The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
Even though I had been dating Elaine for quite a while I had as yet to meet her father. But because I had asked her to be my wife I thought it only fitting that I ask him for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Elaine had long had problems with her dad. It was she who discovered that her dad was cheating on her mom with another woman. This woman was into witchcraft and sorcery. Elaine also had difficulty with the way he had treated her older brother who is mentally ill. She blamed the majority of her families problems on the fact that he involved them in the occult. One of those problems was also her youngest brother. Whenever I would visit Elaine at her home, before I left we would go into her room to pray together. Each time we would, no matter how quietly we prayed, her brother would take a fit and bang on the door or throw things at it. He would scream for us to stop. I knew it had to be some kind of demonic influence. One evening I felt the Spirit rise up within me and I just cried out, "In the name of Jesus, satan get out!" All of a sudden it got real quiet outside of her room. When we went out he was sitting calmly playing video games. After that time we never had problems again. Meeting her father was not going to be easy but as a believer it was something I knew I had to do none the less. We prayed together that God would protect us from any spirits that may have been on that man or in his house.
The first thing I noticed about him was his eyes. They were like two bottomless pits. Black and soulless. I had never seen eyes like his before and it was a bit unnerving. He also wore a big medallion around his neck representing the sun god. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember much of the conversation with him. It was very cordial and he did give me his permission for me to marry Elaine. But I had met a man who would effect my soon to be wife for years to come.
We set our wedding date as September 1st 1984. Labour day weekend and set about preparing for it. We never realized just how expensive a wedding could be or just how much work it involved but we were determined to see it through as we believed it was God’s will for our union.
Early in the spring I learned that the company I was working for, Maislin Trucking was bankrupt. But the good news was that because I worked in the payroll department, I and a few others were being contracted by the holding company for a few months to figure out what was exactly owed to Maislin’s employees across North America. That would give me time to find a new job. In the meantime I was also offered a job with Teen Haven a home for troubled teens. I would have to sleep over a couple of nights a week to keep an eye on the boys. It didn’t pay very much but it helped.
One of the places I went to apply was Zeller’s. With two weeks left in my contract with the holding company, I went and filled out an application with them. On Friday of that week they called me and told me to come into for an interview on Monday. I went in and I knew that God would give me the job. On the last day of my contract they called me and told me I got the job with them. On the following Tuesday I started with Zeller’s as a payroll clerk in their head office. It blew me away how great God’s timing always is. Praise Him for His faithfulness.
We set about trying to find our first apartment. Since in Montreal most leases go from July to June, Elaine would live in an apartment by herself and because the lease on my apartment was ending at the end of June and it was not a place we wanted to live, I would move in with my mother until our wedding. We found a place right next door to the church which was great. At the same time I found out that I would be taking over night duties at Teen haven completely. That would mean I’d sleep there, go to work at Zeller’s, go to my mom’s for super and then back to Teen Haven later that night. It was a busy schedule, but I made it through.
Working at Teen Haven was not an easy job. Most of the teens were very troubled. Some had trouble with violence but some just came from broken homes and had been placed there by the courts. It was a place that had been started by Pastor Robert Johnson in the same manner as the Teen Challenge centres that had opened in the states by David Wilkerson. Some of the kids that came out of Teen Haven developed good relationships with God and many are serving Him today.
It was decided that our wedding would be completely bilingual and that it would be dually officiated by 2 pastors. Pastor Ken Bombay would do the English part and Elaine’s youth pastor from her former church would do the French. We would also write our own vows. Initially Elaine wanted her two sisters as bridesmaids, but when they found out that they would have to wear formal dresses they balked. They wanted to wear what they wanted. They didn’t seem to understand how important this day was for us. When we told them they would have to wear what Elaine chose they decided against it. It hurt Elaine, but because she had many friends in the church, it was no problem for her to find others to replace them. I chose for my best man, my best friend from my childhood. I had made a promise to him that I would do so if ever I got married. My brother David and my brother Steve would also stand with me.
The night before our wedding Elaine went and stayed at her mom’s and I went and stayed at the apartment we had found. I remember it was a long night and I couldn’t sleep. Tomorrow was the big day.
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