Coco F.

I was born in northern China in the city of Shenyang near the Chinese border with North Korea.  My father is a Doctor and my mother a business woman.  They divorced when I was 7 my father remarried and I was raised in a single parent home by my mom.  My upbringing was very typical of a secular Chinese one child family.  My mom grew up in the “Communist China” which has now become a “Socialist China”.  We never talked about religion or God, so I thought I was an atheist.  I completed my first 8 grades of school in China and than came to Canada to attend Kelowna Christian School for the next two years.  My grade 10 year was very difficult, I felt home sick and experienced many challenges adjusting to life in both a new country and a new family, especially some cultural differences in my first homestay.  God must have heard my cries for help as in June of 2017, I was given the opportunity to change to a new homestay family, Aldon & Betty Loeppky, who attend KGF church.

I felt such warmth, acceptance and love from the first day I moved there.  They are Christians who simply try to live what they believe.  They invited me to call them mom & dad and Shizuki, their other Japanese homestay student became my “sister”.  They also have lots of involvement with their daughter’s family, Cory & Chris Priebe and their 4 children.  This is also an amazing home filled with so much love, laughter and can be pretty noisy, but so much fun.

The first weekend in my new homestay, they invited me to come to church with them.  I told them I was an atheist, and “mom” said, “it doesn’t matter to God if you’re an atheist, we would still like you to come with us.”  I felt something happening in my heart that first Sunday I attended church.  It was “Father’s Day” and the sermon really spoke to me about my broken relationship with my father.  I had been angry at him for a long time and I realized I needed to forgive him.  He only lives about half an hour from my mom in Shenyang, but I hadn’t seen him for a few years.  I decided the next time I would be home in China, I would make an extra effort to see him and tell him I forgave him.

I accepted Jesus into my life at the airport in Kelowna, on my way home to China for summer.  I had already gone through security and was sitting at the gate waiting to board my flight to Vancouver and then to Shenyang my home city in China.  During the 3 weeks in my new homestay, I’d had many hugs, conversations about the Bible, about God, going to church and what it meant to become a Christian especially with mom Betty.  A lot of this fit with what I had heard and seen about Christianity at KCS during my year in grade 10.  So, as I waited to board my flight, I sent my mom in China a message and asked her what she would think if I became a Christian?  My mom immediately texted back to say that she would be happy for me.  The reason she had sent me to attend KCS was because she believes that Christians have good morals and values, so to her, my interest in becoming a Christian, made sense.  There at the gate, just before I boarded my flight I prayed and asked Jesus to come live in me.  I immediately texted my Canadian mom {Betty} to tell her and she replied that she was so happy for me and looked forward to me coming to be in their home again for my grade 11 year.  I think she turned to dad as they were at home, sitting on the sundeck when she got my text and said, “yes, yes, yes”.

When I came back to Canada in September, I could feel the difference in how I was looking at life, now as a Christian.  I love going to church, growing in my walk with Jesus and learning so much about the Bible at school, in my homestay {mom is a really good teacher} and from others like my new “sister” Cory.  I also have a new homestay Japanese sister Aya.   I enjoyed attending Alpha with her and mom at KGF and wanted to get baptised before I go home to China for the summer break.

I had hoped that I could finish my grade 12 and graduate at KCS and live with my homestay family for another year.  But in February my mom decided that she wanted me to take my grade 12 in Montreal, so I could also learn French.  Many years ago, she lived in Paris and learned to love the French language and culture, so she wanted me to also experience some of that as well, while I am in attending school in Canada.  Her decision caught me by surprise and has been difficult for me to work through, as I will miss so many things I have come to love about Kelowna.  But the Bible says that God causes all things to work out for good, for those who love Him, so I have come to accept this decision and believe that something good will come out of living in Montreal, the next few years.  Mom “Betty” is already connecting me with some of her Christian friends in Montreal so I know I will have Christian support when I get there.  Now, it looks like I will finish my high school in Montreal and then attend McGill University after that.  I look forward to being back in Kelowna to visit as often as I can, to see my Canadian family and many friends.  My prayer is that hopefully it can work out that I can come back to live Kelowna sometime in the future.

Coco (Liudan) Fang

 

 

Doreen K.

