Life Stories (214)
I was raised in a wonderful loving home. I left home when I was 16 and lived and worked in Calgary, for many years, but I lived a very selfish life.
I heard about a church and what they were preaching and wanted to know if it was real, so I attended some services. I realized what the Pastor was saying was real and prayed with him and accepted Jesus into my heart and life; for the first time, I knew what the word sin meant.
I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and can’t remember a time when I didn’t go to church (morning and evening services and Sunday School in the afternoon). Despite that, it wasn’t until I attended a 2-week crusade when I was 8 that I understood my need to give my life to Christ in order to become a Christian. The years’ following were a slow and steady growth-time in my Christian life. I attended Capernwray Bible School in the UK for a year and it was there that I was baptized and deepened my roots in Christ.
Growing up, the church was like my second home. Both my parents were youth pastors until I was 8, and then they both worked at the church, my dad as the head pastor and my mom as the administrator, until I was 14. It was when we moved to Lloydminster when I was 8 that I began to wonder why my parents were so committed to what they did at the church. My dad led me to the Lord the night I asked him about it all. I was baptized when I was 10, but I had not surrendered everything to Him or fully followed Him until this last year.
Before I met Christ, I lived and thought this way. I followed Japanese culture - just living for money and pleasure. I didn't think about the future because I didn't feel I had a purpose. But I always felt like there was something missing. I collected my ideas from many different people - historical figures, samurais, to make my world view. I hated religion.
Growing up in a Christian home gave me the foundation that God existed, but He did just that; existed. In my world, I was the centre of the universe.
And it worked for a while. I was good at school, excelled at sports and was able to get a scholarship that paid my way through university. I attended international track meets and if I wanted to achieve something, I could do it in my own strength. That was, until I didn't.
The night was so dark. It was quiet except for the monotonous hum of the car motor. The car pulled up to a stop sign. Seven kids were asleep in the rear seat. My mother asked, "Which way, left or right? Where do we go?" We were heading down a road with no destination.
I was born in southern Manitoba and spent my first 8 years on a small family farm, along the international border with North Dakota. My parents being very committed followers of Jesus, introduced me to the value of regular church attendance as a week-old baby. My earliest memories include being in Sunday School and church on a very regular basis.