Hilda McKay My Story (Testimony) I was born to John and Catharina (nee Harder) Letkeman August 16 1938 at 20-41-7-W3 Rd. Great Deer district in Saskatchewan Canada. I am the second oldest of 6 children. I have 5 brothers who are - Frank, John, Harry, Jake, Abe. My great grandparents on both sides of my family, my dad's and my mother's immigrated to Canada from Russia in the 1800's. Heinrich and Katharina Letkeman came on the ship S.S. Dominion July 1876, a son Jacob died aboard the ship. Heinrich and Katharina Letkeman were re-baptized in 1887 and joined the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church in Manitoba. At some point my dad's grandparents, that would be Heinrich Letkeman, moved to North Dakota US, my dad was born in Cavaliar County in North Dakota. My dad with his family came back to Canada in 1911. My mother's side of the family were Ooltkolnia (the Old Colony of Mennonites from Russia. My mother and her sisters were baptized at the Barjchtola (Bergthaler) Mennonite Church, they had to memorize the catechism to be baptized. I mostly remember growing up in Hepburn Saskatchewan, a small village of mostly Mennonites. There was a Mennonite Bible College and a Mennonite Brethren Church. The church services were in High German, Sunday School was in English. My family spoke Plautdietsch (Low German) at home. Us kids didn't start school until 7 years of age, you can imagine how much we learned in our first year of school not knowing any English at all. Us kids attended Sunday school at the M B Church. My dad had a German Bible to read from, Low German wasn't a written language at that time. My dad's German Bible was the only Bible in our home, we were too poor for us kids to have an English Bible. We also had a German Hymn book from which my dad and mom use to sing together lots of evenings. My dad could read and write both German and English. My mom couldn't read or write. Her parents didn't want their children going to the English school. My mother knew things from memory what my dad and her parents read from the Bible. I remember my mom telling me that we would have to give an account for every bad word we spoke some day. She must have been referring to this verse in Matt. 12:36 -But I say to you for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. That stuck with me as I was growing up, I was so careful not to say any bad words. Another thing which stuck with me is, when I was in grade 5, a friend of mine Marg Sukkau handed me a note during school in our desks. I took the note and looked at it, all it said was "are you saved" I looked at it for a while, I had no idea what the word "saved" meant, so I wrote down the word "no" and handed it back to her. I saw her showing it to the teacher later, the teacher just looked at me but never said anything. As I was growing up, and in my teens, I'd often think to myself as I was in my bed before going to sleep "I will have to get saved one day, but how I have no idea" In 1956 I moved with my family from Hepburn Saskatchewan to Abbotsford B.C. My grandparents, Icebrandt and Agatha Harder and some uncles and aunts were already in B.C. for some time. They were attending a Mennonite church on King Rd. The services were in High German, Sunday school was in English, so we attended there as well. My family moved around quite a lot, so we attended various Mennonite churches in different areas. I think I was about 19 when my mom said to me "I think it's time you get baptized", we lived just around the corner from the Mennonite church we were attending, it was within walking distance. So then my brother Frank and I took the catechism class. After the class was finished, I decided I would get baptized, the Pastor (Pastor Friessen) came to our home to talk with me, and then I went to his home to have a talk with him. I told him that I had obeyed my parents as best as I could. He said "that's good" after our talk we knelt down and he prayed. I went home not any wiser then when I went there. He never asked me whether I knew the Lord as my personal savior. I had this feeling that I wasn't ready for baptism, my name was all ready on list to be baptized in the bulletin. I called Pastor Friessen and told him that I didn't think I was ready to be baptized, "ok" he said. We did go to the baptismal service, it was all done in High German. this particular church didn't baptize by immersion, they used a pitcher of water and put 3 drops on the head. There was quite a bunch of young people getting baptized that day. Then one evening my aunt Elizabeth & uncle Ben Thiessen came to our home with another strange couple. We knew what they came for, this new couple, they would try to persuade us to convert to their church. Mom went to that church first, a lady came and picked her up, I think it was a Tuesday evening, this was a small little church named Glad Tidings, a small congregation, a Pentecostal movement. Mom came home from that church service all full of joy, and told us that she had found Jesus Christ as her Savior. Then one day the next week, the young people were going to Cultus Lake for a beach meeting and an outing. They invited 3 of my brothers and me to come along. The Pastor was Lou Peterson and his wife Marion, they were a young couple, had a 2 year old little girl Mary-Lou. The beach meeting was of singing choruses and between the singing some would step out to testify. The testimonies were so clear that all you had to do was realize that you were lost without Jesus, repent of your sins and ask Him to come into your heart. at the end the Pastor gave a short talk. After the meeting, they had their outing, swimming, games etc. These young people were so joyful and talking about Jesus and His soon return. This I had never seen before young people so happy about Jesus. I wanted what they had, before Sunday came, I went up to my bedroom and knelt down and asked Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart, I didn't feel anything so I prayed for quite a while, until I thought I should have prayed enough to be forgiven of my sins. I went down and told my mom, I said to her "I did it, I asked Jesus to come into my heart" as soon as I said it Boy! I felt light as a feather, I felt such a joy. Then I called up the Pastor's wife Marion and told her, I felt even more joy. She said "Praise the Lord a new born babe in Christ" I was on cloud number 9 for quite some time. That Sunday our whole family went to that church, that morning service they broke out in a dance, and mom was right up there also dancing, no one was around her, remember my mom couldn't read or write, all of a sudden she starts speaking in tongues, no one had even yet told her about speaking in tongues. All my brothers got saved that Sunday. We got ourselves Bibles right away, I looked up all the verses about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I sought