FAITH IN ACTIONâ€‚ 09 JANUARY 2021 | Issue 6758 | $1.50
Ronji and Rabena Tanielu: Justice for the Persecuted Church Territory Called to a Year of Prayer Stand Up and Speak Out
WAR CRY The Salvation Army
New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory TERRITORIAL LEADERS Commissioners Julie & Mark Campbell | 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. EDITOR Vivienne Hill | GRAPHIC DESIGN Sam Coates, Lauren Millington | STAFF WRITERS Holly Morton, Louise Parry, Bethany Slaughter | PROOF READING Major Colleen
Marshall OFFICE Territorial Headquarters, 204 Cuba Street,
PO Box 6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6141, Phone (04) 384 5649, Email email@example.com, salvationarmy.org.nz/warcry SUBSCRIPTIONS Salvationist Resources Department, Phone
(04) 382 0768, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, $75 per year within NZ PRINT MANAGEMENT makeready.nz | PAPER Sumo Offset
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A Fruit-Filled Life What was God up to in 2020? What is God up to in 2021? Personally, I don’t know, but what I do know is that he is up to something and we need to find this out; because in John 15:5 it says, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’ We need to know what Christ is up to so that we can partake of his ministry. If we make our own plans apart from him, then our efforts will be fruitless. We simply need to read the Gospels to see a Pharisaic religious system that operated parallel to Christ’s earthly ministry that bore no fruit. It is only as we remain in Christ—being fed by the vine, coexisting with the vine—that we bear fruit. John 15:7 (KJV) goes on to say, ‘If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will, and it shalt be done unto you’. To ‘abide’ is an active verb. It is something we do; it is not a belief. Here then is the key to both abiding and bearing fruit: read the Bible and pray. We pray! Prayer brings reliance, not on ourselves, but on Christ. It is an act of releasing control and trusting him with the outcomes. In John 15:8 it says: ‘By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit’. God wants us to bear fruit, because it brings him glory. When we come to God with the things that worry and concern us, we show our dependence on him to provide the answers. As God answers our prayers, this builds faith and reliance on him. This year is a year of prayer, and in this edition of War Cry, Colonel Heather Rodwell reminds us why we pray. She encourages us to infuse prayer into our everyday lives, and, as we do this, we abide in Christ and can expect to bear the promised fruit. Vivienne Hill Editor
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
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James 5:13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Hēmi 5:13 Ki te pāngia tētahi o koutou e te mamae, me īnoi. Ki te koa te ngākau o tētahi, me waiata.
rowing up in New Zealand in the 1980s meant that I got badly sunburnt most summers. My poor little nose was constantly peeling and many a night was spent sleeping on my stomach with no blankets. This is no indictment on my parents, it’s just the way it was back then. Getting sunburnt was almost a rite of passage for a Kiwi kid—thankfully, 40 years on and it’s regarded as a serious type of neglect. The SunSmart ‘Slip! Slop! Slap!’ campaign kicked off in New Zealand in 1989. I can vividly remember trying to learn the little jingle and arguing with my sisters about exactly what was being slipped and slopped ... and where. Everyone—parents, teachers, coaches—were learning about the rising incidence of melanoma, which had doubled every ten years between 1948 and 1977. By the new millennium, a whole generation of Kiwi knew to ‘slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat’. Shade sails went up over playgrounds and sun hats were compulsory at school for all outdoor activities. My own children will tell you that they’ve both only ever been sunburnt once, maybe twice, in their lives. Covering up became second nature; such was the power and wisdom of the sun-smart campaign. While I remember when seat belts became mandatory, my children have never questioned the necessity of ‘making it click’ (thanks, Ronald McDonald). And while ‘Girls can do anything’ was the catch-cry of my teenage years, today we fight for equality across the gender spectrum—and rightly so. I grew up with the echo of ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi’ in my ears as I almost threw my pie wrapper out the car window, while ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is now a normal way
of life, and single-use plastic bags are gone forever. There was a time when face masks were only worn by doctors, but, for the first time, Christmas 2020 saw children whisper their wishes into the ear of a masked Santa Claus—those that weren’t in lockdown, that is. This time last year we were enjoying an idyllic pre-Covid-19 summer. Rumours of something happening in China reached our ears, but as we lounged on the shores of our island paradise, we could never have imagined what would soon impact our lives. The world has changed dramatically since last summer. But it’s not the first time. Humankind has faced pandemics, wars, diseases and oppressions before and yet it has rallied and researched and campaigned and learnt and invented and made changes. We’ve grown wiser, embraced creativity and become more resilient—and it’s paid off. Those who suggested we slip slop slap, make it click and be a tidy Kiwi changed the world! As The Salvation Army we are Te Ope Whakaora— the Army that brings life. What a great statement of intent! But it’s got to be more than just a clever slogan—it’s got to be a plan of attack, a way of living and being, because the measure of our efforts to bring life will be felt by the generations to come. It’s not about us. So, what are you going to do differently in 2021 as a disciple of Jesus Christ to bring life to others and the Army of tomorrow? I leave you with the words of Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army: ‘If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present’. BY JULES BADGER
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Action/Adventure The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult I’m a sucker for a brand-new Jodi Picoult novel, as her previous two books— A Spark of Light and Small Great Things—did not disappoint, dealing with the controversial topics of abortion and racism. Her latest novel, The Book of Two Ways, is a timely read for New Zealanders as the End of Life Choice Act comes into play later in 2021. The story’s main character, Dawn, is a trained Egyptologist on the brink of a great discovery, and a great romance, when her own mother is diagnosed as terminal. Dawn’s life moves rapidly in a new direction, and her career as a death doula— someone who supports people who are dying—begins. Picoult delivers the ideal summer read complete with tombs and mummies and more romance than usual. Picoult fans will love this latest offering. (Reviewed by Jules Badger)
SALLIEOF THEWEEK Ken Philpott (Whangārei Corps)
Salt and Pepper Squid 1 Tbsp black peppercorns 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns 1 tsp rock salt ⅓ cup potato starch (or cornflour) ¼ cup self-raising flour 2 eggs, whisked together for egg wash 3 squid tubes, scored and cut into strips 1 bottle vegetable oil (for deep frying) 1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)
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In a dry frying pan, heat peppercorns and rock salt until fragrant. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Mix together with potato starch and self-raising flour. Dip squid into egg wash, coat in the seasoned flour mix, then deep fry in a hot cooking oil until golden and crunchy. Drain and serve with lemon wedges.
Ken Philpott is a faithful member of Whangārei Corps, who serves by providing expert technical support. With the recent move to the new building, Corps Officer Captain Jenny Ratana-Koia says, ‘Ken basically lived at the corps setting up the AV equipment. He’s spent hours getting it ready to move, and then hours getting it all working just right!’ But wait, there’s more: Jenny also explains that not only is Ken good at what he does, he shares his knowledge and technical expertise with others. ‘Ken happily trains anyone who is willing to learn and is always willing to accommodate people’s needs if he can.’ And that’s why Ken is our first Sallie of the Week for 2021!
1 The Tour de France generally lasts for how many days/stages? 2 Who is the only bare-footed Beatle on the Abbey Road album cover? 3 The original Monopoly board layout was based on the streets of which American city? 4 Which car manufacturer makes the model ‘Cayenne’? 5 What Psalm is supposed to be David’s expression of guilt after his affair with Bathsheba? Answers on page 22
These bands are getting younger and younger! This photograph taken from the 3 January 1948 War Cry shows the ‘Newton Cradle Roll Band’. Bandsmen-fathers took their babies up with them to be presented with a little booklet prize by Brigadier Allan Hildreth, who organised the celebration.
