I wasn’t quite sure that I had heard the man correctly, so with a puzzled look, I said “Pardon? What did you say?” At this, the stately, older gentleman smiled and said “I am willing to serve you.” His sincerity startled me. “Really? Why?”
When Terry took us to the Seventh-day Adventist church in Kamloops, it seemed like a strange place to me. The culture of the church was so foreign. What are these people doing, I mean talking to walls and everything. Prayer! What’s that?
And then, on the third time we went, it happened to be communion and so in preparation of the ordinance itself, the Pastor invited the congregation to serve one another in harmony with the Lord’s command. They called it the ordinance of humility or the foot washing service. Wth this, the older gentleman approached me and invited me to partake of the service with him. He told me that if I would allow him to wash my feet, that he would commit himself to my welfare. He would watch out for me should I need his help in anyway. I’m glad that I let him serve me that day. In time, he became a man of considerable influence to me.
As God’s providence unfolded in this time of transition, the only thing that seemed to be stable was our desire to study the scriptures. Pastor Peter Fritz was the man that God primarily used to bring us to faith. He was such a nice man and he would come to our home on Tuesday nights and study with us. We appreciated his practical wisdom and forthright, but kind manner. He was just a gem of a man and his wife Ruth was so hospitable and fun to be with. I can’t say that I had ever met people quite like them before and I was happy in their fellowship.
The road to baptism was rocky in that our new found faith was not well received by the larger community. I lost a number of jobs simply because they wanted me to work on the Sabbath. For me, to be faithful, was to be faithful to the revealed will of God’s word and I wanted this above all else.
Sandra had often worked in the banks and so suggested that I should make application and I was able to secure employment with one of the major banks. Interestingly enough, the Sabbath was not an issue until I assumed a position as the branch administrative officer of a smaller branch. I could not delegate my authority to anyone else and so in the winter months was required to work till 6 pm on Friday’s. This was problematic because the sun went down at 3:30 and so I was not able to keep the Sabbath properly. To complicate things, I had been singled out by personnel and was scheduled to relocate within 6 months to join the head office team in Vancouver. I wanted that job and reasoned within myself that I would be able to be faithful to my convictions at that level of service.
The Lord viewed it differently and orchestrated things so that I would be forced to make a decision. Head office sent a communication to our branch that we were to open to the public for service on Saturday’s which would effectively deny me the opportunity to go to church. I remember that Sandra and I went for a walk with the intention of making a decision regarding our faith and when we got home one of the church members had left some garden produce on our step, It seemed to us that God through His people was telling us to be faithful. He who called us would stand by us and help us. We decided to inform the bank of our desire to keep the Sabbath and, to make the story short, I was released of my duties the following Friday.
Out of work, anticipating God’s will to be revealed, we received a call from the gentleman who had washed my feet at church and he gave me a job cutting pipe and packing batteries at his junk yard. It was humbling, but I was grateful to be able to provide for my young family.
Looking back, I was moved by the compassionate and caring witness of God’s people. The Lord used them to strengthen our faith and we are grateful. It was an unsettling time, but the Lord was teaching us to trust Him and in the end, that has definitely been the best decision we could have made. It set the course for us to eventually prepare for pastoral ministry.