Mar 29

Easter Baptisms 2024 | Written Testimonies


This Easter Sunday, fourteen people will be entering the waters of baptism. Below are their testimonies. Please join us at Kits beach on March 31st at 2:00 P.M. at Kits Beach to celebrate their new lives in Christ!

  • Sage

    Hi, I’m Sage, and I’ve been going to Christ City for 10 years. I grew up going to church every week and reading the Bible all the time. It was part of my weekly routine. It felt normal to me. But a couple years ago when I joined in listening to the sermon, all of a sudden church started to feel a lot more meaningful to me. It was as if everything started to make sense and I could understand and relate to what was being said.

    I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I became a Christian, but one of the things that helped my faith progress was having lots of talks with my grandma. She is always reminding me of how good God is, and she really encouraged me to become a Christian. One of the most memorable talks we had was when I was quite little, and we were singing “Oh When the Saints Come Marching In”. Afterwards she asked me if I wanted to be “in that number” and explained what it meant, and I said I do.

    Since coming to Christ, I find that I have a better connection with God, and I am more open about my faith with others. I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour, and I’ve found my Saviour! I find it so encouraging that I don’t need to earn my salvation through works, but that God’s grace in Jesus Christ is that He allows me to accept Him into my life as my Saviour, and that I’m His beloved child.

    An encouraging passage for me is Romans 8:1-2, because it says that if you are in Christ then you will be saved, and that Jesus died for us to take away our sins and reconcile us to God. It reads, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. For the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” I want to be baptized because it represents me being made new by Jesus. I want to show that I am trusting God with my life, and that I’m making a commitment to continue to trust and follow Him.

  • Mi

    My name is Thuy and from a young age I have been a person with lots of curiosity about the world and love to seek the deep meaning of life, so religion has always been very important to me. I grew up in a Buddhist household and before surrendering to Jesus I worshiped many Gods in Buddhism. Despite frequent visits to temples to pray I didn’t feel connected and usually felt lacking and empty. I didn’t know how to love or have compassion for others, and a big part of Buddism teaching is that only when we are kind and do good deeds first we can receive good things in life, so my life worshipping before Jesus was filled with insincere attempts to be kind and the feelings of unworthy of love because I can’t give what it takes to receive them back. My life before Him was rather empty and hungry for validation, despite my mother trying very hard to provide for me and show me affection as much as she can afford.

    I decided to study abroad in Canada. I flew to the other side of the globe to explore the world, but honestly, in retrospect it was more like an escape from my old self. I was very excited to start a new life, but I came unprepared. I didn’t expect to be left even more lonely and depressed than ever. Canada is so far away, everything was foreign, the food, weather, culture, people…no familiar faces, or even sound, and the worse part is that I could not complain because that was what I chose for myself. My time in Canada was enjoyable overall and I learned so many new things, but when I was by myself I did not feel happy.

    During this time I met a wonderful friend and she’s probably one of the reasons why I believe in God. Her name is Rose and we met each other in college. I remember the first time we met we had a long talk at the school Tim’s Hortons and she invited me to a Christian club called Alpha. There I got to know Jesus for the first time. Rose was kind enough to let me stay with her family during Covid when I didn’t have a place to stay and my flight ticket back home kept getting canceled. During my stay her family showed me a lot of love and talked a lot about God to me. My heart at that time was hardened and I didn’t allow Jesus to come into my life despite the interest I was showing, but her family’s kindness, the kindness of God’s people, left a deep impression on my heart.

    After many prayers I finally got a flight home, I enjoyed my time in Vietnam for a while but eventually returned to my old self. At this point I was exhausted, completely desperate, and almost giving up on life. Why do I always feel this way? I kept telling myself that I should be grateful, that I should be good, but I couldn’t. I flew to Canada, and I flew back home, where else should I go to feel okay?

    I went back to Canada for school and once again Rose connected with me and invited me to Precepts. I think God always has the most perfect timing, and maybe He’s been waiting for this moment of my uttermost desperation to come into my life. During my precepts class about Jesus, God opened my eyes and let the Holy Spirit guide me to approach the bible differently and see Jesus in a new light, and when I saw Him for who He is, everything changed.

