FAITH IN ACTIONâ€‚ 01 DECEMBER 2018 | Issue 6706 | $1.50
94-year-old Salvationist Parachutes for Abolition of Slavery!
ROMANCE SCAMS AND SALVATION Most Misinterpreted Bible Verses
The Silenced Christians of Japan Surviving the Bad Years of Marriage Crazy Kids' Advent Challenge!
WAR CRY The Salvation Army
New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory TERRITORIAL LEADERS Commissioners Andy & Yvonne Westrupp | GENERAL Brian Peddle | FOUNDERS William
& Catherine Booth
The Salvation Army’s message is based on the Bible. Our ministry is motivated by love for God. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human need in his name without discrimination. War Cry exists to support and advance The Salvation Army’s message, ministry and mission. MANAGING EDITOR Ingrid Barratt | GRAPHIC DESIGN Sam Coates, Lauren Millington | STAFF WRITERS Hugh Collins, Major Shar Davis, Robin Raymond | PROOF READING Major Jill Gainsford, Vivienne Hill | COVER PHOTO Bruce Millar OFFICE Territorial Headquarters, 204 Cuba Street, PO Box
6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6141, Phone (04) 384 5649, Fax (04) 382 0716, Email email@example.com, www.salvationarmy.org.nz/warcry SUBSCRIPTIONS Salvationist Resources Department, Phone
(04) 382 0768, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, $75 per year within NZ PRINT MANAGEMENT www.makeready.nz | PAPER Sumo Offset
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How long, Oh Lord? This week we enter Advent, the time of waiting and wondering. I once heard someone say that in every Christian’s life, they will echo the words of the Psalmist, ‘How long, oh Lord?’ It speaks of a spiritual ache—a longing for things to be restored and made right. It speaks of those dark, silent times when we are living with unanswered prayer. The atheist—like the Teacher in Ecclesiastes 1:2—can throw up their hands and say, ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’ But the person of faith struggles blindly to find God in the spiritual fog: How long, oh Lord? There have been times in my life when, in the midst of despair, I envisioned my prayers as a treasured string of pearls. But the string had broken—the pearls fallen through my fingers, scattering on the floor. I felt like I was scrambling round on the ground, utterly defeated. I still don’t understand the ‘why’ of these dark times. I don’t exactly know how I grew or what I learnt. The greatest thing I took away from this season was a deeper awareness of my own fragility—a keener sense of my dependence on God. Yet, I am no longer in that place. As Jeremiah 29:11 says, God has good things in store. I enjoyed pondering this equally loved and maligned verse again this week (see p.20)—we live in exile from our promised land, but we are not forgotten. We settle into this season of waiting, knowing God's Greatest Gift is soon to come. Ingrid Barratt Editor
Member of the Australasian Religious Press Association. All Bible references from the Holy Bible, New International Version, unless otherwise stated. Articles are copyrighted to The Salvation Army, except where indicated, and may be reprinted only with permission. Publishing for 135 years | Issue 6706 ISSN 0043-0242 (print), ISSN 2537-7442 (online) Please pass on or recycle this magazine Read online www.issuu.com/salvationarmynzftwarcry
www.salvationarmy.org.nz SalvationArmyNZFTS @SalvationArmyNZ salvationarmynzfts
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I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us. Anne Lamott
Psalm 13:5–6 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Ngā Waiata 13:5–6 Ko ahau ia e whakawhirinaki ana ki tāu mahi tohu: ka whakamanamana tōku ngākau ki tāu whakaoranga. Ka waiata ahau ki a Ihowā, mōna i atawhai mai ki ahau.
ll I want for Christmas is … to not feel alone,’ says an elderly woman, as part of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal. Loneliness in our culture has been called an epidemic. I was recently at my local mall and struck up a conversation with a woman—she said that she comes to the mall most days and wanders around looking for someone to talk to. ‘I often chat to the elderly people here, and it’s the only conversation we have all day,’ she reflected. In the news, you’ll no doubt have read about ‘sweetheart scams’—where someone on the other side of the world strikes up an internet romance, eventually duping the victim out of thousands of dollars. An elderly man in Auckland lost $100,000, while a female pensioner was scammed out of nearly $567,000. Over $13 million is lost each year in New Zealand from these types of scams, according to Age Concern—who warn their members about the dangers. These scams are sophisticated and often happen over months of grooming. Elderly people are the most vulnerable, simply because they are some of the loneliest in our society—they may have lost their work community at retirement, their partner may have died, and they may not have regular contact with family. ‘People out there are desperate for community, they want what we have in the church, even if they don’t want to come to church,’ says Caroline Jewkes, who wrote her Masters thesis on friendship. She urges the Army to reimagine our mission through the lens of friendship—focusing on relationships, rather than programmes, as central to our services. Friendship is a deeply biblical concept. ‘I no longer call you servants … instead I have called
you friends,’ says John 15:15. Just as Christ has called us into friendship with him, so we are called to reflect Christ through this same act of friendship. But this is not friendship as we know it—it’s not a private relationship between two people who like each other. ‘[Spiritual] friendship is an active choice to love, enacted in freedom but entailing an ongoing commitment,’ explains Caroline. ‘Set in the context of the body of Christ, friendship is a communal practice rather than a series of individual relationships. ‘It is not sufficient to measure the number of people through the doors if those people are not being connected to meaningful relationship.’ Friendship is not a tool for mission, it is the mission, asserts Caroline. Sacrificial friendship is a powerful antidote to the loneliness and isolation that pervades our culture. ‘Acts of friendship are an enactment of salvation,’ she says. This relationship of love is a deep part of The Salvation Army’s heritage—we have always reached out to the most vulnerable in our society. This Advent season, we will be giving away food parcels and gifts, offering practical help to those that need it and providing Christmas Day feasts around the country. But we are providing much more than a service, we are providing friendship to a love-starved world. We are offering community in a culture of isolation. It’s not overstating it to say that these simple values could change our world—just as God intended on that first Christmas Day. Donate to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal at salvationarmy.org.nz/christmasappeal BY INGRID BARRATT
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1 Peter Jackson's latest film Mortal Engines is based on a book series by which author?
I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse. Philip Yancey
2 Faiao'o Faamausili has just retired as captain of what New Zealand sports team? 3 The silktail bird is only found in what Pacific nation? 4 What is the only animal that does cubed shaped poo? 5 Where did Jesus first miracle take place? Answers on page 22
Thai-Style Stir Fry This stir-fry combines peanut butter, lime and prawns for a delicious, yet light meal that can be prepared in no time. 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion 1 clove garlic 2 Tbsp fish sauce ½ cup broccoli 200g prawns
Heat the oil in a wok, then add the sliced onion and cook for 2–3 minutes at a medium to high heat. Add the crushed garlic, fish sauce and broccoli florets and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the prawns and snow peas and stir-fry for a further two minutes.
400g dried flat rice noodles, cooked according to packet
Add the rice stick noodles and spring onion and toss everything together. Cook for 1 minute before adding the crunchy peanut butter, lime juice and rind of one lime.
3 spring onions
Serve with wedges of lime.