Weird of the Week: ‘Iktsuarpok’ is an Inuit word to describe the feeling of anticipation while you wait for someone to arrive.
Source: The Heritage Centre & Archives at the Ploughman Resource Centre, Booth College of Mission
Here’s how to say ‘Happy New Year’ in five languages from outside of our territory. 1. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda—Welsh. 2. G elukkig Nieuwjaar—Dutch. 3. Selamat Tahun Baru— Indonesian. 4. H eri Ya Mwaka Mpya—Swahili. 5. F eliz Año Nuevo—Spanish.
2021: A Territorial Year of Prayer The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory has committed 2021 to be a dedicated year of prayer. This year’s theme: ‘Make Room, Come Aside, Come Together’, is a call for Salvationists around the territory to infuse prayer into all facets and activities of their lives—to daily make room, come aside personally or corporately and come together to pray. In a message from the territorial leaders, Commissioner Julie Campbell says, ‘We want prayer to be a natural part of all we do, and not a burden or something extra to fit into our busy programmes and lives. ‘We look forward to coming together in prayer throughout 2021, for ourselves, our neighbours, our communities, our nations and our Army, as we seek his will for the mission of The Salvation Army.’ After a tumultuous year in 2020, they hope the territory will be creative and innovative in harnessing the power of prayer and praise. ‘We believe in the vital ministry of prayer. We believe that when we humble ourselves and seek his face, God hears us and answers our prayers,’ Commissioner Mark Campbell says. The Bible verses underpinning the year of prayer is from 2 Chronicles 7:13-15: ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.’ The Year of Prayer will commence on 1 February 2021, and War Cry invites individuals, corps and centres to report back to us your initiatives for the year of prayer, so we can share your inspiring plans and stories with the wider territory. Email email@example.com 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 5
For the Persecuted Church
Most Salvationists already know Ronji Tanielu as a passionate advocate for justice and, of course, anything to do with his beloved community. BY JULES BADGER
was born in Samoa and raised in the capital city of the entire galaxy and universe—Mangere, South Auckland. I’m three-quarters Samoan and a quarter Tokelauan, and married to a stunning Samoan woman, Rabena,’ boasts Ronji. A lawyer by trade, Ronji has worked for The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit (SPPU) intermittently for about five years in total. ‘The easiest way to describe my current job with the Sallies is to say that I’m paid to be as positively disruptive as I can to government, stakeholders, decision-makers and corporates in terms of social policy and justice. And, of course, I’m very passionate about the wider vision and mission of The Salvation Army,’ explains Ronji. Ronji is not backward about coming forward and speaking up when it matters. And while social issues exercise his mind, his real passion is for speaking up and advocating for people, especially the people closest to Ronji’s heart: Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith around the world. Ronji and Rabena have served with Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) internationally as biblical tentmakers and self-funded missionaries over the years. They are still actively involved here in New Zealand, speaking to churches to raise awareness, giving financially and even writing letters to Christians who are imprisoned for their faith around the world. And if it wasn’t for Covid-19 border restrictions, they’d be doing what they do every Christmas—bringing the good news into restricted nations, as volunteers. ‘We used to live overseas, and every Christmas since then we have gone out for a month to help bring the good news to restricted nations. Covid-19 has blocked that usual practice and Rabena and I are still grieving the loss of not being able to serve in this way this year. It’s a massive hit for us. Border restrictions have also prevented us from being able to host in our home and love on persecuted believers from overseas. And Covid-19 has exacerbated persecution in some countries, like Nigeria and Tanzania, as governments use lockdowns to legitimise the closing of churches but not other religions,’ reports Ronji. For Ronji, justice for the persecuted church is a critical biblical issue—one largely ignored by the church in the West, including New Zealand. ‘Jesus says in John 15:7: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first”. In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul writes that “...everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. I’m a lawyer, so I know that the word “will” means we’re talking about a promise,’ explains Ronji.
A weighty burden Ronji’s burden for the persecuted church began soon after his conversion at 18 years of age. He was a student at the time studying at Auckland University. 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 7
‘That was a miracle in itself,’ he says. ‘I had been kicked out of high school and I was headed down the stereotypical South Auckland pathway. I was even contemplating robbing a bank with my friends at one stage because we were desperate for money at home. But one day I went to church with my sister and I heard that I was a sinner before a holy God and that’s why Christ died—that made perfect sense to me. As I studied the Bible, I became interested in the persecuted church that was mentioned repeatedly. I started praying—that’s how I first got involved—praying for people in countries I thought I would never get to. And I started giving money. I was a poor student working three jobs, but I wanted to be a good steward of my resources. The more understanding I developed of a theology of the persecuted church, the more passionate I became.’
‘…CHRISTIANITY IS BOTH INCLUSIVE AND EXCLUSIVE, WHICH IS WHY WE NEED TO BE BOTH GRACIOUS AND SALTY.’ Scripture strongly informs Ronji’s theology of justice for the persecuted church. ‘It really is an issue of justice. Where’s the justice for the persecuted church? Who’s fighting for them? Galatians 6:10 says, “…let us do good to all people…”— which we do so well as an Army through our services like giving food parcels and providing addictions services. But tacked onto the end of that verse are these words, “...especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. The numbers tell us that over 250 million Christians are persecuted for their faith every year— that’s the population of Australia times 10! If you look at the UK’s recent report on religious persecution, they found that Christianity is the most persecuted faith in the world. Eighty percent of all people persecuted for their religious beliefs are Christian.’ Ronji is saddened, challenged and disturbed to action by these figures, because they represent real people. ‘That’s a lot of untold stories by the mainstream media, and, to be honest, the church isn’t telling these stories either. Who’s fighting for their
justice? If that person in Nigeria or Indonesia or China is my brother or sister in Christ—and Paul says that we are all one body—that’s like my leg being stabbed and put on fire! The rest of the Body would feel that pain and try to do something about it. But that’s not happening much in the West, and that’s what’s made me so passionate. The Church has been suffering from its inception—from day one in the book of Acts, the Church has been persecuted—and we are called repeatedly in the New Testament to do something about it.’
Persecuted Salvationists Persecution is not new to The Salvation Army. Skeleton Armies arose to combat the success of The Salvation Army in its early days—including here in New Zealand. And while those stories embolden us and fill us with pride and determination (not to sully that legacy of defiance for Christ) we are sometimes guilty of forgetting that there are Salvationists still suffering for their faith around the world today. The recent news from Central Sulawesi in Indonesia included the burning of a Salvation Army centre. ‘A Muslim terrorist group that is aligned with ISIS attacked the village. From the last report, four people were killed—one decapitated which is very common practice used against Christians around the world. Buildings were burned to the ground and it’s been confirmed that one of those buildings was a Salvation Army centre/corps. But you have to understand that persecution of Christians in Indonesia has been happening for generations—it’s nothing new—because Indonesia is the biggest Muslim country in the world.’ Ronji explains that the Indonesian Government has responded by denying that the attacks are linked to religious persecution for several reasons, but one that he agrees with is the concern that doing so would spark more attacks. ‘We can all agree and support that motivation because violence often snowballs. I remember serving in Kalimantan on the border of Indonesia and Malaysia, and looking around
‘THE NUMBERS TELL US THAT OVER 250 MILLION CHRISTIANS ARE PERSECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH EVERY YEAR—THAT’S THE POPULATION OF AUSTRALIA TIMES 10!’