    When I let Jesus into my life I experienced real love for the first time, the love I had always sought from other people. He’s a God who shows me love and compassion without asking me to be good first. He’s a God but in the flesh. He is the God but chose to come down and lived our lives. He’s so powerful, so merciful, so loving, but He’s also jealous, angry, he wept and bled and he suffered more than me. A God who’s so alive and full of character, not like any other Gods I’d known before. Instead of telling me to detach from my feelings to find peace, he entered them with me. He knows what I had to go through. I didn’t deserve to but he called me into salvation. He’s genuinely a God that I can relate to, and if I have to die I want to be with a God like him.

    Knowing Jesus and what He did for us, I stopped complaining about my life. Knowing His character and His love, I feel validated. Having him show me love and compassion first, I know what they feel like and thus I can show them to other people. I didn’t know how to love, and probably still trying to learn every day, but I’m not alone anymore, I have God with me. He is love so with him I’ll never have to feel not enough. I know I am a Christian because God is my everything and I love Him very much and I want to dedicate my whole life to worshiping Him and praising Him for what He has done in my life.

    I want to be baptized because I think my faith is enough and I want to announce to the world that I belong to Him. I love our community at Christ City and I want you all to be witness to my baptism.

  • Levi

    I’ve always gone to church, ever since I was a baby, but I never really was a true believer in Christ. I always wanted the new toy on tv rather than wanting full belief in Christ. My emotions were like a child anger at my parents for not getting me the new toy, happy when it was time for presents or cake time at my birthday. I wasn’t the best child, in my opinion (but my parents might say otherwise) and I was pretty lazy watching tv and other stuff. My two biggest wants were more freedom from my parents to play other games and watch movies I’m not allowed to watch. I tried to fill those needs by having fun with the things I had then, but was jealous of my cousins because they had all these cool things that I wanted.  I was trying to walk with Jesus but never truly accepted him.

    My parents motivated me the most and after a few years I started to look forward to church.  My Mom, Dad and Grandparents have been caring and supportive of me. Through their example I saw what it meant to follow Christ. I believe that I need Christ to save me from my sins and I want to follow Him.  Since choosing to follow Christ I have been:

    1. Listening to the sermon and taking notes
    2. Taking communion
    3. helping in Kids Ministry for future generations
    4. Letting Gods Word fill my heart

    Lately I have been feeling called into baptism. We talked about it for a while and  after praying about it, I made my final decision, yes I’m going to be baptized. I want everyone to know that Jesus died for me and I want to serve him.

    My life has been good until now, but I want to truly walk with Jesus to give me life in full. God does not promise that things will always be good.  He actually promises us in John 16:33b that we will have troubles. But, in John 14:16, He promises to be with me and has given me the Holy Spirit to help me.  Because Jesus has given me a new life in Him, I want to encourage others to follow him as well.  

  • Jessica

    When I first thought about sharing my testimony, I felt as if I had nothing to share. I’ve always been a Christian. I’ve known that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for my sins, and that He gained me entrance into heaven to be with the Father forever. But then I started to think less generally about my knowledge of Jesus and realized that there are chapters in my life as a Christian that have led me to a believers Baptism as a 35-year-old despite being baptized as a baby and knowing Christ my whole life. So, I tried to answer the “what was your life like before Jesus” question and realized there is more than one “before Jesus” moment.