125g snow peas
2 Tbsp peanut butter
Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hutson (War Cry contributor) Ian Hutson describes himself as ‘a coward who loves life on the edge—not a good combination. This makes for a life of excitement … and terror!’ His hobbies include tramping in New Zealand and in the Himalayas (twice avoiding the need for helicopter rescues) and riding motorbikes without falling off. He is about to complete 35 years as an officer—a survivors’ course if ever there was one. Ian has journeyed with Mongrel Mob families, parlayed with politicians, shared with people the joy and pain of the recovery journey, wrestled with painful and contested matters of life and faith, and been nurtured by God and his Salvation Army faith family. He has been married to Lynette, his Wāhine Toa, for 45 years and has four children and grandchildren. Whānau: the most fulfilling and anxiety inducing aspect of life! God is good. 4 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
1 lime Source bite.co.nz
Documentary They Shall Not Grow Old (RP16, graphic content may disturb) Peter Jackson
This stunning documentary from our very own Peter Jackson is a haunting and unprecedented examination of the true horrors of World War I. The Kiwi filmmaking mastermind has colourised and restored original wartime footage to the point you have to remind yourself you’re not watching actors on a film set. Presented from the voices of British soldiers, the 99 minute doco explores the brutal and shocking realities of ‘The Great War’. Taking you deep into the rat and disease infested life of trench warfare, this is not a film that leaves you with romantic ideals about conflict. They Shall Not Grow Old is as harrowing as it is humbling. Lest we forget. (Reviewed by Hugh Collins)
TOPFIVE Do you remember these one hit wonders? 1 Los Del Rio: Macarena—We can all dance to this tune, but did Los Del Rio even have any other tracks? 2 Europe: The Final Countdown— Who doesn’t love that iconic synth melody? 3 The Baha Men: Who Let the Dogs Out?—I think we’re still unsure exactly who let the dogs out. 4 W heatus: Teenage Dirt Bag—“I’ve got two tickets to Iron Maiden baby.” 5 Dead or Alive: You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)—Love it or hate it, this one is seriously catchy.
Weird of the Week: There are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in New Zealand.
94-year-old Skydives for Sallies A Salvation Army Commissioner has proved age is no obstacle when it comes to throwing yourself out of an aeroplane. In September, 94-year-old World War II veteran Commissioner Harry Read, from the UK, jumped from 10,000 feet to raise money for the Salvation Army’s anti-trafficking and slavery work. The lifelong Salvation Army member was part of a Parachute Brigade which landed in France in the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. ‘On that morning at 00.50 hours, I parachuted into Normandy and 30 seconds later I was on the ground,’ he told Sky News in the UK. ‘It was a very different experience to the one I just had,’ he said, in reference to his recent jump. ‘This was my first high-level skydive and whilst I was a little nervous I have always enjoyed the thrill of parachuting.’ Harry decided to complete the jump after a recent visit to the World War II battlefields earlier in the year. So far he has raised more than £4,000 ($7500 NZD) and is planning to jump again in Normandy next year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. ‘It was amazing to experience the freefall, and then cruising down was simply beautiful. ‘I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this at my age.’ There is a Kiwi connection to Commissioner Harry, as he was the training principal at the International Training College in London when Colonels Melvin and Suzanne Fincham were cadets. For his part in D-Day, Commissioner Harry was awarded France’s highest honour, the Chevalier, by order of the Legion d’Honneur.
In 1958, War Cry claimed that Dunkirk had been ‘recaptured’—for Christ! In 1889, The Salvation Army had hired a small hall and went to work in Dunkirk, France. Although winning hearts and some converts, the Army was unable to establish themselves in the town. Almost sixty years later, though, the Army reopened a corps in the city, hoping to spread their message and aid the residents of Dunkirk. ‘It is hoped that not only will the residents of Dunkirk profit by the activities of the new corps, but that many a sailor on shore leave will listen to the Gospel message,’ reported the War Cry. Source: Booth College of Mission Heritage and Archives Centre
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Petra Zaleski may look like the picture-perfect vicar, but she has been on of a journey that took her to dark places. Finding herself at The Salvation Army’s drug and alcohol addiction Bridge programme, Petra disovered God and her true calling. BY LIEUTENANT-COLONEL IAN HUTSON
f you met Petra Zaleski for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking she was the archetypal vicar—with her cultured English accent, gracious mannerisms and vicar’s collar. But I first met Petra when she entered the Bridge drug and alcohol addiction programme as a client. I was appointed to the Bridge at the time, and was able to witness her remarkable journey of redemption. I catch up with Petra at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Ōnehunga, where she now serves. It’s a beautiful stone ediface steeped in tradition. But there is nothing traditional about its vicar. Petra was born in England, but her stepfather’s work meant that her early life involved significant travel and dislocation. The first move was to Iran for a year, leaving at the age of three years old, during the disturbed period that culminated in the 1979 revolution. The family briefly moved back to England and then to Indonesia, when Petra was around five years old. When she was eight, she was sent to boarding school in England while her parents remained in Indonesia. It was during this period of her life, back in England, that Petra began experimenting with alcohol. She describes the time visiting an aunt’s place, finding alcohol in the house and then ‘playing ladies’ with a friend—dressing up and drinking alcohol, attempting to act in a sophisticated manner. It started as play-acting, but Petra soon discovered that alcohol enabled her to escape into a ‘kind of fantasy world’. When Petra was 14, she and her family moved to Wellington. She got a part-time job and was able to access more alcohol, begin smoking tobacco, and attending gigs. ‘Fueling up on a bottle of chardon or cheap wine before going to a gig would enable me to enter the romantic and entrancing fantasy that parties held in my mind,’ she recalls. The drinking was paradoxical: ‘It gave me a sense of power, something I felt severely lacking in, but, at the same time, it came with a complete absence of compassion for myself.’ The party scene was a blur—Petra says she frequently experienced sexual assault—‘not that I could have fully understood or articulated it as such at the time.’ It created what would become a tortured relationship with men.
Two worlds Petra says she always had some kind of faith or understanding of God’s presence. Along the way she had spiritual encounters. One was a charismatic and supernatural spiritual experience involving the Holy Spirit. But this, like 01 DECEMBER 2018 WarCry 7
other early experiences, didn’t break the cycle—even though it helped cement a conviction that God was real. ‘My image of God was of an older male,’ she says, ‘And the destructive relationships I’d had with men, made the concept of God problematic for me.’ Instead, as life continued, Petra lived in two separate worlds. At St Mary’s school in Wellington, she was a virtuous student. ‘I had discovered something I could feel good about—my singing. It was a gift I had, a way to express myself and something to be proud of,’ she says. She was able to keep up the ‘clean-cut’ image at school, or on Sundays at church, but it was a world away from the drinking and abusive men she was involved with in the party scene. ‘I seemed attracted to emotionally unavailable men. I was physically present in relationships but with a complete absence of intimacy—it was a dirty and grubby world,’ she reflects. This dissonance and the associated self-harming provided the shadow in starkly contrasting worlds. ‘It just felt so spiritually degrading, when on Sundays I was singing in church,’ she says. Petra’s parents left New Zealand when she was 17 years old. She wanted to follow her dream of singing and did an audition for a performance voice course, but was told she was too young. Instead, the money her parents gave her to complete the course, and the government-funded student allowance, all went on alcohol and parties. Because of her behaviour, Petra was asked to leave the house owned by the people her parents had left her with. The next few years were a mix of homelessness and genuine attempts at a re-start. But her ‘intense shame’ kept her from entering the doors of church. This pattern continued for some years, although there were periods of relative calm when Petra managed to get work. There was a relatively stable relationship with her first husband—for a while, at least. ‘I even managed to control my drinking when I got pregnant with my daughter Natasha. I more or less kept to what I understood to be the then-accepted safe standard number of drinks of alcohol a pregnant woman might consume—no more than one or two glasses of wine a day,’ says Petra. (The advice now is that even one drink of alcohol is potentially unsafe). Thankfully, Natasha was born in perfect health. However, as much as Petra tried, her drinking always came back. Consistent with her past, her fraught relationships with men continued. She separated with her first husband, got back together with him, and then separated again. 8 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
Spiralling downwards Petra moved to Sydney, Australia, where she was drawn back into the party world. After a few years, her life had spiraled downhill to the extent that she had to be rescued by her step father—who paid for Petra and her daughter Natasha to come back to New Zealand. She relocated to Auckland, where her parents now lived. The shame Petra feels is palpable, as she explains how her daughter was exposed to her choices: ‘I was driving Natasha around while being extremely drunk, along with other equally irresponsible and dangerous things,’ admits Petra. Somehow, Petra managed to get sober and was even able to hold down a job. But, in 2003, she had a complete breakdown. ‘I just shut down,’ she says simply. ‘I just wanted to die.’
