This testimony was written in November, 2021, shortly before Dave was scheduled to undergo his third surgery for a brain tumour.
My name is David Gordon Slaney. I was born on September 6, 1968, in Peterborough, Ontario. My journey to the Lord took many years. To start with, I was adopted twice. I was abused and neglected by the first set of parents but was then adopted by a good and caring family. I was baptized at age 8 in the United Church in Acton. I ended up being confused after my adoptive parents started taking in more foster kids. Over ten years there were thirty kids who came through the door! I now understand that my parents were just being selfless and wanted to help as many kids as possible. I was the first one to be adopted. At age 12 or 13, my confusion led me to start running away. My dad would pick me up wherever I ended up, but that didn’t stop me from running. I got farther away each time and eventually spent a few years on the streets of Toronto doing terrible things. I ended up marrying a girl because I got her pregnant, only to divorce her a year later.
I believe my life changed when God introduced me to my wife Yvonne. That’s when I started working for a living instead of being involved in crime. That’s also when she showed me the Bible and I started learning about Jesus Christ, how He died on the cross for all our sins! Since that time, I developed a big brain tumor the size of a small grapefruit and had two surgeries without real success. But after receiving radiation therapy I survived, by the grace of God. I have grown to love and follow the LORD. I’m so thankful that He held my hand through all of this. In fact, I don’t think I would have made it through without Him in my life. I have learned to trust Him for all my needs. We had no income for the first year after my first surgery!
I’m so grateful for my church family. They took care of me and my family. My life has been completely changed. I pray and read my Bible every day. I regularly attend Bible studies and I especially learned a lot from Christianity Explored.
It’s like I was adopted a third time by Jesus Christ! I’m not saying it’s all easy now because it’s a lot of work to serve the Lord! It means giving up everything, changing all the things that were bad in your life and starting over. Since then, my life has gotten much better. I try to walk the long and narrow road instead of the easy road, which I did for the better part of my journey!
I know that over the years I have done or said things to certain families that I shouldn’t have and I’m truly sorry for saying them. I wish I could tell them that I didn’t mean what I said, because at the time I was confused. My brain took about a year and a half to get back to normal. I didn’t always know what to say, so I said what I said and regret saying it.
My hope is that my church family will grow to love me for who I am, not what I was, namely a thief, cheat, and a bully. I have made some great friends in our church community and am forever grateful for that. I realized that nothing is impossible with God. He is in complete control of my life!
Facing a third surgery is concerning and a bit scary for me, but I am comforted in my faith and am ready to spend eternity with Him. Not that I’m giving up, because I know that He can change my outcome in a split second and that would only make me a stronger Christian!! I want everyone to know how much I love them and how grateful I am for everything. It means a lot to me knowing that there are people praying for me daily. Without those prayers, who knows what would have happened….
My hope and prayer are that someone with troubles will read this and realize that the only way through this constant death is to give up everything and follow Jesus Christ!
P.S. This is my favorite poem. I believe that throughout my life God has been holding my hand, preparing me for what is to come.
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Footnote by Arie den Hollander:
Dave’s life is an amazing picture of God’s renewing work in the hearts of his children. On Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, in God’s time, Dave entered his eternal rest. Because of God’s grace, I am convinced that Dave was welcomed into heaven with these words: “Welcome, David Gordon Slaney. You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” To God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be all glory and praise!