March 2023 | warcrymagazine.org.nz
8 Leaning into a Legacy
Blenheim Corps Home League celebrates 100 years of outreach and community.
12 The Teens Teaming up in Thames
A group of nine people from Teen Missions International travelled from Queensland to the small town of Thames to serve in the local community.
16 Welcoming the Champions of the Mission
Supporters from around the territory gathered at Johnsonville Corps to welcome the newest Salvation Army cadets.
20 Inspiring Hope for 50 Years!
Jules Badger looks back at the beginnings of Christchurch Bridge.
26 Cultivating a Kingdom Perspective
Part three of the four-part series by Major Mat Badger looks at the seed amongst thorns from the Parable of the Sower.
28 A Striking Effort from Family Store Volunteers
Two Napier Family Store volunteers share their triumphs after competing in tenpin bowling at the Special Olympics.
War Cry Magazine
The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory
Commissioners Julie and Mark Campbell
Catherine and William Booth
2 March 2023
Editor Vivienne Hill
Graphic design Sam Coates, Nicole Gesmundo, Lauren Millington
Jules Badger, Hope Burmeister, Captain Rachel Montgomery, David Youngmeyer
Proof reading Colleen Marshall
Connect with us warcrymagazine.org.nz
SalvationArmyNZFTS @SalvationArmyNZ salvationarmynzfts Territorial Headquarters, 204 Cuba Street, PO Box 6015, Marion Square, Wellington 6141 p: (04) 384 5649
It Begins and Ends with Prayer
ecently my daughter got married, and during the months of preparation I worried how all the threads that needed to come together—to produce a celebration without mishap or miscalculation—might fall into place. I applied John 2:1–11 and my prayer over the weeks leading up to the wedding was, metaphorically speaking, ‘take the water of the wedding and turn it into the finest wine’; in other words, ‘take our less-than-perfect attempts to organise a wedding and turn it into a spectacular day’… and God delivered, beyond expectations. Even the weather was amazing—which is a miracle considering the summer we have just had!
Jesus understood and knew my anxiety. I invited him to attend to the details of an event that was important to me and my family—and he did. This may seem like an unimportant prayer, particularly when Aotearoa New Zealand is reeling from the disaster of Cyclone Gabrielle. But if I can invite Jesus into the circumstances of a wedding, we as a nation can invite him into the restoration of our land and the healing of the hearts of those who have been devastated by these dreadful weather events.
Whether our prayers are for big things or small things, Jesus loves to answer them.
We just need to humble ourselves and pray and seek his face, to invite him into our pain and ask him to remedy things that are out of our control and beyond our capabilities to manage. The fallout from Cyclone Gabrielle is beyond what any government alone can fix. It is going to take cities, towns and communities coming together—working together—to find ways forward. The Salvation Army has a key role to ‘pray’ right now. We know it will take a miracle: particularly around food supply with a wind-blown, sodden harvest laying on the ground; a building crisis; and severe infrastructure breakdown, but God is up to the job. He will take our prayers and creatively and spectacularly answer them, above and beyond all we could possibly ask—we just need to ask.
This edition of War Cry is full of stories of restoration and answered prayers. I hope you will enjoy and take heart from the many instances of answered prayer within these pages.Vivienne Hill Editor
...prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as worthy. JOHN PIPER
• Turkey and Syria—Pray that people personally impacted by the earthquakes and those who have lost loved ones will experience God’s mercy, peace and provision at this time.
• Saudi Arabia—Pray for believers forced to keep their faith secret to be able to safely connect with other believers.
• Maldives—Pray for religious freedom in the Maldives and for isolated Christians to find community with each other.
• China—Pray for churches in China to experience growth amidst persecution and for believers to stand strong in their faith.
• Iraq—Pray for peace and unity in the country so that displaced Christians feel safe to return home.
