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!
Why do I want to get baptised?
Well, being baptised would be a huge step in my life. I would love to go to my school and be open about being Christian. I have seen many kids at my school who are Christian but have never talked to anyone else who is Christian. I want to be that guy who goes up to those people, scared or too shy to speak out. Being baptised would also mean for me to help out more. I already help out in two ministries in church (children’s and the front lines) but I still want to go further with it all. The reason why I want to be baptised is because God came to me on December 31, 2014. I had the idea of being baptised and getting to know him better. I felt his love for me and this will be (one of) my ways of thanking him and worshiping him.
I accepted Jesus into my life at a young age. I grew up in a Christian home and I learned about Jesus through Sunday school. One day our Children’s Pastor talked to us about accepting Jesus and what you needed to do to be let into heaven. Since I was young I didn’t understand this well, but I still accepted him. I felt like every time I did something wrong that I needed to re-accept him. I have probably accepted him over 1,000 times now. I didn’t fully understand him until I went to Gardom Lake bible camp. I went in 2010 to “main camp” where we had an inspirational speaker who changed my life. One way God showed me his presence was through the weather. What had happened was it was the last day of camp and it had rained all day and night and we almost got rained out for camp fire. All of a sudden God for 1 hour made all the gray clouds full of lightning and rain go away and brought back the stars. I felt like He was there. Another reason why was because the speaker was talking about how God shows his presences in many different ways and since this happened in 2010, I have been thinking about him ever since.
A verse that I thought was powerful was "When he had said this: Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11.43). I chose that verse because I felt it showed Jesus' true power.
I have been hearing about the love of God and Jesus since I was born. I was born into a Christian family attended church every Sunday and regularly attended a Bible study group, which was how I made some of my first friends. I was 6 years old at a Day Camp at North shore Baptist Church in Seattle Washington, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I was listening to our kids pastor talk about God’s gift of eternal life for anyone who believes in Him. That night I prayed with my mom and asked Jesus to enter my heart. To be quite honest, as a kid I found I never paid much attention during the church service. Even after my family and I moved to Kelowna in 2010 and began to attend Youth on Tuesday nights I would be apart from the group not paying attention to the message. I have changed a lot in the last couple years and I find myself much more comfortable in that sort of atmosphere and just listening to what the pastor has to say, and take notes during church to help engage my brain a bit more. I feel baptism is the next step in life for me as a Christian. God has been my rock through many struggles I have had: the many problems I faced in high school, and helping me live with my disabilities. I want to be public with my faith. I am not a very public individual, but I don’t think anybody should hide their love for God. I want to help people come to Christ, and want God to use me however He can. I will have questions for the Lord and I can guarantee I will not be perfect, but no matter what happens I will live for Him in all that I do.
In my fairly short life so far, my faith hasn’t been a clear-cut path.
Even five years ago, I would still have been asking my mom, “Do we really have to go to church?” I didn’t quite grasp the concept of faith and believing in God.
When I was a bit younger, maybe 7 or 8, I always wondered why people got baptized. What did it mean when someone went under water and came back up? Did they get a first class ticket to heaven? Although many questions filled my head, I didn’t reach out to ask, partly because I didn’t know whom to ask.
Sitting at church services at KGF helped me shape my faith and discover further about my own relationship with God.
There was never a ‘eureka!’ moment to my faith journey, where I instantly recognized baptism as my next step. It was small subtle changes in life that led up to thinking baptism. Even when I thought about it, I thought, “why should I get baptized?”
Of all the people who didn’t need to get baptized, it was Jesus. He lived a perfect life and is the Son of God. I believe he did it as an example to those who believe in Him.
To me, baptism means going down in the water bound by my sins and imperfections, and coming up as a follower of Jesus; it is my commitment to live every single day to the glory of Jesus.
