Stories of Renewal: Matt

This is article is from St. Peter's Fireside, one of our churches in Vancouver, and their 'Stories of Renewal' series sharing and celebrating how Jesus is in the business of renewing our lives.


Through my life God was always there, but I only came to know him in the last few years.

I thought I had everything anyone could want out of life. I had made it to the top of the sporting world, representing my country at the Olympic Games. I had quick success at my job with great money. I knew I was blessed, but something was missing.


I thought meeting someone and getting married would be the way to find that “missing” thing in my life. Shelly and I quickly got married, from meeting to marriage it took six months. Shortly after that, we moved to Hong Kong so I could try to set up business over there. Very quickly things fell apart. We did not know what marriage meant, we did not know what commitment meant, and we definitely did not know Jesus’ love and forgiveness.


It was a turbulent 3 years of marriage for us. Several times we tried to divorce and go our own separate ways. My mother always told me that she was praying for us and that we should seek God and go to church. I was embarrassed to even mention this to Shelly, thinking she would think I was crazy. Little did I know, she had been reading about the Gospel and thinking the same thing.


On a trip to Shanghai my uncle told me “if you look to your spouse, you will surely be disappointed sooner or later.” Through this simple statement it dawned on me that God is the only constant that I could lean on Him, and look to Him for strength.


In all the counseling we had been through, we understood why we were hurting, but I could not find any strength to forgive and love. Slowly through the gospel and learning about who Jesus really was, I found strength to forgive and love. In fact it felt like the only thing I could do after truly coming to know Jesus.


God really guided and blessed us. The moment we started to seek, the path was set before us. I went from not knowing the gospel, to fellowship 3 times a week. Our church in Shanghai laid the foundation for our faith and journey.


I was no longer seeking financial gains and prioritizing that over God and my wife. He shook me up and made me realize my financial idols would not fulfill me.


Throughout our Christian life in Asia we had been blessed by the support and mentorship of fellow brothers and sisters. Our move back to Vancouver felt like a calling to minister to family, friends and beyond. It’s always a daunting feeling when we go through changes of seasons in our lives, but we trust in God knowing that he would never put us in a situation we could not handle.


Our Stories of Renewal feature people connected to St. Peter's Fireside who are experiencing spiritual, social, or cultural renewal.