SALVATION ARMY PRAYER
Please keep those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle in your prayers. We continue to pray for the Kingdom of Tonga rebuilding after the eruption and tsunami; Wellington South Corps; Westgate Corps; Westport Corps; Whakatāne Corps; Whanganui City Corps; Whangārei Corps; Winton Corps; Wills and Bequests; The Salvation Army in Kenya West and Korea.
1000 Days Appeal
The first 1000 days of a child’s life are crucial for their future. If a child is born into a safe and loving home it will help them to develop and grow in a positive way. However, many parents are unable to provide for their children’s needs due to hardship. The appeal aims to provide support for 1000 children for 1000 days. Donations will provide parents with baby essentials and access to counselling services, Positive Lifestyle Programmes, whānau support and early childhood education centres. For more information, visit salvationarmy.org.nz/1000days
WORD OF THE MONTH
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.WH AUDEN
Cyclone Gabrielle is the worst weather event to impact New Zealand this century.
Caramelised Onion and Sausage Tart
Caramelised onions give real depth to this easy midweek meal. You can grill the sausages instead of frying them if you prefer, then chop and transfer to a frying pan to finish the dish. | 45 mins | Serves 4–6
• 2 onions, thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 Tbsp brown sugar
• 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
• 4–5 quality meat sausages (not pre-cooked BBQ sausages)
• 1 apple, peeled and diced
• 1 cup beef stock
• 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 Tbsp cornflour
• 1 Tbsp water
• 1 ½ sheets or 1 block of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the onions and cook gently, stirring often until they are a good golden colour (10 minutes). Add the brown sugar and continue cooking the onions until a rich caramel colour. While onions cook, make the sausage filling. Gently fry the sausages and while they are cooking, steam, microwave or boil the diced potato until cooked. Drain and set aside.
When the sausages are cooked, chop into chunks, return to the pan and add potato, frying gently until potato starts to turn golden. Add diced apple, caramelised onions, balsamic vinegar and stock. Simmer until the apple is tender and the sauce reduced. Combine the cornflour and water, and add to the mixture to thicken.
Roll the pastry out to a large rectangle (or join the sheets together) and place on a greased baking tray. With a sharp knife, score a border 1 cm inside the edge of the pastry all the way round, taking care not to cut all the way through. This border will rise as the pastry cooks, forming a raised edge to the tart. Prick the centre all over with a fork—this lets some of the steam through, which combined with the weight of the filling keeps the middle from rising and from spilling the filling out.
Spoon the sausage mixture onto the prepared pastry, ensuring the mixture is evenly distributed including the corners. Place the tart in a preheated oven and bake at 180̊C for 25 minutes or until pastry is well risen and dark golden and the filling piping hot.
Source: Sophie Grey | destitutegourmet.com
TOP FIVE Most Unique Water Sports
1 Underwater hockey
Basically, hockey but underwater! Players wear a snorkel, fins and a mask and chase the puck around the floor of the pool.
A mixture of wakeboarding and skateboarding, however, you aren’t connected to the board, so it’s more like skateboarding on water (or up in the air).
3 Horse surfing
This activity involves a person on a horse with another on a surfboard connected by a rope on the water, the horse rider controlling the speed for the surfer.
4 Barefoot skiing
Skiing without the skis, this sport is as it sounds—barefoot skiing. You need to get to higher speeds barefoot as you don’t have any skis to stand on.
This involves balancing on a small board while holding onto a kite. The wind helps you ride over the waves, but make sure the wind isn’t too wild!
1 Which country was first in the world to have a female prime minister?
2 Who was the youngest of the famous Brontë sisters?
3 In 1851, Elizabeth Smith Miller became the first woman to wear what?
4 Which famous founder of modern nursing was nicknamed ‘the Lady with the Lamp’?
5 In the Bible, who said to her husband, ‘Give me children, or else I die’?
Answers page 32
Do You Know This Person?