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Images this page: Ronji on various mission trips to work with the persecuted church.
and seeing bullet holes and machete knife marks in the walls of the mud hut church I was preaching in. A week before it had been attacked and villagers had been killed because it was a Christian village. There were people there still nursing wounds—it was sobering to say the least. When you’re in those countries the reality of persecution becomes real very quickly. Two weeks after I preached there, there was another attack on the church. So, I think the government really does worry that attacks will add fuel to the fire and result in more violence.’ Ronji takes care to explain that persecution takes many forms. ‘Many people in the West think that persecution means Christians being killed, beaten, tortured, raped or forced into marriage. It’s all of those things, but it’s also subtle things, like not being able to get jobs, or study, or use public transport because you’re a Christian. It’s not being able to drink from the same well in a village or have access to food. There’s also what I call ‘soft’ persecution, and it’s creeping into New Zealand. I recently heard of a church that was not able to advertise publicly on a bus anymore because they were a church and the local authority no longer wants any Christian advertising.’
So what can we do? Ronji hopes that Salvationists will be disturbed and moved to action by this story. ‘What did Catherine Booth say? “If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present”.’ There are several things we can do from the relative safety of our four island nations, suggests Ronji. First, we can pray: ‘Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering”. There’s persecution in around 70 countries around the world. Pick a country and pray—Nigeria, Indonesia, China or India. A lot of people don’t know that India is now considered the country with the fastest levels of persecution of Christians in the world,’ reveals Ronji. Second, we can learn: ‘It’s important that we understand what the Bible says about persecution because these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a real issue in Scripture but we’re sometimes guilty of glossing over it so these things don’t pierce and penetrate our hearts. Around the world there are people who share the same faith and worldview as us, but we don’t seem to notice or care,’ says Ronji. Third, we can give: ‘So many of us give a lot of money to support those outside the Body of Christ, which is wonderful and needed, but we’re not so good at giving to those within the
Body. We forget to love and care and show compassion to those at risk within the Body. But when the Body is looked after and cared for and protected, it’s stronger and will be a better witness to a dark and dying world.’
Gracious, salty and courageous Ronji pulls no punches as he urges Salvationists to be gracious, salty and courageous in these days. ‘The hard truth about Christianity is that as a faith, it’s exclusive. Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, in this world of competing ideologies, world views and religions, Jesus calls us to share a message that is an offensive message—we live in a world that says all roads lead to God, but that’s simply not true. Christ is the only way. On top of that, the gospel calls me a sinner in need of a Saviour! That’s the challenge we live with as Christians in our pluralistic society— we’re not all talking about the same god and that’s why Jesus is exclusive in his statements. So it’s important to, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…” as in Colossians 4:6. We need to be both gracious and salty because we can’t be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation. The gospel itself is so very inclusive and open because the message of salvation is for anyone—the whosoever. So, Christianity is both inclusive and exclusive, which is why we need to be both gracious and salty. We abide far too much by the eleventh commandment—thou shalt be nice! But we’re meant to fight for the faith and contend for it. ‘I hope in these days that Salvationists will be full of grace, seasoned with salt, and courageous in their witness, because the world needs Christ!’ MORE INFO | Check out websites of trusted ministries working with the persecuted church: Voice of the Martyrs, International Christian Concern, Open Doors or Barnabas Ministries. 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 9
Stand Up, Speak Out Last year, several important equity issues were brought to the surface in our society and openly debated and discussed. But often in your own life, you can be an unwilling participant in conversations that might include sexism, toxic behaviour or racist comments and actions. When this happens, do you have the courage to speak up in other people’s defence? Often, you stay silent, but you feel like you should call the person out—but every time you go to speak up, your throat closes, your pulse quickens and any coherent response deserts you. You look around, wondering if anyone else heard or noticed and whether they are going to say something. After all, there is risk involved. You might be afraid of being ridiculed or called out in response; of damaging your relationship with the person in question; of people saying you are too sensitive; of hurting the person’s feelings. However, these fears can cause you to miss opportunities to educate people around you.
EDUCATE YOURSELF FIRST, THEN EDUCATE AND STAND UP FOR OTHERS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN A POSITION OF POWER OR PRIVILEGE.
Here are some strategies to help pre-prepare you for when those moments arise. • Acknowledge that you have a responsibility to act. We are all accountable, not just leaders and minorities. Educate yourself first, then educate and stand up for others, especially if you are in a position of power or privilege. • Be intentionally courageous. Acknowledging the risks may help you choose to act. • Don’t let it catch you off guard. You can’t prepare an exact reaction, but you can formulate general responses depending on factors such as the seriousness of the offence, the personalities of those involved, the context and whether it has happened previously. • Similarly, anticipate the way your words will be received and how the person will respond. Prepare a counterresponse in case they call you, for example, overly sensitive or politically correct. • Consider whether the conversation should be had in public or private. Will this person listen to you in that moment? Is it safe (talking in private carries less risk of the person getting aggressive)? When people are singled out, embarrassed or under pressure, they are often flustered and less receptive to feedback. Calling out somebody in
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front of others sends a strong message that you don’t condone the behaviour—but does the comment/behaviour necessitate this response? • Don’t make personal criticism or flat accusations. Assume the person is misled or not educated on the issue and did not mean to offend. You can say something like, ‘I don’t think you realise how that came across …’ or ‘I know you didn’t mean to offend, but …’ • Ask questions; for example, ‘I’m not sure that I understand? Why is that funny?’ Allow them to reflect on their own words and potential biases. • Encourage dialogue and use it as a teachable moment to transfer what you have learned about bias and privilege. • Set the standard for those around you. Encourage healthy culture by engaging in it. Dissociate yourself from problematic behaviours and call them out. Be an ally for marginalised groups and people. These moments require you to be careful about what you say so that you do not aggravate the situation. Take a deep breath when that rush of blood comes to the head. Trust your conviction, speak truly and try not to assume that the person’s response will be negative. Approach them without accusation, with kindness and remember we are all on a learning journey—together. Source: LinkedIn/Felicity Menzies, FCA
TESTIFY! Victoria Sammons struggled with negative mental health following the death of her best friend. Having journeyed through the grief, she has a heart to serve and to let everyone know that their lives have purpose. I was brought up in The Salvation Army in Hastings. Lots of people remember me as a baby. We went to church every Sunday and that was the norm. Where I really started doing my own spiritual walk was when I started going on Easter camps. My role models in the church have been Majors Alison and David Moody, Majors Julie and Rob Cope, Rosy Keane and definitely my mum. She’s our Children’s and Youth Worker in Hastings, and I’m really lucky to have that. It’s been a real comfort that my mum’s been there for me on my journey. About three years ago, I lost my best friend to suicide. I was really angry with God. I used to blame him, and I could not, under any circumstances, figure out why he would do what he did. But over the years, I’ve learned that God knows everything before it happens, and he puts people in your life for a reason. It may not make sense at the time, but it will come together at one point. I do like to think she was put in my life so that I could bring her to meet God. After that, I struggled with my own mental health. I was quite badly depressed and had really bad anxiety, and I put myself through a hard time. I am probably still not in the place where I’d like to be, but I can’t live in the past. I’ll never be able to keep living if I keep dragging myself down. Although there are so many things I wish I could change, there’s nothing I can do. Mental health is something that is so tiptoed around, but I really don’t think it should be. I feel like you could walk into a room of people and not one of them could say
‘MENTAL HEALTH IS SOMETHING THAT IS SO TIPTOED AROUND, BUT I REALLY DON’T THINK IT SHOULD BE … SPEAK UP, BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE WILL LISTEN TO YOU.’ they haven’t been impacted by impaired mental health or all the stuff that comes with it. Speak up, because so many people will listen to you. I can’t stress that enough. Life is so valuable. Romans 8:18 says, ‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be
revealed in us’. This really speaks to me, because it’s so true. Yes, you’re going through so much right now, and in ten years’ time this will still be something you think about, but you’re not going to feel the same. What I went through two years ago is nowhere related to how happy I am now. I’m studying at EIT (Eastern Institute of Technology) towards becoming a nurse. Growing up in The Salvation Army, most corps were filled with nurses, firefighters and police officers, and then there were soldiers and corps officers, and those were my role models growing up. I think a lot of people in The Salvation Army think that the only way you can serve is by being a corps officer, but I’m a full believer that as long as you’re serving, you are contributing to the ministry, and that doesn’t necessarily have to be in the church. All I ever wanted to do was be a nurse and work in a hospital, and I’m really looking forward to that.