    I was raised in a somewhat Catholic household growing up in South Africa. Being baptised as a baby, we went to mass on Sundays with my mom and we said our daily memorized prayers. Arriving in Canada, I felt lost, not knowing who I was as a young pre-teen in a new country. Later, as a teenager, I started to search out who I was: I went to church and youth group, but I also started hanging out with older people who didn’t know the Lord. One Halloween, I was out with this group and we were going to shoot off fireworks and just hang around the town. A phone call came through on my cell from a friend from church, inviting me to her house that evening. I had a choice to make and it was in that moment I felt God asking me to choose Him and the church or go a different direction with these other friends. That night, I went to the Christian family home and thus began a journey. About 6 months later, having spent much time with their family in prayer and in church, I made a very personal prayer committing my life to Christ during an evening music concert sitting on a hill overlooking the Columbia River in Washington. I’ll never forget that moment actually because I felt a change in my heart and a sense of knowing who I was. This is the moment I usually refer to myself as becoming a Christian by choice and not because of my infant baptism. I was about 15 years old at the time and I truly loved the Lord and served him from then on as a devout Catholic.

    Fast forward to my mid-20’s though and my faith in Christ and my knowledge of the Gospel became challenged. I met my now-husband who is a Bible-based, Gospel-centered Protestant and his life seemed to reflect a depth of relationship with and knowledge of Christ I had never known before. I found myself questioning Church doctrine, evaluating my own beliefs about faith, grace, forgiveness, and works, and wondering if I truly knew the Lord and the Bible. At 30 years old, I had my second “coming to Christ moment” when I chose to leave the Catholic Church and get to know and follow the God of the Bible rather than the God of the Church. And life was sweet.

    One year later though, I found myself very ill after the birth of our twins. I was hospitalized for two months and felt abandoned by God as I lay prostrate on the hospital floor calling out for healing, healing that never seemed to arrive. The feeling of being lost as a young girl paled in comparison to the feeling of loss I experienced through my illness that lasted almost 18 months. Having almost looked death in the face, my faith was challenged in a way it had never been challenged before. Is God good? Can you trust Him? What does grace truly mean? What, if anything, does God owe us? Ultimately, I questioned whether or not I even wanted to follow God. What is the point?

    And the point is this: God is the Creator and I the creation. God doesn’t owe me anything. And yet, He gave me everything. He gave me life, he gave me His life, he gave me forgiveness, he gave me grace. He gives me grace daily. He sustains me. He actually gives purpose to my illness, to my suffering, and purpose for moving through each day living for something greater than myself. He gave and continues to give me purpose and meaning. He is good and I can trust Him. The verse that comes to mind is Philippians 1: 21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” However, the verse that I cling to most is Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

    It is after great suffering, wrestling with the truths of the Bible about God, that I had my third and final “coming to Christ moment.” I say final because I now know that God is everything, I could never walk away from Him because there is nothing and no other to walk to, I can only strive to draw closer in relationship to Him each day, and I want to Baptized as a symbol and public declaration of this. A declaration of my faith in the God of the Bible, the one and only God Who sent His Son to die for my sins, who has set me free and who is with me through it all.

  • Callum

    I didn’t grow up in a religious household. We never went to church as a family or even for special occasions other than weddings or funerals. This lack of exposure led to me developing my own scepticism about christianity before coming to church. It wasn’t until I was invited here to Christ City by a friend that I began to understand what it truly means to be Christian. I first came to church out of curiosity. There wasn’t any problem or issue in my life that I had identified, simply curiosity.

    That first experience changed my perspective completely. I was immediately blown away by the community. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive.The love and respect shared among christians is what brought me back in the following weeks.There was a long while where I would attend church, but I still didn’t really understand what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. Looking back at this time, I can see in hindsight that there was one thing I was missing. I had dreams and motivations in life, but the thing I lacked was purpose.

    As I continued to attend Sunday services, I felt like my understanding of Jesus was growing, and yet something was still missing. The biggest jump towards my conversion to Jesus came as a random thought while driving home one Sunday afternoon. On the drive home from church, I had a sudden realization towards all the ways God had been acting in my life. These thoughts stuck with me for a while, and plunged me into deeper thoughts about Jesus than ever before. Then, out of nowhere, during this time of reflection about God, I was faced with unforeseen events. I went through a breakup that led to a period of great loneliness and sorrow. I was in a really dark place, and feeling completely broken. I began to wonder what the point of everything is, what’s our purpose. I began to fear the future, and what it holds. That’s when I truly started to recognise Jesus. I saw the world, and my life in it, for the sin that it is. I was able to see that nothing is perfect. I am sinful. I need Jesus to save me.