If you recognise the person in this photo, we’d love to hear from you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was asked by the Appointments Board to become an officer–writer on the War Cry team, which I’m very excited about, as I enjoy reading, writing, and sharing my stories, thoughts and ideas with others. I’m looking forward to the contribution I can make to the team and to the publication.
My family is very important in my life. I’ve been married to Simon for 16 years, and we have two incredible girls, Olivia (11) and Holly (4).
I enjoy music and often connect with God in this way. I’m a lover of reading as it helps to expand my worldview. I also like to research topics and share information with others. My baking skills continue to improve with my family’s help in trying out my creations. I appreciate the time I spend with my friends, and the many occasions we share food together.
Moving Day! | Greymouth
Greymouth Corps is moving to 77 Shakespeare Street, on Saturday 4 March.
Formal whakawātea/ cleansing/blessing, starts at 3pm, followed by tea at 5pm.
United Nations International Women’s Day
This day focuses on women’s rights, particularly equality and advocacy against violence towards women.
Café Opening | Wellington
The café at The Salvation Army Cuba Street opens to the public, offering Hamodava coffee and a place for locals to connect.
If your corps or centre is holding an event we would love to add it to our calendar. Send submissions to warcry@ salvationarmy.org.nz
I’m passionate about seeing God’s kingdom grow and people experiencing God’s fullness of life. Along with my husband Simon, I’ve been an officer for seven years. We’ve served in three appointments as corps officers.Captain Rachel Montgomery Writer
Kaleidoscope is a show with a fascinating premise: a non-linear series with episodes that can be watched in any order. The story is told over the span of 25 years, documenting a grand heist from motivation through fallout. In typical heist stories, the viewer is meant to root for the crew who—while flawed—have noble intentions. In Kaleidoscope, most characters have few redeeming qualities and the viewer is meant to pity them. The problem here is that this message is somewhat lost under the Ocean’s 11-style panache in the execution, which muddies the show’s ultimate message as a cautionary tale about the futility of revenge. (Reviewed by Sam Coates)
The Daily Grace
Christian Living | The Daily Grace Co | Available wherever you listen to podcasts, or watch on YouTube
The Daily Grace podcast is a show for Christian women and covers topics like friendship, loneliness, overcoming people-pleasing, prayer, using your gifts and so much more. Most episodes feature a guest, but there are also plenty of episodes with just the hosts, Shelby and Crystal. What I particularly like about this podcast is that the team really want to make sure that women know that deep Bible study and rich theology isn’t just for seminary students or pastors, but should be accessible and transformational for all believers. This podcast is one of my favourite weekly listens which always encourages me and gives me something thought-provoking to take away. (Reviewed by Julia Martino)
Thirsty for More?
Clouds Over Paris: The Wartime Notebooks of Felix
History | Literature | Felix Hartlaub | Pushkin Press
Translated from German, this slim volume comprises background descriptions and sketches that would likely have formed the basis for a novel set in occupied France, particularly Paris. The author was posted to Paris between December 1940 and August 1941, as an historian with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His observations of wartime life are acute. Parisians waiting outside a butcher’s shop: ‘Their faces emptied, leached with waiting’. A German mess sergeant: ‘his belt buckled in the final hole.’ Unfortunately, the planned novel was never to eventuate, as Hartlaub went missing during the decisive Battle of Berlin in 1945. (Reviewed by David Youngmeyer)
There are some out there who love drinking water on its own, but also some who find it boring and tasteless. Here are a few ways to make your water more exciting, without compromising health. Add slices of lemon, lime or orange for a subtle, refreshing flavour. You can also use ice in many ways, such as freezing juice into cubes, or adding pieces of fruit in water cubes to add to your glass. If you want the illusion of a soft drink without all the sugar, try buying sparkling water, plain or flavoured (or you can flavour it yourself). Think of different ways you can use healthy things you have at home like fruit, veggies or teas to enhance your drink.Drama | created by Eric Garcia | Watch on Netflix
Leaning into a Legacy
On May 23, Blenheim Corps Home League celebrates 100 years of ministry to women, by women. War Cry pauses to celebrate the origins and service achievements of Blenheim Home League, as well as the enduring care of a generation of women and the inspiration that legacy of care and service is to women today. The women who first gathered for home league in 1923 could barely have imagined the advances for women and opportunities available in 2023.WORDS Jules Badger
ome league got off to a bumpy start in New Zealand, but World War I changed everything. By 1916, there were 17 home league groups operating across the country, with women coming together to prepare care packages for soldiers serving overseas. After the war, attention turned to the home front with service focused on the ‘poor and needy’. It was during this period when Blenheim Home League came into being, likely motivated by the need generated after the great Blenheim flood of 1923 that ravaged the region.