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Nga Karere o te Mana Tapu COMMISSIONING WEEKEND
Photography by Lieutenant-Colonel Milton Collins and Major Paul Gardner. Fiji photos supplied by Captain Dale McFarlane.
THE CLASS OF 2020: MESSENGERS OF GRACE This year’s Booth College of Mission (BCM) graduation ceremony was held on Friday 4 December at Upper Hutt Corps and was testimony not only to the diligence and perseverance of all the students, but also to God’s faithfulness to equip those he calls to full-time Christian ministry. Graduate speaker, Cadet Blair Dale, was beautifully introduced by Education Officer, David Wardle, as ‘a quietly determined person; shrewd; able to gently argue his case and respectfully advocate for his team; ready to and able to step into leadership when necessary. A person able to rally the troops and pull things together. A top student, an able communicator, a fatherly figure, a lovely caring person, a disciple of Jesus —regarded by staff with admiration and pride.’ Blair gave a humorous but profound valedictory speech on behalf of the Messengers of Grace—Ngā Karere o te Mana Tapu session. ‘We mustn’t lose sight of the significance of our journey, and we must always try to see the validity in the journey of others. In order to see the validity in the stories of others, we must remember to try and see people through the eyes of Jesus. Jesus didn’t see an adulterous woman; he saw a daughter of God. He didn’t see an outcast from society; he saw a child of God. He didn’t see a leper; he saw a person made in the image of the Creator. Seeing the validity of others through the eyes of Jesus can be the beginning of renewal, forgiveness, healing and grace, and as we allow ourselves to see others through the eyes of Jesus, our hearts are transformed.’ A notable point of difference for this session was the impact of the college’s individualised study programmes. While the majority of cadets undertook the standard study programme requirements, completing the Diploma in Christian Studies (Theology and Leadership) those with previous qualifications were given the opportunity to further extend their studies and knowledge. Cadet Michal Baken completed a Bachelor of Ministries, while Cadet Scott Noakes completed a Bachelor of Theology. Cadets Eddie and Tofi Metotisi spent their first year of training studying on campus, but the second in appointment at Ōtāhuhu Corps in Auckland. All 12 cadets received the Certificate of Salvation Army Officer Training. The evening wasn’t only about the cadets, of course. School for Bible and Mission student, Scott Keane (Territorial Youth Department Web and Resource Manager), received a Diploma in Christian Studies; LAB student and Youth Worker, JD Douglas (Central Youth Services), added The Salvation Army Certificate in Youth Work Training to his Bachelor of Youth Development; and Captain David Daly (Territorial Secretary for Mission) received the Bachelor of Applied Management from the Otago Polytechnic.
From top, l–r: Lieutenants with training officers: Major Marika Serevi (MTO), Lieutenant Rupeni Daucakacaka, Lieutenant Eleni Daucakacaka, Lieutenant Mereani Betena, Captain Dale McFarlane (STO); NZ BCM graduates; Aux-Captains Eric and Julie Turner with their family; Lieutenant Michal Baken with her mother, MargaretAnne Baken; JD Douglas receives Salvation Army certificate in Youth Work Training; Major Ivan Bezzant receives his award for 40 years of service; Lieutenants Semi Ratuniyauravu and Elizabeth Walker-Ratuniyauravu; Lieutenant Lashana Dale with parents at the Silver Star Brunch; Lieutenant Emma Buckingham with mother Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham; Cadet Jesse Willis; Cadet Alanah Moody; Majors Denise and Stephen Crump receive their Silver Stars; Lieutenant Eddie Metotisi and graduates; Te Haka A Te Pōti (I’ll Fight). 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 13
Silver Star Brunch A small, intimate affair, this year’s Silver Star Brunch was held at Booth College of Mission on Saturday 5 December and led by Silver Star Secretary Captain Denise Daly. Something of a deep breath before the formalities and intensity of ordination and commissioning, the brunch gave cadets the opportunity to honour their parents and spend quality time with them in what was a busy weekend of essential engagements. Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell attended via livestream, and Mark explained that while he and Julie wished very much to be present—rather than observing from afar like the ‘Elf on the Shelf’—they were thrilled and proud to be the ‘team on the screen’, able to share a word and a prayer with the cadets and their families. Commissioner Julie explained that the Fellowship of the Silver Star was inaugurated by General Evangeline Booth in 1930, as a tangible way of honouring mothers of graduating cadets, and in 2001 expanded to include both parents or designated spiritual parents. Julie spoke about the ongoing importance of support by parents and how crucial their prayers and encouragement will be in the years ahead. Colonel Heather Rodwell presented family members with their certificates, while the cadets themselves presented their loved ones with their Silver Star badges while seated around their individual tables. When it was Cadet Lashana Dale’s turn, Lashana took a moment to explain that she and Blair are both from non-Salvationist families, and how significant it was for their families to ‘let go’ and trust God and The Salvation Army with their children and grandchildren. Lashana honoured her parents for their gracious sacrifice. Other families knew full well what to expect, with six officer parents receiving Silver Stars. Fittingly, Major Glenys Fairhurst led a moving responsive prayer based on Psalm 139, and read a parents’ ‘prayer of release’, which included the words, ‘I place you lovingly in the hands of the Heavenly Father’.
Long Service Order Recognition Dinner On Saturday 5 December, officers from around the territory who had reached a significant service milestone gathered to be honoured at a dinner of recognition. 14 WarCry 09 JANUARY 2021
The awards ranged from 25 years of service, to Major Ivan Bezzant’s 40 years of faithful service, with 16 officers receiving Long Service awards. Also attending ‘virtually’ were Commissioners Julie and Mark Campbell, who received their 35-year bars, and Major Russell Malcolm, currently in the United Kingdom, who received a 25-year bar. The total combined service of these 16 officers reached an impressive 475 years.
