Life Stories (247)
When I was a young boy, the name of Jesus was spoken in our home but I did not walk with Him. At the age of 11, my 8 year old brother was diagnosed with cancer. I begged and pleaded with God to take this from him, but He did not. Over the next 8 years while I watched my brother slowly waste away, I became angry with God which turned into hopelessness and by the time my brother died, I had completely turned away from God.
At 21, I married, went back to school and then settled into a typical Canadian middle class life with two kids, a couple of cars and a mortgage. I would not say that I was riding shot gun for the Prince of Darkness but I was certainly working very hard although unknowingly at hammering those nails into my Savior’s cross. But there was always this feeling deep down that something was missing, something was not right. No matter what I tried doing or what I bought, there wasn’t anything that could fill that empty feeling. Fast forward to when I am 50 years old.
My daughter and her boyfriend gave their lives to Jesus in 2003 and were married shortly afterwards. My wife and I would often visit them in Surrey. On Sundays they would ask us to go to church with them and I reluctantly did. Then one Sunday, I was listening to the Pastor and it was as if he was standing 3 inches in front of my nose, shouting at me about Jesus. I fought back tears and after 51 years of wondering the spiritual desert, I was really good at doing stubborn. But my heart was stirring.
One morning in March 2005, I needed to make a road trip from Castlegar to Kelowna for business. It was like any other road trip except my heart was stirring and my emotions were over flowing. For more than 2 hours in that car I struggled over and over in my mind with God, Jesus and my life. And then just a little outside of Beaverdell, I said to Jesus, I’m sorry for what I’ve done, please forgive me, please take control of my life. And in an instant, I began to cry uncontrollably and an overwhelming feeling washed over me as I came to the realization that what I was always looking to fill that empty feeling had always been right in front of me. It was Jesus and all I had to do was turn to Him, repent and embrace Him, and I did and I still do, and I thank Him every day.
Much has changed in my life since that moment. I would like to say that I have been walking with Jesus for 10 years but in all honesty, He is carrying me more than I am walking. But such is the love, grace and mercy that is Jesus. I read my bible almost every day. I pray to Jesus every day and I seek to serve where I can.
The Bible verse that reflects my life now is 2 Peter 1: 5-7 (NIV) “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness; brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness; love.
Revelation 12:11 says we can overcome because of the Lamb and because of the word of our testimony. May my testimony simply proclaim that I love Jesus, that He is my Lord and Saviour and may He get all the glory. I was raised by a Christian family and also grew up in a beautiful church family. I became a Christ-follower at a very young age with the help of a man with a huge heart for Jesus. He was an influence to many children and adults on many different continents, but our family was special to him. Though he went to be with Jesus many years ago, his faithfulness still inspires me.
I became a nurse after years of fighting high fevers as a child and spending time in and out of hospitals (I had to have both kidneys reattached). I have also always volunteered in ministry, like church groups, camps, missions, local groups and people. I had prayed He would be my eyes and heart at work and in all areas, and have been mightily blessed as I see Him all over the place. A few years back I felt led to further develop my own prayer life, in really seeking His will and being accountable. He has brought me through some very special and life changing things, and I think of what I would have missed had I not been obedient. Incredible things not about me at all, yet somehow I wind up blessed as that's our God.
I remain passionate about Jesus and His Word and helping others develop or further that same relationship. When my youngest was born, we weren't sure if she was going to make it. Psalm 84 speaks of the valley of Baca. It is a reference to a place of weeping. "How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it an early spring; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength and each of them appears before Him..." It goes on to say that He is our shield and protection, and He looks on the face of the anointed. The translation becomes the pilgrim turns his troubles into blessings and my tears became something of beauty. Baca is also the singular of balsam trees which grow in arid ground. I think on His goodness every spring when the balsam root sunflower reappears everywhere...
I was also reminded just this Sunday as Pastor Mike read from Romans 8:28-39 of another example of one that means so much. It is about overwhelming victory in Him, the depths of His love and that nothing can separate us from that love. However, many passages mean so much!
I have the blessing of being married to Peter and raising Luke, Caleb and Makena to love Him with their whole everything, and to walk, talk and teach about Him all the days of my life. We are loved and that is a fact that I can't squirm out from. We are His beloved! We walk by faith (and not sight most times) covered in grace. Hope is intertwined in His very Presence and He is with us! Love never fails. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
I am blessed to live in beautiful Kelowna with my beautiful wife and three amazing kids, Luke, Caleb and Makena.