I was raised by a mother who loves God and is born-again and because of this Godly environment I grew up in, I gave my life to Jesus as a really young girl  ( I honestly don’t remember how old I was). And because of that decision, my life has always had God at the centre of it all. Life is not easy, but God has always come through, ALWAYS. 🙂

Doreen K

Nathan A.

I am blessed to have grown up in a family that loves Jesus, and have always known of God and his many blessing. Growing up I was taught Christian values and morals, and was comfortable keeping God at arm’s length. During my first year of university my life changed and I made the choice that all children from a Christian household must make; is it my parents faith or my own? The stress and new found freedom of university pushed me to a confusing and directionless part of my life and I looked to God for help. God met me in many wonderful ways and won my heart. Near the end of my first year I found my identity in Christ and made the decision to be baptized.

Jesus is the anchor of my soul, and my identity is in him. I try to live my life as Proverbs 3:5 dictates, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Nathan A

Scott T.

I was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario and grew up attending the General Conference Mennonite Church with my family.  I grew up in a very large Mennonite extended family with lots of Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

My Mom’s family comes from long line of Mennonites out of the conservative Amish & Old Order tradition.  My Dad’s family comes from English ancestry and did not attend church regularly.  My parents actively modeled their faith for my sisters and I and taught us the importance of serving in the church and being an active part of the local and larger church body.

I accepted the Lord at the age of 8 while attending an after school Bible club that our Mennonite church in northern Ontario ran in our church in the community.  Over the years I have found myself reflecting on this special time and the generous way my church family, even back then, invested in me and modeled for me how to live this new life of a Christ follower and being a child of God.

After high school I attended a six month YWAM Discipleship Training School in Honolulu and it was a pivotal time in my Christian growth and maturity as a young adult being exposed for the first time to the charismatic movement in the church and actively participating in missions, which I immediately fell in love with.  God used this time of intensive teaching to implant on my heart & soul His truths for me as a child of God.  In the years since, the Lord has continued to pursue me and strengthened my relationship with Him as I have nervously stepped out in lay ministry and leadership in my local church.

Most recently I have returned to working on land after several years of working internationally for a cruise line on their fleet of ships.  My time at sea certainly had its challenges, but it has also strengthened my faith as I was challenged daily to be a witness to the crew members and guests that I was privileged to work with and serve as I looked for opportunities to share my faith and the Gospel message with them.

I’ve lived in the lower mainland since the mid 1990’s and I relocated to Kelowna from Vancouver in November.  I am excited for this new chapter and the doors that the Lord is opening up for me in the city; most especially in leading me to KGF and instantly feeling welcomed and encouraged to set my roots down here.  I am excited to join KGF as a member and support the direction and mission of this church and I look forward to serving this church body, fulfilling the Great Commission together and getting to know everyone better.

Scott T

2017 Women’s Retreat Testimony by Sandy C.

I went to the ladies retreat for the first time 2 years ago. I was tired, burnt out and in desperate need of rest and a time of connection with God. It was exactly the right place for me to be.

At Gardom Lake so many of my needs were met. The worship was beautiful and as I entered in with others, I was drawn to the heart of God. It was a wonderful balance of spending time alone with the Lord, and engaging with other ladies. We laughed a lot. I met new friends. We did crafts together (I’m not good at them). The food was amazing! We shared meaningfully about our lives. The speakers have been real and deep, and have both inspired and challenged me in new growth.

Last year the theme was Brave…and so I stepped out. I tried the climbing wall, and did the high rope course and zip line. It felt good to step out and do things I haven’t tried before. I would encourage ladies of all ages to consider coming to the retreat. You will meet the Lord there. You will be refreshed and challenged. You will enjoy other ladies as you journey together. It’s a time well spent.

 

Sandy C.

Come join us again May 4-6, 2018  |  Gardom Lake

Ladies – join us for a weekend of fun, relaxation and teaching.  There are 50 women registered to date. Take time with us to reconnect and rekindle your joy, discover and dive deeper into the promises of God and find delight in new friends, fellowship and nature!

Registration is open now online (Financial Aid available)

 

 

 

Youth Re:Action to Spring Mission Trip

Here are some reflections from our students who went on the Spring Break Student Missions Trip

to Columbia Bible College and then to downtown Vancouver with MB Mission, to serve the poor.

We are so encouraged how God met our team and how He taught us so much. Read on to find out    More!