the Lord for it. I wanted it. I needed to understand how it worked. One Sunday morning in the service, it just clicked, it was God taking hold of your tongue and speaking through you. That Sunday evening when every one went up to the front, we did that every Sunday night go up to the front and kneel down pray and praise the Lord. All of a sudden tongues just started flowing, my tongue went by itself, all I did was make the sound. It was the next summer I was baptized in water by immersion. We had been in the church for quite some time, when they started a small choir of us young people, Don Sperling was going to lead it, he tested each one, and my brother Frank and me made it, we could hold a note. After we had gotten quite good and had a lot of songs learned, our small choir went to other churches and ministered in song. We also went to the Salvation Army mission in Vancouver. When I was 30, I met this young man a year older then me, David Kerton was his name, he had gone to the Salvation Army mission for help with his gambling, he was newly saved, was even doing work for the mission. We fell in love and decided that we wanted to get married. Our church at Abbotsford was between Pastors, brother McLain was going to come and be our Pastor. Brother and Sister Peterson had come home from Africa as missionaries, and since brother Peterson was my first Pastor, I thought I'd ask him to marry us. Both David and I had a talk with both brother and sister Peterson, they advised us to wait a while, but they said if we still wanted to go a head with the wedding, they would do it. Then mean while they talked with Pastor Layzell and Maureen Gaglardi at Vancouver Glad Tidings, they told them right out no they shouldn't do it, because they didn't know David. Then David went to one of his friends and arranged for us to get married in a Salvation Army church in Vancouver, not the big Salvation army Temple that was there. We got married Dec. 23 1969. We kept on attending that church we got married in. I don't know what happened that one Sunday, it was a really nice service. When we got home from the service, David said "I'm not going to church any more" that was that, I couldn't make him go, so we didn't go to church, David went back to his old self gambling, the poker clubs, the horse races. It got to the point I never knew whether he would come home after work or go play poker and the horse races. I had lots of worries, he was dragging me down. I started to feel that I had gone against the church and also God when I married David any how, I felt I had abandon God. I started to have nightmares about trying to get away from brother & sister Peterson, I was climbing up these stairs higher and higher to get away. I knew in my heart that my family and the church were praying for me. Thinking about it now, I think I was running from God. June 16 1971 our son Barry was born, he was 5 weeks premature. Didn't know if he would make it, the way my Dr. spoke, but he did. When Barry was 2 years old David had an emergency open heart surgery, a triple by- pass. A couple years after his surgery, we moved out of Vancouver to Abbotsford. Then David took an accounting course which was in Vancouver, he stayed there the week and came home on week ends. After he had finished the course. One day he told me that he was going out to look for a job, but he never returned home. I had an idea where he had gone. One day I get a phone call from him, he needed money, he was in Reno Nevada gambling, This was in 1977, Barry was in kindergarten. One day I was at my mom and dad's watching a Billy Graham show, and in his sermon Billy Graham said something like this "Something will happen for you in 77" I prayed quietly to myself " Lord let something happen for me, either David comes home, let something happen for me" it wasn't long after that, it was June 24th, the Matsqua police come to my door and asked if they could come in, they had something to tell me. They told me that my husband had passed away of a heart attack in Reno. It was quite a jolt, I wasn't too shocked because after his heart surgery, I always had this in the back of my mind, I didn't know how long he would live, I do think this was meant to be, it takes a crisis some times to bring a person back to the Lord, this was His way of bringing me back to the Lord. In 1979 I met Ed McKay of Creston BC. and we were married Feb. 23 1980. Ed was a member of the Presbyterian church in Creston. I moved to Creston with him after the wedding. I joined his church. Rev. Mahood was the minister there at that time. I had Rev. Mahood come to our house, I wanted to have a talk with him before I joined the church, I told him my whole story about my first husband and how I came back to the Lord, he looked at me kind of dumb founded why I was telling him all this. I wanted to make sure he knew that I knew Jesus as my personal Savior before I joined the church. Ed was at his TV repair shop, he had his own business. I got involved in the church right from the start, I went to W M S which is women's Missionary Society. The Presbyterian church was kind of dead for me coming from the Pentecostal movement. I had a real hunger for the word of God, I read my Bible every day while Ed was at his shop working. I got interested in the book of Revelations, I read it through 3 times in a row. In 1986 we moved from Creston to Red Deer Alberta. I was hoping that we'd visit other churches before joining, but we didn't, we went to Knox Presbyterian and joined it. Then I thought to myself if we have to go to the Presbyterian church, I'll get into as much church things as I can, I went to ladies time out on Tuesday mornings, where we had singing, Bible study and crafts. I took the Kerigma study that Rev. Sydney McDonald lead. Presbyterians call their ministers Rev. that study took 3 years, it took us through the Bible. It started with How we got the Bible. I still have the resource book, it's in a binder. The Presbyterians baptize infants, which I could really never except. There's a scripture in Hebrews that use to bother me, Heb. 6:4-6 - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit. And have tasted the good word of God and the power of the age to come. If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to shame. I had prayed about this many times, because even though I had come back to the Lord, I still had this feeling that God could not forgive me completely because I had once abandoned Him (left Him behind) One day I knelt down and really cried out to God to take this feeling away from me. Just like that all of a sudden it was gone. the Lord had taken that feeling away, it was gone, I was set free, the Lord had set me free, Praise the Lord.....Glory.....Hallelujah......I pray I'm ready when He comes to Rapture His Bride (Church without spot and wrinkle) which I believe may happen at any moment.