• When did Jesus first get your attention?

I think the 1st time was in elementary school when my mom had a brain tumor. My mom was a believer and raised us kids going to church and teaching us God’s love, but my dad was not living the abundant Christian life during my childhood (he had grown up with a Christian family but had thrown that away). Through my mom’s hospitalization and surgery Dad didn’t know where to turn or what to do so he met with the pastor and turned his life over to Jesus. The change in Dad was a total miracle! My mom recovered and lived for many years. Dad and Mom lived out their love for Jesus and I saw how Jesus works miracles and is alive!

  • What is a faith marker (or key moment in your faith) that you have experienced?

Nothing is a coincidence with God! When my brother died suddenly in a car accident, I was overwhelmed at the way God works. He set up opportunities before and after Don’s death that people could say were coincidences, but they were definitely God’s hand orchestrating it. This was such a confirmation that God is in control and I can trust Him at all times.

  • What is Jesus doing in your life right now? (Be as current as possible, like during the pandemic)

Jesus is teaching me (or trying to teach me) to wait on Him and know Him. Because of the limited gatherings I am sad, but I know He can and will uphold me and be there with me. It is difficult for me, but I am learning to ‘be still and know that He is God”. I need to choose JOY!

  • What is a favourite scripture and why?

Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am not an anxious person so its not that part of the verse that sticks out for me but the part of giving thanks in everything. I am reminded that in the good and in the tough times if I approach things with thanksgiving my outlook and response reflects the goodness of God and how thankful I really am for who is and the many blessings I have.

  • Why do you love our church? 

The opportunity to serve together with others.  I love all the generations from the littlest to the oldest. The teaching is solid. I love the people and working at the church with the pastors and staff is a real blessing!

Jesus first got my attention on a canoe trip when I was in grade 7. Even though I grew up in a Christian home and knew about Jesus, the Bible, church, etc., it all came together when I snuck away from the group and climbed a hill. The view overlooked a beautiful lake, and mountain range with a sunset in the back and I remember thinking, “It must be true.” In that moment all the Sunday school stories, and prayers, and teaching that I had learned became real and I realized that the faith I grew up with must be true. God made everything, he loves me, the Bible is true. This enlightened moment likely only lasted 10-15 seconds (remember, I was a grade 7 boy) but it was the first time that Jesus really got my attention. 

I have many faith markers in my life. I’ve seen God perform miracles, provide in times of need, and transform lives but a key marker for me was my call into ministry. I didn’t want to be a pastor. I wanted to be a Camp Director. As I concluded my undergrad at Columbia Bible College in BC the Campus Pastor asked me why I would disciple people for only two months during the summer when I could disciple them for 10 months during the year? I didn’t like being asked the question because it minimized the ministry that camps have but I told him I’d think about it. This question resounded in my mind like a loud gong for a couple of days and I realized that God was speaking in a unique way to me. I went back to him and asked if there were any jobs for just High School youth pastors. At the time there was only one job in Canada, it was in Saskatoon. After many miraculous twists and turns I got the job, left my family and the mountains that I loved, and moved to the prairies hardly knowing anyone. I believe God spoke clearly and led me to where he wanted me to be.

Currently I am learning about submission. I am not a natural rule follower. For much of my life I have viewed rules as suggestions and recommendations as permission. As I’ve grown in leadership I have really appreciated when people willingly submit instead of questioning and challenging a leadership decision. This has caused me to come to realize the freedom and joy there can be in submitting to others. I still have a long way to grow in this discipline but I am starting to see the fruit that comes from submitting to authorities.

A favorite scripture is John 3:16, “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It’s one of the most commonly known verses and it has always been a guiding verse for me about who God is. But I also really love the verse right after it, John 3:17, “For God did not sent his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” I’ve encountered many people throughout my life that see God as a ruthless judge who is waiting to condemn people. This verse shows God’s intention to save and not condemn us. That’s why he sent Jesus!

I love our church because of the deeply rooted desire to take risks for the sake of mission. I have seen this church quickly rally when there is a demanding task that needs to be accomplished. This church has the faith to build a large facility in the middle of a field back in 1984. It has the faith to reach a group of indigenous people in panama, leave the church service without shoes for the sake of those in need, and find a new way to be a multi-site church. We have the faith to take risks believing that the Holy Spirit is leading us. 

