I grew up in Penticton, in an unbelieving household. Both of my parents were fairly hostile towards religious people growing and I ended up adopting many of those habits. All Christians were arrogant, and mean spirited, and self-righteous, or so I believed. “We were all jerks in middle school.” Is a phrase one of my Christian friends often uses to speak of my days as an atheist.
I strongly believe that Jesus broke into my life at the time He did for a reason. At the end of high school I met a girl who would not go out with me, even though we both liked each other very much, because I was not a believer. I began reading the Bible in order to pursue her. The fairy tale ends here, she and I never dated. She is one of my closest friends, and more of a sister to me than anything at this point. However, while reading the Bible I did not meet the arrogant, cruel, self-righteous God I was expecting. I found someone who washed the feet of the very people who would kill him. I found a God yelling at the blind and foolish people to just listen. I would love to say that it all got so much better right there, and I went off to university and had a grand time.
My parents split up as I entered university which when coupled with being away from home and not being sure what exactly to believe, sent me spiraling into the darkest years of my life. For two years I swung between faith, crippling depression and partying. Looking back, as immensely painful as those years were, they were necessary. I was so rebellious and hard hearted Jesus had to sledge hammer my heart to bring me to Him.
My life began its shaky upwards trajectory when I got a glimpse of the Love the Father felt for me, in the summer 3 years ago. I felt the prodding to go and get baptized and so, on August 21st I pledged my life to Jesus Christ. The next 2 and a half years would see me return to the Okanagan to finish my degree and combat all sorts of past pain and hidden sins.
Last summer an incident caused yet another shift in my perspective. While I was very much committed to Christ there were still a few dark corners of my heart I had not allowed Him to reach. This is when I found KGF. This is the first church I feel like I may be able to belong to. Christ has been opening my eyes to new glories and mercies of His every day. He is my best Friend, Saviour, King, Father and the only one I would ever want to serve.
I was blessed to grow up in a home with parents who loved God, brought my siblings and I up in the faith and fostered a personal relationship with Christ at a young age, which resulted in my coming to Christ early in life. The journey that I have been on over the past few years is taking that faith that I have been brought up in and making it my own. Seeking Christ more for my self and learning to hear how he speaks to me uniquely. I found it is easy to hide in the fact that I was brought up in the faith and not asking for my self why I believe what I believe, so digging into questions and seeing Christ answer and guiding me personally through difficult situations has been incredible. The past year at KGF has been such an encouragement through cultivating relationships to being able to be part of worship which has always been a big part in my life. The journey of making my faith my own has also brought a new dimension to being able to enjoy playing music with my dad even more special that it was and I am really looking forward to where God leads me in that regard.
“Be still and know that I’m God “,Psalm 46:10, is a Verse God has given me over and over in the past few years.
He keeps reminding me ever so gently that He is God, a capable God and that my heart will be restless until I rest in him and that he wants me to drop my hands and let him be in control while walking this journey of life.
With all its ups and downs he is capable and I can trust him with every circumstance, as he leads and wants to equip me for what is ahead.
When we moved to Kelowna in 2015 it was very much a prayer request of ours to find a local church, that we as family can call home, build new relationships and be involved in. While we attended our last church over many years we build deep roots and felt a great void when we had to leave that behind.
Today we are happy and feel blessed to be welcomed into this church family and look forward to a new season.
I was born into a Christian family in Coquitlam while attending the Brethren Church. It was a great part of my life growing up there. I became a Christian when I was 8 years old at Junior adventure hour which the Baptist church put on. I recognized in my own way that I was lost and if I died I wouldn’t go to heaven. I became active in our church playing guitar. I went with Dave Kelly and Scripture Union for two summers doing bible camps around BC and then when I was 15 went to Italy with Teen Missions for a summer project. After that experience I knew I wanted to do more.
After working for Ford for three years I joined International Teams in Chicago for a year of bible and other studies before heading to our base in Vienna were we worked in Eastern Europe providing bibles, food and other things to the persecuted church. After four years the Berlin wall and the fall of communism occurred.
During this time I met my beautiful wife to be, Christine, in Romania. Together we opened up a Teen café house, café cornerstone, in her home town in Germany. We then married there as well. After a year there we moved to Innsbruck with our new born daughter Rachel and helped at a local church with youth, children’s work and worship. After two years we moved to Meran Italy with our new born David where we for the next 5 years worked with a Christian radio station, did youth and children’s work and continued leading worship. In 1999 we moved back to Coquitlam where Mattias was born. We moved to Kelowna in 2015. Needless to say we have been to a few places and have seen God work in great ways but the most important decision ever was to say yes to Jesus. I am not sure where I would be without Jesus. But I don’t think I really want to know.
I am grateful for being brought up in a Christian home with both mom and dad who cared and loved me and gave me a chance in their own way to see Jesus. They were by no means perfect but they did what they could in the present day context. It is my prayer that our children will also follow Jesus and get to know and experience Him even more than I have as we approach closer and closer the day when we shall see Jesus face to face.
Finding KGF has been an answer to prayer and we thoroughly enjoy being involved here. Joshua 1:6-9 is are wedding verses which is valid for every day.