‘FOR SO MUCH OF MY LIFE I THOUGHT I COULD CONTROL THINGS. BUT BROKEN AS I WAS, I NOW KNEW FOR SURE THAT I COULDN’T.’ Crossing the bridge Petra had heard about, and occasionally even attended, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. But this time someone recommended that she ‘do a rehab’. Petra had hit her ‘rock bottom’. She contacted The Salvation Army’s Bridge Programme in Auckland, seeking treatment for her addiction. ‘My pleas were so heart-rending that a staff member fast tracked me into treatment,’ recalls Petra. ‘For so much of my life I thought I could control things. But broken as I was, I now knew for sure that I couldn’t.’ Petra speaks highly of the Salvation Army officers who served at the Bridge. ‘They were non-judgemental and treated me with such respect. My past had not followed me into this place,’ she recalls. Petra’s experiences in Recovery Church, and her quiet times in the chapel where there was a rustic and rugged old cross, helped her reassess her concept of God. ‘I had to let go of everything I thought I knew about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit,’ says Petra. ‘What I thought I knew had been messing with my head!’
‘I SEE THAT GOD IS DOING SOMETHING DEEP AND NEW IN MY LIFE WHERE ONCE THERE WAS ONLY A SHALLOW FACADE.’ The programme enabled Petra to begin her journey of recovery and engage with God in a whole new way. After she completed the addiction programme, people from Recovery Church supported her to keep going along to the weekly meetings. Sometime after completing the programme, Petra’s mother —who was enrolled in a theological degree course—suggested it might be the time for Petra to consider doing something. So, with a growing spiritual awareness and her mother’s encouragement, Petra enrolled as well: ‘I had the incredible experience of studying theology at university together with my mother.’ Petra studied at St Johns Theological College in Auckland, while worshipping at the local Anglican congregation. She found that she ‘had a brain for academic study’, and it helped her spiritual development. In her third year of study, Petra made a surprising discovery: ‘I felt God calling me to the other side of the altar, as a priest,’ she says.
Relapse is part of recovery But during this time, Petra also discovered that a lifetime of destructive habits can’t be magically wiped away. The redemptive journey is hard. As they say in addiction treatment circles: ‘relapse is part of recovery’. ‘While I was still studying I relapsed and separated from my second husband, who I had married while attending the College,’ recalls Petra. Despite her world collapsing around her, Petra somehow managed to keep up appearances and got incredibly close to being ordained as an Anglican minister. ‘But I had developed my spirituality enough to realise I could no longer live the lie,’ she adds. At the risk of losing everything she had been working towards, Petra came clean and told her leaders the real situation. This was an important turning point. Throughout Petra’s past, she had always tried to manage the two contrasting worlds she lived within. Not any more. ‘My sobriety had to come first—for my sake and for the sake of my children,’ she says (Petra now had another child). She pro-actively faced her deception and the sense of humiliation that accompanies this kind of confession. ‘I made sure everyone knew.’
The church supported her and in no way cast her aside— albeit that ordination was no longer an option, at least not in the short term. She underwent further addiction treatment and attended addiction support groups, as well as doing addiction studies. ‘In a sense I saw myself as needing to completely deconstruct that false self I had become,’ says Petra. ‘I acknowledged the deep sense of anxiety that pervaded my life ... it still surfaces from time to time but I have learned how to deal with it now.’
Celebrating the journey This hard journey is something she now celebrates. ‘It is so different from the quick fixes I so often resorted to in the past. I see that God is doing something deep and new in my life where once there was only a shallow facade,’ say Petra. ‘My faith has come alive in a new way. It’s not about outcomes or results. God is in the now.’ Scripture verses, like the following, have real meaning for Petra now: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,’ (2 Cor 12:9); ‘Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you,’ (1 Peter 5:7). After nearly seven years of sobriety, Petra has gone through the process and path the Anglican Church set for her, and has been ordained as the vicar of the church in Ōnehunga. ‘I can now see that I am in God in the present moment and that God is in the “other”. We don’t exist without each other.’ She clearly cares for the homeless that sleep on or around the grounds of the church, as well as the parishioners she ministers to. Yet, Petra says that she is still surprised by the role she has found herself in. In contrast to the lost girl caught up in a false and double world, Petra is today growing in grace, daily living in Christ and walking humbly with her God. She knows who she is in God, and God’s power once more being made perfect in weakness. From the Bridge programme to the Anglican church, Petra is an authentic witness to the Church and her community.
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Getting Through the Bad Years of Marriage Marriage is not about ‘living happily ever after’, it’s about ‘living authentically ever after’, says counsellor Mary Jo Rapini. When a couple is getting ready to head down the aisle, they are so in love that they cannot believe their marriage will face troubled times, says Rapini, but ‘we should teach couples that although the bad years will be rough, they will also provide growth and deeper understanding and commitment’. ‘The couple who tells me with a straight face, “We need to divorce because we no longer are in love”, but admit to loving one another, boggles my mind. What does that even mean?’ asserts Rapini. Romantic love plays an important role in marriage—particularly during the ‘honeymoon phase’ where we project our hopes and dreams on our partner. This helps us bond and prepares us for commitment. But this is just the beginning of a life-long journey. If we think being ‘in love’ is the end goal, we will be dissatisfied when we begin to see our partner as they really are, and discover they can’t save us from frustration and heartbreak. At times, they may even be the source of hurt. But this does not mean that your marriage is over. Rapini provides some helpful tips to get you through the tough months, or even years: • Talk to your partner more than you talk to a friend. When you talk, say one sentence to your partner’s three. Usually there is a lot of talking to during a bad period of marriage, but less talking with.
‘ … THE BAD YEARS WILL BE ROUGH, THEY WILL ALSO PROVIDE GROWTH AND DEEPER UNDERSTANDING.’
• Even if you cannot have sex with your partner, touch them, or hold their hand when possible. Try not to sleep in separate beds for extended periods.
• People have to grieve things differently. Your spouse may want to bury a problem, but you may still feel it very deeply. Allow one another the space to work through the problem in their own way.
• Write to one another. Most people can write what they feel easier than they can say it.
• Remind yourself that you took a vow—this has helped more couples than I can count. In the end it is the commitment that will get you through the long, tough times.
• Begin talking about your memories of your first dates. Take a break from talking about your problems. • Begin dating your spouse again. Try to experience new things with them. • Become a team against the issue that is making the marriage fragile. • Find a church or spiritual place you both like. A spiritual connection can help you both accept the situation better.