Just a decade later in 1932, War Cry reported the efforts and activities of Blenheim Home League during the years of the Great Depression: ‘A very heavy demand is being made upon the home league at present, but the good service of the relief workers committee is easing the burden somewhat, and the co-operation of the two is doing good work locally to alleviate the sufferings of unemployment’.
A blooming success
Home league in New Zealand over this time grew at an extraordinary rate, with 500 members in 1919, ballooning to 3429 by 1938. By the 1940s, the growth and success of Salvation Army Home League globally
saw the consolidation of purpose into the four pillars of worship, education, fellowship and service. These pillars remain unchanged and endure today.
The women of Blenheim were clearly faithful in fiercely upholding the four home league pillars as the 1984 ‘Historical Review’ produced for the corps centenary reveals of that time. Care packages of food and clothing were sent from Blenheim to Salvation Army missionaries serving in India, Rhodesia, Korea and Indonesia. Financial support was provided directly to missionaries in Singapore and India. Home league members visited local institutions to encourage inmates and deliver home baking. Hand-knitted garments were donated to the maternity home. Hundreds of jars of jam and marmalade were regularly distributed to pensioners, and fruit and tissues were delivered to hospital patients. In the days before Family Stores existed, Blenheim Home League women ran jumble sales to fundraise for items for the corps building and officers’ quarters.
The legacy of female leadership within Blenheim Corps is renowned, with the very first officers appointed in 1884 being two young women—Captain McMillan and Lieutenant Teasdale. Their example no
doubt influenced the prominence of women in the corps, inspiring a generation and shaping the next.
A league of her own
Born in Blenheim in 1940 and promptly dedicated as a baby at the local Army, home league certainly shaped Jenny Hair’s life. Jenny recalls going along to home league with her mother after school when she was a child, and later as a teen. When Jenny married, and after the birth of her own children in the late 1960s, she returned to home league. ‘I had toddlers at the time—as a lot of us did,’ she explained. ‘Home league was much needed fellowship for us. The officer at that time used to look after the children of the home league women so we could meet.’
A natural leader herself, Jenny reflects on the contribution of women in the Blenheim Corps over the years. ‘Women have always had the opportunity to be leaders and speak from the platform. It’s just part of being a Sallie—women are always involved,’ said Jenny. She has been an active home league member for the past 57 years, as well as the home league secretary
not once, but twice–with the current stint sitting at 15 years and counting—and Jenny is 83 years old!
‘It’s a calling, really. You don’t do it for yourself; you do it because you love God and you’re doing service for him. And in the meantime, you’re also doing service for others. It’s an important and fulfilling ministry. And to be fair, I couldn’t do it without the other committed leaders working alongside me. They play a vital role.’
Clearly Blenheim Home League has been instrumental for a generation of women, but there are only a handful of groups left around the territory, and while Jenny’s roll numbers about 35 members, like mostAbove: Blenheim Home League, 1925.
‘Thank you for providing a place where women can come and find friendship—a place to belong and discover the love of Jesus.’
groups, it is mainly comprised of older women—the average age of Blenheim members being around 75 years old.
‘How long home league will continue in the future is anyone’s guess … but it is hard—I’ve spoken at the funerals of 10 of our ladies. It’s awful for everyone, but we just keep on loving each other. My leaders are very caring; they call the ladies during the week to check in, which is important because some are lonely and isolated.’