    Jesus helped me recognize my sin for what it is, and showed me the path to a life worth living. A life with purpose. Jesus eased my pain and dissolved my loneliness. I saw all the good that Jesus brings into one’s life, and chose to believe in him. I know that Jesus died for my sin so that I can be redeemed. Jesus died, becoming free of sin, and was reborn with God. Like Jesus, I will be reborn with God through Jesus’ sacrifice. Since becoming Christian, I feel a new sense of belonging. I know that I have a purpose in this world.

    Despite the fact that I don’t yet know what that purpose is, I know God has a plan for me. My fears of the future have dissipated, and the loneliness that I was feeling has been replaced by the love of Jesus. Jesus’ forgiveness has encouraged me to be a better person. I feel reborn. Simple things like prayer, which felt confusing and difficult before, have become part of my daily routine. Christ has not only eased my pains, but has uplifted my spirits. I don’t just feel alright, I feel better than before. Christ has given me a purpose, a life to live up to, a community to belong to. Christ has given me a new life.

    I want to be baptized to symbolize my new life in Jesus Christ. I want to show my love for Jesus and share it with my new brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to commemorate the beginning of my new life. Baptism to me means the start of my new life as a follower of Jesus, my saviour, the one who died for my sins.

  • Liesl

    Growing up in the church, I have always known Jesus to be a saviour. I’ve heard the Word of God and gone to church every Sunday for as long as I can remember. However, constantly being surrounded by God-loving people and His Word for so long made me wonder if my faith was truly my own or if I only wanted to believe it so to please my parents or fit in with my community. Although I am grateful that I heard the bible from a young age in the long run, it also left me with lingering doubt. Did I really believe in Jesus, or was I only pretending in an attempt to not displease my family and community?

    For the longest time, I believe it was the latter. I kept my spirituality separate from the rest of my life and never gave much thought to what was being taught to me every week. Church almost felt like some mundane chore I had to get over with every Sunday morning and I never really thought about Jesus that much outside of it. Instead of turning to Jesus, I spent most of my time obsessing over worldly goals, such as my skills and academia. I believed that finding materialistic success would define my worth and prove that I have full control over my own life.

    My work meant everything to me and I believed that my success directly correlated towards my self-worth. However, while being consumed by work, I was constantly comparing myself to other people and seeing other people get higher marks or perform with much more talent than I could ever comprehend led to a constant feeling of emptiness. It made me realise that what I was chasing after was not only unattainable but also superficial. Why was all of my worth defined simply by these arbitrary and impossible goals? I felt like I was missing something in my life. It was then that I realised that I have been running away from God this whole time and that what I really needed was not to have all of these achievements, but His salvation. I finally understood what has been taught to me all this time and know that my worth is not in my gifts and strength, but in the blood of Jesus Christ.

    I am nothing without my God, and that is why I need Him and His grace. With this, I cried to Jesus that I had seen just how much I needed Him in my life and to forgive me of my sins. Since then, I’ve started to see evidence of God’s goodness everywhere I go. From the wonders of His creations to how He has brought so many people from around the world together, for the first time in my life, I’m seeing God’s true awesome power and magnificence. I now understand what it was that my parents, family, and friends were all talking about and I want to join them. Before, I knew that Jesus was a saviour but now I know Him to be mine. I want to be baptised because I want to proclaim that I believe in Jesus’ mighty name and He is my saviour. He has died on the cross to save me from my sins and I want to walk the rest of my life with him.

  • Elias

    Before God began to work in my life, I didn’t love him or serve him or desire to know him as he deserves. God is powerful and can help with anything. He is kind and loving. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” God has given me parents who know God and who brought me to church so I can know more as well. He’s given me a great family to be with. He’s given me so much in my life. And for all these things and so much more he deserves all that I could give him. But, in my life, before God worked in me, I didn’t want to worship or serve God. And I realize now that not giving to God all that I am and serving and loving him as he deserves is sin. And that the Bible is right when it says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That was true for me in my own sin.