When did Jesus first get your attention?

Jesus captured my attention at a young age. I think my first experience of feeling seen and known by God was a summer at Redberry Bible Camp when I was about 10 years old. I remember during one of our “free times” finding quiet time to myself, reading my Bible with fresh eyes and that’s when I first felt like my prayers were a personal conversation with God.

What is a faith marker in your life?

A significant year in my life was my Grade 12 year of high school. This year marked a time when I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to articulate my faith and truly understand and communicate to others what I believed. During that year I was deciding between post secondary schools and making big decisions about the trajectory of my future. That year was a faith marker because I felt God’s guidance and decided to go to Bible school.

What’s Jesus doing in your life right now?

With the way this year has changed our routines, I’ve appreciated reflecting on my life with Jesus and being intentional about how I remain filled. This year has also helped me to reflect outwards in different ways. As I have sought to learn more, my heart has been broken by the racial inequalities and injustices in our world. God has been opening my eyes to realities this year that will change the way I live and lead going forward.

What is a favourite scripture and why?

Years ago I memorized Hebrews 12:1-3, which says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

I think these verses capture a full picture of our life of faith. That we are witnesses to others, that life can weigh us down, we need to pursue the goal and we are only able to do this because Jesus is our champion. I like having a champion in my corner:)

What do you love about FGCC?

When I think of our church, I like to think of the individuals that make up our church body. I think of the individuals who inspire my faith, the people who model servant leadership, the kids who bring incredible joy and innocence to a life of faith and the people who live and express their faith vulnerably. I am thankful for our church family.  I hope that everyone who experiences our church family feels included and seen, and that they experience the love of Jesus through each person they encounter.

  1.  Jesus first got my attention at a VBS program in 33rd street MB Church when I was 10 years. The speaker was Mrs. Myrtle Wiff (missionary) and I gave my heart to the Lord.
  2. A faith marker in my life was when I was 15 years old and I rededicated my life to the Lord through Charlene Lutzer at a Revival meeting.  That is when God became very real to me and I became excited about my faith and it became personal and real.
  3. Right now (through this season of covid) I have learned to become more reliant on God…learning very much patience and learning to accept change. I am depending very much on his word and praying for guidance and direction through prayer.  I have learned that I can be a blessing to my seniors even though I cannot see them in person.
  4. Philippians 4:13 “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”….the verse given to me at my baptism…has always been my strength when I am weak.
  5. I LOVE Forest Grove Community Church.  Ever since we started attending here 25 years ago, we felt welcomed and encouraged.  People were friendly and hospitable…inviting us into their homes with other couples so we could get to know many others. Through the years I have come to love this church and its congregants even more.  Since I started on staff here 19 years ago, |I have been supported, encouraged and blessed.

Jesus first got my attention around grade 9, roughly 2-3 years after I thought I had started to follow Him. I inititally did that out of the desire for approval from my cabin leaders at camp, but it was after being involved in youth group for a few years that Jesus started to become more real to me. I was around Christian people my own age, and I started to watch them be followers of Jesus in their real lives as I befriended them. This pushed me to actually be serious about following in the footsteps of Jesus, and I started to realize that He mattered to me.

A faith marker in my life would be my time at Briercrest. One time in particular I can remember running out of money in my first semester, but felt the call from God to continue to use my car as a blessing to others. I continued to drive people where they needed to go (to the airport in Regina, groceries in Moose Jaw, etc.) without asking for money. My mom was very against this, but I felt like it’s what Jesus would do. That Christmas I got a (very) late tax return that funded my entire second semester. I knew then that Jesus was looking out for me, and I could listen to His direction for my life.

Jesus is currently teaching me about patience. Being slow to anger is a quality of God that I want to emulate, and Jesus is teaching me the value of doing that in my own life, and the value of that in the lives of others as well. If I am slow to anger, others are more calm, and feel safer around me.

Some verses I hold onto are Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which essentially say that there is a time for everything, and a purpose under Heaven. I try to let this verse guide me to not be too surprised about bad things, and to take them in stride.

There is a time for everything, and a purpose under Heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die.