Despite being an aging group, Jenny and her ladies are evangelically focused. ‘There’s a block of flats nearby, and one lady came to home league through Community Ministries. She started coming and brought six other women from the flats along with her,’ reported Jenny.
Captain Emma Howan, corps officer at Blenheim Corps, testifies to the spiritual temperature of the group. ‘What they do comes out of what they believe. There’s a deep willingness within these women to share beyond the group with those who don’t yet have a spiritual connection with God,’ she said. ‘I’ve heard stories that it’s been a home league lady they’ve bumped into in the supermarket who’s sparked up a conversation with them and then invited them to home league. These women love God deeply and have a strong desire for others to know God too.’
Territorial Leader Commissioner Julie Campbell said, ‘I want to thank the women of Blenheim Home League
for their service, and for being women of influence. Thank you for providing a place where women can come and find friendship—a place to belong and discover the love of Jesus. An oasis of encouragement, supporting women to go out into homes and communities with confidence and share God’s love by caring for others. I want to thank them for that legacy.’
For Jenny and the home league women, it’s the younger women who they are increasingly concerned about. ‘I really feel for women today, especially the ones who must work to help pay the mortgage and make the budget stretch—I really feel for them and I just hope they find the opportunity for Christian fellowship like our older ladies have,’ said Jenny.
I’ll have what she’s having
That desire for deeper consistent connection with other women took root in the younger women of the corps during the first Covid-19 year. ‘Our home league women are so deeply connected to each other— supporting each other through the highs and lows of life. Our younger women want that too! This younger group are currently fundraising for a women’s retreat to think this through,’ explained Emma.
Julie said, ‘Women’s Ministries has had to evolve because there was a whole group of younger women we weren’t connecting with. The great legacy of home league is that it is our foundation—what we do today has come from it. We all need friendship, and the grounding and joy of knowing Jesus, but we also need to be well-informed on the issues of the day affecting women and be equipped to respond. So, we’ve been encouraged to look more broadly, think differently and re-imagine our ministry to women.’Blenheim Home League members gather.
‘I really feel for women today, especially the ones who must work to help pay the mortgage and make the budget stretch…’
The New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory has been at the forefront of re-imagining ministry to women, by women, since the late 1990s. It was a proud and historic moment when Colonel June Kendrew was appointed as the very first Territorial Women’s Ministry Secretary globally, signalling a new era of innovation and change. The turn of the century heralded the beginnings of a twenty-first century reboot to reach a new generation of women. New initiatives were encouraged and events and conferences that raised awareness of the plight of women and girls globally sprang up calling for action—notably, ‘Her Freedom Song’ conferences, the brainchild of Captain Sammy Millar. And in 2018, the International Women’s Ministries Department launched a campaign to ‘reimagine’ Women’s Ministries, calling for a renewed contextual commitment to advocating for and improving the lives of women and girls worldwide.
In this territory, Women’s Ministries moved into the Mission team space in 2018, to ensure the influence of women’s voices spans the breadth of the Army. With the mandate to ‘empower women, engage mission and ignite action’, women are doing just that—women like Te Rena Goodwin (Ngāti Kahu/Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu) of Manurewa Corps Plant.
Kaha wāhine kotahitanga—strong women in unity
Te Rena began her journey with The Salvation Army when she was living in transitional housing in Papakura—she now has her own place in Manurewa. ‘I was there with my kids for two years, and my whole attitude and life changed. My faith grew stronger, and I met lots of community people.’ Encouraged by Corps Officer Captain Steve Molen, Te Rena founded a community group called Kaha Wāhine Kotahitanga (Strong Women in Unity).
‘We started with women from the community—some from transitional housing. Women invite other women, and some come now that we are on social media. The women have struggles and are trying to find themselves; some of them know God and are walking with him.