    But, when I was 13 or 14. I had grown a little older. And I was growing to know more about God. I learned what God did for us. I learned that God created me and this earth and everyone around me. And I learned that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross to save us. I was learning these things through youth group at Christ City, mainly. And I began to feel at that time that I was coming to know God. And I believe that was when I first became a Christian and trusted Jesus to be my savior.

    Since I trusted in Jesus, my life has been changing. I see God growing me and making me more mature in my life. My desire to go to church has grown. I love to serve Jesus and help out in the church. I really enjoy singing the worship songs and praising God. I have the gathering playlist saved on my Spotify and I enjoy listening to all the music. I had a classmate and I invited her to the youth group. And I’m hoping she’ll come back. I began sharing my faith with her and some Bible verses. I definitely wouldn’t have been sharing my faith with others before I became a Christian. I even recently joined a community group for the first time, and it has been really great meeting new people. It’s been so awesome to learn about God. I love learning about the way that Jesus has saved us and forgives our sins.

    I want to be baptized to show people that I believe in God, that he is able to help us and save us from our sins and forgive us. I want to show that I follow Jesus as my savior. That he is with me and has saved me.

  • Isabella

    I grew up in a Christian home with a lovely family and since the age of 6, I always believed in God. For a long time, my life was great. Nothing terrible had ever happened to me and I was happy. It wasn’t until this past September when my brother left home for university when that suddenly changed. For the first time in my life, I was truly lonely, and I didn’t know what to do about it.

    There was this one night where I was just crying in my room, missing my brother and I remembered one of my teachers talking about the book of Psalms. They were explaining about how it’s all poetry, and that it’s so open and honest about human struggles, and I just had a really strong pull to read my Bible that night. So, I started reading the book of Psalms! I don’t remember which ones I read or how many I read but by the end of it I didn’t feel like crying anymore. I could just feel God so near to me at that moment.

    And that’s when I realized that if we just reach out to Him in prayer or by reading Scripture, He will comfort us and hear our cries. No, He didn’t bring my brother back that night, but He healed my heart and filled the space of loneliness with His presence. For this, I am forever grateful. When I was lonely, I called out to God and He answered me. He was there for me and comforted me.

    Now I want to be baptized as a sign of my lifelong commitment to God. I want to continue to put my trust in Him, the One that will never leave me or forsake me. Looking back, I know that at first when I was lonely, I tried to simply overcome it by myself. But I can’t do it on my own! I need Jesus Christ as my refuge, as my comforter, and as my Saviour.

  • Eric

    “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”

    Titus 3:4 

    I was lost and conflicted. I was always looking for ways to have pride and confidence in myself. I followed false wisdom from self-made men and motivators that convinced me to only believe in myself.

    In this pursuit, I lost of sight of Jesus and God. I took the people that care about me for granted due to being adamant on making myself a self-made man; I started to become selfish and set in my ways.

    The day I surrendered to Jesus was when I came to Christ City Church in Kitsilano, there I was reminded that I am not alone in my pursuit of living this life. I learned that by surrendering to Jesus; I became honest to myself and accountable to my selfish ways. I was forgiven and I am ready to repent and start anew. For Jesus has forgiven me and I am welcomed to the kingdom of God.

    “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8” Titus 3:5-7

    I found my way back to following Jesus because of my kind friends, John, and Kat Tso. They got a sense of what my life was like, and they encouraged me to come to church on Sundays. When I first came, I felt more at peace with myself, I was among followers of Jesus, and they showed kindness to me even though I had been lost.

    The Pastor, Brandt Van Roekel gave an inspirational sermon on a long weekend, there were very little people in the church. Brandt still delivered the good news of God and Jesus as if he was speaking to a million people. It was an inspiring moment that showed me the falseness and selfishness of the self-made men, and motivators I sought wisdom from.

