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Clara Nam (Confirmation)

Success was important to me.  Throughout my life, I was taught to pursue success because success was a social value.  So, my goal in life was to be successful.  I grew up in the Catholic church. Although I went to mass, I did not know who God is. I did not seek Christ. I sought things that promoted me.  I was self-centred.

When I entered university, I had a chance to visit a Protestant church and everything was different. Although the environment and service was new, I really enjoyed the sermon and community. I visited the church from time to time and made Christian friends.

In my second year of university, I had a difficult time. I was weak and had no one to turn to for help. As I struggled, I reached out to God and started to depend on Him. From then, I sought God more; I wanted to do Bible study and pray more. I joined a Catholic student group and wanted to give back to the Christian community and learn how I could support others.

One day after my classes, I went to church by myself to pray and as I was praying, I realized how foolish I was. I was selfish and did not seek Jesus. I realized how much He loves me and that He sacrificed his own life for us, the sinners. His love is powerful. I realized that I was and still am a sinner and how much I sinned. I did not depend on Him and was only thinking about my own success. I repented and surrendered myself to God. I learned that He was the ultimate goal in life and I must seek the Him.  He is always there for me and was waiting for me for a long time to come to Him.   This is when I became a Christian.  I started to see a small change in my life and my values started to change.

Since becoming a Christian, I have studied the Bible and tried to learn more about the Gospel. I want to please Him more and grow in His Word. My goal before was to become successful and rich for my own benefit, but now my goal is towards Christ, our Lord and I want to support the Christian community.  My goal is to use my business skills and reach out to non-Christians in the business world and share God’s love. It is only through Christ will they know and have life.

Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I relate myself to this verse because I realized how happy and thankful I am that God is always with me. I am thankful that I know Christ and have faith in Him. I cannot imagine what life would be like if I had continued to live in my self-centred life.

The Bible says to love our neighbours; I want to love others, in and outside the community, like Jesus loves us. I will continue to grow spiritually by seeking Him more and by being obedient to His Word. I, as a Christian, must follow Jesus Christ and seek Him more to live like Him. I am excited to see where my journey goes with Christ.

Andrew Sun (Adult Baptism)

Before accepting Jesus into my life, I was very much an ordinary Asian-Canadian student who grew up in a wealthy family and was graced with many opportunities. Most people would have viewed me as a good person. I was generally quite kind, smiley and outgoing as a child.

Growing up in the church, I never had a hunger to know who God or Jesus was. I only viewed church as a way to see my friends and on other days, an annoyance for me to get out of bed on a Sunday morning. Unlike other children in my Sunday school classes, I never prioritized “homework” we would have due each Sunday, like knowing all 10 commandments.  I always looked at “that stuff” as useless or things that wouldn’t help me in school.

Around grade 7, my father got into a terrible skiing accident which resulted in him not being able to move around as much as before. This plus other activities, such as hockey games, baseball, renovations and my younger brothers being born, made it harder and harder for our family to attend church every Sunday.  Inevitably, we stopped going.

My very first big test of life happened in my pre-teen years.  I was enrolled in Upper Canada College (UCC). I was always used to doing quite well in my studies, but that all changed once I began my adventure at UCC. I was no longer one of the smartest kids in my class.  In fact, I did quite poorly in my first year there.  This resulted in the start of the downhill relationship with my father.  All of this came at a time when rebellion and teenage angst seemed normal.

Something inside me always knew that there was something wrong with me but I couldn’t pinpoint it.  It was a deep feeling in my stomach that I couldn’t shake. It wasn’t until I first really heard a sermon from Pastor Paul Kim at a summer retreat in Hi-C that it really hit me; it felt like a breath of fresh air — that even though I kept falling and disobeying God, He has always loved a sinner like myself and put people and events in my life in order for me to go towards him. It was through Jesus, God’s one and only Son, to die for all of my sins and then to rise again for me to be saved. I finally understood the Gospel and believed in it whole heartedly.

After becoming a believer, I began to notice sins that I never regarded as sinful before. I always thought, even after coming back to the church in grade 10, that sins were just the major ones like murder, sexual immorality, drugs and drinking etc., but it was so much more than that.   It included my pride or my judgemental side.

Even though I understood the Gospel and its impact upon my life, I never really pursued Christ until my first year of university.  As a graduate from UCC, with my diploma in hand, I went confidently to university, thinking that I was fully prepared for whatever it had to throw at me academically, but it wasn’t the academics that hindered my success at university, it was the social and personal aspects of life.  I never realized they were a problem growing up until I was put into a very different situation and surrounding. No close friends around me, no family and no team members. I was very much alone spending most of my time buried in my room like a hermit, skipping classes and even meals and when I went to church on Sundays and saw old high school friends or relatives, I would put on a face that everything was okay because that was expected of me.

It wasn’t until I was at my lowest that I really reached out to God.  During this time, I was attending church at City on A Hill, and attending Agape Impact (AI) more than my classes and I didn’t quite know why. To this day I am still unsure why, but I will never forget what I’ve learned.  I grew out of that spoiled, judgemental brat from my high school days and came out a true believer of God who understands more and more each day what it really means to be a Christian. I placed my faith in Christ rather than relying on myself to change/fix myself.  I leaned on God and through my personal prayers and asking for others to pray for me, I began to get out of those dark times.

If I were to go back in my high school days I would never have imagined being the person I am now and that’s what makes it even sweeter — knowing that God has worked in me and through me in different scenarios where I, not as often as I would like, have shared the Gospel to some friends and even strangers.  I’ve talked quite openly about my relationship with God and why I believe in the life, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although back then, I did not have all the answers to many tough or even easy questions, it just encouraged me to read the Bible even more or ask my other brothers and sisters whom I trusted to help me. I believe this is just the start of my journey and I am finally at a point of my faith where I have no more hesitations or doubts to declare to the world that I am a Christ follower.