Life Stories

There is power in stories of life transformation.  It's really what God is most interested in.  At KGF, we celebrate the work God is doing in each one of us, and hope that you will be encouraged and challenged in your own walk as you read, listen to and watch some stories from this church family.

 

Thursday, 24 March 2016 09:56

Hannah A.

I grew up in a Christian household. I would go to church with my family and try to remember to read my bible at night, but I never really understood what it was saying or why it was relevant. My life seemed fine the way it was. I liked the idea of a God that loved me and would never leave me, but I certainly didn’t think I needed anyone or anything to guide my life. I thought I had been handling things just fine and I struggled with the idea of giving up control. So I kept God at arm’s length. As I grew older, I began to realize that there was a hole in my heart, a God-sized hole. I had known and believed that He existed, but I hadn’t tried to know Him personally. Finally, I stopped trying to rule my own life and started letting God fill me up. For the first time, I felt complete. Now I know that to lead a fulfilling life requires God and I’m ready to walk the rest of my life with Him.

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:53

Rudy H.

I was raised in a Christian family, the oldest of eleven children. From my earliest recollection our family attended church and the Christian life was taught at home. I accepted Jesus as my Saviour at age 11 at an evangelistic service in our church with the prompting of my uncle.  I was baptized in the Fraser river at age 17.

After High School I attended Bible School for 2 years where I felt God leading me to enter medical school with the goal of medical missions.  In the process I also met my wife to be who felt guided in the same direction.  Over the years there have been many people who encouraged me in my Christian walk: parents, my wife of 56 ½ years, pastors, Bible School teachers, friends, relatives, etc.

 

Important decisions in my Christian life include medical school, marrying my wife Ruby and medial missionary work. I have always been involved in Christian and church work. Since my retirement from medicine after fifty years I am also involved in community service organizations and try to be a witness in these situations.

A scripture verse which has always has been important to me is Psalm 32:8. “ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go  I will counsel you and watch over you.”

I could write volumes to fill in the blanks of 80 years of life.  God has been good!

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:51

Ruby H.

I am thankful that I grew up in a Christian home and was taken to Sunday School and church on a regular basis. At the age of 9 after attending an evangelistic service I informed my parents that I desired to have a personal  relationship with Jesus. They prayed with me and I received Christ into my heart and life.  The majority of my school friends were not from Christian homes and I recall playing softball at noon hour. When I got to third base, I shared with the third baseman that I had become a Christian. It was also in Grade three that the desire to become a teacher began to grow in my heart. Our family moved from Sumas Flats to Chilliwack and it was there that I was water baptized and joined Broadway M.B. church when I was in Grade 9.  I was privileged to be active in youth work, 

Sunday School work, DVBS work, Interschool Christian Fellowship, etc.  Senior Sunday School teachers, Youth leaders, IVCF sponsors etc. were good mentors to me.

In Grade 12, circumstances in my life caused me to make a definite decision to “ run the race” along the path that God had for me. In Hebrews 11 and 12 we read that we each run a unique race with a “great cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on”.  I had decided to be a single missionary teacher but that changed at the end of my last year at Bible School when a young man by the name of Rudy Hamm informed me that to be a single missionary teacher was not a good idea for me and thus began another lap in the race which took me to Teacher Training at UBC,   a PHT degree ( Putting Husband Through), many countries and challenges. God continues to challenge me to remember that my identity is not in my profession, my husband, the success of my children and grandchildren but who I am in Jesus: a child of the King.  I find this a comfort and a challenge.

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:49

Julie W.

Hi, my name is Julie Wiebe. I am from northern California, where I grew up going to many different churches. My mother was raised a Catholic and my father was raised a Baptist, so apparently it was easier for them not to raise us in either expression of the Christian Faith. We believed in God, went to church with neighbours and friends, and learned about the Bible from many points of view. I was Baptized in a Baptist Church when I was 15, but nobody told me that the devil likes to attack the saved, and my years after this were a struggle. I married a Canadian, and had three beautiful daughters – Robyn (22), Jenna (20), and Kirsten (17). We also spent our married life switching churches – my husband never being quite satisfied with the ones I picked. He left me 6 years ago and my life has been a struggle, though God has been with me all of the way and has never given up on me. I feel like I have found the church family I have been looking for all of my life here at KGF and am eager to join that family. 

 

Ephesians 2:20

 

“We are his house built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself.”

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:42

Paul N.

I was born and raised in Vancouver in a loving home with no knowledge of true Christianity. I met and married by wife Colleen there In 1972. I was promoted and transferred to Saskatoon in 1975 and soon after our first  child was born, a daughter, Erin. We were on top of the world, happy fulfilled and enjoying life. 13 months later our first son, Ty, was born, 7 weeks premature and suffered a cerebral haemorrhage that left him in the neo-natal intensive care unit. He was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Our nice tidy little world collapsed and we began a difficult journey that we now know was a path to Jesus and salvation.  We returned to Vancouver  as two of my family were experiencing health problems and we were having tremendous difficulty dealing with our son.  

