Below is a Story of Transformation from Garry and Jeannette Gross who became members at FGCC on April 9. If you were unable to attend, you can read their testimonies below.
I was born, raised and educated in Saskatoon and have lived here all my life. I teach music in early childhood group settings as well as piano at home. I enjoy walking, running, reading, word puzzles, travelling and spending time with my grandchildren!
I have always known that God loves me and that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. For me the issue growing up was to really believe it.
I grew up in the church, surrounded by the stories of God’s love for us and his promises to us. Yet for a time I felt not worthy. I had always been told He loved us -but not me-I wasn’t good enough. I cannot remember a great big ah-hah mountain top moment but one day in my teenage life (way back when) I heard the words—there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less. This was very refreshing to hear. It lifted a load and allowed me to come and let Jesus begin to do what he would in my life. I was baptized as a young adult upon my confession of faith into the life at Mt. Royal Mennonite and was part of that church for many years.
I believe one’s life is defined by the journey- the befores and the afters — before marriage/after marriage, before becoming a parent or a grandparent and after…before the death of one’s parents and after they are gone…(and so on).
The journey for us has also included a diagnosis of Breast Cancer. I say us because my having cancer impacted everyone around me- Garry, our girls, our parents and extended family and friends. It consumed us for a time and it definitely had its ups and downs. As I returned to health and was able to reflect back, I feel that those days and weeks and months strengthened my faith in many ways. I felt peace that I KNOW could only have come from people praying. I felt such love and strength from those surrounding not just me but our whole family. But it also caused me to ask some questions of God and ponder a little more about how He works. I’m glad he is a patient God!
A couple of my favorite scripture verses are,
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1-2
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39
As the next several months come and go, our household will transition into one of us retiring (not me!) and one of us working a little longer. While I am looking forward to this I have been known to have just a little trouble with change and will continue to seek God’s guidance for the next chapter in my life and what doors might be opened.
We have been attending FGCC for quite a while- it has taken me a long time to get to this place. But I see a very clear vision here along with a creative spirit. I would like to be part of it by becoming a member.
I have lived in Saskatoon all my life. I have been married to Jeannette for 39 years and we have two daughters, Alana and Michelle who are both married and have 2 children. I attended Mount Royal Mennonite Church for about 45 years. I have worked at the wastewater treatment plant for 21 years and am planning to retire this summer.
I grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive home. About the age of 12 my mom and I separated from my dad. It was during the following couple of years while attending a church with my mom, that I realized I wanted God to be part of my life. It was at a Billy Graham Crusade that I asked God to come into my heart and life.
Though I stumbled through my faith journey during high school, at the end of it I still knew I wanted a relationship with Christ. At age 18 I felt it important to make a more determined commitment to my faith and was baptized and joined Mount Royal Mennonite Church. Between then and now a lot of living has occurred. God gave me a partner to walk with and without her, I don’t want to think about the directions my life could have taken.
As my spiritual life grew, so did my participation in the life of my church. As fellow believers and friends, we celebrated and struggled through many events. That strong community of believers gave us strength and support as we dealt with personal issues like unemployment and health concerns. While I was the congregation chair we also struggled with some major pastoral questions. After that evaluation, I stayed a member and participated in the healing process we undertook as a congregation. However, in the end I could not see a way that I could remain a member of that faith community.
For that reason, when a guest speaker during the worship service, talked about being purposefully scattered even as refugees flee from turmoil, I could see myself in that picture. Though painful circumstances brought me here, I have found refuge and healing and am thankful that God led me here. It is my desire to continue my walk of faith and fellowship with you. In Paul’s words:
“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13