A time to plant, and a time to uproot.

A time to kill, and a time to heal.

A time to teardown, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh.

A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them.

A time to embrace and a time to refrain,

A time to search and a time to give up,

A time to keep and a time to throw away,

A time to tear and a time to mend,

A time to be silent and a time to speak,

A time to love and a time to hate,

A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I love that our church has so many people willing to serve; and more than that, we have people who serve abundantly, and who care about the younger generations in our church. As someone who’s faith was formed in youth group and at camp, I value those spaces so much, and I appreciate those who pour into those spaces.

When did Jesus first get your attention?

In the summer of 1984 I went to work as a canoe instructor at Camp Squeah in the lower mainland of BC. I was a young adult, who had grown up in the church, but this was the first time that I experienced the love of Jesus through the other staff there who showed a faith that was alive and real in a way I had never experienced before. Through the course of that summer, I experienced the love of the Father, the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and the person of Jesus through the story of God in as revealed in Scripture. It changed my life forever to experience and place my trust in the reality and personal character of God.

What is a faith marker in your life?

Another faith marker in my life, was the year 2000 as I went through a 2 year journey of brokenness and identity formation. Lisa and I were living in Calgary with three small children at the time as I had just resigned my role at Columbia Bible College in BC and moved to Calgary with an unknown future, but trusting that God was leading us. As difficult as that season was, God spoke through many people and unique circumstances that eventually led to a pastoral ministry role here at FGCC. Lisa was a huge source of encouragement, support and discernment through that time.

What’s Jesus doing in your life right now?

Teaching me to trust day to day and embrace his strength and mercies for each day, in community. As I get older, Jesus is also teaching me to live with the end in mind, realizing that I have numbered days (that only God knows) and to embrace and leverage the gifts that I have for kingdom purposes.

What is a favorite Scripture and why?

Philippians 3:10-14 is one of my key ‘life verses’. I remember the day in the summer of 1984 that this verse become my life prayer and I remember praying it and really meaning it. It has continued to shape me and guide me and be my prayer in some form throughout my life. It has helped me to continue to look and move forward and not live in the past, but always longing for and living toward what Jesus has for me in the future.

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Why do you love our church?

The people of this body of Christ have called me to serve, loved my family, and entrusted me with much, as I figure out what it means to be a pastor. I have experienced so much grace and support here, and seen the evidence of transformation all around me. There is a continuous desire to pursue God’s mission in our city and around the world that continues to inspire and challenge me.

#1. When did Jesus first get your attention?

I think that Jesus was trying to get my attention for a while before I finally paid attention to him. I first learned about Jesus at Camp Kadesh when I was 8 years old but at that time, I was only at camp to have a fun time with my friends. This continued for a few summers before I actually started listening to the messages and learning about the love that God has for me when I was around 14. 

#2. What is a faith marker in your life?

A big faith marker in my life is the time I spent at Capernwray Australia. Prior to this experience, I was really struggling in my life and faith and I knew that I needed to do something about it. This led me to the bible school half way across the world where I was deeply challenged and moved in my faith, mostly around the theme of surrender and letting God lead my life. This is how I ended up dropping out of engineering to start working at FGCC.

#3. What is Jesus doing in your life right now?

Covid has been a wild time of change and transition. Though remaining in the same job, my role has changed many times over the course of the last 9 months. In all this change, I had learned that I need to rely on God to get me through the changes, especially in my role as Jr. High director where I am learning so many things about caring for people, teaching the Bible, and taking so much ownership in a program.

#4. What is a favourite scripture of yours and why?

One of my favourite passages that I always come back to is John 15:1-8. It is a constant reminder to me that I cannot do it on my own, I need to do it with God. It is comforting to know that God is working in me even through hard things, even when I don’t know what God is doing yet. This image of the vine and the branches reminds me about how connected to God I am.

#5. Why do you love our church?

I love our church because it has always been a place for me to be called deeper into relationship with Jesus—whether through the messages on a Sunday morning, worship in various settings, or leading at Jr. High. It is a place that has seen and fostered my gifts and allowed for me to keep growing through different opportunities.

When did Jesus first get your attention?