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Sorrow comes in great waves … but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain. Henry James
TESTIFY! After overcoming blindness, Susan Bradley knew she had to put her talents to good use. From running community ministries to feeding the homeless, she says everyone has a purpose in God. As told to Courtney Day. In my late 50s, I had an absolute miracle healing. I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and I really didn’t want to think that that was my future. I was attending an Alpha course—wanting to restore my Christian faith—and we had a healing session. It was there that my life changed. I had a heat going right through my body when I was prayed for, and when I woke up the next morning I could see. I knew then that God was with me and God had healed me. My optician absolutely could not understand why the eye photos were clear. That’s where I started my real Christian journey. I was invited to Johnsonville Corps and soon I made the commitment to become a soldier. One day, I was walking down Lambton Quay and I walked past a young person curled up with his hoodie over his face, and I saw this very sad eye look at me. I walked a few paces along and a sudden message came to my head: ‘Stop. You must go back.’ So I went back. I sat on the footpath with the young man and all he wanted to do was tell me his story. I knew I had a purpose. With a desire to make a difference in my church, I was looking at the corps officer and thought, ‘I want what you have’. I didn’t know how I would get up and put myself out there, but I had the will to make a difference for people. The corps officers wanted to start a community ministry there and invited me to run it, as well as our community meal MASH (Meal at Sallies’ House). God had placed all these things right in front of me after meeting that homeless man, and I’ve helped so many people since.
GOD HAD PLACED ALL THESE THINGS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AFTER MEETING THAT HOMELESS MAN, AND I’VE HELPED SO MANY PEOPLE SINCE. There’s one young woman I met on the street; she was a young mum who was on drugs. She had lost her three children. She wanted them back, but she was in this bad pattern of living on the streets. I said to her that God loved her and he didn’t really want her to be like that. About eight weeks later I was at my office and these people came out to see me for food, and it was her. I told her I was at Johnsonville and she had tracked me down. I just felt by looking in her eyes a little sparkle went off and I may have gotten through to her. I told her that God doesn’t judge her, that
she is loved and it’s not hopeless. I often wonder how she’s doing. I’m now retired from that work and moved to Vivian St, but I still continue to do things. I still go down Lambton Quay to stop and talk to people that need me, and God tells me who to go to—the ones I’ve stopped at were Christians who’ve wanted to tell me their story. I’ve learnt that we need to trust in God. He’s shown me that his plans won’t happen straight away, but they will indeed happen. God is our friend, he is there, and he has a purpose for all of us. 01 DECEMBER 2018 WarCry 11
High school is the home of stereotypes. From the rugby-mad jocks to the guitar-obsessed musos, these characters can be spotted a mile off. We’re gonna see what we can find by taking a little trip into the average day of a New Zealand high school. Buckle up … BY HUGH COLLINS
It’s the beginning of the school day and you’re making your way to your first class. You’ve just been gifted this crazy superpower where you can be friends with anyone regardless of their schoolyard stereotype. You decide it’s time to try and see what you can learn from each of these tribes.
JOSH THE JOCK
Shortly after entering the school yard gates you spot Josh the Jock. Let’s be honest, Josh has a pretty easy path in school. The captain of the First XV is fit and muscly and never struggles to get attention from the ladies. You stop to say hi and ask how the rugby season’s going—the team is at the top of the table and set to play their rivals this weekend. When you ask Josh how he’s feeling, you expect him to be his cool, confident self, but he simply says, ‘Dude, there’s a lot of pressure. Sometimes I just wish …’ but he drifts off. The unsaid words speak volumes. Appearances can be deceiving.
As you head for the science block, you spot Muso Mike carrying a guitar case. Now Muso Mike isn’t the most popular guy in school but he’s certainly not the least popular either. In fact, since he formed his latest band ‘Punksnot Dead’ he’s drawn attention from across the year group—even from a few of the jocks! Muso Mike’s favourite bands are Metallica and Nirvana and his dream is to one day headline the annual Laneway Festival in Auckland. He also can’t wait to get tattooed, even when he knows it’ll infuriate his mum. You stop for a yarn and he tells you to come support his band at the upcoming Rockquest heats. He tells you to always go against the grain. ‘Never conform to what others expect of you. You do you.’ 12 firezone.co.nz 01 DECEMBER 2018
As you enter biology class you spot a seat next to Blonde Brittany. Let’s be honest, you’re a little intimidated by her. She’s beautiful, confident and has all the latest clothes and trends. She tells you she’s already bought her tickets to the big New Year’s Eve festival everyone’s been talking about. But when she gets distracted by her phone, you notice her boyfriend is texting some pretty nasty words. You can’t help but notice Brittany’s eyes are a bit red—being beautiful doesn’t protect you from heartache, you think to yourself. Everybody hurts.
At morning tea you approach IT Isaac. He’s got his laptop out with a few of the other nerds. They’ve all managed to tap into the school Wi-Fi to enjoy a bit of World of Wizards, the latest online strategy game. IT Isaac is a bit shy at first, but once you get him going he’ll talk for days. Your smartphone’s been playing up so you’ve gone to him for a bit of advice. He says you need to update your software. Boom! Problem solved. The IT kids get some grief from the more popular crowds, but you sense Isaac has a quiet confidence. He tells you to like yourself for who you are. ‘You don’t need everyone to think you’re cool, you just need to be comfortable in your own skin,’ he says.
You enter Maths class and spot Calculating Catherine. Catherine is a brainbox—she’s always putting up her hand with the answers to complex algebra and
Quiz: What teen tribe are you? 1. It’s a Friday night and you want to relax. What do you do? A) Get some mates over for a Super Rugby game B) Go for a run and swim—you’re an active relaxer C) Watch an Oasis live DVD D) Play the latest Call of Duty E) Watch an entire season of Gossip Girl
calculus equations. Of course, she loves impressing the teacher with her knowledge—some call her the Teacher’s Pet (much to her dislike!). You find Catherine’s focus and discipline is probably something you can learn from. No doubt you’re well familiar with these various high school stereotypes. But despite all this classifying we like to do it’s important to remember we’re all equally loved by God, regardless of how we dress, or whether or not we’re good at sport. Who told you that if you’re into IT you’re a geek, but if you’re into sports you’re cool? That’s some dumb high school construct. And, believe me, if you don’t learn to accept yourself as a young person— you can feel the same pressure to conform all your life. God has made each of us unique, and when we rock our style, we are worshipping God as our creator. But be wary of how we use our ‘tribe’ as a platform to judge and categorize others who, like us, are made in the image of God. In God’s Kingdom, we are all equal. We are all loved. We are all part of God’s gigantically beautiful tribe.
2. It’s a sunny day and you’re deciding what to wear. You choose: A) Stubbies and a basketball singlet B) Board shorts or active wear and a pair of Nikes C) Black jeans! Aint no sunshine gonna get you in your shorts! D) A long sleeve top—you don’t want to get sunburnt E) An on-point floral outfit & white converse sneakers 3. What are you most looking forward to about winter? A) Rugby season! B) You’re not—you live for the outdoors C) The rain—gloomy weather helps with songwriting and creativity D) Mum won’t force you to go outside! E) Cosy cafés and lattes 4. You want to go out to eat. What do you choose? A) Fish and chips—a Kiwi classic! B) Eggs benedict C) Vegan burger D) Burger King E) Avocado on toast 5. Your ultimate excursion on a holiday would be… A) Following the All Blacks on tour B) Surfing in Hawaii C) Glastonbury Festival D) The E3 gaming convention in LA E) A Shopping spree in Paris Mostly As—The Jock Tribe You love your sport, especially rugby. Mostly Bs—The Chilled-out Athlete Tribe The beach is your natural habitat. Mostly Cs—The Muso Tribe Music is your life. Your instrument of choice comes before all else. Mostly Ds—The Nerd Tribe You love your electronics! Being outside is never essential. Mostly Es—The Femme Tribe Guy or girl, you love a D&M over brunch. You own those florals.
