Morten was partying hard at university in his native Denmark when he was invited to play the cornet in a church worship band.
‘I had tried to find meaning in so many avenues – business, scouting, personal development and relationships – but didn’t try God,’ he said. ‘I ran from everything – even myself and the pressures that had been building up inside – but the more I ran, the more I ran into Jesus.’
Morten began to experience a relationship with God. ‘Two days before I made that decision [to accept God’s forgiveness and to follow him], I felt God’s presence fill the room, wanting me to come to him, but I still didn’t accept the invitation,’ he explained. Two days later, while at work, he felt foolish and told himself: ‘Stop running. Open your Bible. Kneel down and pray!’
In stepping into a relationship with God, Morten also decided to become a soldier member of The Salvation Army, which would mean giving up alcohol and adopting a new lifestyle. He admits: ‘I lived a whole different life previously – drinking, partying. I didn’t mind giving it up – I didn’t want it.’
Morten left university to attend The Salvation Army’s intensive ministry training school in a deprived area of Vancouver, Canada. He said: ‘This taught me that life is about love, not least learning to love myself, too – you have to do that for yourself, too. It is the same with forgiveness, we ask for it and do it for others but it’s hard to forgive yourself.’
When Morten returned from The War College a year later he applied to become a Salvation Army minister at the international training college in London – these trainees are known as cadets until they are ordained as ministers. ‘I travel like a snail – slowly but then when I realise it’s time to commit, I jump in with both feet.’
He started his training course in London in September 2014, where he and his fellow cadets in the session were known collectively as the Messengers of Light.