I was born in Kelowna in 2000. I grew up in a Christian home but God was never really real to me. Then I went through a rough patch in my life. I did some things that I regret. In 2012, my Dad got dystonia in his neck and that rattled me. Why would God do this to my dad? I struggled with this for about two years. Then last summer, the speaker said we all have a choice: to follow God or sin. It's your choice. "Who will go? asks the Lord. Send me." Isaiah 6:8. And with Isaiah 6:8 on my heart, as I was walking back to my cabin on July 25, 2014 I said yes to Jesus. The past year has been the best year with Jesus. Satan will always tempt me but I'm rooted in Jesus. Now I'm ready to make my faith public.
Proverbs 17:17 " A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." God has shown himself to be my friend and my brother, helping me through the rough patches. This verse has helped me shape my spiritual life and I hope it helps your faith journey as well.
God has always been a part of my home and family. I grew up going to church and Sunday School. As I got older sports took my focus away from going as often as I should have.
In 2012 our family moved to Kelowna and in the spring of 2013 we began regularly attending KGF. This is where I began to know God in a more personal way. For the last year and a half or so I have seen God working in my life. He has placed people along the way to mentor me.
I have decided to be baptized now because I feel that this is the next step in my Christian journey.
I was born the third of four girls. Our family never went to church, and we never heard anything good or bad about God. My growing up years were very rough. I can't count how many times I said things like, "Man, I'm lucky!" or "Someone must be watching over me", or "I must have a guardian angel!"
It was early 2006 when I became a Christian. Then it was another eight or nine years before I began to try to be an active Christian. Through those years I fought one health issue after another, all pretty serious. At one point I was on life supposrt for twelve days. Doctors had told my family to say their goodbyes. They had next to no hope for me. This turned out to be one more time of "someone must be looking out for me". It wasn't until I got home that it finally hit me. It was God! God was there, protecting and saving me all through my life.
I had two or three more years of serious health issues, and God never left me. Which brings me to the last couple of years. These have been my strongest years yet for me as a Christian.
Last year I took The Journey and this year I am taking A Way of Life. I am getting so much out of these courses. They clarify so many things for me. They help tremendously in learning about God, His plans, and His Word. I was very surprised to find how much I had grown and how much stronger my faith seemed to be. For the first time I found myself believing it wasn't too late for me.
Until now, I didn't believe I would go to heaven, but I was okay with that, because God knew my heart, so He knew I never meant to hurt anyone or be so wrong with my life. I would have come to these truths sometime. The Journey and A Way of Life got me there quicker and with so many great lessons. I am looking forward to whatever it is that God has planned for my lfe with Him.
I have been a born again Christian since the mid 1970’s. I was raised in a home that believed in God, but had no knowledge or understanding of salvation through Jesus.
Learning about Jesus began for me when I was in my early 20’s through a friend who came from a large family, some of who were born again Christians. She would share with me about her weird family members who “got saved” and constantly talked about God. After a couple of years my friend’s heart had started to soften towards God, but I did not know that yet. My own heart wasn’t hard towards God, but I guess you could say it was indifferent. I didn’t know enough about Him to be able to make a decision either way.
Even though she had changed, we were still strong friends, and when she would talk to me I would listen, not realizing how my heart was changing. One night I called her and we talked for approx. 3 hours. I finally believed her enough to believe Christ, and after hanging up the phone, I got on my knees and invited Christ into my life and to be my Lord and Saviour, and He did. I found a church and began to learn and grow. I made my public declaration by being baptized shortly after.
There have been some hard years between that year and now. Including a long period of time when I walked away from God. The most important lessons I learned from those years is that truly God does not leave us and a Christian absolutely cannot walk the walk alone. There is much damage that happens to a Christian’s heart when they are not following God, but God is so loving and gracious that He gently leads us to the place and the people who He will use to bring us back into the fold. This began for me in 2003 when I started attending church again. After a while I met some people who saw me. They saw someone who was extremely shy and extremely scared, but they were so gentle and so caring, that I soon began to relax with them. To this day, we are solid friends.
