I grew up in a rural Alberta village on a farm where almost everyone I knew whilst growing up, had a belief in Christ. However, miracles were unheard of, and I remember saying the Lord’s Prayer every morning in school and wondering, ‘…what power and what glory?’ I always wanted to know God, I had a Bible in my bedroom which I attempted to read but could gain no revelation or understanding. I would ask him to make the door go bump or make the light flicker, but nothing happened. I always enjoyed going to church as it made me feel good, and people were always on their best behaviour, but again, no power or authority.
By my mid twenties, after going to University, I had become quite disillusioned, science seemed to have all the answers and the churches seemed to be dead, full of hypocrisy and scandal. At 25 my best friend asked if I believed in God, and for the first time in my life I said, ‘I don’t know.’ I felt that I was just being honest and wondered why there was so much suffering and injustice in the world. My friend wisely answered, ‘That is because of mankind, not God.’ I wanted a better life and as I was a chronic worrier.
Around that time, looking back, the Lord was working on me. Friends provoking me to ‘Accept Jesus into my heart’, something I didn’t feel right about, but eventually I did it, although it was emotional, it was not transformative. I was at a business meeting where a wealthy man was talking about his relationship with Christ and my heart was ‘pricked’. It felt like a lightening bolt had hit my heart and at that moment my first thought was, ‘I need to pick that book (the Bible), up again and try to get something out of it.”
A couple of months later I was at a friends house and noticed that he had a little Gideon pocket Bible, which I picked up and began to read. I was astonished. I was quickly and completely convinced that it was inspired by God. My friend eagerly gave it to me and I kept it on me constantly, reading a couple more verses whenever I could till I bought a full Bible. I was reading for 8 months, when through circumstance, I left my job on the oil rigs to work on the coast. I ended up being sent to a house in Victoria BC in 1994. Pastor Paul Stewart of the Revival Centres Church and his wife Ruth lived there. I had been around different churches looking for answers, could they offer me what was written in the Bible, the proof with power.
Ruth told me about getting baptized by full immersion in water and receiving the Holy Spirit. You’ll know because you’ll speak in ‘tongues’. This was the most out there, absurd thing I’d ever heard, speaking in a language and you didn’t even understand what you were saying! I had seen full immersion baptism on television, but nobody I knew of believed it necessary and I had certainly never heard of speaking in tongues, (though I later realised that I had heard of it). But I knew two things, Ruth was talking about power, miraculous healings and other miracles, and second, it was all written in the Bible. I knew that I wouldn’t still be looking if I had all the answers.
Astonishingly, 2 days later a lady handed me a pamphlet which stated that tongues were the sign of receiving the Holy Spirit! I knew then that the Lord was trying to tell me something!
Receiving the Holy Spirit
I went to the next meeting with the intention of getting baptized. To make a long story short, Pastor Paul said all the right things. It was clear to me that he put the Lord first in his life and didn’t care about church politics. I got baptized that afternoon. I then regularly visited him to have prayer to receive the Holy Spirit. Two weeks later whilst having prayer with a couple of men in the church, my tongue changed. It was a quiet experience for me, but the next day Pastor Paul was very excited. I interpreted that he knew something I didn’t.
My work in Victoria ran out the next day, so, I headed back to Edmonton and immediately began planning a trip to Australia. Pastor Paul recommended I go spend a few months down there to get a grounding of knowledge in the Lord. I spent a full year there, and an additional 2 months in New Zealand.
While travelling around I heard testimonies of every sort of healing and miracle you can imagine, lives restored to having a sense of peace and joy, health restored, mental illness and addictions healed, women who couldn’t have children now had babies, protection and provision, and best of all the thrill of having a relationship with our Creator and Saviour. I heard many talks and read books that explained and revealed Bible prophecy and doctrine. To say it was an amazing 14 months is an understatement.
Back to Canada
I came back to Canada and moved out to Vancouver Island to live in Victoria near the fellowship. The grounding and ministry had helped me over the years, as well as the support of the church fellowship. The Lord has proved himself faithful over and over again.
I have prayed with people to received the Holy Spirit. This is the best, it is the promise of life eternal. I have had my trials and tribulations, as well as all the joys and victories, and through it all, everything has worked to strengthen my relationship and my love and faith in the Lord. The bottom line is, no matter what disappointment, God gave His Son so that I could live forever and be blessed, not living like we do in this life with pain, suffering and death, but where those things don’t happen anymore. I can never say He doesn’t care knowing all this. I know I am loved.
I pray this testimony is a blessing to all those who might read it. To the Glory of Jesus Christ and God the Father.
Find salvation in your own Bible:
Mark 16v17; Acts 2v4; Acts 10v44-46; Acts 19v1-6.
What to do:
If you wish to contact our church in Canada, Victoria BC, please contact Pastor Paul Stewart, see details here: https://www.revivalcentres.org/contact/#1450151573030-06621359-ad98