Others don’t but are curious and so we leave that door wide open for God and what he has for them. We’re all about unity and bringing women from all walks of life together—sharing together and building relationships while we craft together,’ Te Rena explained.
Growing up on the streets herself, Te Rena is passionate about helping others. ‘I didn’t have any help when I was younger and so I want to help and extend aroha (love) and awhi (embrace) to others—especially women.’
Te Rena runs a free community shed from her home for women only. ‘It’s a safe place for women to come and shop safely without someone looking over their shoulder—some are caught in domestic violence, so they need to feel safe. It’s a place to kōrero (talk) about what we do and if they need karakia (prayer), we karakia over them. We have a couple of strong prayer warriors in our group and we text prayer needs out so everyone gets praying,’ she explained.
Leaning into a spirit-led legacy
The values that drive Te Rena and the women of Kaha Wāhine Kotahitanga are: belonging and community connection, exploring spirituality, women empowering women, and creative expression. There’s a familiar echo to these values—a Spirit-led re-imagining of home league’s four pillars fit for twenty-first century Manurewa. Now there’s an inspiring history to connect with, and a legacy to lean into for a new generation of Salvation Army women.
Happy Anniversary Blenheim Home League! Rest assured that the future of women’s ministries is in safe hands!
Blenheim Corps Home League Centenary
Fellowship Lunch: Saturday 20 May, 12.30pm
Worship Service: Sunday 21 May, 10.00am
Let us know you’re coming! p (03) 578 0862
Teens Serving the Mission of God in Thames
The Salvation Army in Thames became a hot spot for discipleship and evangelism this summer. A group of six young people with three leaders from Teen Missions International travelled all the way from Queensland, Australia, to the small town of Thames in the Coromandel to serve in the corps and local community. Hope Burmeister reports.
Lieutenants Jesse and Ben Willis, the corps officers at Thames Corps, have a personal connection to Teen Missions as they participated in the programme themselves as young people. They actually met each other during the programme and went on to marry. Ben moved to join Jesse in New Zealand and they trained to become officers in The Salvation Army.
Teen Missions retains a special place in their hearts and Ben mentioned that his first Teen Missions trip,
‘set my life on a path which has led me to now become an officer and to be ministering here in Thames’.
Practical summer mission
The coordinators from Teen Missions recently got in touch with Ben and Jesse, asking if they wanted to have a group come to serve in their corps. And so, for the first time, a group came to the small community of Thames, ready and willing to do anything to serve God.
One big project the team undertook was painting the church building, which took weeks of prep and painting. They went through 28 tubes of caulk! Jesse and Ben were impressed with the high quality of the work when the job was complete.
This was one of the many ways the team served the corps and the Thames community. They also led church services in the corps, and played worship music, made balloon animals for the kids and connected with locals at the Saturday street market.
Thames is a small town, so the group’s efforts were noticed, and the young people got to know many locals by name and built connections. They were even able to help some who were in desperate need, for example, a man experiencing homelessness. They invited him for breakfast and a shower. There were many times when the group invited people they just met to join them for a meal or just chatted with them.
‘…the kind of culture around town is really great because people are genuinely interested in getting to know who these people are who have come here,’ said Ben. ‘You want to get to know them before they leave.’
The team endured challenges when, after prepping to lead a community meal and church service, they all had to isolate after most of them caught Covid-19. But they still remained optimistic and excited for what God was doing, despite the disruptions.
One of the teenagers, a 15-year-old, preached his first sermon at Thames Corps, after which he received a big round of applause, as everyone was excited to see such a young person up there speaking.
A summer well spent
On their last Sunday in Thames, all of the young people in the team got up and shared with passion and confidence a God moment they had experienced on their trip.
‘It was really cool to see the growth even in a few short weeks from when they first arrived to when they left,’ said Jesse. ‘Just real confidence in their faith … and that really encourages and excites us.’
Ben was impressed with the group’s ability to be practical but also talk to people about Jesus. Despite not being from The Salvation Army, they demonstrated the Army’s values.
