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Soldier Neil's AFIA journey
Serving soldier Neil from Winchester was just one of the people to benefit from the Mothers’ Union Away From It All holiday scheme. Neil has admitted that "life is better than ever" for his family following his AFIA holiday.
Described as one of the most successful snipers in the British Army, Neil had experienced some horrendous things. Going into hostile territories he had seen mass graves, been shot at more times than he could remember, been blown up and set on fire. He says that "by 2005 I was a broken man, suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". He felt this prolonged exposure to violent events had led him to become, what he describes as, "murderous, lying, thieving, cheating scum on the verge of alcohol dependency".
Whilst on the holiday he went to the evening reflection where he heard a passage from Matthew's gospel: "Come ye who are heavily laden and I will give you rest". It was then that he first felt God's presence.
With this new belief he started to change from the inside out and his whole family felt the benefit. He went back home and started going to church regularly. This led him to become a committed Christian. Neil has since joined as a Mothers' Union member and serves as an AFIA holiday team volunteer.