George Menard - Niagara Falls, Ontario

George MenardThe good Lord placed me on this planet as the thirteenth child of a poor, French-speaking family in Northern Ontario, Canada. My ancestors emigrated from France in 1730, two years before George Washington was born. I am the sixth generation born in Canada.

            I grew up, and due to the lack of secondary school facilities and a shortage of family funds, I began working at age sixteen. Eventually, I secured a permanent job in a paper mill. Then, I married my wife and together we raised a family of four children.

            After the children left home, we began to travel the world. Our travels took us to the 10 provinces of Canada and its two territories, the 50 states of the USA, 12 of the 31 states of the republic of Mexico, 13 islands of the Caribbean, and two countries in South America, making a grand total of 45 countries.

            Before each trip, I always prepared well. I read books, studied the value of their currency, memorized a few words of their language, and always knew exactly where I was going.

            As to my spiritual journey, I was brought up in a religion that did not encourage us to read the Bible nor preach to us that we needed to be born again. They taught me that I could get my sins forgiven by confessing them to a priest. My mother taught me about Jesus through a Bible storybook. For most of my life I was satisfied and involved with our religion. Later, major changes occurred in the church rituals and I began doubting the whole religion. I specifically worried about where I would go if I died without having a chance to confess to a priest.

            In the meantime, our daughter got saved. She and her Christian husband often spoke to us about salvation. I just couldn’t grasp that we could be sure of salvation while alive. In 1987, I decide to take early retirement for which I had three objectives: move south to avoid the winters, do more traveling, and study the Bible.

            As a typical unsaved person, I took care of the least important first. We sold our home, purchased a large motor home, and headed for South Texas for the winter. I still hadn’t gotten around to opening my Bible as we spent the following summer in Niagara Falls. However, God began working in my life.

            First, my wife got saved. Second, we went to a series of Gospel meetings at the Niagara Falls Gospel Hall. There, I learned that the Bible is the Word of God, that we are sinners, and that the Bible tells how we can be born again through the Lord Jesus. I became concerned about being saved.

            Finally, on September 23, 1988, Mr. Smith, the preacher, told of a boy who had committed a crime. He was handicapped. The crime had to be paid for. Just when he needed help, a strong classmate volunteered to take the punishment for him.

            After meeting, I entered our motor home and kneeled at the foot of my bed. I told God that I was as lost and helpless as that little boy. Right then I accepted the substitutionary work of His Son on the cross where Christ died for me. At that moment, my sins were all forgiven. I also became a child in the family of God and as such, I will inherit heaven. In short, I was born again.

            Now, just as in my earthly travels, I can say I am well prepared for my journey into eternity. Because of what the Lord Jesus did for me, I now know exactly where I am going. Do you?