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The shrine of 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki, a group of Japanese and foreign Catholics who were executed in 1597.
The Silenced Christians of Japan
The evangelisation of Japan continues to confound the church at large. Major Nigel Luscombe is currently serving in the Territory of Japan and shares insights into the reasons for the barriers to propagating the gospel message in that land. Christians in Japan are currently in the minority with only 2.3 percent of Japanese identifying or affiliated with Christianity. This is a perplexing statistic when you look at other comparative Asian nations; for example, South Korea, which has embraced the preaching of the gospel. The question is: Why has Christianity had such a difficult path in Japan? There is no one answer to this question. It could be the connection of how the European nations compelled Japan to open to the West and then forced unequal treaties on them, reinforced by the Western occupation of Japan after the war. It could also be the ‘voices’ that connected Christianity with the subjugation of the East, and as nationalism rose in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s, so Christianity was seen as a ‘Western’ religion. This may 14 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
have negatively impacted the efforts of the church. Another big factor in Japanese national identity is that Buddhism allowed syncretism with the national religion Shintoism—so people can be both Buddhist and Shinto (Shintoism is not seen as a religion by many Japanese but the essence of who they are). But there is also an answer to this question in the history of Japan, the history of the persecution of the church in Japan. For example, South Korea never persecuted Christianity, but Japan did—fully and violently. In 1966, a Japanese Christian author by the name of Shūsaku Endō wrote an historical novel called Chinmoku—in English, Silence. The book is the story of a period in Japan when Christianity was not just banned, but Christians were hunted
‘THOSE JAPANESE WHO REFUSED TO STEP ON THE FUMI-E WERE IMPRISONED AND KILLED …’ down and killed for their faith. Although only a novel, it is, nevertheless, based firmly in historical fact. In 2016, Martin Scorsese brought the reality of this persecution into the modern world with his film based on the book, Silence. Silence is set in the 17th century during the Tokugawa Shogunate—the last feudal Japanese military government. It implemented the sustained persecution, torture and martyrdom of what was a growing Christian community in Japan. In order for the Shogunate to identify these ‘hidden Christians’, they would force suspected Christians to trample on a ‘fumi-e’—a carved image of Christ (see box section). Often whole villages would be lined up and everyone made to trample on the fumi-e. For some, this was an annual ritual. The Protestant traders on Deshima Island in Nagasaki Bay were required to trample every year, but they had no issues declaring themselves as non-Christians, as they wanted to trade. Those Japanese who refused to step on the fumi-e were imprisoned and killed by anazuri—which is by being hung upside down over a pit and slowly bled. Others were boiled alive in the hot springs, crucified or beheaded. Priests were sometimes told to watch their parishioners being tortured and that the torture would only stop if they would recant their faith. The use of fumi-e did not stop until after 1856, when Japan began to open up to the rest of the world, and the Tokugawa regime was eventually replaced with what is known as the Meiji Restoration. What makes this more poignant for me is that there is a fumi-e in the Territorial Commander’s office here in Japan. While I can’t see it most days, I know it is there. It reminds me of the price my predecessors and the Christians of Japan paid in this country for over 250 years, but it also speaks louder than just a reminder; the significance of the fumi-e challenges me in my faith. In Matthew 10:32 it says, ‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven’. Now there is mixed feeling in Christianity about Christian icons, but the issue is not about icons, it is about declaring yourself
‘IS GOD SILENT IN THE LIVES OF THE JAPANESE? NO, BUT THE BLINDING THREAT OF THE FUMI-E OF THE PAST HAS BEEN REPLACED BY THE DEAFENING NOISE OF A MODERN SOCIETY.’
Christian, or not—that was the point of the process. The Protestant traders wilfully renounced their faith because they chose money over convictions. Today, we see this same sentiment expressed as a mission drift away from the leading of the Holy Spirit that is in the church; or the leaking out of the love of Christ for the lost, as we continue as traders in ‘good works’ and say that this is the gospel. Are the actions of the Japanese Christians who would step on the fumi-e and then seek God’s forgiveness any different? Was theirs, also, just a pragmatic response denying Christ so as not to be killed? Does Matthew 10:32 still apply? I can’t answer that, as it is up to God. To me there is a big difference between life and making money. Life allows opportunities for forgiveness and life gives opportunities for being a witness, even if it is only to your own family. ‘Chinmoku’ (silence) speaks to me of times when God has been silent in my life—though this is not completely correct as God was never silent; it was more that I couldn’t hear him. In fact, it was also that I couldn’t see God. For me the very presence of God is all that I need. We, God and I, don’t need to say anything, we just need to be. Near the end of the book, a priest finally hears from God. After agonising silence, God says: ‘You may trample. You may trample. I more than anyone know of the pain in your foot. You may trample. It was to be trampled on by men that I was born into this world. It was to share men’s pain that I carried my cross.’ After over 250 years of persecution, around 30,000 Japanese Christians eventually made themselves known in the Kyushu area after 1856—a number that surprised the church and surprised the Japanese authorities. It did not surprise God though! Is God silent in the lives of the Japanese? No, but the blinding threat of the fumi-e of the past has been replaced by the deafening noise of a modern society amplified by the past, making it hard for people to hear God. Even though persecution for being a Christian stopped 160 years ago, there is still an unwritten fear and misconception about Christianity in Japan. After all, it must be bad to be persecuted so fully. This is the challenge the church in Japan continues to face and the challenge we now find ourselves ministering in. But I know God has a plan for Japan. He will not see this country, I now minister in, stay in the enemy’s hands. My hope is that my work and the work of The Salvation Army in Japan will be worthy of the sacrifice of those who did not trample on the face of Christ.
No one knows where the fumi-e in the Territorial Commander’s office came from or when it first appeared. It may be an original or a copy. There are believed to be 12 fumi-e left in Japan, 11 are accounted for, but one is missing … could this be the twelfth fumi-e?
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Celebrating 80,000 Lives Changed Thousands of past and present students, businesses and community leaders have turned out to celebrate 40 years of Education and Employment (E&E) in towns around the country. The celebrations showed E&E’s impact across the community, National Director Gregory Fortuin said, but each celebration had also reflected E&E’s core work—to impact people beyond qualifications or finding them a job. ‘It’s about transforming the whole person, restoring their confidence, their mana, their sense of self-worth. Their stories are why our staff get up every morning and why The Salvation Army has continued to get up and do this work,’ he said. The Minister for Employment, Hon Willie Jackson, gave a rousing speech at the Wellington celebration on the importance of faith and the belief in redemption at the heart of the Army and E&E’s work. ‘This is a commitment that is not celebrated enough, working with 80,000 plus people and 1000 people at any one time. I congratulate you on this wonderful work,’ he said. Territorial Commander Commissioner Andy Westrupp spoke about how he saw and heard about the impact of E&E everywhere he went. ‘80,000 lives is easy to roll off the tongue, but I know when I’m travelling and people come up and talk to me, they will talk about how they or someone they know was touched by Education and Employment. How something positive began to happen to them when someone from E&E helped them.’