Being raised in a practicing Catholic family, Jesus has always been a significant part of my life. I grew up going to church, Sunday school, being the first one in and a last one out at church events and was fully immersed in the church. I’m very grateful for the foundation that gave me for many things in my faith, but it wasn’t until high school when Jesus fully grabbed my attention and my understanding of what it meant to have a relationship with him was realized. Through camp ministry and having an opportunity to be a Leader in Training at Camp Kadesh, Jesus showed me what it meant to truly live for Him, follow Him and be a disciple rather than just saying I was a Christian and living life normally outside of Church.

What is a faith marker in your life?

A big faith marker in my life would be my high school senior year. This year came with a lot of high highs and low lows. After summer at camp, I decided I was going to fully live for Jesus and went full force into the year, including volunteering at Jr High at Forest Grove as a leader, being a part of a prayer group at my school, going on Project Serve and attending Forest Grove Sunday Service, Sr High and Saskatoon Worship community events regularly. On top of this busy schedule and deciding what I would do going forward after high school, God threw a lot of family struggles on my path that caused me to evaluate my faith and how these things impacted my beliefs. Although this was one of the craziest times in my faith and life, it was also the time I felt most immersed in God’s presence.

What’s Jesus doing in your life right now?

Jesus is currently showing me child-like faith through my daughter and mature faith through my husband. Through my daughter, I see a child of God who is kind and pure, who loves to sing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of her lungs, asks if someone is okay and gives them a hug when they seem hurt and cares and shows emotion deeply. Through my husband, I see a mature, wise man of God who is teaching our family to re-evaluate our faith and the things we have thought to be true in the past through learning and standing up for injustices and the basics of what things would have looked like in Jesus’ day. These two give me completely new eyes for how Jesus loves and works in others and can show his goodness in so many unique ways.

What is a favourite scripture and why?

Scripture tends to be seasonal for me and God really brings to my attention specific scripture at a time when I need it most in my life. I would say overall, the greatest commandment has been one that consistently comes up as a hard reminder – to love with everything that I am. This doesn’t always come naturally to me as someone who is very logical, but brings me back to the heart of who Jesus is. It is an all-encompassing verse that is a good reminder of where to walk in my faith journey.

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22. 37-40

Why do you love Forest Grove Community Church?

To me, Forest Grove Community Church has always been a place of challenge. A place that challenges the norms of what our society says and chooses to think differently. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This is something I really see as truth in our church. From being challenged in high school at Jr and Sr High to think differently about a certain video that is going viral to being a church that decides to tackle hard topics like racism and sexual exploitation, I have grown challenged as a Christian through the approach our church takes to really dig into hard things and search for the heart of God in all things.

Before I answer the question, I would like to go back where I grew up. I was born in the Netherlands. My mother went to the Dutch Reformed church and so did we as kids. I went to Sunday School and after that I did catechism and became a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. I went to church when I was still living at home but after I move to Amsterdam that was the end of it. In 1974 I emigrated to Canada. I worked at RUH for 4 years, married, and I have two daughters.

I live in Forest Grove and there were neighbourhood Bible studies through Stonecroft Ministries, it was interdenominational. First, I was not interested and did the babysitting for the young moms. There was another neighbour, who lived across the street helping with babysitting and she was a Christian. She talked me into following a study. I did and I got more into it, until it opened my eyes, and I gave my life to Jesus. I started going to St Paul United church in Sutherland because Forest Grove wasn’t built yet. After we moved, we got new neighbours. Ken and Gwen Dueck lived across the street and they invited me to go to Forest Grove Community Church and I am still there.

I like Forest Grove Community Church. There has always been good Bible teaching and always very friendly people. We have had very good pastors over the years and I might not show or say much but I like the sermons. I often go home to try to do better, doesn’t work sometimes. Even now with this pandemic I know God is in control and faithful, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. I try to read the Bible everyday and that gives me peace of mind, as it says in Ecclesiastes, ‘nothing is new under the sun’, and it is so true. We have to enjoy it as long as God gives us life.

My favorite verse and there are many good ones, but this one sticks. We went through some difficult times with our youngest daughter. I Cor 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. “

I love FGCC but now miss MOMS, the sermons (online isn’t the same), the singing, all the pastors and staff, and everything else.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!