Life. Caleb Smith is on a journey and the destination is up to God.
Growing up on dairy farms around Smithton until he was 15, Caleb left Circular Head Christian School after Year 10 to begin – and successfully gain – his plumbing apprenticeship.
Describing his childhood as “very Christian in every aspect”, Caleb began to question his spirituality when his parents’ marriage ended.
“I grew up going to Sunday school, Bible study, listening to Christian music in the house,” he said.
“I refer to it as a ‘Christian bubble’. Not that it was a bad thing, it’s just how I grew up.
“When I was 17, Mum and Dad got divorced – that was the first time life got hard. I started asking questions about whether I believed it (Christianity) myself or if I was just believing other people’s beliefs.”
Through that experience, the now 20-year-old says, “I found my walk with Jesus personally”.
“It became real for me. From that point, I got stirred up in what I believed; from then I got this urge to know more about the Bible.”
The natural progression was to look into Bible colleges. He made the decision to put his faith in God.
During this time, he went on a trip to Thailand and whilst visiting a missionary there met with a group from Capernwray Torchbearers: a school in New South Wales he had looked into.
“To me that was blatantly obvious that that was God’s way of showing me where he wanted me to go.”
One year on in the program, describing it similar to a ‘gap-year’ in its hands-on approach, Caleb said he is living out his destiny.
“I haven’t gained a certificate as such, but I feel as though I’ve grounded myself with the Bible and grown in my walk with Jesus.”
Capernwray was started in England in 1946 by Major Ian Thomas, who returned from World War II with a passion for filling a spiritual void he felt present in society at the time.
“He put that heart into 25 centres around the world, reaching out to anyone who is seeking to grow,” Caleb said.
Caleb began the course in February, spending six months learning the ‘Bible, Discipleship and Ministry’. After a month off he began new studies in ‘Leadership and Internship Training’ which saw him spend 10 weeks as an intern at a church.
Meeting often with church leaders, Caleb took home a clear message: “When they looked back they could see how God had aligned all of their paths if they trusted in Him.”
And Caleb sees the same unfolding in his life.
“I feel like God had already done the work in me before I left (Smithton), but sort of grew in me this passion to seek after him with all of my heart, not just part of it. I just know where I am supposed to be.”
While saying, “I wasn’t in a bad place when I set out”, Caleb said putting his faith in God has “paid off”.
“It’s the most exciting adventure I’ve ever been on, I feel blessed and honoured. The life that I live is one in surrender to God’s will and what he wants.
“For sure, if God leads me back to Smithton and Dreambuilders (Church), I’ll serve there willingly and with passion.”
But for now, he will embrace the opportunities presented to him, like a recent mission trip to Thailand where he spent time teaching English to children in village schools and helping the church he was visiting in any way he could.
Next year, he will be sponsored to visit the founding Capernwray in England.
“I’m not just a Christian who sits at church and keeps a seat warm every Sunday.”