Maine Absalon’s (Batch 10) 180 Degrees Turn

Before anything else and just so you know.. The first time I encountered 180 was way back in batch 5’s launching concert. At that time it was all new for my 11-year-old self to witness such a show with a bunch of young Christians pouring their hearts out all in the Name and Glory of the Lord (I was there because my cousins were members of that certain batch).

Maine during audition

The following years.. I eventually accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour, thus, engaging myself in more spiritual activites and familiarizing myself with the word of God. One day, my cousins (the previous members of 180) and I decided to do a cover of Hillsong’s Oceans, and uploaded it on Facebook. Days later, I found myself being reached out by a woman (that woman was Ate Roselle), inviting and encouraging me to audition for their ministry.. And so I did. Despite the great unfamiliarity of the faces of the people I met during the auditions (two of which were Gelo and JK), it did not feel strange at all because Ate Jovy and Ate Jasmine – who joyfully greeted me the moment I entered the venue – have always been accommodating. Few days later, it was brought to my attention that I got in. By the Grace of God, I passed the auditions. Then the rest was not a just a history, but an unforgettable journey — a journey with our three leaders, youth leaders, my fellow batch 10, and most of all, with God.

Singing “Digmaan”, during Batch 10’s Launching concert with Nicholas

Like any other teams, ours experienced and went through a lot of things ranging from clueless ones, surprising, exciting, unnerving, happy, joyful and even sad.. Being together for two years taught me to wear my heart on my sleeve in a good way: In a way that your vulnerability will allow your doors to open for people without having to knock. For two years, I realize that our 180 journey has always been more than the ministry, the concerts, the training, the desire to change other people’s lives, because eventually.. it changes yours. And when yours is changed you are then convicted and driven with God’s love as your fuel, to compel you to serve further despite the hardships and barriers.

While saying goodbye to the orphans in Compassionate Hope Thailand

During our journey, I was in my 3rd year of college and now, a graduating college student. I couldn’t imagine how it was made possible by God for me to able to handle the loads of responsibilities at the same time. Inevitably, there were moments of frustrations, silent battles, and a lot of struggles I hardly went through, but I am deeply grateful for our team because there are opportunities to confront yourself without losing the sense of still seeing the beauty and good in you simply because You are a child of God. Moreover, like what I said before, our whole journey always tested my endurance – whether it be the tasks given to me, the roles I had to act upon, interpersonal problems, and even the ones I had with myself. Also, in two years, the Lord has always been telling me to keep my feet on the ground, to be humble, and to always be teachable for this is when you truly allow yourself to receive and reflect through His wisdom through the people He intentionally sent you, not to harm you, but to guide and nurture you in many ways.