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!
Going to church, praying before bed, stories about what heaven would be like, singing Kumbaya around the campfire. My memory of accepting Jesus into my heart is that of a three year old at a puppet show. This was my stereotypical childhood in a Christian home, and I am very grateful for it.
Pioneer girls, summer camp, youth retreats. Countless times I rededicated my life as a teenager, determined to never sin again. Baptized in the lake at Green Bay Bible Camp at thirteen, before spending the summer at the camp.
Then missions trips - Alaska, inner city Philadelphia, Mexico, Indonesia. Each one had a different tug on my heart, and gave me a different view on my life and God. Then I met my husband, and while dating we went our separate ways to YWAM - he to Mexico, and I to Australia. We came back and were married a year later, and now have 14 years and two amazing boys to show for it.
I have always believed in God, loved Jesus, but many times I have relied on Naomi. I’ve had times when I've been more sensitive to God, and times when I've fallen flat on my face. I'm still learning to get back up again, and to rely on God; to trust him. Not to fight against him, and not to turn away when I feel overwhelmed by his forgiveness, his love, his grace.
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” - 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I had the great fortune of growing up in a solid Christian family, surrounded by several generations of Christians. So it is hard for me to pinpoint exactly when I accepted Christ as my Saviour, but it was at a very young age.
Over the years, I have continued to rededicate my life to Christ as I believe that following Christ Jesus is an ongoing, conscience decision. As I have walked through life, I have had many experiences where I have seen the handy-work of God. From being involved in youth and young adult leadership, to leading worship and being involved with missions through YWAM, God has nurtured my faith in him. It has been in the times of my life where I have wandered, made mistakes, and encountered difficult times that I have really learned the true grace and mercy given to us through Jesus. I thank God for His great patience, understanding and ever open arms.
Now as a husband and father of two boys, I find myself where I can offer an environment of faith and love in Jesus to my family. It is here where I feel God working in me, continually reminding me of His love, and showing me areas that I need to give over to Him. It is also here that I am reminded to press in to God, and not to rely on my own strength, works, or sheer will, but to lean on Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
I grew up in a Christian home surrounded by Family who have always had a real passion for Christ. One night when I was five, my parents came into my sisters' and my room and began to tell us about Jesus, and what it ment to be a Christian. After, they asked us if we wanted to accept Jesus into our hearts. We said yes, so they prayed for us.
Though I had accepted Jesus into my life, went to church every Sunday, and even attended a Christian school for many years, I never really understood what exactly it meant to be a Christian. I felt like I didn't have a purpose in life. I found myself searching for purpose, and for answers to the many questions I had been asking God. I even went on a missions trip to Greece one year, and though it was an amazing experience that I'll never forget, I wasn't satisfied. Everyone else's lives seemed to change because of it, but I still felt the same. I felt empty. If Jesus loved me so much, then why hadn't I experienced him yet? Why didn't he answer my prayers? Why did he let bad things happen to me? Why did I feel so empty? Growing up in a Christian school, you hear all these wonderful things God is doing in your classmates' lives, and you just can't help but think, "Why isn't God doing that in my life? What am I doing wrong?"
I struggle with depression and severe anxiety. Those two things seemed to take over my life. It was hard to fall asleep at night, because my mind would race and it was even harder for me to get out of bed in the morning. Anxiety kept me from doing the many things that I loved to do, and over the years it got a lot worse, to the point where I would get sick. By that time I was so broken and confused that I got sick of searching for my purpose and sick of praying and getting no answers. I gave up. Though my life has had it's many ups and downs throughout those years, everything seemed to go more downhill from there. I knew things were spinning out of control, but I didn't care. “I don't care” seemed to be my attitude towards everything. I became self-absorbed, I had a terrible attitude, I fought with everyone, and I was angry and filled with hate. I hurt the people that meant the most to me because of bad decisions I made in my life and because of that I lost the trust of my family and friends.
Then one day I got some news that completely shattered my world. It brought me to the lowest point in my life, and I asked God, "Why? Why would you let something so horrible happen to someone so close to me?" Over time I began to realize that I needed God's strength, not only help me through this tough time in life, but to also help the person get through it as well. I now believe that pain awakens us to God and that we can't blame him for everything that goes wrong in our life. John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” That verse was enough for me to begin my search for answers again. If he overcame the world, then so can I.
I decided it would be a good decision for me to move away. I needed a fresh start and I needed to find those answers, not just for me, but for those close to me who were hurting. I knew I wouldn't be able to find answers where I was. It took me a long time to get here because I was to scared, I didn't know what to expect, and I was very anxious. I have a problem with leaving my comfort zone, but I did it and it has been the best decision I've ever made. I have already noticed a huge change in my life. Every church service I've been to since being here, God has answered a question of mine. He has answered many of my prayers, something I have never really experienced before. In all my 20 years of being a “Christian” I have never experienced God like I have in the past couple months. I feel so blessed, so full of joy, love, peace, and I couldn't be happier. So many good things have happened to me since my new journey has begun, and I'm so excited to see what else God has planned for me in the future. He has given me fulfillment, purpose, and happiness. I am not perfect. I will still mess up. I will still have bad days and there's a lot that I still need to learn, but I now know that God loves me despite my flaws and imperfections. When the things I was searching for continually let me down, God never once left me. He has shown himself to me even at my lowest point, and without God I wouldn't be able to get through a lot of the pain that is still in my life.
He has rescued me.
1 Corinthians 13:12
I bought a large portable saw mill with two other people. Everything was going well for a year or so. Then I received a letter from the tax department. They said that I hadn't paid income tax for my mill staff and company, and that none of my suppliers had been paid. I went to town to find out what the problem was and found out my partners had sold all my lumber, but hadn't paid any of the bills. While I was in town, they had three trucks go out to the mill and they stole the mill.