I became a Christian in 1997 after I moved to Kelowna from Winnipeg.
Thank you for the opportunity to become part of the Kelowna Gospel Fellowship family.
One day God opened my eyes and I saw the radiant light of Jesus. After years of trying to fill my life with worldly treasure the empty spot in my heart was overflowing with the love, joy, peace and hope of the Holy Spirit. My journey had been long and arduous because I could not relinquish control to the Lord. Thirty two years of stumbling in a spiritual desert.
I have believed in God for my entire earthly existence. There has never been any doubt. But what I lacked was a relationship with Him. The ability to share my thoughts, hopes and dreams and know that no matter how much nonsense erupted from my mouth or how many poor choices that I made that God loved me regardless of my flawed humanity. It was like someone had given me angel wings and I could soar above the earthly commotion and see with perfect vision God’s satisfaction with the person that I am. God truly saw me and all the junk that accompanied me and all the mess that I was and through Jesus I was right and whole and lovely. This thought still causes tears.
God knew that I would turn to Him, eventually. At age fifty-one I was baptised. I will never forget the darkness of the water as I was submerged and the glorious brilliance of the sun as I was lifted into Jesus’ presence. I thank all of those people known and unknown that encouraged me on my quest to know Jesus. There are many that have influenced me in the last ten years such as my daughter and son-in-law, family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, pastors, Christian authors and many more but my greastest resource, the words of Jesus, the bible. I carry THE BOOK next to my heart and I marvel at the love expressed within its sacred pages.
Isaiah 43:1 – 4, is one of my favorite passages where the Lord says in verse four, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you”
I grew up knowing the Lord. My grandmother helped me memorize many verses from the Bible. Before the days of tv in South Africa, we would sit around the radio and listen to aired church services on Sunday evenings.
I cannot remember the exact date I gave my heart to the Lord, but I was a child. Growing up in a home with much turmoil I was always thankful to have the Lord to speak to and rely on.
I attended the Methodist church in South Africa and was confirmed at the age of 17. This was a significant moment in my
Christian walk as it was the moment I got to stand up before my church congregation and profess my faith and love for Jesus Christ our God and Savior.
We have lived in Canada for the past 11 years. It's wonderful when you know we serve a big God. You can move countries and He is still there. That was something that was always so reassuring and made our move from the known to the unknown so much easier.
We have attended KGF for the past 3 years and would like to become members of this wonderful church community.
I was born and raised in South Africa and was very fortunate to grow up in a Christian home where I was taught about God from a very young age. I belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church and at 18 years of age I publicly declared my love for Jesus and my Christian faith in our local church by means of confirmation.
My growth in faith has has developed over the years and continues to do so. In my line of work I interact with numerous people on a daily basis and I am at this stage in my life where I ask God daily to fill me with his Holy Spirit so that he can use me to glorify Him in my interaction with others.
We have been coming to Kelowna Gospel Fellowship for about 3 years where we really feel at home. We always get a practical message that we can apply in our daily lives and would appreciate it if I could become of member of this church.
It has been a long journey so far with The Lord. I could not and would not live without Him as He is my everything. He has, in my heart, so many very meaningful names, I could not enumerate them here, and He is The One who holds my hand, and when I let go by ignorance or disobedience, I know I am always on His shoulders, He carries me and loves me unconditionally.
I was saved in 1989 after looking for God everywhere I could, and finaly I encountered Him where I would the least expect, a Christian church. He transformed me by opening my eyes to His love and for the first time, I had pure, real joy. Life had not been kind so far and I would still have many big challenges, but He knows all about me and that has been a big part to sustain me on the narrow path. I have a Friend. My joy is in this Father who keeps His eyes on me all the time, and when I feel alone, He is here with me. I am part of a huge family who one day will be reunited at His feet to worship His majesty and Who He Is. I cannot wait to look at our Sheppard in the eyes and know at once the whole truth. Brothers, Sisters, what a privilege to be able to love our Lord freely without boundaries!