National Director of Education and Employment Gregory Fortuin (left), with Territorial Commander Commissioner Andy Westrupp and Minister of Employment, Hon Willie Jackson.
Chinese Church Celebrates Mooncake Festival The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in the Chinese calendar, and hundreds gathered at The Salvation Army Chinese Church in Lower Hutt for celebrations. Coordinator Swee Chan says the Mooncake Festival is to celebrate being with family. ‘During this time, the moon is especially round and big. To Chinese, the roundness represents unity,’ she said. Originally, the celebration is believed to have come from Chinese legends and folk tales, such as Han Chinese revolting against the Yuan Dynasty, where secret messages were sent out on mooncakes. The event is now the biggest in China, next to Chinese New Year. ‘For children it’s a lovely time because we have all those lanterns, all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s the only time of the year we’re allowed to play with candles and fire, it’s really fun as kids.’ Swee Chan and her husband Wai Phang have been organising this event at the church for the past six years, after moving to New Zealand as migrants in 1996 from Malaysia. ‘We didn’t have many people come initially—we didn’t know how to do it, but slowly we got the hang of it. ‘We learned that people just came, they ate and they left. So that’s why we try to put in a few more games because people are interested to have a laugh or two.’ 16 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
They had a kitchen team of about six who helped to prepare the pot luck food and Chinese tea. ‘Previously, we didn’t even have the money for mooncakes, but this year we made our own. It is not a traditional mooncake, we didn’t use traditional ingredients. ‘The traditional one takes skill to make, but we haven’t poisoned anyone yet,’ laughs Swee Chan. She hopes that this year’s success will encourage more to the Chinese Church, which is a branch of the Hutt City Salvation Army, where Chinese church-goers meet every week. ‘Most of the Chinese are very suspicious about going into a church. They’ve never been into one, or haven’t heard good things about it, so that becomes very difficult,’ says Swee Chan. ‘We just try to do it for people who are so lonely, for people who don’t really have family.’ BY COURTNEY DAY
Service Earns Prestigious International Army Award More than 60 years of service, helping hundreds of young people, has seen two farmers earn one of The Salvation Army’s highest awards. Under the approval of General Brian Peddle, Commissioner Andy Westrupp admitted Southland Farmers Ron Davis and Roger Chittock to the Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service, for their work on the Management Board of Jeff Farm. Roger was a founding member of the board when it was set up in 1982 and Ron joined the board in 1988, going on to serve as board chairman twice; 1996–2002 and 2008–2014. The farm trains young people who want to get into farming, and funds education and support programmes for young people around the territory.
a flourishing farm that has trained about 150 cadets and generates money that supports scholarships for over 30 young people a year to study agriculture. It also funds a variety of Salvation Army programmes for at-risk youth throughout the territory. Jeff Farm Board chairman Bruce Robertson said the achievements of the pair, and their dedication to Jeff Farm had been phenomenal. Ron brought great financial acumen, with Roger bringing expertise in developing the farm itself, he said.
Ron Davis (left) receiving his award from Territorial Commander Commissioner Andy Westrupp.
Roger Chittock at the block on the farm that bears his name (the Roger Chittock Block).
Only 16 New Zealanders have received the international award for non-Salvationists who have given long and exemplary service to the Army, since it was introduced in 1946. The pair were admitted to the order at an evening celebration of their work on 26 October marking Roger’s last day on the board. In presenting the awards, Andy noted that The Salvation Army was indebted to both Roger and Ron for the farming expertise they brought to the board and their focus on bringing the farm to the outstanding condition it was today. The work of the board and farm managers helped transform Jeff Farm from a run-down place. Today it is
‘They’re great examples to everybody. Their integrity, honesty and passion towards the farm was incredible. They can take a lot of the credit for where the farm is now. They were always available and always willing to support. It’s a massive achievement to still be passionate and putting in that effort voluntarily, and we were thrilled with what they’ve done.’ The pair were shocked, but honoured to receive a welldeserved award, he said. ‘They were absolutely blown away by it. When they had a bit of time to reflect, they were very surprised and very honoured to think that the Army thought that much of them.’ BY ROBIN RAYMOND
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Seven New soldiers for Whangārei Corps God is on the move in Northland. In September, Whangārei Corps saw the enrolment of seven new senior soldiers. Whangārei Corps Officer Lieutenant Peter Koia says these soldiers have acknowledged their commitment to the Army’s mission and want to see peoples’ lives cared for and transformed. ‘It says we’re in good stead and good hands when people still want to become soldiers,’ Peter says. ‘It’s about asking people where they see themselves in The Salvation Army. It’s our soldiers that keep our missions going.’ New soldier Marlene Bowers says Jesus had set her free from the pain of abuse she experienced as a child. ‘My realisation was that Jesus Christ was alive and he wanted a relationship with me’, she wrote in a testimony shared at the corps. ‘The biggest thing is it didn’t cost one single cent to be free from my addictions as I had spent well over $30K to try and fix my problems. When you know Jesus Christ, true freedom with him costs absolutely nothing’. She quoted 1 Corinthians 13:13 as a verse that saved her life: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love’. ‘Knowing Jesus is having freedom in your life. I still face problems or issues in my life but my Father, my King, is my solution’. For Margaret Morehu, salvation came at the most ‘desperate, abandoned, vulnerable, broken, rejected and ashamed’ time of her life—when her marriage ended. Alcohol and cannabis subsequently became her way of dealing with pain, which also included broken relationships with her children.
Yet God found a way to step in. ‘Since I met my blessed saviour he cleansed and made me whole. I will never cease to praise him. I will shout it while eternity rolls, which is what I’ve done since I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1990.’ Shelley Head first came to the Whangārei Corps in 1992. Her spiritual journey has since been a ‘colourful one’. At one point she had a bit of a ‘bee in her bonnet’ about the Holy Spirit and his place in the church. ‘I was puffed up with pride and felt that I was too spiritual for The Salvation Army,’ she said. It wasn’t until she learned of the passing of ‘Uncle’ Dennis Bell (as she affectionately called him) that she felt urged by the Lord to return to her ‘home church’. ‘I realise that there were people here that I loved dearly and I didn’t want to be apart from them any longer.’
New soldiers being enrolled in Whangārei.
Tawa Corps Springs to Life The Salvation Army in Tawa has been making a name for itself by becoming an integral part of an annual community event. With around 150 community stalls and crafts, Spring Into Tawa was started in 2000 by local businesses who wanted an annual market day in the main street of the north Wellington suburb. However, it wasn’t until last year that Tawa Corps Officers Jess and Nathan Bezzant had a vision that their community
Lieutenant Jess Bezzant (left) and Major Glenda Bezzant get to know members of Paw Patrol at Spring Into Tawa. 18 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
should play a part. ‘We’re right on the main street but you talk to a lot of Tawa locals and they say, “Where is the Salvation Army in Tawa?” and they don’t pick up that we’ve got quite a prominent place,’ Nathan said. This year, at the October 27 event, the corps gave out 430 free hot dogs and barista coffee, as well as entry to a bouncy castle for kids. But when the rain started to pour around midday, Jess and Nathan found they were in a position where they could save the event from being called off. Rather than having various performing groups sent home, Jess approached the organisers: ‘I said, “Look our hall is free, why don’t you tell everyone on the microphone to use our hall?” And they did and everyone piled in. ‘I couldn’t bear the thought of them not being able to perform because of the rain.’ Jess says the event has now become a great opportunity for the corps to bless its community. ‘I said to the corps people, “Why aren’t we there, why aren’t we visible as the Salvation Army?” It’s just amazing to see Tawa Corps not be so inward-focussed but actually starting to look outwards to the community and how we, as a church family, can support and serve them. ‘I think our people have got a taste for what it is to serve the community, and I think we’re going to have to go bigger and better every year and make an impact.’
