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Our Lives Were in Ruin
Alcohol, drugs, affairs and a losing business! It couldn’t be worse. In ten Alpha course classes, God changed it all.

Five years ago our lives where in ruin. Mark worked in Alberta, had become involved with drugs and alcohol and was having affairs.

Mark and Debbie Ulinder

I was here in Kamloops, British Columbia, with the kids and trying to run a losing business on my own. I had started drinking to "help with the stress."

Following a Christmas Eve service we were given a pamphlet on our way out. It was about an Alpha course. I said I was coming and Mark said he guessed he'd come along. At this point we barely spoke to each other.

We both came to Christ through that Alpha course five years ago. On the Holy Spirit weekend God touched us both in an amazing way and changed our lives completely! With the help of the amazing family we found here, God healed our pain, our marriage, and our finances.

Our son Brad was 14 at the time, and he also came to know the Lord just after we did. He connected with the youth pastor and became involved with the youth group. The three of us were baptized together.

Brad brought nine other boys from his Jr. Football team at the high school to the Youth Alpha course. All of them came to faith in Christ. The team began to pray before games and practices, and even on the bus. The coaches and other boys prayed along, and for the first time in years they won enough games to be in the final.

They lost by one touchdown, but it was an amazing game and was a huge turning point for the school in terms of support from parents and other classmates. They all believe it was prayer and God that took them through the year. It was so great to see all these big, tough boys with little God stickers on their helmets!

Over the past five years God has led us both to new, exciting jobs, and continued to repair all the damage we had caused in the past. Two years ago we were asked to take over the Alpha course here at Gateway City Church in Kamloops. As Alpha course administrators it has been a wonderful journey to share with so many others as they awaken and begin new lives with Jesus. We are always in awe of our Father and his grace and knowledge.

We have had three weddings in our Alpha program. Doug and Denyse were living together. God touched them and they gave their hearts to the Lord. He began to repair every part of their lives and soon they knew they had to get married. They are now very active members of our church family. Steve and Tracy came through the Alpha course and God touched them very deeply even before the Holy Spirit Weekend. That weekend changed them forever! God has healed and allowed lot them both. Only a month later Steve proposed during a Sunday morning service, and they were married here with the Alpha team!

We are a very small church – about 140 people on an average Sunday morning. It is amazing to see God work such miracles thru one program. Our team has come entirely from Alpha and has been to nearly a dozen Alpha seminars over the past eight or so years. The stories from everyone are amazing. God is so good.

Mark and Debbie are Alpha course administrators at Gateway City Church in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Originally published in Alpha News, Spring 2007.




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