‘JUST DO IT’: COMMISSIONING AND ORDINATION The Messengers of Grace—Ngā Karere o te Mana Tapu were ordained and commissioned by Chief of the Staff Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham and World Secretary for Women’s Ministries Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham at Wellington City Corps on Saturday 5 December. This included the promotion of Auxiliary-Captains Eric and Julie Turner to the rank of Captain from 14 January 2021. In a ceremony befitting of the year 2020, the territorial leaders, Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell, attended and greeted the audience via livestream. Cadet Michal Baken shared her testimony and spoke of God’s remarkable healing on her journey through chronic illness, and the lesson to continue saying ‘Yes’ to him. She reflected on the passages in Judges chapters 6 and 7, where God instructed Gideon to send many of his soldiers back to camp and trust in God’s ability to win the battle they were facing, even with a seemingly undersized army. She drew similarities with this story and the importance of having strong faith through the challenges of officership. ‘Some days it seems a little bit insurmountable, but I have God on my side.’ Booth College of Mission Principal Major Garth Stevenson praised the cadets’ ability to rise to the challenges of 2020— not only the impact of the pandemic, but also the changeover of college leadership earlier in the year. He presented the Messengers of Grace, who then took turns to say the affirmation of faith in six languages from the territory: New Zealand Sign Language, English, Fijian, Tongan, te reo Māori and Samoan.
Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham then proceeded to commission and ordain the cadets—including the special opportunity to commission their daughter, Lieutenant Emma Buckingham (and give her a hug). ‘What a privilege,’ Bronwyn remarked. The Territorial Commander persevered through technical difficulties to deliver an encouraging message, reflecting on the biblical passage (read by Auxiliary Captain Eric Turner) about how John the Baptist was able to be a Messenger of Grace through character, competencies and calling. ‘He knew who he was, but also who he wasn’t. He wasn’t the answer to the world’s problems, but he knew who was.’ Referencing the famous Nike slogan—‘Just do it’—he encouraged them to step up, lead and always use their mission to point people towards God. The new lieutenants were welcomed with karanga, waiata and a karakia before officially receiving their first appointments, accompanied by their families. The Territorial Leaders especially thanked and blessed their children, recognising the impact that officership has on the entire family. There was also the celebration of Lieutenant Rae Evans’s reacceptance to officership and the warranting of Envoy Wi Pirihi and Auxiliary-Captain Amiria Te Whiu. The service concluded with a spirited performance of Te Haka A Te Pōti (I’ll Fight).
SUNDAY CELEBRATION The Sunday service of celebration was held at Wellington City Corps on December 6 and included the officers who had received their Long Service awards the night before, who were publicly honoured during the meeting. With the ordination and commissioning of the Messengers of Grace—Ngā Karere o te Mana Tapu complete, the focus of the Sunday morning celebration service was the second-year session of cadets, Messengers of Reconciliation—Ngā Karere o te Maungārongo. As has become tradition, the Long Service ‘awardees’ presented the second-year cadets with their secondyear cadet insignia. Colonel Heather Rodwell shared a profound and powerful message. She began with a personal story evidencing how easy it can be to make assumptions about people. She then asked poignant questions: ‘Have you ever judged someone based on how they look? On how they are dressed? Have you ever judged somebody based on where they came from? The colour of their skin? Their sexual orientation? Their marital status? The job they do? Their political allegiance? There are all sorts of ways in which we look at people and make summary judgements.’ Heather flipped the narrative and asked: ‘Have you ever been judged? We can be judged to our advantage or to our detriment. Have you ever been judged on the clothes you wear? The car you drive? Your strengths or your limitations? ‘Judging and being judged polarise—they set in our hearts an opinion that we’re not quite sure is true. And they can sadly create exclusion and inclusion zones. Conclusions jumped to because we failed to ask the next question. Jesus plainly said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged”.’ Heather went on to remind us that Jesus was judged, and that he constantly came under scrutiny from the religious
leaders of the day. How could someone possibly be holy, and hang out with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus hung out with women and children, prostitutes, lepers and outcasts. ‘Jesus pushed back and flipped on its head the traditional understanding of who God accepts and who God rejects.’ Heather reminded us that if we only remembered one thing it was that God’s way of casting judgement is not the same as ours. As she spoke to both the new lieutenants and the secondyear cadets, Heather explained that ‘like Christ, you will choose to associate with people others look down on and others have written off. You will confront injustice and you will act justly. You will see the salvation of God occurring in places and people you’re appointed to, but let me remind you of something: just as Christ was judged, you also will be judged.’ Heather of course moved to words of encouragement, reminding everyone of the promise in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (CEV): ‘My gift of undeserved grace is all you need, my power is strongest when you are weak’. And she made plain the difference between judgement and grace. ‘Religion teaches us that we need to prove ourselves and pull ourselves up by our own boot-straps and our own efforts and sacrifices so that when we come to the time of judgement we’ll have enough on the right side of the ledger. But the gospel of grace that I declare to you, is that it’s not about anything we do, it’s all about what Christ has already done. Jesus says that I’ve made all the sacrifices necessary, everything needed has been done—will you receive this for yourself? Have you received this gift of his grace?’ This message was a timely reminder to all present that the ministry of each graduate must be undertaken in the strength of the Lord.
Top left: Messengers of Grace—Ngā Karere o te Mana Tapu at their Commissioning and Ordination. Top right: Long Service Order recipients. Bottom right: Messengers of Reconciliation—Ngā Karere o te Maungārongo. 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 15
FIJI COMMISSIONS MESSENGERS OF GRACE BY CAPTAIN DALE MCFARLANE
Clockwise from bottom: Suva Central Corps Band; Lieutenants garlanding their parents; Garlanding of new Lieutenants; Lieutenant Mereani Betena receives her Commissioning and Ordination documents from Captain Andrew Moffatt; Lieutenants Eleni and Rupeni Daucakacaka with Pita, Talia and Belinda, watching the Territorial Leaders on the monitor as they receive their appointment; Garlanding of Envoys Verenaisi and Semi Drotini; Nasinu Corps item. 16 WarCry 09 JANUARY 2021
The commissioning and ordination of the Messengers of Grace session of cadets took place in Suva, Fiji, across the weekend of 27–29 November 2020. The Salvation Army has always been adaptable, and The Salvation Army in Fiji is no exception! In celebrating the commissioning and ordination of the Messengers of Grace, some things were familiar and expected, but there was much that was new and different. And the combination worked— everyone went with the flow, and it was a wonderful weekend. Friday was Covenant Day. This is a special and intimate day where just a few officers gather to support the cadets as they prepare to sign their Officer Covenants. This day emphasises that the most important relationship is between an officer and God. All they do in the name of The Salvation Army must be based on a deep commitment to love and serve God above all, and serving others flows out of this relationship. This Officer’s Covenant is the foundation document that sits alongside each officer’s Soldier’s Covenant. Normally, the executive team would come from Territorial Headquarters in New Zealand to support the cadets. This year, border restrictions prevented that, so the Territorial Leaders joined us online from Australia and the rest of the Territorial Executive team and leaders from Booth College of Mission (BCM), joined online from Wellington. Cadets Eleni and Rupeni Daucakacaka and Mereani Betena were supported in Suva by their training officers and guest tutors. We’ve had quite a lot of online classes this year, and some special ‘Spiritual Days’, so it didn’t feel strange to be worshipping and meeting with people whose faces were on a screen. It was a beautiful and emotional day, with a strong sense of the presence of God. One especially touching moment came as the cadets sang ‘Vosa Ni Yalayala’ (This Is My Covenant), which reminds us that the love of Jesus calls us to respond by giving our lives to follow and serve God. On Saturday morning the crew arrived early to finish erecting a large shelter on the grass area behind Suva Central
Corps. We were expecting rain and thunderstorms, and Covid-19 restrictions meant that fewer than half the people we expected on Sunday would be allowed to sit in the corps building. Help came from all directions, and we were set up with screens in two overflow areas, including the shelter. It turned out to be a gloriously hot and sunny day, and the shelter and marquees protected from heat instead of rain. As people arrived for the afternoon meeting, temperatures were checked and contact details recorded. Then the spaces filled with singing and worship. As the brass band led into the march ‘Starum’, the Salvation Army flags and cadets entered to be presented to our territorial leaders, Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell. Instead of coming up to salute them on the platform, they [flag-bearers and cadets] stood in front of a camera and a television monitor and saluted. It worked just as well! There was a large screen showing the Commissioners in Australia and those who were gathered at Territorial Headquarters in New Zealand. Those not in Fiji were able to see what was going on and listen to the cadets make their promises. Having witnessed this, the Commissioners confirmed the ordination of the cadets and commissioned them as lieutenants. Then the lieutenants’ parents were welcomed to the Silver Star Fellowship in a lovely ceremony. Previously, this has been done in a private event on the Saturday morning, but there was something very special about honouring these parents publicly. Lieutenant Rupeni Daucakacaka shared his testimony of God’s grace in taking him from someone who felt unworthy, to being called and equipped to care for those God will lead him to. Together, Mereani, Eleni and Rupeni performed a stirring dance to the song, ‘God, You’re So Good’. Before confirming the lieutenants in their appointments for next year, Commissioner Mark encouraged us all, like John the Baptist, to point people to Jesus as messengers of grace, with healthy character, godly competency and resolute fulfilment of our calling. And whatever God is calling us to, to just do it.
