Dear Chris,

It was probably about a year and a half ago that I first wrote to you. I had just read the testimony of your son and daughter-in-law and was so touched. I wrote a little of my own testimony and you invited me to send you a full version and you would post it. Well, I´m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, but here you go

I was raised in a Christian home, often a pastor´s home. I made a profession of faith as a child, but was not truly saved until I was 24. My parents are wonderful and I love them dearly. I also have two sisters younger than I.

At 18 I became engaged to a young man. Our parents desired for us to finish our college education before we married. Sadly, shortly before our wedding my fiancé became backslidden and broke our engagement. I can now honestly praise God for allowing this to happen, but at the time it was devastating. It took me about a year and a half to recover from this. All my life all I had ever wanted was to be a wife and mother, and I had been so happy that my dream was going to become reality. It was hard to accept the fact that I was going to have to wait on God to bring a husband to me.

For the next several years I lived at home with my parents, worked in our church office, babysat and did the cooking for my mom who taught in our church´s Christian day school. Many times I would cry and cry, feeling like I was never going to be married, never have a sweet baby of my own to hold and care for.

At the same time my husband was struggling with his desire to be married and to wait for God to bring a wife to him. Several times he thought, “Surely this girl is the one for me.” But always there was something not quite right about the situation, and he had no peace. In January of 1997 he joined Toronto Baptist Church and immediately became heavily involved in the ministry there. The church was small and struggling – a great place to really serve the Lord because there was so much to be done. He also felt more at peace waiting for God to bring a wife to him.

Around the same time I started to come to peace with my single state. Somehow I believed that at some point God would bring a husband to me and until then I would be content being single. Honestly, for about the six or seven months prior to meeting my future husband I cannot recall having any crying jags where I longed so much for a husband.

The summer of 1997 my youngest sister and I were in the States visiting friends and Mom called us one night. She and Dad had been to visit Toronto Baptist Church (We live on the other side of Toronto and Dad pastors Grace Missionary Baptist Church.) for their Thursday night prayer meeting. She said I would never guess who had been there and was asking about me. When she first said “Hugo Schonhaar” I had no recollection of who this was. We had met once about four years previously. Anyway, when she mentioned his height (6ft. 7in.), I vaguely remembered him. Apparently Hugo had been thinking about me ever since we had first met and was surprised to hear I wasn´t married yet. I was excited because for the first time in years someone was interested in me. Not only that, I had a peace in my heart that this was who I was going to marry.

When I arrived home I begged Dad to go to Toronto Baptist Church for their prayer meeting. We went and, as they say, the rest is history. Hugo went out for supper with us after the service. Ten days later he came to our house for supper. After supper we went for a walk with my mom and sister following along (We believe in chaperones!). Then we sat on our front porch and talked for about three hours. To my complete surprise Hugo asked me to marry him that night. I told him to get Dad´s permission – no problem there.

Less than three months later we were married on November 1, 1997. I´m so thankful I waited for God to bring His choice to me. God´s will is always best. Hugo and I never kissed or held hands until we were married. I could honestly wear white on my wedding day. My dad performed the ceremony. It was wonderful.

 Ten months later God blessed us with our first child – Eva-Joy Ruth born on September 3, 1998. Two months after that Hugo became the pastor of Toronto Baptist Church (The church´s founding pastor is now a missionary to the Jewish people of Toronto.)

I can only praise God for His rich, rich blessings. He has abundantly granted every desire I ever had. Not only am I a wife, but I have the privilege of being a pastor´s wife. My husband loves the Lord and desires to serve Him all the days of his life. As well, he desired for his wife to stay at home with the children. He is highly in favour of homebirth, breastfeeding and home schooling. All of things are dear to my heart.

Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of my life. It, of course, has not always been easy, but it has always been my pleasure. Eva-Joy has been followed by Noah Wilhelm Elden (May 15, 2000), Ezra James (April 12, 2002) and most recently by Elisabeth Georgel (February 24, 2004). We are asking God to bless us with more children as He sees fit.

I know no greater joy than the life God has given me. Often I thank God for allowing me to be a pastor´s wife (even with the inevitable heartaches – being raised in a pastor´s home helped prepare me for the good and the hard parts of being a pastor´s wife) and a stay-at-home mom. I thank Him for giving me a godly husband whose greatest desire is to serve God. And I thank Him for the four beautiful children we have been blessed with. I could go on and on describing God´s blessings on our life, but I will refrain. Suffice it to say that we know the reality of Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

Well, there you have the condensed version of all that God has done for us. I hope you can use it and that it will encourage others to wait and trust God. He never makes mistakes. We just have to be willing to let Him lead.

In Christian love,

Jennifer Schonhaar

Baptist TOP1000 The Christian Counter The Fundamental Top 500