I wanted to start by saying thank you, thank you Marcus, for everything in the last few years, and for making this trip a reality. Thank you also to Devan, Steve and Jess. I was so excited to go to CBC to finally meet all the people my sister has told me about. Immediately we all felt welcome and I could feel Gods presence on campus.

I came into the trip on a good platform with God. However,  like we hear often, I was not keeping up on my devotionals and things besides what was required for DT. Over the course of the week, we attended classes which really resonated with me. The first night during a weekly worship service held at CBC called “Vespers”, during one of the songs, I felt this overwhelming warmth and energy. God spoke to me saying that “this is where I need to be” to take it all in and serve him in new ways this week. I had before this, never felt God’s presence.

Later into the week in the hike, we spent a few minutes in solitude, and I kept being reminded of the verse “be still and know”. One thing about me is I’m not quiet; the more you understand that, the more you know me. However, once in Vancouver, I decided that I would step back and just listen, which was interesting as the whole theme of the week was listening for God’s voice.

When we visited UGM, there was a recovering man off the street named Dave. He spoke of how he has endured so much, like cancer where he was told he had 3 months to live 7 years ago. Shows the power of our God. Throughout the rest of the week, I listened. I stepped back, and listened to what God was saying to me and through me, and through others. I learned a lot about myself and how lucky we are compared to some of the sad, lonely people in Vancouver. And the sad part is they are all around us. I thank God for this experience and look forward to what god has in store for each of us in the future.

Levi F.

I wanted to take a minute to thank Marcus so much for all the work you and the other KGF leaders have put together for this mission trip. It was a trip of a lifetime. I got answers from God and have grown in my faith. When we first started off our mission trip at CBC I was really angry at God and confused with him, for making me go through what he’s been making me go through, but along the way during all the scripture readings and prayer time I learned that God makes us go through things for a reason and that if we fully trust in him and put our faith in him that he will heal us and provide for us.

As we were doing our solitude during the hike I felt God say to me “everything is going to be ok, I will take care of you my child. You don’t have to be in this alone ” and as he said that, the sun was shining through the clouds and I felt a sense of comfort and peace. I’ve experienced God and his love for me in a brand-new way. I grew so much closer to everyone in our DT group and all the new people we met along the way. My eyes were fully opened to how lucky and privileged me and my family are. I enjoyed playing an active role in helping people and serving them. I appreciate everything you do, Marcus, for our DT and youth group. Thanks

Maddi B.

Throughout the 4 days we were out learning and serving, God really wanted me to hear how important listening is. Listening isn’t just hearing, it is understanding how something is being communicated and doing something with it.

I was in the Woodwards building where noise was everywhere. There was a piano being played, water flowing, people playing basketball, and the hustle and bustle of people’s lives as they walked through the building. By stopping, sitting down, and taking it all in, I could find the quiet and could feel God’s presence. And so, I listened. I tried new things, spoke to new people, stepped outside of my comfort zone and learned an unimaginable amount of valuable lessons from God.

This experience will forever be remembered and I thank KGF church, Columbia Bible College, MB Mission, and Westside Church for providing me with this experience.

McKenna C.

I went on this mission trip because I thought God wanted me to teach the homeless, but what I soon realized was that God wanted me to be taught as well.

While at CBC we got the opportunity to join a class taught by Ron Friesen,and he taught on relationships. The lesson we heard was on words and their impact on people. We were taught that every word is either a lie or truth and that words have power to build someone up or tear them down. I soon realized that my words were impacting people in a negative way, so I prayed that God would help me become aware of my words before I say them. I soon “forgot” what I had learned while I tried to help the homeless in Vancouver, But God had other plans for me and what I learned.

We were walking back to the dorm “sensing the city” as an exercise, when God sent a man my way. I had walked past this man twice; the first time I was going into a store and I ignored him because I thought he was weird and crazy, but the second time God opened my ears to hear what this man was saying and he said: “if words could kill people they probably could”. And after he said this I was in shock because I realized what impact my words have, and also that the words of a stranger could have such an impact on me and my life.

Bradley M.

 

Carsten S.

I grew up surrounded by Christianity by going to a Christian school and participating in Bible camps my whole life. The problem with that is that I just kinda lived with God. I accepted that he was there. I didn’t try to further my relationship with God or anything. This year while I was at Rush I actually gave my life to Christ. And so that’s it. I would like to spend the rest of my life living for God.

