On February 4th, my wife and I became members at our church. Many of my family members live far away and were not able to attend. For their benefit, I’m going to post my testimony here. I will post it in point form just as I was looking at to share it in person.
1. I first became convicted that I was a sinner as a young child and accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for my sin at a Marvin Thiessen crusade in the ‘80’s.
2. I moved to Calgary with my Mom right after grade 9, which is a few months older than my oldest son is now. There I attended the EMC Youth Group for a few years.
3. God saved me from the all too common party scene and I didn’t drink or do drugs. My rebellion was different than that of many teenagers. During my later teen years, I joined the Mormon church; however, God soon put a situation into my life that forced me to realize that Mormonism was not the right way to get back to God.
4. I moved back to La Crete and attended the BMC Young Adults, which was being led by Mr. Bill Kehler, and here learned much more about my sinfulness and ongoing need for Christs’ atoning blood to cover my continual sin.
5. I met and married the love of my life who is standing here with me today.
6. Lenora has also been a wonderful wife to me. Shortly after we got married, I was probably the worst leader of the home ever. Instead of continuing to nag me to do devotions and pray and things like that, Lenora just quietly prayed for God to make those changes. I’m still far from perfect at that, but I definitely felt God was working in me to improve in that area.
7. There was a period of life that I felt somewhat discouraged with church as I didn’t feel like I was where I could realize the personal growth I desperately longed for, or where God could use us for His perfect purpose. Eventually we stopped going to church at all for about two years and just stayed home Sunday mornings where I did my best to teach my family. Occasionally we did try out different churches for a Sunday or even a few but felt no peace from God to make any of them our “home” church. This was also a time of a lot of growth as I felt the responsibility of instructing my family in the ways of the Lord.
8. After being at home for that period of time, we began feeling the lack of fellowship and sensed the Lord calling us to try this church (LHEC). We felt very welcomed and at home the very first Sunday. I specifically remember how Menno Knelsen was so caring that he remembered from June to September that I had an appointment and on which day. The Sunday before the appointment, he requested prayer for us. The Lord had provided a good friend and I took this as confirmation to continue attending.
9. During this time, I was also in the middle of my brain tumor struggles. I had had three brain tumor surgeries already (2012-2015) and now they wanted to try one more surgery and then immediately after healing, do radiation and chemotherapy treatment in 2016. Men from this church actually volunteered to help move us to Edmonton, from loading up the trailer, driving it to Edmonton, and then unloading, all in the dead of a very cold winter.
10. While living in Edmonton, we got many visitors from this church. I won’t mention all the names for fear of missing someone, but at least 9 separate families, some coming several times and often God provided the opportunity to pray together with these fellow Christians.
11. Since we moved back last summer, we have felt very at home in this church again. I am leading an evening Bible study and thoroughly enjoy the fellowship that brings.
12. In Sunday school the other day, the question was presented “Do we live as if relating to Him (God) is more important than anything else we do?” Most of us admitted, “No, we don’t”. In response as to why not, Mr. Neudorf said “maybe we have it too good”. This reminded me of the growth I experienced in the hospital during my battles with Brain Cancer. My father-in-law sometimes assured me that “Fruit grows best in the valleys of life”. I grew enormously in my faith during my health struggles and now have complete confidence that, when my time on this earth is over, I will be with Jesus in Heaven.
13. The scripture that has most comforted me in these last few years is from Jeremiah 17. Verses 7&8:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat come; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
14. I often felt as though the heat and the year of drought had definitely come, but I desired to always bear spiritual fruit to those around me and to always have “green leaves”, in order to be a Light for God in a dark world. So the promise of that blessing really hit home for me.
15. It is my desire to be a member of this body of believers with the hopes and intentions to serve as God enables me.
My sincere hope is that people will be encouraged by how God has helped me through some very difficult times, encouraged enough to ponder their own eternal destinies. It is only by His help that I was or ever will be able to move forward in my life. I owe it all to the strength that Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, worked in my life.