Join us for the annual Commissioning and Ordination as we celebrate the commissioning of this year’s Cadets as they are ordained as new Lieutenants!
Training college has been a life-changing experience, and while there have been challenging times, God has shown his faithfulness to me day after day. One of my most meaningful experiences was at the Centre of Hope in Winnipeg. During a conversation with a young woman after a service, I asked if I could pray for her and she said yes. Several months later, we went back and this woman told me that God had answered our prayers from that night and her situation was rapidly improving. Before coming to CFOT, I wasn’t sure what it meant to be a Messenger of the Kingdom. Now, I know it means telling the world that Jesus has come, and he came to redeem and restore the brokenness of our world.
Ever since I was a young girl I knew that I was called to be a Salvation Army officer—even before I knew what a calling was. I would even call myself “the little captain.” As I grew up, I considered other professions, but eventually reached a point where the only thing I could see myself doing was becoming an officer and I knew I had to answer the call on my life. My dream for The Salvation Army is that we would continue to grow in integrated mission, sharing the good news and making connections with everyone in our communities.
While at training college, we spent our summer assignment at Cariboo Hill Temple in Burnaby, B.C. During that time, we were privileged to accompany a group of children from a local elementary school to the Army’s Camp Sunrise. These children brought their own life experiences, difficulties and challenges, yet we were able to walk with them as they heard the gospel—some of them, for the first time! As I reflect on what it means to be a Messenger of the Kingdom, I think of Matthew 5 and I am reminded that God’s kingdom is for the meek, the hungry, the merciful, the overlooked. God invites us, and has invited me, to build that kingdom by proclaiming the good news of Jesus.
We spent our summer assignment serving at the Army’s Scotian Glen Camp, N.S., and over the course of the summer, I had the honour of witnessing more than 300 young people accept the gift of salvation—including my own two children. This showed me that God is working in a real and powerful way through The Salvation Army’s camping ministries. Through my experiences at CFOT, I have learned that God has called me for a purpose and he’ll use me if I let him. It’s OK that I don’t know what the future holds because he does, and I can do this only through the power and strength that he provides.
My time at CFOT has been a season of significant growth for me—I am not the same person who arrived in Winnipeg in 2018, and that’s a good thing! My mind has been shaped, my understanding and appreciation of who God made me to be has been refined, and, most importantly, I’m now excited to live out my sessional name. Though my session officially holds the title, every person in our territory is a Messenger of the Kingdom. My dream is that we would all identify ourselves as such so that the Good News might be proclaimed with boldness and excitement as God’s kingdom continues to be built here on earth.
One of the most meaningful experiences I had while attending training college was watching my wife, Susan, lead a Sunday meeting during our summer assignment in Botwood, N.L. It was a slow-motion moment where my heart was filled with joy and thanksgiving for the opportunity God has given us to be in ministry together for him. CFOT has been an experience of rediscovering God’s grace and reaffirming his calling on my life. I am confident that he desires for me to be here and that is reassuring. As his child, my eternity with him has begun. To be able to share in that with other believers, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit in sharing the gospel, is the highest privilege and joy of my life.
For me, being a Messenger of the Kingdom means that I have a responsibility to ensure that all of God’s children have a safe place to land and explore their faith. I have a responsibility to not only welcome all people, but also love and serve them as Jesus would. My dream for The Salvation Army is that we would be mobilized to go and serve in our neighbourhoods and the world, as best as we possibly can, emulating our Father. I dream of a Salvation Army that is not only a tangible expression of Jesus’ love, but is also organized in a way that enables people to serve and lead using their God-given giftings.
I’m a third-generation Salvationist, so officership was always on the radar. But I never considered myself the ideal candidate. I assumed my introversion and a long struggle with depression automatically disqualified me. God has a sense of humour, however. A couple of years after I basically dared God to make me an officer, I found myself standing on the steps of CFOT, equipped with little but a profound sense of calling and gratitude. Training college has rarely been easy, but the Holy Spirit has taught me vital lessons through every experience. To me, being a Messenger of the Kingdom means faithful allegiance and service to my king, Jesus Christ, and the privilege of telling other people about him.
For the past year, I have been appointed as a field-based cadet in Brandon, Man., and I have learned a lot from the experience. There is only so much you can learn in the classroom—it is out in the thick of things where you really learn about the Army and its mission. During this time, I have seen God do amazing things. He is a God who is not only involved in the big things, but also in the little things. My hope for The Salvation Army is that we will never lose our mission and focus on God. There will be pressure from society to move away from biblical truth, but we must remain faithful to God if we are going to serve him and others.
In 2017, I attended a leadership conference with the goal of getting help as a worship leader. During the weekend, however, God spoke to me through one of his faithful servants—as the person prayed with me, I saw myself preaching, teaching and praying alongside my wife, April. As it turned out, she was feeling the same thing and here we are, about to be commissioned. My vision for The Salvation Army is that we would rely on Jesus for our strength. We are being pointed back to the Holy Spirit, to real prayer and discipleship, to having faith. The future of our movement depends on how well its people trust in God.
My parents were officers, so people often asked me when I was going to training college, but I never felt called. It wasn’t until I was married with two children that I started to feel the call to officership. The call kept getting stronger until I knew that I would never be at peace until I said yes. Over the past two years, it has been wonderful to learn about the kingdom of God through my Booth University College classes. This experience has helped me appreciate that I have been called to give my life in full-time ministry, to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to live my life in a way that shows the kingdom of God to others.
I first felt called at the age of 13 when my youth pastor told me that God wanted me to be an officer and prayed over me at the altar. Since then, God has used people, sermons and music to call me to training college. CFOT has been a wonderful and difficult experience. God has helped me to see myself more clearly, which is helping me to be a better leader and pastor. My prayer for The Salvation Army is that we would get outside our homes and churches and share Jesus with our neighbours. Whether that means taking to the streets, having coffee with a friend, doing an open-air service, or something else—it doesn’t matter as long as we share Jesus with the world.
My calling to Officership came at the same time as my call to repentance. I was six years old and a group of Salvationists were outside my building, conducting an open-air service. The bass drum player yelled to the people, “Who wants a friend who will never leave you?” and I yelled back “I do!” The man took off his drum and put it in the middle of the circle where I knelt and gave my heart to the Lord. When I got up from my knees, I felt God telling me that I was going to be one of those people one day. Forty plus years later, I finally find myself here—surrendered, with Jesus alive in me. I am humbled, emboldened and excited to see God at work all around me every day.
God called me into full-time ministry while I was at school studying music. He gave me a clear vision of a life that was bigger and greater than what I had planned for myself. Being a Salvation Army officer means that I can make an impact on the lives of people in the way that officers have impacted my life. My time at training college has caused me to question everything, in the best way possible. It has expanded my knowledge and solidified my understanding of who God has created me to be. For me, to be a Messenger of the Kingdom is to be a bringer of hope. The kingdom of God brings redemption and restoration to the world, and as an officer, I will be privileged to bring hope to the communities that I serve.