I grew up in California in a small town of 250,000 people (by California standards that is rather small). If anyone reading this has heard of Modesto, California you know why I needed to get out. I was 22 years old when I knew that my life needed to change. I had recently returned home from a two year missionary service for my church in the lovely Commonwealth of Virginia. I met many people who found their way into my heart and later became a huge part of where I am today; although at the time, I wasn't aware. I was suffering from a depression which I will call PTMD - Post Traumatic Missionary Disorder. Imagine a world without television, movies, family, cell phones, computers, pop culture, or anything that puts you up to speed with where the world is today. Not to mention, 90% of all conversations had mention of Jesus Christ at least once. For a 19 and 20 year old kid, this was not an easy task. I was daunted by the idea of going home to a world where all the previous mentioned items were so readily available, and where I had to focus on myself and actually growing up, after two years of focusing all time and energy on others and their happiness.
I had a great friend in Virginia named Chris who offered me an escape route from California. A one way plane ticket and a mattress on the floor. To an unsatisfied 22 year old, the plan didn't sound too bad. Two packed bags, $150, and 2 weeks later I found myself on the doorstep of my good friend Chris' town house. What he had failed to tell me was that my "bedroom" was actually the dining room, which had in fact flooded just one week prior. When he gave me the grand tour I found my "bedroom" to have gorgeous exposed sub-flooring and a hole in the ceiling the size of Manhattan. There were lawn chairs for seating, and the mattress I was to sleep on was being used as a couch and there was trash EVERYWHERE. It was definitely the bachelor pad of your dreams. It wasn't much, but I knew it was home, and it was time to get to work!