A long time friend of mine had become a believer and as we re-established our relationship he gave me some Christian books to read as he saw our need for resources we did not have. As a result of those books and the involvement we began in a bible study I confessed my sin and received Jesus as my saviour in my car on a street in New Westminster in December of 1978. Colleen and I were baptized and joined Richmond Bethel MB church in May of 1979 and began serving in youth and then in caring ministries.  

As we grew the Lord placed a desire in both of us to know His Word more  and to serve Him in some kind of vocational ministry capacity. The Lord graciously granted us an opportunity  to take our family to study at Briercrest Bible college (7 years) and to spend time on staff (10 years)and raise our kids on campus after we were finished studies. We moved to Medicine Hat and spent 14 great years there and then this August retired and moved to Kelowna with an eye on spending more time with 2 of our kids and 3 grandkids who live here. We attended KGF whenever we were visiting family over the last 5 years or so and since we moved and have found it to be a place where God is at work and we desire to be  a part of that work with you. 

My life verse: Zechariah 4:6  "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord."

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:40

Colleen N.

My life verses are found in Isaiah 61:1-3. It is a ‘Before & After’ picture of what God has done in my life. 

 

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.[a]
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,[b]
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,[c]
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

I grew up as an ‘army brat’ and had the opportunity to live in many different places, including Belgium and Germany. The challenge was moving from school to school every year and the lack of stable long term relationships. I know my parents loved me but our home was a very volatile place. Faith was not discussed but we did make the traditional Christmas and Easter trek to church.

Paul and I were married in 1972 and are blessed with three wonderful children … Erin, Ty and Shea. On April 6, 1977, He sent us a gift - a son - but all we saw was a tragedy. Our middle son, Ty, was born 7 weeks premature and spent the first 2 months of his life in the neonatal unit in Saskatoon.  He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. I fell into a time of turmoil and confusion and was riddled with pride and anger. I kept asking “why me” and shook my fist at a God whom I had never before acknowledged. And thus began the journey  of seeking for something to ease the pain and fill the emptiness.

II Cor. 7:10 (NLT)

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. 

There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. 

But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

 

Thankfully  God had a plan for us and on August 26, 1978 at around 8 PM at an Athletes in Action basketball game in the gymnasium at Richmond Bethel Church, I repented of my sin and gave myself over to the Lord to fill me and change me. I haven’t looked back!

 

I was filled with a hunger for the Word and began attending church, Bible studies, and listening to Chuck Swindoll on the radio every morning. I couldn’t get enough of the Word. Books played a huge role in my growth. God always seems to put the right book at the right time into my hands to teach, guide and challenge me. Then God filled a desire of our hearts and sent us to Briercrest Bible School. We had so much to learn!

I have been blessed over the years with many varied opportunites to serve the Lord and each one has grown me into the woman God wants me to be. As we have now retired in Kelowna to be near two of our children and our delightful grandchildren, I am asking God to direct my steps and give me new purpose and a place to serve Him. I am so thankful to be able to worship with you here at KGF!

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:39

Heidi G.

Born and raised a pastors kid, I've always been surrounded by loving Christian examples in my life.  I committed my life to Christ as a young child, and have felt His love and guidance upon my life for as long as I can remember.  He has blessed me with a loving husband, an amazing step-daughter, and three precious sons.  Although my faith might look different now in my thirties as compared to when I was a child, I continue to discover God in new and meaningful ways.  

 

Last year, while relatively new to Kelowna and yet to plug into a church community, a newfound friend invited me to try out the KGF Woman's Bible Study.  A stranger to KGF, I began the study at a table with some of the most warm and compassionate souls I've ever met.  These ladies, of all different ages and backgrounds, became like mothers and sisters to me.  Sharing with them each week has enriched my life over the past year.

 

One of the verses I've loved most since I was a child is Ephesians 4:32

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

 

I truly feel that believers can make this world a beautiful place by living out these words.  It is important for me to attend a church that loves, serves, and shows kindness and compassion to both the local and global community.  Through the ministries and partnerships KGF offers and supports, along with embracing the concept of living Outward; we the church are being kindness and compassion to the world around us. This is a family I am truly proud to be apart of.

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:39

Donna M.

I grew up in a small town in Manitoba (7 miles from the Saskatchewan border).  I attended the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox church faithfully with my parents. The only problem with this was that it was all in Ukrainian and I did not understand most of the services.  But I went out of respect and honor for my parents.   I was baptized Orthodox as a child and only this past Thanksgiving Monday was I baptized as an adult with all of my adult kids and husband there... it was such a special time!!  I believe that I have the best husband and family anyone could ever have and thank the Lord for them every day.