    After seeing Brandt’s sermon, I saw the true way to find peace and happiness in oneself is to trust in God and follow in the path of Jesus.

    Now I believe in Jesus’s sacrifice and burden that he took to help us be forgiven of our sins, and the love from God shows me that I am not alone with the burdens of the world.


    “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.” Titus 3:7


    Ever since, I walked this path of being a Christian, I find myself being calmer and at peace with myself, I can deal with stressful situations better, and taking the time to pray and be grateful for everything that God has created.

    I have sought my Bible for wisdom because in my new path as a Christian, I believe in seeking God’s guidance and following Jesus.

    I follow Jesus because I am done being a fool before I followed the path and wisdom of selfish men, and I tried to be someone I am not.

    Now I follow Jesus because he has put himself through pain and suffering to forgive us and free us from sin.

    God is my redeemer; he has blessed and loved me even at times I lost my faith in him. Now he has showed me this new path of being a Christian.

  • Rebecca

    I was raised in a Christian family, and both of my parents had both been Christians since they were young. I was dedicated as a baby and went to church every Sunday. I grew up never really doubting in my faith, but my faith also wasn’t really my own. I always believed that there was a God, but my faith was entirely based on what others had told me about Him, and not about my relationship with God. I started growing older and trying to figure out what being a Christian meant for me, but my relationship with God still had a long way to go before it became truly my own.

    In 2020, my life was uprooted. Covid hit, bringing me out of school, and my Dad was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within the course of about two weeks, I stopped going to school, stopped regularly interacting with my friends, and saw my house turn into a mess of cancer plans. Amid all the chaos, we stopped going to church regularly, and my faith became something secondary, something I didn’t really focus on. I still believed in God, but my faith wasn’t a part of my life that got more than a few minutes of attention every now and then. I spent so much of my life just trying to be good enough so that I didn’t add on to the stress in my house that I started to sink into myself, distancing myself from everyone around me.

    As the next year went on, I went back to school and my life started to go back to some new form of normal, I didn’t return to the person I was before. I still spent so much time trying to be perfect and feeling like I was falling short every single time. However, as I spent more time in this weird, destructive, cycle, I eventually circled back around to my faith as a Christian. My family still hadn’t returned to going to church regularly, but that gave me a chance to make my faith about my relationship with God, rather than just about attending church.  I got to develop my faith into the main thing it had been lacking when I was younger, a relationship.

    It has been about two years since I first felt this change within myself, and in the time since, I have seen my faith turn from information-based, to relationship-based. I know that I can turn to God in times of both strength and weakness, and he will love me all the same. I might still feel like I am not enough, and I certainly fall short of expectations, but the love and grace of Jesus gets me through. He draws me close even when can’t get there on my own, and I am ever so thankful.

  • Taylor

    My life, before I surrendered to Jesus, was a little empty. I felt like something was missing in my heart.  I tried to fill my heart with things that were easy to find like art, writing and sports, but there was still something missing.  Growing up in a Christian home I’ve always known that Jesus was my saviour but I never took it that serious. I know that I sin, that Jesus died for my sins, and I need Him to save me from my sins but I thought I didn’t know enough.

    One night at CG, I heard my mom say that Jake had emailed her asking if she knew about the baptism class for me and my brother. He asked because he saw us take communion. I talked to her about it and that got us thinking about baptism. After talking about it and praying about it,  we set up a day to talk to Jake about baptism. In that conversation I learned that baptism isn’t something you do to please other people but it is something I do on the outside to show what I believe on the inside.  I also learned that it’s something I do at the beginning of my walk with Christ and not once I know everything.  Like those who came to believe in Acts 2:38-41, I am choosing to believe in Christ for the forgiveness of my sins, repent and be baptized.  They didn’t know everything about following Christ before being baptized, and neither do I because I will learn as I walk and grow in faith in Him.   

    Since making the decision to get baptized, I felt a change in me. I felt the hole in my heart start to fill and I want to fill it completely. I want to show on the outside how God has made me feel on the inside.