I hit bottom for the first time in my life. I lost control over everything. I was telling Sherron's friend about all the troubles. She said she had a friend who could help me out. Her friend was a big man named Charles. I somehow knew he could help me. He talked to me about how his Father looked after him. He asked me if I wanted him to help me, too. I said "yes".
He took his Bible from his briefcase and began to tell me about God the Father and Jesus. From that moment on I have come to know Jesus more. I love him every moment and trust him for my eternal life. Now I know that I don't have to things on my own - I can trust in the big I AM.
I was a good person - kind, friendly, and helpful. I did not hink that I was a sinner. I went into marriage with the attitude that if it didn't wok out, I would get a divorce. Through the years' ups and downs, I was not happy inside. I was looking for something to satisfy me. I went to tea leaf readings, numerology sessions, and palm readings. Nothing seemed to help.
My husband, Bill, owned a saw mill with partners. The partners stole his share in the mill from him. This was a difficult time for us. Not long after, a man named Charles came into our lives. He said he had a friend who would take care of the whole problem for us. We listened as Charles told us about his friend, Jesus. Charles showed us we could rely on Jesus.
As I came to know Jesus, my emptiness was filled. Charles left our lives, but we joined an evangelist group and were baptised. I was so blessed! Retirement came and we travelled often. Because of this, we were unable to attend church for a long time. We are home now, at KGF. We are so blessed by this new church home where we can listen, ahare, and praise.
Thank you, Jesus! Praise the Lord!
I was raised in a Christian home and made a decision for Christ when I was six years old. There was a ventriloquist performing a kids show at our church one Sunday evening. I invited a friend from school and we went with my family. At the end of the show, there was a call to accept Jesus into our hearts and my friend wanted to go to the front. He got up and my Mom whispered that I should go with him, as a friend should. I was too nervous and just watched him pray the prayer up front. It bothered me all night that I didn't have the courage to go with my friend, to give him support, to take a stand for Jesus. The next morning on the bus to school, as I was still thinking about what was upsetting me, I decided then that if I was going to call myself a Christian I needed to give Jesus all of me. I prayed the same prayer, asking Jesus to come into my heart and give me strength and courage to follow him. I have always tried to put God first in my life since that day and God has blessed me so far in so many ways. He has been with me on the other side of the world, through hurts and pains that I thought would end me, and through rejoicing and miracles that could only have come from him. I will choose to follow Jesus.
One of my favourite verses is Isaiah 54:10.
I was saved in 1976, baptized in 1983 and have been following the Lord ever since, growing into His likeness. I had the privilege of being one of the founding members of New Life church. I’m excited to become a part of the KGF family and forming close friendships. I have served in many ministries (YWAM, prayer team leader, healing ministries, etc.) and attended several schools of ministry. Presently, I am leading a Sozo group, a ministry of Bethel church in Redding CA.
I grew up in a family that was very active in the local church. My parents had become Christians about 2 years before I was born and were diligent in teaching me about their faith. I invited Christ into my life at the age of four.
My church family was a very important part of my life, as I did not grow up near grandparents or other relatives. I have many fond memories of the times we shared together as families in the church.
In my early teens, I rebelled against some of the rules that seemed so important according to the Christian community. During these times, I always felt God’s gentle reminder of how much He loved me and wanted the best for me. It kept me from getting into deeper trouble and prompted the desire to be obedient to Him. I prayed for a good friend that would be like-minded and encourage me to continue on this path. Soon after, I met a wonderful guy and we became great friends. In fact, he is my husband today. We have continued to seek God in our lives, marriage, and in raising our family, as well as being committed to our local church.
There are many ‘defining moments’ in my Christian journey. A significant one was after a child I had given up for adoption came back into my life. I decided to share the secret that I had kept for almost 19 years. Although I had been a Christian for many years, I experienced God’s grace in a very new and real way. Bringing my secret into the open allowed God to heal my wounds and shame.
I have continued to experience God’s grace in my life. Without His wisdom and love, I would not have the relationship I do with my husband and children. I am so thankful for all God has done and is doing in my life. I believe strongly in community and provoking one another to good works so that we may all share in the wonderful life God has for us.
I was raised in a non-churched home and until I became a teenager was actually quite ignorant of the religious significance of the annual statutory holidays and various events on the calendar. It was not until I had moved away from home that I first became aware of the influence of the Christian church in our world and community.
When I was attending college, I was invited to go to a Christian concert in a nearby city. While I was not searching for anything specific, the opportunity to go out with a group of acquaintances was appealing, so I agreed. It was at this concert that I was challenged to consider what I had been missing in my life. That night I also met the girl who became my wife. She had become a Christian at an early age and had answers to many of my questions. Her influence, combined with church attendance, opened up a whole new world that I had been missing entirely.
Shortly after, I attended a weekend youth retreat where I embraced the salvation call of God and began my ‘new’ life in Christ. Within the next year I married the girl I had met at the concert and committed to a small community church, where we started a family together. We moved many times to a number of different cities over the next 15 years and each time found a church in which we could learn, grow, and serve. Throughout those years my faith developed as I was confronted with different doctrines and personal beliefs, all of which helped to solidify my stand today.
Although I feel more established in my faith than at any point in the past, I also have come to see how frail my life still is; how much I personally need Jesus; and why continued adherence to biblical teaching, personal study, and communal fellowship of similar believers is essential to my faith journey. I see clearly how reliance on our human effort and strength yield nothing of real substance, and so, I remain steadfast in my commitment to become the person God planned for me and I rely solely on his direction for my life.
Presently, I continually re-affirm that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour and the ultimate guide for me through this world.