Carsten S.

Meghan and Austin F.

He provides love and faithfulness in my life regardless of the state I’m in; He remains passionate for me. Choosing Jesus at a crossroad in my life is what brought about this moment of baptism.

 

Meghan F.

Believer since pajama day in kindergarten. Turbulent youth. Strong young adult spiritually through university at Biola. Baptized by my 90 year old grandpa at city park. Did some world travel, dead end jobs and then the light at the end of the tunnel, a relationship with my future wife. Now we live happily ever after under the gracious wing of God, and our daughter, Kes’ face reminds me of that daily.

Austin F.

Aaron M.

I have written my testimony in Rap, which can be read as you listen to this song.

Started Out reading the bible lately

We are the children of God

So I see The Old Testament as in the womb

Met my tomb in gloomy ruins

Of my torn soul

Anger lives within me like a hot coal

Learning to find the core God instilled

Was baptised as a baby I’ll say an egg

Reading through Psalms now first time reading the bible

Learning slowly but surely God has no rival

I was living a life full of denial

Failing every one of life’s trials

Lost as a child never fit into crowds

My Mother would say now that she is proud

My Mom says people used to say Hi Aaron everywhere we walked

Inside I was suffering like a New Kid On The Block

Grew into a drug experimenting teen

Couldn’t really see through the nightmares clouding my dreams

In my Larvae stage I wrote and tore the page

Daemon’s rattled the cage

Ego set the stage

Into my adult years

Tears pain and fears entering my pupa stage

For addiction and pain

Going insane

Spiritual Malady made hot coals like hail and ash rain

Severing relationships and taring down goals

Like totem poles faces changing erasing the face God gifted to me

Lately I see more clearly the Adult Caterpillar I would like to become

Gotta finish the bible and rise up God’s Son

Through praise amazing Grace

No longer Shakespeare setting the stage

But get Baptised by choice

Do lent treat this body and soul like it’s lent

Pay dues and rent for all the ways I am blessed

I wouldn’t exist nor be happy in this life without God’s new found presence

Time to rebuke my Sin

Take the steps to find God’s breath

Flowing through the cool breeze in the trees on a warm summers eve

Bow to my knees when I need to see more clearly

Again where I stand crawl before none of flesh and bone

Freely give up my spirit and soul

Beg and pray for Wisdom Knowledge Understanding Guiding Providence Empathy

Learning to be free so when my wings sprout I can imagine them to be an Angel’s

Recognize this true love I sought only in fables

Satan’s time’s up time to turn the tables

Can’t contain these feelings

Aaron M.

Steve R.

Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and blessed with wonderful parents married 66 years. The greatest influence in my life was my dad.  My father displayed love for his family, friends and community just by his daily walk. Revered by the people who knew him and his caring, loving attention towards children.

During the years 1980/81, I had brief career in the RCMP. While in Port Coquitlam God opened my eyes to the good and evil presence in this world. One favoured memory of mine is that I frequently observed a young athlete jogging. This unknown man was different because of the prosthetic leg he sported.     Lest we all remember Terry Fox.

Upon returning to Southern Ontario I worked in the printing industry for 27 years. A day to day struggle in balancing work, a dysfunctional marriage and loving family. God’s calling became evident in March 1996 when marital separation came knocking and our first born child was only 6 weeks conceived. In my brokenness I cried out to Jesus. Twas then I restarted life as a Born Again follower of Jesus Christ. God restored the marriage for another 17 years.

Starting in 2007, a series of 3 close family deaths almost a year apart placed me in the position of being the family’s go-to Eulogy guy. A few years later, in January 2013 my job of 27yrs died in bankruptcy. April, 2013 my mother passed away and in June 2013 a weak marriage of 25 years ended.

It was at this time I relocated to Kelowna in July 2013 with my youngest daughter, Andrea.

Hobbies include; rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs, photography, billiards and the odd road trip around beautiful Lake Okanagan.

I consider myself God’s work in progress and I continue to grow with my youngest daughter, alongside Mission Creek.

With a deep passion for Jesus, I faithfully look forward to working beside my new Kelowna “Good News” Family. Blessed by those who have strengthened my walk with Jesus since my birth.

Thank You