Sunday Celebration Service Sunday’s Celebration Service was full of colour and joy and praise, with all the indoor and outdoor spaces filled, and more people sitting on the grass. The congregations enthusiastically sang about the power and grace of God—‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’, ‘Mighty is our God’, ‘This is Amazing Grace’—and these themes continued through prayers in Fijian, Hindi and
English. The new lieutenants were joined by their children— Talia, Belinda and Pita Daucakacaka—for a powerful and moving visual performance, ‘Hold On’, which focused on staying connected to Jesus even when times are hard. This tied beautifully to an item by combined youth from local corps— a graceful interpretation of Laura Story’s song, ‘Grace’. Lieutenant Eleni shared her testimony of God’s work in her life as she learned to trust him to lead her in all circumstances. It was a delight to include two special elements of the meeting. The first was the warranting and appointing of Envoys Semi and Verenaisi Drotini, who will be assisting at Suva Central Corps. The second was acknowledging the promotion of lieutenants to the rank of captain. There were nine officers promoted, from the Messengers of Light session: Raechal and Fale Leha, Visa Kaurasi, Peneasi and Tavaita Torocake, Ruci and Seru Napolioni, and Ponipate and Mereyani Bacaivalu. Using the story of Elisha taking up Elijah’s mantle (2 Kings 2:1-14), Divisional Commander Captain Andrew Moffatt spoke of the need for us all to take up the mantle and be messengers of grace. This is not done in our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. There was a strong response as we sang ‘Jesus, All for Jesus’. Then it was time for a full-on celebration. There was great energy in the hall as each local corps presented an item. More than 350 people sat down outdoors to enjoy a celebration meal from a traditional Fijian lovo. Many countries are now having to conduct commissioning and ordination services in similar ways, but this was a first for our territory. There were some real challenges and many learnings, but there was also a very strong sense of being a team—one Army—working together to be well prepared. As well as those in Fiji and BCM who contributed, there was significant help from the Communications and Creative Ministries Departments, and from key staff in the offices of the Territorial Executive. This was a successful weekend in so many ways that we can all celebrate. Together we pray God’s richest blessing on our newest lieutenants and envoys as they step forward in his mission.
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(L–R) Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham, Captain Daniel Buckingham with son Israel, Jaden Frunt, Lieutenant Emma Buckingham, Captain Juanita Buckingham with son Toby.
Welcome Home! BY JULES BADGER
Kiwi officers, Commissioners Bronwyn and Lyndon Buckingham, returned to New Zealand in November. Following two weeks of managed isolation in Auckland, they were able to attend their daughter Emma’s commissioning, and finally meet their new grandson, Toby. The couple were here for Christmas before returning to London and International Headquarters where they serve as World Director for Women’s Ministries, and Chief of the Staff, respectively. War Cry had a virtual catch up with them during their stay in managed isolation. ‘Serving under Covid-19 restrictions has made the separation from home very real,’ says Bronwyn. ‘The best way to describe my feelings about the difficulty of it was the fact that we were now separated from home and family by more than just miles.’ The Buckinghams have served away from New Zealand for almost eight years now, and until the global pandemic broke out, they had found a rhythm that allowed for some semblance of ‘normal’ in terms of long-distance family relationships. ‘We knew that if we needed to, we could be on the next plane home, and, as a family, that’s always given us a level of comfort and we’ve slotted into that rhythm. But when Covid-19 hit and the borders around the world closed, I just felt completely isolated and helpless, knowing that even if we needed to, we couldn’t get to our family—that was very, very difficult. Not just for us, but for family here in New Zealand as well,’ Bronwyn explains. As the Chief of the Staff, Lyndon has felt the burden of serving alongside other officers serving internationally. ‘We’ve had officers who’ve missed significant events like weddings and funerals simply because they’re serving in an overseas context and can’t get home and that’s been hard to deal with. There’s a 18 WarCry 09 JANUARY 2021
sense in which there’s a camaraderie because we’re all sharing in this, but I’d love to be able to say to the team “go home to your families”, but I can’t. That whole loss of freedom of movement and that degree of uncertainty about how long that’s going to be for, that’s been a real challenge.’ Being in the United Kingdom meant that Bronwyn and Lyndon spent 120 days in lockdown. ‘It’s interesting isn’t it, the things you take for granted until they’re taken away. Then you think, I won’t ever take that for granted again!’ reflects Lyndon. ‘Bronnie and I haven’t hugged anybody other than each other since March. There’s something not right about that. Even when we were able to return to work, that was under very strict no contact rules. No hugs or handshakes, no close contact at all, and screens around workspaces—a very weird scenario. It does have an impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing because you can’t be fully human in a sense. I’ve had to deal with the mental frustration that I can’t be fully me and I can’t do things I would normally do, or even behave how I would normally.’ Both Bronwyn and Lyndon are open about how their mental wellbeing has been affected during 2020, as well as how they’ve navigated this season spiritually. Both testify to the challenges
‘…I DEFINITELY HAVE TO TESTIFY THAT GOD HAS SHOWN UP IN POWERFUL WAYS BECAUSE I SLOWED DOWN ENOUGH TO ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.’ and the spiritual disciplines that have helped them get through. ‘Honestly, my wellbeing has been more fragile than I think it’s ever been in my life,’ confesses Bronwyn. ‘Tears are just below the surface and I find myself watching the news or even something completely random on TV and the tears come. I know it’s living with so much uncertainty and the worry about being able to get home. Even as I think about coming out of managed isolation, I can feel it now—I’m emotional—and some of that is obviously anticipating the joy of seeing family and the months and months of being unable to live life normally. There’s an underlying mental and emotional fragility that I need to be aware of and careful with.’ Bronwyn comes back to the discipline of journaling, which God laid on her heart to do in a specific way on the very first day of lockdown. ‘I distinctly heard the Lord speak to me about finding something positive, or a blessing, in every day we were in lockdown. As the weeks turned into months, it became such a helpful discipline because there were days when it was really difficult to find something to be grateful for, and sometimes I had to really dig deep. But, ultimately, that kept me focused on the reality that the Lord really does have us all in his hands and I needed to keep my eyes upward—whilst not neglecting the reality of the situation—it’s real and still very difficult.’ For Lyndon, it’s been the surprise blessings and benefits of slowing down. ‘It’s been those unforced rhythms, actually. I’m quite an activist person, so that 120 days in lockdown were draining, because I draw energy from others. I’m grateful to have such a fantastic partner in Bronnie, but there were times I just wanted to be sitting around the table with a cup of coffee and a group of people sharing ideas. Yet, at the same time, I’ve developed new rhythms in prayer, Scripture reading and reflection. I could feel myself slowly adjusting and then appreciating the fact that there was nothing else on my agenda that day. I could read and pray and journal in an unhurried way, and I definitely have to testify that God has shown up in powerful ways because I slowed down enough to allow it to happen.’ Recent months, though, have taken their toll on Lyndon, who openly admits that he’s been stressed. Desperate to come home, the repeated cancellation of flights and having to realign travel plans with managed isolation bookings here in New Zealand has been ‘quite the bender for my mental and emotional health,’ says Lyndon. ‘It’s all been an interesting test of faith. Just before we left London, I was quite worked up about it all. I have a desktop note calendar with a prayer or blessing for each day, and I turned it over when I was feeling particularly stressed and uptight, and the promise said: The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in (Psalm 121:8). I knew God was saying, “Can I make it much clearer to you, Lyndon?! When are you going to receive this by faith and just relax?” Now that we’re here in New