I have been attending the women Bible study for about one year as well as the services and I truly enjoy every minute of it. I am grateful for this wonderful and loving church and in becoming a member, I am committing myself to do my best to get to know you, honour you and serve you with love and service, but I will need the help of each of you.
My parents raised me in a Christian home where we followed & believed in Jesus. With my dad’s help, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour as a young boy.
One of my most important spiritual experiences I’ve had as a Christian, was the opportunity to be involved with Youth with a Mission [YWAM] Perth’s Discipleship Training School in Australia [DTS].
After the DTS, there was an Outreach Program, which for me was in South Africa & Zambia. I am so grateful for the whole program: DTS & Outreach, because of the privilege I had to learn more about what the Bible has to say about God’s plan for my life.
On the Outreach I learned what it means to serve people in need. Another highlight during my DTS training time in Australia, was accepting the challenge to be obedient & follow Christ into the waters of baptism.
I was baptized in the Swan River with fellow YWAMers singing worship songs; it was a very significant event in my life.
Over the course of my life, one Scripture verse has become very meaningful to me: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. [2 Timothy 1:7]
I believe in the local church, especially KGF Church. I want to become even more committed to our church family, and so I’m joining as a member of KGF Church.
I was infant baptized and raised in the Catholic church but never knew you could have a personal relationship with Jesus. There was this big hole in my life that I couldn't fill. In the meantime, as I was searching my sister accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. She began praying for me and the rest of my family in earnest for Salvation. It was on a Boxing Day when I was visiting my family in Saskatchewan from Winnipeg when my brother and little sister, who had just accepted the Lord as their Saviour had a prayer meeting and prayed for me and my younger cousin to make a decision for the Lord. And that night we both accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. It was a complete transformation and very emotional experience for me. It felt like the Lord had unzipped me from head to toe, stepped-in and filled that dark hole to overflowing. I felt a warm glow and such incredible love. A week later I found a Word-based Church to attend and was re-baptized a few months later at age 25 plus received the amazing gift of tongues.
Since then the Lord has led and supported me through many great and difficult times. I eventually was hired on as Director of Children's Ministry at my church which was an amazing experience. Our Pastor taught us leadership principles at work and personal life that stretched and grew me in so many areas. I have been dealing with many health issues in the past few years plus a difficult divorce and through it all I had a great desire to move to Kelowna for the climate and to be near my family. A year and a half ago, that desire came true and I moved to Kelowna, found an amazing place to live, plus this awesome Word-based church, Kelowna Gospel Fellowship and my health has slowly improved and God has provided through it all. To God be the glory!
The scripture that I hold on to and that I value is from Jeremiah 29:11..."For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".
I came to follow God at a very young age; my mother was a strong Christian. My faith strengthened when my parents were killed on my tenth birthday. This was not easy as my 15 siblings, who were older than me, chose addictions to drugs and alcohol. They turned their backs on Christianity.
I was passed from one sibling to another until I was sixteen. I decided to get my own place and at 17 graduated with top honours from high school, while supporting myself. While attending college to study law, a lawyer who was mentoring me, recommended that I change my career path. He suggested that my serving heart was not suited to the harsh legal system. So I switched to family advocacy for first nations. I loved helping people and worked as an advocate for many years.
I met my husband when I was 24 and we had two beautiful sons in my early 30’s. I never wavered in my faith and believed that my sons would be brought up as Christians. I had zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol in my home. My family respected my wishes, my life was good and I thanked God daily for my blessings. After having my sons, I took on two jobs so I could put my husband through plumbing and start our own plumbing business. When my sons were toddlers I came home from work and found my husband doing drugs. My heart was crushed. I gave him a choice between his family or drugs as I could not allow my children to be raised in this environment. He chose drugs. I packed up my babies, left our home and business in Calgary, and returned to B.C.
I never looked back even when my sons and I were starving and homeless. I held onto my faith knowing more than ever that God had never left my side. I continued my life, again working two jobs and going back to college at night where I received a certificate in both daycare and hairdressing. This allowed me to work at home and be with my sons. I continued raising my sons alone and truly on the belief that God only gives us what he knows we can handle! He made me tiny but with very big shoulders! My sons are now 22 and 24 year old gentlemen who also graduated with top honours. They are successful and live together in a condo in Kelowna. And me? I still thank God everyday for my BLESSINGS!