Psalms 103 2-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
I like this verse because it applies to my life so well. I have scene and lived through many pits in my 22yrs and thought so many times with despair how I would live through it all. But time and time again God has proved that I can live through any situation when under his promise that he will take care of me.
My parents have played a big role in my journey to find God. They are living example of what it is to pick up your cross and follow him. Their love and selflessness was an example of Gods awesomeness. though i didn t understand Gods ways all the time I knew I wanted to be with him so I could experience his love.
I have been at KGF for around three years now and feel like I have always belonged here. I am Glad to become a official member of KGF and am looking forward to what God has in store for me here.
I would say that my relationship with God began with my Mom. She taught me love and kindness. One thing that I really remember, from when I was a child, was her telling me that God could hear me no matter where I was. He could even hear me if I prayed in my closet.
But it wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I could really feel God calling me. I knew he wanted me to find a church that my husband and I could raise our family in. So, I started searching. Then finally one morning I opened the newspaper and there was a flyer from a church advertising their Sunday Service kick off date. I knew instantly this is where God wanted me to go. I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and peace as if God was right there in the room with me. I was so excited to go and when I did I cried through the whole service. It felt like it was written just for me. And so that became our family church.
Another big moment for me was when our church was hosting “ The Purpose Driven Life” series back in 2004. The first thing it said in Chapter 16 was….. Life is all about love. It spoke such truth to me. And that day I found God’s purpose for my life. I understood myself better and I fully accepted who God made me to be.
And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. Corinthians 13:13.
I’ve been coming to KGF for a couple of years now. The thing that brought me to this church was because my daughter was searching for a church just as I had done. And God lead her here. She told me how kind and accepting everyone was. So I came to a service and I loved the things that were being spoken.
I can’t remember what exactly was said at the church service over 20 years ago or even what exactly was said at the first church service I went to here at KGF. But, what I do remember is how the people made me feel, that God was there with me and that he loves me.
God has been a significant part of my life since I was a child. My godmother who I am named after was my Mother’s best friend and led my Mother to the Lord. Ruth married a minister and when I was a teenager, they started a vacation bible school and camp in the rural area where my family lived. When I was 13, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. John 3:16 has always been my favorite verse from this time. I turn to this verse as my assurance that there is one certainty in this life.
I was baptised in 2013 at Sicamous Bible Church. I was going through a divorce and needed to turn back to the Lord and reclaim my faith. I decided to retire from my position as Director of Finance in Sicamous and I have been taking my Masters in Christian Leadership through CREST. The support of the Church, the reduction of stress and the focus on Christian ways of leading has helped in my healing. God is good to me even in the midst of my pain.
In the fall of 2016, I started attending the Kelowna Gospel Fellowship Church and felt welcomed and have started to join the church events. I have enjoyed this very much. Membership seems to be the next step on this journey.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 NIV
I grew up going to Mass on Sundays at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Winnipeg. I would stare at the crowd, smell the incense, hear the bells and listen to an incomprehensible service in Latin. I went to catechism and had my First Communion. None of it really meant much to me. As I grew older I stopped going to church, just like my parents had. Growing up in the 60s and 70s I had no interest in God, only in the next party, and I slowly fell into a routine of drinking nightly at the bar. Life seemed good until my Dad suddenly died of a heart attack when I was 23. He was only 52 years old, and although I had been very close to him as a child, my new lifestyle precluded him. My grief drove me deeper into rebellion. Through that period in my life I believe God protected me from myself because he had a better story for my life.
In my mid-thirties, I met my now ex-wife who was a Christian and I started attending church with her. The church required that we attend pre-marriage classes which were hosted by a former RCMP officer. One night he got very serious and direct with me, as only an RCMP officer could, and challenged me to surrender my life to Christ. So after 34 years of living without any faith in God, I started my relationship with Jesus.
I think I was like a lot of new believers, on fire and quick to tell my unbelieving but sceptical friends of my new faith. But time and troubles started to take their toll on my faith. A job, 4 children, financial pressures and a troubled marriage left me with many questions but no answers from God. I grew angry and started to wonder where God was in all of this. I knew that James 1:2 tells us that not if but “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” Reading it was one thing but living it wasn’t joyful at all!
Even though I went to church, belonged to a church home group, and became very involved with the Promise Keepers movement, I think I resented God when things didn’t change at home. I struggled with who God was and what my relationship with Jesus was.
After both my job in Calgary and my marriage dissolved, I decided to start a new life in Kelowna. Now retired, I took up reading, something I never had time for before. I found new meaning in familiar Biblical texts by digging into commentaries. I read books that re-ignited that fire within me that went out long ago. I found KGF church and a group of people who welcomed me and made me feel at home. I found worship that touched my soul and teaching that spoke the truth of the Gospel. I made new friends. My new life began.
Since moving here in September, 2016, my relationship with Christ has been renewed, and I again have that joy that comes from knowing Him. I eagerly anticipate what he has in store for me.
One verse I learned years ago has always stuck with me, 1 John 1:9: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He is a faithful God who was with me even when I questioned him, and he is beside me today as I walk with him.