Zealand, we’re just thrilled to be here in managed isolation, because it means we’re actually here—and that’s such an answer to prayer!’ Both have observed that despite the necessary limitations the response to the pandemic has placed upon the world, there’s a lot to celebrate. ‘In the midst of all this, there’s been so much creativity and innovation, rethinking and new thinking in terms of how to deliver mission and get jobs accomplished. It’s forced us to rethink a lot of things, and that’s a great space for us to be in. That’s a real positive for us to be asking, “Why do we do that?” And to reflect that we may have done things differently because of this Covid-19 reality, but why don’t we keep doing it this way because, actually, it’s a better way! We’ve had a number of boards and conferences that have moved to an online space because of travel restrictions, and now we’re reflecting and thinking that maybe we don’t need to meet in person three times a year. We can meet once a year and have the other two gatherings virtually. That’s a cost saving to the movement and a carbon footprint reduction. These are some of the valuable learnings that will make us better.’
‘IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS, THERE’S BEEN SO MUCH CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION, RETHINKING AND NEW THINKING IN TERMS OF HOW TO DELIVER MISSION AND GET JOBS ACCOMPLISHED.’ The online space has been crucial for the couple who haven’t been able to physically go to corporate worship since mid-March. ‘That’s been a blessing for us—watching a lot of online worship. We’ve dropped in on different parts of the world and been quite eclectic in drawing on the flavours of the world on a Sunday. We could be in New Zealand or Africa, just getting a taste of how they worship,’ explains Lyndon. Bronwyn affirms that New Zealand is ‘the envy of so many countries in the way Covid-19 has been managed here. We’ve been at the heart of the pandemic and are probably going to experience some sort of re-entry culture shock.’ But what’s she most looking forward to? ‘It goes without saying that we’re just desperate to hug our children and grandbabies and be at Emma’s commissioning—that’s a oncein-a-lifetime event and it would break my heart not to be there with her.’ Lyndon’s face lights up when he says, ‘I just want some freedom of movement, a bit of corporate worship in the mix, and of course to hold the family! I’m the one that usually likes to be organised and plan our times together, but I’ve said to everyone, “I don’t care what we do, or where we go, or when, I just want to hang with my peeps and whatever happens, happens!” Bring it on!’
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why pray? What was it about Jesus’ way of praying that prompted his disciples to ask: ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke 11:1)? Did they see something in Jesus’ posture, his language or his perpetual habit that contrasted with their own? Or was it that prayer seemed to be a natural part of life for him, integrated with the everyday? Whatever it was, it was different enough from what was familiar for Jesus’ closest friends to ask him to teach them to pray. BY COLONEL HEATHER RODWELL
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This request prompted Jesus to give them an example of prayer and what we now refer to as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. I’m not so sure that Jesus’ intention was to provide a prayer to be memorised and repeated on regular occasions, but many people have found it helpful to do so on their own prayer journeys. In the foreword to Pete Greig’s book, How to Pray: A Simple Guide For Normal People, Nicky Gumbel describes prayer as the most important activity of our lives. He goes on to say: ‘It’s the way in which we develop a relationship with our Father in Heaven. Jesus prayed and taught us to do the same.’ And therein lies the rub for many of us. We are in
little doubt that prayer is important, but find it difficult to sustain a practice of prayer in our daily lives, even though many of us will utter a prayer at certain crisis points of our lives. Failure to regularly pray can leave us feeling guilty or dissatisfied. This overflows into our relationship with God. But imagine with me how this could change.
Legacy of prayer As parents or grandparents we are entrusted with training our children in practices or behaviours that align to things we value. For example, children don’t automatically learn to clean their teeth regularly, but they can be taught to do this with a little encouragement
loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Prayer may come easily or hesitantly, but, over time an expanded vocabulary grows and, with this, trust and understanding.
IT’S ANOTHER IMAGE OF PRAYER THAT WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF: SIMPLY TO SEEK HIS COMFORT AND PRESENCE AT TIMES WHEN WE’RE HURT, UPSET, AFRAID OR TIRED—THAT’S PRAYER. and by establishing a routine for this to happen. Similarly, encouraging our children to value prayer is something that may begin with us talking with them about their day as they prepare for bed, and then concluding with words of thanks or requests to God. As they grow, they don’t need us to always pray, but we can encourage them to pray themselves. This bedtime routine becomes something that not only encourages the act of praying, but provides a wonderful time of connection and strengthening of relationship together. At the same time, it’s establishing an intentional understanding of God who created and
Children can teach us so much about how to relate to God. Their natural fascination and wonder with a ladybug that’s found on the underside of a leaf, or the sparkle of the sun as it glistens on the water, are both an expression of prayer that needs no well-formed words. When they are tired or hurt, coming to curl up close for a cuddle and to rest against us, simply to be and know we are there, is another expression that mirrors what God welcomes from us. It’s another image of prayer that we must not lose sight of: simply to seek his comfort and presence at times when we’re hurt, upset, afraid or tired—that’s prayer.
Aligning with the Spirit Recently on the 24-7 Prayer Facebook group on which I am administrator, I asked the questions: ‘Why pray? Why do you pray?’ Not surprisingly, the majority of responses focused on a person’s relationship with God—someone trusted with the questions and quandaries of life, and someone from whom we seek guidance. Another strong theme related to prayer is an expression of our desire to join with God’s desire to see the Kingdom come. Praying in this way brings alignment of our heart with the heart of God. All of the respondents expressed in a variety of ways the absolute importance of knowing that there is someone beyond our limited earthly framework who is able to influence and intervene in matters too large for us to fully comprehend or know how to deal with.