  • Joel

    Before letting Jesus into my life, I was very off course. Having grown up in a home with no discipline or emotional support I found it difficult to maintain well balanced relationships, as well as manage my day-to-day stability. At an early age I had turned to substance abuse as a way to cope with my emotions.

    After years of substance abuse and the loss of my parents I decided to get help, and that’s when I got to know who Jesus was to me. His love, mercy and grace had saved me from myself. Jesus literally died on the cross for us to be saved from our sins.

    The changes He has blessed me with are remarkable. Today I have a very different outlook toward life. I look forward to what’s in the future now and I’m excited for my walk-through life as Jesus has planned for me.

  • Shalaw

    Before I met Jesus my life was very difficult. I felt like I always had bad luck. I was stressed a lot. I was always working, struggling to make a life for myself in Canada. But I realize now that a lot of my work was just to make myself busy to escape the pain and the hard things in my past, and a very difficult family situation back in Kurdistan. I was hating everybody. There was so much trouble in my life. No love. I was with my old community, but no one was encouraging me to love others and I felt so trapped in hate. Everyone used to ask me why I was always angry.

    I grew up Muslim, in Kurdistan, though I had some Christian friends there. And my community for my whole life has been Muslim. But early in my adult life I had so many questions about Islam. It didn’t make sense to me. And I didn’t like the way it filled our community with so much hate. But no one would answer my questions. And I was told that I shouldn’t ask them anymore. But, when I moved to Kitsilano in 2021, it was the beginning of a change. I began connecting with different people who lived and thought differently than me. It was the first time that I began to move outside of my own Muslim community and into a different culture. That was when I met first met Brandt and Gareth Clegg, and Jon Bryars from Christ City Church.

    They, and some other Christians who visited my Barber shop, began to share about Jesus with me as I cut their hair. I had heard about Jesus before, but the Muslim version, not the Christian version. I respected him but I didn’t know who he really was. But when I began to meet these Christians, I realized it was different. It struck me how different Christian people were and the Christian religion was. They were always talking about love. I’d go to church and the pastor wouldn’t yell or scream and make me afraid of God, he’d talk about God’s love. In Islam I was always afraid of God. But I understood in Christianity that God came to earth to die for our sins, because he loved us. And obedience to God comes from having been changed by his love, and that struck me so much.

    One day, I saw Brandt walking down the street and I grabbed him because my co-worker had had a vision about Jesus. And I told him, “Brandt, come inside and tell us what the vision means!” My co-worker had seen a vision of Jesus, fire, white clothing, and there was a grave and a coffin next to him. And she was so scared. And I understood the dream to mean that if Jesus had died for us than it is not right to not follow him. It is dangerous to not follow him. He wants us to have life, but if we reject him, it’s death. Up to this point I was very interested in Christianity, I’d gone to church, but I wasn’t yet ready to make a commitment to become a Christian. This changed everything. We talked with Brandt about Jesus for quite a while that day. And in the shop, after our conversation, he asked us if we’d like to pray with him to become followers of Jesus. We read Romans 10:9. He asked us if we’d like Jesus to be our Lord and master, if we believed he was raised, and could forgive our sins and make us clean. And I said yes! We called on Jesus together, and he saved me. There were lots of hugs and tears.

    Now that I’m a follower of Jesus, I’m still busy, but step by step things are so much better. I have joy! I feel at peace with God and in my life. I know I’m forgiven. I’m a follower of Jesus now and I am so happy that I am God’s son, a member of his church, and a brother to the Christians around me.  Now I’m smiling all the time. Jesus has saved me. Thank you God!

  • Michael

    Before I became a Christian, I was endlessly searching for the right way to fill myself. And I couldn’t find it. From an early age (16) I started drinking heavily as a way to cope with my life—to try to make myself feel happy. Around the same time I began drinking with an older men who could get the alcohol for us. I made a choice to follow my desires and pursue romantic and sexual satisfaction with other men. I also began doing drugs, later in my life, as part of the party lifestyle I was living. I was angry and bitter. I loved to fight. And I often hurt others.

