travel (the A9 has nothing on some of the windy roads cut into the cliff sides of the Himalayas!).
I didn't have much difficulty moving to Inverness when I was 7. When I was that young I was confident in who I was as a person and I enjoyed being different from everyone else. I found my identity in many things, such as friendships and hobbies. I also found some of my identity in my faith in Jesus, but I didn't understand how that could affect how I lived my life. Going to high school was very different for me and I became very shy when I was faced with such a large group of people. Suddenly I wasn't so confident in myself and I wasn't keen on being so different. I began to question for myself what it was that I believed rather than just following what my parents believed. I found at first that I wasn't sure about Christianity because it made such bold claims, but then I started to see that it wasn't just a story about a man 2000 years ago; it's about a living God who loves me personally. As I grew older, I became less shy, but I never really felt comfortable talking about my faith.
Coming to Edinburgh was a completely new experience for me. I had moved from place to place so much as a child, but I had always just followed my parents. I had never struggled before when people asked where I was from, but suddenly I was thrown into a melting pot of different nationalities, languages and faiths. As I began to question my identity, I found that the only unchanging part of my identity is my faith. Sometimes there is a perception of Christianity that it's about God stopping bad stuff happening to you, but that's not true. Even Christians go through the stuff that makes you feel like the ground beneath you has given way. The difference for me is that when I feel like that, I know that God is still there. The Bible talks about God being the Rock. He is unchanging and completely reliable."