I was born in a Catholic family alongside 6 brothers and sisters. When I was 11 years old a Catholic Brother came to my school, sharing about serving in the ministry. I felt called to serve, so at the age of 13 I left my home and went on a new journey to follow the call to teach and serve the Lord.
The only problem was that I did not know Him. I wanted to do the work to be saved, but I was extremely shy and without confidence. After finishing high school, I continued in the ministry through the novicia (time to study the vows of charity, chastity and obedience). Half way through that year, God told me in an audible voice to leave this call in my life, and so I did.
Very confused, I returned home to seek what was next. I didn’t have much more education than high school. After a short time in a job with no real future, I decided to join the Canadian Armed Forces. I learned English and travelled in the Canadian Navy. My life changed in so many ways. Rigid discipline wasn’t new, the Brothers taught that very well. A new culture and living in a new province exposed me to many new things, including temptations like alcohol, smoking, and drugs…
At that time, I was still seeking to understand who God is, so I started to read all kinds of books on world religions, but I found no answers to my search.
I met my wife while in the navy. Once we were married I decided not to make the navy my career, but to leave and try working elsewhere. Neither of us talked much about God or our beliefs. After being married for eight years and working several different jobs, our son was born. It was then I decided to go back to church (Catholic because that is all I knew). I wanted our son to know about God but I did not sense His presence there.
After several more jobs and moves, I was promoted to a sales position, but unfortunately I did very poorly because I was shy and awkward with people. At that time, I met a man who offered me help with my self assurance and how I could make more money. Our lives changed. It was like going to university for personal growth. That was also where we were introduced to the best news ever, the truth about Jesus and His wonderful grace and salvation.
At that point everything changed in our lives. We had a purpose like never before. We decided to listen to Him and obey Him. We were far from perfect, but we tried our best to follow Him. Every time He spoke to us through His ‘still small voice’ and we obeyed, miracles happened. We obeyed when He called to start a French speaking church in Moncton. Obeyed when He called to serve in the Gideon ministry. Obeyed when He call me to start doing simultaneous translating when I did not know if I could do it. Obeyed when He called us to give beyond our means.
God called me to enter full time ministry with the Gideons and to move to another province. He even called me to go and help in Togo, Africa. After that, He opened doors for me to go and serve in many countries to share the Good News with Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. Countries like Togo, Haiti, Nicaragua, Brazil, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Chile, Zambia, Rwanda, and all over Canada, and the United States.
I am now 69 years old, still serving Him in our local church, overseas, at work, and wherever He calls, because He is worthy of all praises, which is what our lives are all about.
I was never qualified to do all this. I was shy, unassured, and uneducated, but God does not look at who I thought I was. God sees us so much differently. I believe that only God could take someone like me and enable me to do all that He has called me to do. I could have never have even gotten started on my own.
God does not call the qualified, but He equips the one called.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Gaston is a salesperson and has spent many years working with the Gideons organization supplying Bibles and hope to many people around the world.
You can see more people sharing the reason for the hope that they have here: Why Believe?
Pat Landry says
Gaston, it is always a pleasure to spend time with you and Rhonda. We miss having you in our church but wish you both all the best that God gives you. You have such a great heart for the Lord and it shows. Stay safe during this difficult time.
Dalton & Ann says
We meet all sorts of different people in the business world, but you spoke of your faith almost the first time we met. It has been our joy to have known you and we commend you for the service you have given to God and your church. You have done it unselfishly and honorably. I hope we can stay in touch for many years to come. Miss your overnight visits.
P.S. Dalton says you still look pretty good !
Gaston Jolicoeur says
Thank you so much, I really miss you folks. We had so many laughs together and you are so genuine.
Gaston Jolicoeur says
Hi Pat and Len,
Thank you for your lovely words. We miss you both as well as all our brothers and sisters at the Hillside Wesleyan Church.
Al White says
Thank you so much Gaston
Howard,Lynn MacDonald says
Gaston,, I always knew you and Rhonda were followers of Christ , by your quite spirit, and wise words you spoke. God has work for all His children ,if we would only have faith and believe in what He can do threw us. So glad you followed His voice. Take care of your self. Love in Christ.
Tim Harden says
Love reading your story Gaston. So grateful to have known you and to see the evidence of being led by the Spirit during the years that I have known you. You are an encourager and you challenge all your brothers and sisters in Christ to keep saying “Yes,” to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. May God bless you and your family abundantly.
Betty Pickens says
Hello there Gaston….I am honoured to know you, through our Gideons . I can see from your story how God led you to Him …I , too, was a seeker and it took many years for me to accept that God could forgive me, and make me a new person in Christ. He is still with me now in my older years still guiding , answering prayers, and. Gives me the courage to witness to all I come in contact with. Thanks again! To God be the Glory great things He has done!
Betty Pickens. P E I Canada
Byron Sheppard says
Thanks for sharing what The Lord has done for you and through you !
It has been good to know you and Rhonda over the years, especially because of our joint interest in Marc and Esther !!
Only wish we could have visited you more.
May The Lord continue to bless you and use you both !
Byron and Patricia
Gary Clarke says
I have always had a lot of respect for you from the first time I met you through the Gideons of the Central Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter .
I found you to be so Genuine .and. a humble person.
Thankyou for your Testimony and God bless you and your family.
Gideon / Gary Clarke from Botwood
Martin Harder says
Hi Gaston, ever since we met in the Gideon ministry I could sense your love and passion to serve the Saviour!
Thank you for continuing to serve!