    All these things were an effort to cope with my health and my profound loneliness. Being sick and lonely is a really really dour life.

    That’s where I was when I came to Christ City. I had had a couple of strokes, I had been having some bipolar episodes, and I have chronic epilepsy. I feel now that God was breaking me down, hemming me in, and bringing me to the place where I had to seek him out. I was at a place in my life, where I was seriously considering MAiD, but thought I’d give church one more chance, since I had grown up around the United and Anglican church in Calgary.

    Then showing up, the first day there. I was so scared. I was very shy. It takes me a while to open up to people. I was terrified. But Irene and Gerhard laid hands on me and prayed for me. And I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking, “Why are these people touching me?” (Now I do it to other people and I KNOW why!). But I wanted to come back. I didn’t know what it meant to be saved, but that was the beginning of me being saved. I don’t know what it was—it was more than just human touch. There is something magnificent about being prayed for. People coming and concentrating their love for you, someone they had never met. Who doesn’t know them. I felt the love of God through them, for me. And I’m not sure I would have come back if it weren’t for them.

    Up to this point in my life, I considered myself a gay man. It was who I was. Sex was a drive in my life. An idol. As was alcohol and drugs. I was controlled by a life of hedonism. But now I had encountered something so much greater—the love of God for me in Jesus Christ. And I just had to come for more.

    So, I began going to the church every week. It was the wrong kind of church, one that I would never have picked on my own. (I had googled “church close to me” and it gave me Christ City—which wasn’t actually the closest!). I began attending community group. Reading the Bible with my friend Noah. And I began meeting with Brandt. And through it all, the pieces began fitting. And I began making sense of the Bible, the gospel, what God says about who I am as a human being made in his image, and what he desired for me in salvation. Reading the Bible began to be a passion of mine. But it’s strange, because I struggle with aphasia—an inability to read and sometimes speak—and I couldn’t always remember what I had read. I was taking it in bit by bit, but even though I didn’t always remember everything, it was affecting me. The combination of the community around me and the Bible sustained my mental health through this season—even through ongoing significant health struggles.

    It didn’t take me very long to realize that I was a sinner—I am so good at sinning! And I knew that I needed God to save me. Jesus showed me my sin. He kept hemming me in and showing me all that I was doing wrong. That he shed his blood for me on the cross 2000 years ago so that I could be forgiven and reconciled to God. Jesus was up there on the cross, dying for me, and I keep thinking—why me? Why can I get this grace? It astounds me. Early in the Fall of 2022 I trusted in Jesus to be my savior, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I love him so much. For God so loved the world that he sent his son to die for me!

    Now that Jesus has saved me, my life is changed forever. What has Jesus done for me?

    God gave me July 27th 2023. I almost died again this past summer. But God was using it all to hem me in further and show me that he was at work in my life. I was sitting in G.F. Strongs in the Fall just thinking through things. And looking back, I began to see God’s hand in my life through all the hardships and the difficulties where I couldn’t see it before. I was in a wheelchair, and in a bit of a sour mood. My choices had been getting smaller and smaller, to the point that here I was, in this chair. Stuck. But through it all God was leading me to him. To show me that all my passions and desires were meant for him. Meant to be satisfied in him. And it’s true! And he has. All I really want to do now in my life is to go to church on Sunday. To be with brothers and sisters in Christ. To worship together. To read the Bible. To know Jesus more. That’s what I want. With all my heart. To be in his church loved by him, loved by them all. Loving them all. I’m not lonely. God has met all my needs. He’s kept me from killing myself. He’s given me hope! Hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m so looking forward to a perfected and healed body and to bask in the presence of the Lord for all eternity. To be content in him! My wheel chair, my walker, my cane—these things aren’t burdens. Their God’s gifts to me to turn me to himself.

    Today I can still return to the feelings of guilt and shame about what I have done and have not done. I really had to repent of all that I have done. But know now I am forgiven. And I keep remembering and hoping and trusting in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus is my only hope.