teresa kroeker

Director of Women's ministry

Email: womenofexcellence@harvestcalgary.ca


testimony

I grew up in a family that went to church, knew of the 10 Commandments but lived by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

After a few years of marriage and raising a family, I knew that our children should be exposed to church so they could grow up morally too. A few of my friends from a Mothers group went to church, so I decided that was where I would go with our 2 little boys when my husband was working away from home. That was easy and my husband did join us when he was home. 

The Pastor invited people to come forward after the service (this happened only twice since we attended this church), I don't remember what was said but remember shaking nervously and wanting to go up but being way too afraid to do that in front of my husband. So the Monday following, during a Women's morning Bible study, I asked the leader, "How does a person know they are a Christian?" Some of these ladies were part of an "Evangelism Explosion III Course" and asked me the questions to determine what I was placing my trust in. Then the leader lead me through the Sinners prayer and to repeat after her. I was emotional through the process and I was too embarrassed later to tell my husband to his face what I had done. I waited until bedtime and in our dark bedroom I told him I became a Christian that morning. He said, OK and asked me "now what?". I supposed that was his way of asking what does that mean? I had no clue really except that I had "done it" and I was now going to have heaven as my final resting place when I die. I continued attending Bible studies, adult Sunday School, taught children's Sunday School and served in the church wherever I could. I was the model christian. I was told that I was growing in my Christian walk and yet still felt very alone and unsure. I did not receive any guidance nor was discipled. I didn't know I needed to, so I struggled quietly.

In my loneliness, I discovered a different church group that loved me and encouraged me study God's word for myself. With the dining room table covered with several different versions of the Bible, Vines Expository Dictionary, Strong's Concordance and notes from sermons from the Charismatic preachers I listened to, I was on fire to know my God intimately. Now I was a model student of the word. The teachings were not in line with what my home church was about, so I became confused. I know people were praying for me to get away from the false teachers. Eventually I did stop going and so my desire to study also diminished. I went back to the complacent lifestyle of going to church and other "churchy" events. I was content in my ignorance.

Several years passed and the opportunity to move to Airdrie arose. We began attending Harvest Bible Chapel Calgary North full time in April 2012 after numerous visits and finally bought a house in Airdrie. We attended Harvest regularly until summer camping season arrived and then sporadically throughout the summer. Late in the Fall we plugged into a small group and I didn't connect well and still felt like an outsider or visitor. It was too difficult to "open up" when the faces in the group changed every week. So I kept any struggles to myself. The only people who would approach us on Sundays was family. I would initiate conversation with the ladies I recognized from the Mom's morning Bible study group and it was mostly small talk. I was to blame for that as much as anyone. 

Months went by quickly and the sermons each week were really challenging me. I was getting very much afraid that I have been living a lie in regards to my salvation. One Sunday on the way home, I said to my husband that if we got in an accident and I died, I'm not sure I would wake up in heaven. I wasn't convinced that God has chosen me and was sure that I am a pharisee that the Bible talks about: legalistic, moral and judgmental. It seemed hopeless to beg God to choose me, and so I begged Him to end this pain. He rescued me through His word and the teaching of it through many weeks/months to follow, with encouragement from our small group ladies and others. The days I still struggle with my salvation, I go back to what the Bible says in 2 Peter 1:3-11. God has called me. In this I can be sure!