Prospective New Members: Jason and Jannelle

Cata Albarracin   -  

Christianity is not a go-at-it-alone pursuit. Living for Jesus Christ in our culture is challenging and we need one another. We might prefer isolation. Yet God has made us for community and relationship with him and each other. Our model of covenant membership is a commitment to building up our church body through love, support, accountability, and shared responsibility. 

Please read the testimony of Jason and Janelle. Take some time to get to know them over the next couple of weeks.

If you are curious about what it means to partner with Knollwood in Church Membership or just want to learn more about it, consider signing up for our upcoming Next Steps Class.

Jason Martin

My name is Jason Martin. I grew up going to church my whole life. I grew up hearing all kinds of bible stories and being taught about Jesus Christ all through Sunday school. I never personalized the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until my late teenage years. My parents had become separated and subsequently divorced when I was 16. This caused me to look deeper at my life and question all things of church and religion. I realized that all these years prior, I had been living a faith vicariously through my parents and trying to live a good life. My Christian parents getting divorced shook my life and caused me to seek who and what Jesus is to me. I remember attending a youth service one evening and hearing a call to salvation, I raised my hand and went and prayed with a youth leader. I prayed that the Lord Jesus Christ would forgive me of my sinful life and declare me righteous before God. I distinctly remember him starting to laugh and saying to me, “Jesus is laughing right now, He is so happy that you are His child!” That moment was forever engrained in my heart and memory. From that day on I desired to follow and serve Jesus Christ with my life. Through reading His word and prayer, I have learned over the years that God is sovereign and He directs my life and path, regardless of my failures and humanness.



Jannelle Martin

I’m thankful to have grown up in a Christian family with godly heritage from both sides and can remember asking Jesus into my heart on a random Sunday morning in Sunday School when I was about four or five. I was the firstborn in my family with four younger siblings and was the stereotypical rule-follower and good kid. When I was seven, my five and a half year old brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. I watched as the paramedics tried to do what they could to save him in our living room and then load him into an ambulance, but he never came home. We also moved a lot when I was growing up, from the Hamilton area, to the London area, to a little island in BC, and back to the Hamilton area. Aside from our first house, we never really stayed in a place longer than a year or two. I had very low self-esteem in my early years and encountered a few bullies who definitely didn’t help. They seemed to be in every place we moved so I figured there was something about me that was no good for anybody. Anxiety, anger and frustration began to build up in me as I looked for validation from others, but was continually let down. When we moved back to the Hamilton area in the summer before my Grade 12 year, my siblings and I started at new Christian schools. A few weeks into the school year, one of my other brothers got really sick and was in the hospital for several weeks while my mom spent time with him nearly 24/7. My dad was self-employed and continued with his construction job. I was still adjusting to a new school and life in a new house/city/province and felt very unseen in those days, except for my accounting teacher who always greeted his students at the door. He would regularly ask me how my brother was doing. Then one day during our class, that teacher collapsed and I was still present in the room when paramedics rushed in to try and resuscitate him. My family received a call later that evening that he had died. I didn’t know it at the time, but that triggered something deep inside of me. All of my anxiety, anger and frustration grew with my family being the only witnesses of it for months on end with rage welling up in me at every little thing. I didn’t know how to deal with everything that was going on inside of me. To everyone else outside of my family, though, I carried on appearances of being the good girl. One day, during another one of our near-daily sparring matches, my mom asked me if I wanted my siblings to grow up remembering me screaming and yelling all the time. I didn’t. Relationships with my siblings at that point were non-existent. So that night, as I lay in my bed, I cried and asked God to help me with my anger because I wanted to have healthy relationships with my family. He answered immediately. The love and validation I felt from him in that moment was overwhelming and the change in behaviour was noticed by my family right away. A few months later, I was baptized. At that point, it was the scariest thing I had ever done, but I realized that if it was just fear keeping me from doing it, it wasn’t a good enough reason. Since then, 2 Corinthians 12:9 has been my go-to: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Since then, life has still had its ups and downs, but the longer I live, the more I can see that God’s hand was and is at work, weaving together the good with the bad. Through it all, he has been there and proven himself to be faithful, even in situations that seemed hopeless. It took me decades to realize I had a lot of unprocessed grief and hurt that needed to be worked out. The Lord provided people and books and Scriptures and experiences that were all so perfectly timed to minister to my broken soul so the pieces could be mended and made new. I’m thankful I’m not the anxious, fearful, angry, hopeless person I once was, even if the old me still creeps up sometimes. Jesus has shown me that he sees me and cares about every detail of my life. I’m on that continual journey to wholeness in Christ and I’m grateful for where he has brought me today.