In 2009/10 I took the first year of The Journey. Through this process God freed me from the bondage of fear, and healed some of the damage I had done to my heart so I was able to respond to Him as I should. Although I know that we only need to be baptized once, I felt strongly that I both wanted and needed to make my return from the desert years as full and solid as possible, so in 2010 I was baptized again, and I have not looked back since. I am firmly standing on Jesus my rock, and I will not turn away again.
From there I completed the next two years of The Journey course, and in the spring of 2012 began with my husband to attend KGF. We enjoy it here, and we call KGF our church. I feel strongly that I want to belong here properly which to me means becoming a member so I am able to fully participate in however God leads me.
My dream these days is that although I have wasted a lot of years, I believe God can somehow use them for His glory, and I believe He will. I am sure there are more people out there like me who need to know that God will forgive them and take them back, just like He forgave Peter and took him back, just like He forgave me and took me back, and that He loves them just like He loved Peter, and just like He loves me.
There are two verses that God has brought to my attention lately so I am hanging onto them, waiting to see what He will say to me, and waiting to see what is next in this journey of my life.
Habakkuk 2:1 – I will stand at my watch, and station myself on the ramparts. I will look to see what He will say to me.
Proverbs 23:26 – My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes keep to My ways.
The Msg for this verse says: My dear child, I want your full attention; please do what I show you.
Thank you for the opportunity to belong to the family of KGF.
I was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1952. My parents had immigrated from Italy the year before. I was raised Catholic, went to church on a regular basis, went to a Catholic elementary and high school. In grade 8, a priest would come in to answer any questions that we had. On one visit, he was promoting the priesthood. For the first time, I felt that God was calling me to serve Him. I put Him off and told Him that I would serve Him when I was 21 (I don't recommend this)...I wanted to have "fun" in my teen years, as if having fun and serving God are exclusive of each other.
I met a girl in my last year of high school, but only went out with her once...she said that she had a boyfriend! I went to the University of Windsor and guess who I ran into just before Christmas, 1973? Yes, that same girl. We started a relationship (I guess the boyfriend was no longer in the picture). Over the Christmas holidays, she attended a church winter camp and had gotten saved. Unknown to me, that fall, a pastor and his young family had moved into the townhouse next to her and invited her family to Bible study in his home.
That spring, she invited me over for supper at her place with the understanding that I would attend the Bible study afterward. I agreed and resolved to defend my Catholic faith...I didn't stand a chance. I went home that nigh with a headache, something that I rarely got. The Spirit of God began to work on me and convict me. I knew that I was a sinner and destined for hell if I didn't repent. That May, that's what I did. In the quietness of my bedroom, I confessed before God that I was a sinner and asked Him to come into my heart and life...no thunder, no lightning, but that's exactly what God did. By His grace and the work of His Holy Spirit, my lifestyle changed. Because of Him, I became a better son and a better person. The void in my life was finally filled. The "fun" that I was seeking as a teen was in serving and loving God. God had taken a place in line and waited, but He never forgot me. He held me to my word...I was 21 when I was saved! However, I did regret not having done it sooner...it would have saved me a whole lot of heartache and unnecessary pain.
I graduated from University that spring with a BA in economics and started working for the Bank of Montreal as an assistant managerial trainee. However, God had different plan for my life, something that I felt in high school...to become a teacher.
I resigned my position at the bank, and enrolled in the BEd programme at the University of Windsor. In the spring of 1975 (after I received my BEd), I met my future wife at a Bible training course in Cleveland, TN. I started teaching for the Windsor Board of Education in the fall. Janet and I were married the following summer in 1976.
I taught in Windsor for 11 years, 6 years at Oakville Christian School, 2 years at Kamloops Christian School, took a year off teaching to work at Western Star trucks for a year before joining the staff at Kelowna Christian School. I taught for 34 years before I retired and now enjoy relaxed days and volunteering.
In August of 2013, I felt led to start attending KGF. It has been a great experience for me. I feel that God is "knitting" me into the fabric of KGF. I thank God for His love and faithfulness over the years and for the opportunity to be a part of KGF.
Thanks for making me feel welcomed!