Confidence through prayer in 2021 Here we are at the commencement of a new year. Last year presented us with more challenges than we ever dreamed of twelve months ago. Our lives are forever changed, and so is our understanding and relationship with this world. Many of our certainties and convictions have been shaken, and they are yet to fall into place again. We approach this new year with a caution arising from all that unfolded in 2020, yet this place of caution also challenges
AS PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS WE ARE ENTRUSTED WITH TRAINING OUR CHILDREN IN PRACTICES OR BEHAVIOURS THAT ALIGN TO THINGS WE VALUE. us to reaffirm what we remain sure of. The essence of our faith remains unshaken even though our experience of what it means to live by faith has been given a masterclass. We are not the same people anymore, and so we’re invited by God to approach 2021 with all our newfound knowledge and wonderings. We are invited to leave behind certainties we had—where we attached enduring hope to things that were always going to pass away—and embrace new possibilities as we undertake a journey that will lead us into deeper places that are just waiting to be discovered. Prayer is like this: a fathomless, immeasurable sea of immense possibility that can never be fully known and yet can be intimately experienced if we would just yield ourselves to its power.
Teach us to pray Perhaps you relate personally to the disciples’ request of Jesus: ‘Teach us to pray’. You’re feeling diffident and uncertain that your experience of prayer up until now fully meets the need of these times in which we live. I highly recommend the Pete Greig book, How to Pray: A Simple Guide For Normal People which is associated with The Prayer Course. This usefully walks through ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as a basis for teaching us how to pray. This is not a journey we need to take on our own. Invite others to join you, because you can be sure that there’s more to this prayer thing than you could ever imagine!
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PRAY Police Chaplains, Porirua Corps, Porirua District Court Services, Territorial Property Department, Territorial Public Relations Department, The Salvation Army in Kenya West.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or War Cry, PO Box 6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6141
Promotions: We congratulate the following officers on their promotion to Major: Effective 10 December 2020: Captains Christine and Nigel De Maine, Captains Nicola and Ralph Hargest, Captain Brenton Millar. We congratulate the following officers on their promotion to Captain: Effective 5 December 2020: Lieutenants Mereyani and Ponipate Bacaivalu, Lieutenants Ruci and Seru Napolioni, Lieutenants Peniasi and Tavaita Torocake, Lieutenant Visa Kaurasi. Effective 12 December 2020: Lieutenants Adam and Sarah-Ann Grove, Lieutenants Mere-Gina and Saimone Gataurua, Lieutenants Faleata and Raechal Leha, Lieutenants Rachel and Simon Montgomery, Lieutenants Kylie and Ralph Overbye, Lieutenants Eliesa and Selalina Prescott, Lieutenants Gavin and Veronica Rivett, Lieutenants Misikone and Sheree Vemoa. Admission to the Long Service Order: We congratulate the following officers on attaining their Long Service Awards. 25 years’ service, Effective 9 December 2020: Majors Anne and Alister Irwin, Majors Brenda and Nigel Luscombe, Major Russell Malcolm, Major Joanne Wardle. Effective 16 December 2020: Majors Iliesa and Litiana Cola. 30 years’ service, Effective 5 January 2021: Major Earle Ivers. Effective 19 January 2021: Majors Julie and Robert Cope, Major Garth Stevenson. 35 years’ service, Effective 11 January 2021: Commissioners Julie and Mark Campbell. Effective 18 January 2021: Major Susan Jarvis, Major Pamela Waugh. 40 years’ service, Effective 24 January 2021: Major Ivan Bezzant. We thank these officers for their faithful service and pray God’s richest blessing upon each of them. Corps Plant Recognition: Effective 17 September 2020: Apia Corps Plant. The Territorial Governance Board officially recognised the rapid growth and development of Apia Corps Plant, Samoa Region, and approved the elevation of it to full corps status. We give thanks to God for the officers, soldiers and friends who have contributed to Apia Corps’ mission success. Promotion to Glory: Major Lindsay Chisholm was promoted to Glory from Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, on Wednesday 9 December, at the age of 75. Lindsay Eric Chisholm was born in Invercargill on 2 January 1945, and entered Salvation Army Training College in 1978 in the Joyful Evangelists session, from Tīmaru Corps, with Raewyn and their family. They were commissioned on 19 January 1980 and appointed as Corps Officers to Winton Corps, followed by Greymouth (1981), and Upper Hutt (1983). In 1986 Lindsay and Raewyn were appointed as Divisional Youth Secretaries to Wellington Division, returning to a corps appointment at Whangārei in 1991, before being appointed as Divisional Youth Secretaries in the Northern Division in 1992. In 1993, Lindsay was appointed to Territorial Headquarters as Assistant Financial Secretary with the additional appointment as Executive Officer to the National Songsters. In 1997, Lindsay was appointed as the Financial Secretary, Territorial Headquarters. In 2001, Lindsay and Raewyn were appointed to the Fiji Region as Regional Commander and Regional Director of Women’s Organisations. They returned to New Zealand in 2004 to appointments as Divisional Commander and Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries, Midland Division. A return to corps in 2009 saw Lindsay and Raewyn appointed as Corps Officers to Levin Corps where Lindsay had the additional appointment as Director, Community & Family Services. It is from these appointments that Lindsay and Raewyn entered retirement on 12 January 2012. In retirement, Lindsay was appointed pro-tem as Territorial Public Relations Secretary in March 2013. In July 2015, Lindsay was appointed as Budgeting Consultant, Midland Division; Budgeting Consultant, Central Division in August 2015; and Budgeting Consultant, Northern Division in March 2020. Lindsay and Raewyn also gave oversight to Dunedin City Corps in June 2018 and Fiji Division in January 2020. In May 2020, Lindsay concluded his appointments in retirement. Please uphold in prayer Major Raewyn and their children Shane, Anthony and Captain Rochelle Moffatt (who is in Fiji and currently unable to return home) along with the extended family, which includes Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham and Lt- Colonels Michelle and Milton Collins, at this time of grief and loss. Well done good and faithful Joyful Evangelist! Bereavement: Major Malia Siufanga, of his brother, Sililo Fakahafua Mu’asika, from San Francisco, USA, on Friday 11 December 2020. We ask you to uphold in prayer Majors Malia and Sila Siufanga, and extended family members, at this time of grief and loss. Quiz Answers: 1 23, 2 Paul McCartney, 3 Atlantic City, 4 Porsche, 5 Psalm 51.
22 WarCry 09 JANUARY 2021
Use the picture clues to complete the crossword. 2
‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’ 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19
Can you help the kids find their favourite fish?
2 FUN FACT Your blood is as salty as the ocean.
Q When does it rain money? A When there’s a change in the weather.
Q Why is the letter B hot? A Because it makes oil boil.
Design your own surfboard!
How exciting is summer? Whether you’re spending days at the beach, hanging out with friends or playing sport, it is a season where we are outdoors a lot of the time. This means we need sunscreen. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to remember to apply it before you leave the house and it feels a bit slimy, but wearing sunscreen is super important. In the short term, it stops you from getting painful sunburn. In the long term, it can prevent you from getting very sick. It is important to God that we take care of our bodies. This includes drinking water to stay hydrated and eating healthy food (like fruit and veggies) to stay nourished with the right energy, as well as taking care of our skin. He took great care to make us all unique, and we need to protect the bodies he created so carefully. I WONDER...
When you go out in the sun this week, can you remind your friends and family to put on sunscreen? 09 JANUARY 2021 WarCry 23
Worship at Waitangi TE TII MAR AE, WAITANGI | 4–6 FEBRUARY 2021
Worship at Waitangi is an annual worship gathering with people from Aotearoa and beyond. Joining in unity at the birthplace of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, we stand together to affirm the spiritual covenant between Tāngata Whenua and Tāngata Tiriti. FOR MORE INFO CONTACT Captain Hana Seddon | 027 277 3777 |