Promotion to Glory: Major Gweneth Greig (Gwen), aged 95 years, on Monday, 5 November 2018 at St John’s Hospital & Resthome Care in Whanganui. Gweneth Mary Greig was born in Whanganui on 23 July 1923. She entered The Salvation Army Training College from Whanganui Corps as a member of the Liberty session in 1944. Following her commissioning on 30 October 1944, Gwen was appointed to Foxton Corps as Assistant Corps Officer. From 1945 to 1955, Gwen was Assistant Officer at Putāruru Boys Home, Eltham Boys Home, Redroofs Bethany Dunedin, Bethany Wellington, The Grange Auckland, and Bethany Auckland. During this time, Gwen completed her midwifery training before returning to an appointment as Assistant at Bethany Wellington. In 1957, Gwen was appointed as Matron to Redroofs Bethany Hospital. Other appointments followed as Matron at Edward Murphy Hospital Gisborne, Florence Booth Girls Home, Bethany Christchurch, The Grange Girls Home Auckland, Bethany Hospital & Day Care Wellington and Resthaven Eventide Home Napier, from where she retired on 23 January 1986. We honour Major Gweneth Greig’s 42 years of active officership and her continued faithful service and example over 32 years of retirement. Gwen was an instrument of God through which others could experience liberty. Please uphold Gwen’s brother Basil and extended family at this time of grief and loss. Birth: Lieutenants Rachel and Simon Montgomery, along with Olivia, are pleased to welcome Holly Jane Montgomery into their family. Holly was born on Monday, November 5th weighing 2.75kg. Rachel and Holly are doing well. We join with Rachel, Simon and Olivia in celebrating the birth of Holly and pray God’s blessing on them all in the days ahead. Reinstatement: Effective 19 November 2018: Chris Collings, with the rank of Captain, in line with the territorial policy for Single Spouse Officership. The reinstatement follows the conclusion of his service as an envoy on 18 November 2018. We pray God’s blessing on Chris, Soo Ra Lee and family as Chris continues in his appointment as the Corps Officer at Levin. Effective 14 January 2019: Captain Andrew Bright, in line with the territorial policy for Single Spouse Officership. Andrew has received the following appointment: Territorial Business Analyst, Business Administration Section, Territorial Headquarters.
‘… IN A WORLD OF CONFLICT JESUS STILL OFFERS EACH OF US PEACE.’ In a recent Sunday service, in many places around our territory, we acknowledged the end of World War I, a hundred years ago to the day—a war once dubbed the ‘war to end all wars’. It was a special moment as we took two minutes to remember in silence the sacrifice that others have made on our behalf in preservation of our freedom— particularly in World War I, but also in the many conflicts that have followed in the past century. Sadly, one hundred years after the ‘war to end all wars’ concluded, conflict in many different guises still impacts humankind. Some conflicts are very public, dominating the news. Others much less so, occurring below the radar in watchful communities, behind closed doors. All conflict results in casualties. Some are obvious, some so hidden that even the casualties themselves are not aware of the impact until much later. We are now in the season of Advent; the four week period leading up to Christmas Day—when we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby to this earth. In prophesying his coming some 700 years before his birth, the prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus coming as the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus himself, speaking to his saddened disciples just before his crucifixion, said, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,’ (John 14:27). The wonderful truth is that, in a world where conflict in all its forms is still far too common, Jesus still offers each of us this peace today. It is not a peace that can be taken away from us—for it is not peace as we might think of it in a worldly sense, an absence of conflict (desirable though that be). It’s an inner peace— a peace that passes understanding but exists in the heart of the believer. A peace that remains even when all around is turmoil. It’s a mystical peace, very real to believers who have experienced it, and it’s available to everyone who believes. The sad truth is that conflict in many forms remains a reality in our world today. My prayer for you today, as you approach this Christmastide, is that you might know his peace in your hearts and lives—in spite of the circumstances life throws at us. Follow St Paul’s advice: ‘In everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,’ (Philippians 4:6–7). Lieutenant-Colonel David Bateman Secretary for Business Administration
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d e t e r p r te n i s i M Bible Verses
The Bible is used by many believers to seek comfort and guidance. This is a wonderful gift from God. But when we pluck verses from scripture without context, we lose the richness of God’s message. So, lets re-examine some often misinterpreted verses. The first in an occasional series. BY INGRID BARRATT
In the midst of it all ‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.’ Jeremiah 29:11 I’ll be honest, I’ve turned to this verse when I’ve had a broken heart or been anxious. It’s easy to hold on to this verse in the hope that you will be saved from that thing called ‘life’—with the array of grief, pain and suffering that inevitably comes our way. However, the cut-andthrust of this passage is not about escaping our pain, but being faithful to God and finding purpose in the midst of it. When the prophet of God, Jeremiah, proclaimed these words, he was speaking to the nation of Israel, who were in exile as a punishment from God for their disobedience. Here, Jeremiah is confronting the false prophet Hananiah, who had proclaimed God would free Israel from Babylon in two years. In contrast, Jeremiah says that Israel would remain in exile for 70 years—a full generation. Most of the people 20 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
JEREMIAH 29:11 PROMISES A DEEPER COMFORT THAN ESCAPE FROM SUFFERING—IT PROMISES GOD’S PRESENCE, COMPASSION AND, ULTIMATELY, HIS REDEMPTION, IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL. would never see freedom. God instructs Israel to ‘seek the peace and the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper’ (29:7). Hananiah had tickled the Israelites’ ears by telling them their suffering was going to end. Instead, Jeremiah tells them to pray for their oppressor and help them prosper! How very like God to turn our expectations upside down, and teach us how to love our enemies. God then re-assures the nation that his good plans for them will come to pass. Like all of scripture, this passage echoes the redemption story we are in the midst of. As we sit with the ‘now, and the not yet’ we are reminded that God’s story is yet unfolding. Through Jesus, we have been gifted full redemption— of humanity, creation and our own lives. ‘Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained,’ says Philippians 3:16. Jeremiah 29:11 promises a deeper comfort than escape from suffering—it promises God’s presence, compassion and, ultimately, his redemption, in the midst of it all.
Choose love ‘… speaking the truth in love.’ Ephesians 4:15 If there was ever a verse—or part of a verse—that does not stand alone, it is this one. The modern church is fractured over all sorts of side issues that have been dubbed ‘identity politics’. We have never needed this verse more. But, perhaps, it has never been more abused. Here, Paul is talking about the whole body of Christ, and his entire goal is to see the church growing in unity and love together.
As always with Paul, his foundation is ‘the boundless riches of Christ’ (3:8). For Paul, the gospel is everything. Our response to the glorious mystery of the gospel is that we grow in unity above all else. The church is to be one, just as God is one. It is only then that we will grow to be mature disciples. It is only then, that—speaking truth in love—the church will be truly like Christ, our head. In this context, the ‘truth’ is most readily understood as the breadth of the gospel of Christ. And when we speak these truths, we must do so lovingly. This fragment from Paul’s words is often plucked from its context to give us permission to say whatever we like—especially to judge, complain or condemn. ‘I’m saying this in love, but that was a terrible sermon’. Or, ‘I’m saying this in love, but you are going to hell’ (no one who takes the instruction to speak the gospel lovingly could justify such an approach). This keeps the church immature and ineffective—creating discord, instead of harmony. Paul’s words are a timely reminder that the mature Christian always seeks ‘peace in the body of Christ’ (4:3). This requires us to ‘be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love’ (4:1). It requires us to rise above disagreement and bitterness, and choose the path of love.