When I was 15 (almost 16), I attended an Evangelistic meeting at my school with a friend who had invited me.  The group was actually from BC and they led me to Christ.  I did not really know what I had done but do remember sitting on the floor of our school gym crying my eyes out for about ½ hour.   I asked for a bible for my 16th Birthday and received my very first little white bible.   It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s, married and 3 children later that I REALLY understood the meaning of my experience on that gym floor so many years earlier.  God revealed to me the significance of that intervention when I finally picked up my little white bible again and found the date that I had accepted Christ into my life written under birthdays in the front of the bible.  The rest is history.  I then developed a hunger for Christ.  We (my husband Larry and our 3 small children) started attending an evangelical church in our small town and learned more about Jesus in one year that I had learned in the many years of going to church.  I joined almost every bible study I could, prayed with “Moms in Touch”, attended seminars but most importantly opened up our home with much love to the youth and young adults in our community.  There were many times that we did not know how we would be able to get groceries for the next week since those young people sure could eat!  But God was always faithful and provided for us!

Throughout the years God has placed many wonderful Christian women in my life to mentor me with no judgement and tons of love and truth.  For these women, I am eternally grateful!  Even now as a part of the KGF family, I am blessed with so many awesome women that I have met who I now call my new friends and mentors.

Moving to Kelowna 3 years ago with Larry has been great for me.  I have been challenged in so many ways to help strengthen my faith and to honestly find freedom in Christ in a way that I used to talk and sing about but never REALLY experienced.  My desire is to grow more and more in Christ and I want to live a life that honors and glorifies Him only.    I truly believe that the move to Kelowna has been in the will of God for this season in my life.  I love it here and I love the people at KGF.

One of my favorite ways to worship is by listening to Christian music.  Some of my favorite songs are “God of Wonders” by Third Day, “Here I am to Worship” by Tim Hughes and most recently “Good, Good Father” by Chris Tomlin.  

Some Bible verses that mean a lot to me are:

“…And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”   Micah 6:8

”The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17

“Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thes 5:16-18

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

And most recently 

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.  He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:29-30

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:38

Larry M.

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans i have for you",declares the Lord. plans to prosper you and not to harm you ,plans to give you a hope and a future"

   Growing up in a catholic family, i watched my mom use the power of prayer and it's healing power to save my dad,both physically and spiritually! I truly believe in the song " put your hand in the hand" as my momma taught me how to pray before i reached the age of seven!

  I attended a minor seminary boys school at the age of 15 and i had a lot of teaching about Jesus and His love for us but still didn't quite get it. After my wife,Donna and i got married,our life rolled along smoothly enough until our three kids came along.Donna was from a Ukrainian Orthodox background and i was from a Catholic background.Both of our parents lived in our small town so the only peaceful solution to church was to attend the Evangelical church with a bunch of other young couples and have both sets of parents wondering about us. We found a great church family for years and our children grew up becoming camp councillors,worship leaders and all of us enjoyed being involved,but something was still missing. Then,we had a Promise Keepers convention for fathers and sons in Winnipeg that a bunch of us attended one week- end! I listened to the message and the music and the song " come to Jesus" was played and I answered His call that day!Praise the Lord!

  My life has been so Blessed! I have a loving Christian wife,3great young adult children and a son in law that all love the Lord. We arrived in Kelowna 3 years ago in December and we are sure Jesus took the wheel and steered us to KGF as we have found a church family that makes us feel so welcome and loved and that we always feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when we enter that place.( they also said that i could play my accordion there)!

 I have been a farmer all my life and even in semi retirement,we are trying to farm here in the Okanagan. I feel that farming is one of the deepest faith based enterprises a man could ever do! Our farming has helped us to understand the needs of others in need. God has enabled us to help feed the others,provide water for various projects when He called us to,and given us the opportunities to work with various missions to help give people a "hand up" instead of a " hand-out". "God of Wonders."We enjoyed being part of a "canadian food grains project" in our little town and Matthew 6 was a chapter that we loved to pause and refresh with.

 Faith, Family and Friends,my motto that i want to live by!

Thursday, 07 January 2016 12:33

Robert B.

My wife & I moved from Abbotsford to West Kelowna approx 3 years ago. We had been attending a Mennonite church there for close to 30 years.  We were involved with many areas of the church & enjoyed being part of a large family. An opportunity to become an owner of a business brought us here to the sunny okanagan. We had been looking for a church to feel at home but could not find one that we felt comfortable at. It was hard to let go of our church in Abbotsford after being there for so long. A business acquaintance, who now are great friends invited us to come to KGF. From that moment on we felt like we found our place. We've been coming for over a year now & feel that we should become members & give back to the community.  Both of us feel it's important not only to attend a church but be involved in some way.