Living waters ‘… you are neither cold nor hot.’ Revelation 3:14 I remember as a young person being taught that Jesus would rather I was ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ for him, but if I was merely lukewarm, he would ‘spit me out of his mouth’. It never made sense to me—is it really better to hate God than to be ‘on the fence’?
… THE MODERN CHURCH IS FRACTURED OVER ALL SORTS OF SIDE ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN DUBBED ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’.
The mystery was solved for me when I understood the context of this verse. Laodicea, the church which John is addressing, was a very wealthy city. It had multiple industries, including a prosperous textile industry, and a medical school that produced famous eye ointment. In Revelation, John is challenging Laodicea’s reliance on its wealth—Jesus calls the church to rely, instead, on his ‘garments, and his ‘eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see,’ (Revelation 3: 17–18). One of the cities near Laodicea was well known for its mineral-rich natural hot springs. Another city enjoyed cold mountain run-off water, good for drinking. Laodicea piped water from the surrounding areas to fuel its large textile industry—when it arrived via the aqueduct, the water was lukewarm and gritty with concentrated calcium carbonate. If you drank the water you would vomit! The ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ waters were both productive, but the water used for Laodicea’s industry was dangerous. The metaphor invoked by John was that Laodicea’s wealth was spiritual poison, distracting them from living like Christ. ‘Our actions are meant to embody [Jesus’] values and contribute to his redemptive mission. When we just live for ourselves like the lukewarm water that contributed to the wealth engine of the Laodicean textile industry, we are useless. We lose our purpose while serving ourselves. Jesus is calling us to be hot or to be cold, to embrace our redemptive role in his mission,’ says Dr Paul T. Penley, author of How to Interpret the Bible Correctly In Context. If we are to relate this scripture to our culture today, it provides a powerful challenge against our consumerist values that drown out the values of the Kingdom.
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OFFICIAL ENGAGEMENTS Commissioners Andy (Territorial Commander) and Yvonne Westrupp (Territorial President of Women’s Ministries) 1 Dec: Commissioning & Ordination Service, Fiji 2 Dec: Celebration Service, Fiji 4 Dec: Christmas Tree Showcase, Auckland 6 Dec: Covenant Day, New Zealand 7 Dec: Booth College of Mission Graduation, Hutt City Corps 8 Dec: Silver Star Ceremony, Booth College of Mission 8 Dec: Commissioning and Ordination Service, Wellington City Corps 9 Dec: Celebration Service, Wellington City Corps Colonels Suzanne Fincham (Chief Secretary) and Melvin Fincham (Territorial Secretary for Programme and Communications) 1 Dec: Commissioning & Ordination Service, Fiji 2 Dec: Celebration Service, Fiji 6 Dec: Covenant Day, New Zealand 7 Dec: Booth College of Mission Graduation, Hutt City Corps 8 Dec: Silver Star Ceremony, Booth College of Mission 8 Dec: Commissioning and Ordination Service, Wellington City Corps 9 Dec: Celebration Service, Wellington City Corps Colonel Heather Rodwell (Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries and Spiritual Life Development) 6 Dec: Covenant Day, New Zealand 7 Dec: Booth College of Mission Graduation, Hutt City Corps 8 Dec: Silver Star Ceremony, Booth College of Mission 8 Dec: Commissioning and Ordination Service, Wellington City Corps 9 Dec: Celebration Service, Wellington City Corps
Nasinu Corps, National programmes ASARS (Addiction, Supportive Accommodation and Reintegration Services) and Employment and Education, the National Youth Band, Nelson/Tasman Bays Corps; The Salvation Army in France and Belgium.
Find SALVATION ARMY JOB OPPORTUNITIES: salvationarmy.org.nz/employment
400–600 words with one or two captioned photos. Promotion to Glory tributes are approx 300 words. Email reports and large, high-quality jpeg images to: warcry@nzf. salvationarmy.org
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Want to Know More? I would like: to learn about who Jesus is information about The Salvation Army The Salvation Army to contact me prayer for the following needs:
Name Email Address Phone Send to: email@example.com or War Cry, PO Box 6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6141 Quiz Answers: 1 Philip Reeve, 2 The Black Ferns women's rugby team, 3 Fiji, 4 Wombat, 5 A wedding at Cana (John 2: 1–11).
22 WarCry 01 DECEMBER 2018
Crazy Advent Challenge!
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us …
Complete a challenge each day. Once you've done the challenge, cross off the date! Spell the name ‘Olaf’ backwards
Sing the carol ‘Silent Night’while jumping up and down
Rearrange the word ‘Chimney’ and see how many other words you can make
Isaiah 9:6 NASB
Tell this joke: What did the ornament say to the tree? I’m hooked on you!
Say ‘Prince of Peace’ five times as quickly as possible
You might even have an Advent calendar—where you open a little window every day until Christmas. It’s so hard to only open one window at a time, isn’t it? It just feels like you’re waiting and waiting and waiting …
Colour in this elf Tell someone you love your favourite Chrismas memory Go outside and pick a flower, then give it to someone
Sing ‘Jingle Bells’as loudly as you can
OMG it’s less than a month until Christmas. In fact, we’ve begun the season of Advent—the time leading up to Christmas. This is a time of waiting and waiting and waiting … until you finally get to wake up, run into your parents’ room yelling ‘Happy Christmas!’ and tear open those presents under the tree.
Tell this joke: Who says ‘Oh Oh Oh?’ Santa walking backwards!
Waddle like a penguin around the room There are nine reindeer—how many can you name? See answer below
Well, that’s what Advent is all about! For hundreds of years the Jewish people were kept as slaves and experienced many trials, oppression and fear. Through it all, God sent prophets who promised that a saviour would come to free them. The Jewish people longed for this saviour to arrive. They waited and waited and waited … They were expecting a mighty king, or the leader of a huge army who would wage war on their enemies. They were expecting something like The Avengers. But God didn’t send that kind of saviour. He sent a little baby, born in a barn. His name was Jesus. Only a few people recognised Jesus as the saviour they had been waiting for. But he would change the world. So we wait and wait and wait … for Christmas Day. The day our saviour was born.
Ask each family member what they would like for Christmas
Do a roly poly as if you have just landed a parachute!
HAVE YOU EVER …
Watch out next time for the second half of our Advent challenge …
Really wanted something, and saved up for a long time to buy it? Was it hard to wait all that time? How did you feel when you finally bought it? Was it extra special because of all the time you had been saving? That’s what it’s like with Jesus—he is so precious that he was worth waiting for! 01 DECEMBER 2018 WarCry 23
Reindeer names: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.
This Christmas, you can give hope to those with nothing. You can help Kiwis in need this holiday season, by supporting our Christmas Appeal and giving a Gift of Hope. Together, we can give families in crisis a happier Christmas and a brighter future. Please give now at:
In this edition: Growing in Grace- from addiction to ordination / 94-year-old Salvationist parachutes for abolition of slavery! / Romance s...
Published on Dec 1, 2018
In this edition: Growing in Grace- from addiction to ordination / 94-year-old Salvationist parachutes for abolition of slavery! / Romance s...