‘I was really pleased and blown away at how they really embodied the spirit of The Salvation Army like the two wings on a bird: you’ve got the social action and you’ve got evangelism and if you have one without the other then the bird will just crash to the ground,’ he said.
A special thing about the Thames Corps building is that it’s the oldest Salvation Army building that’s still being used, 137 years later. Ben feels it was special to have these young people not only come in and physically paint it, but also bring an enthusiastic, youthful presence to their corps family.
The Teen Missions Team Reports Back
1. What was the highlight of the trip?
2. What was something you learned?
He declared, ‘it almost feels somewhat poetic—that the year starts off with these young people coming and blessing us and we really hope and pray that’s a catalyst for more’.
1. I loved talking to people in the markets and hearing their stories.
2. Missions is not only to help other hearts change but mine as well.
3. God spoke to me in the moments when I had complaints and during devotions.
1. When we got to provide food and a shower for a man who was homeless.
2. Prayer is so important and impacts your life immensely.
3. He taught me that he has all things planned out and to not be anxious but to step into it with courage.
1. Seeing the complete project after we finished painting the church.
2. Spending time with God is very good for you.
3. Through devotions every morning which were really powerful.
1. Playing Christian music in the Thames local market.
2. If you allow God to enter your life and are after his heart, he will use and change you.
3. God asked me to put him at the centre of everything, and rely on him wholly.
3. How did God speak to you?
1. Even though we were all different, the team became close really fast.
2. I loved learning about David from the Bible and how strong his faith was in God.
3. Through devotions, as it’s really fun to read about Jesus and God.
1. Evangelising was my highlight. Thanks, Lou, for helping me.
2. Help others, not myself.
3. Talking to God about anything as he helps me with any problem I’m having.
Praying Together Initiative
What is prayer? In my experience prayer is both personal and corporate. It comes naturally for some and not so naturally for others.
I am thankful that as a child I was taught to pray. This involved closing my eyes and praying either out loud, or in my head if I was by myself. I learned two prayers by rote: The Lord’s Prayer and our family grace (I knew it was time to change the grace I used when at the age of 18, I said my telephone number instead of grace) and prayer that was conversational.
Philippians 4:6b says to pray ‘in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’. This reminds me that prayer is about the whole of life.
It has taken me a lot longer to discover that there are many ways that we can pray. I like to pray when I walk in nature. I also find it helpful to write prayers. For some reason, as I put pen to paper I am able to pour out my heart to God, and yes, I even write what I think God is saying back to me. Prayer can be a list, it can be music, it can be poetry, it can be while exercising.
As part of our response to He Waka Eke Noa—All of Us Together as a territory, we will host seven online prayer meetings where we can gather online to pray together.
These will last only 30 minutes, but resources will be available to help people to continue praying after that. And because we know everyone connects with our God differently, at each gathering a new way to pray will be introduced—everything from using The Songbook of The Salvation Army to action prayers.
As we continue to learn what it means to practise our faith— all of us together—why not explore new ways to pray and join us for our online ‘Praying Together’ meetings.Lt-Colonel Liz Gainsford Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development
Please mark in your calendars the following dates for Praying Together:
• Thursday 30 March
• Friday 31 March
• Saturday 1 April
• Tuesday 13 June
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV)
Kaua e mānukanuka ki tētahi mea; engari i ngā mea katoa whakaaturia ki te Atua ngā mea e matea ai e koutou, i runga i te karakia, i te īnoi, me te whakawhetai hoki. Ā, mā te mārie o te Atua, e kore nei e taea te whakaaro, e tiaki ō koutou ngākau, ō koutou hinengaro, i roto i a Karaiti Īhu (PT).
Aua ne‘i popole outou i se mea e tasi, a ia faailoa atu o outou manao i mea uma lava i le Atua, i le tatalo, ma le faatoga, atoa ma le faafetai. O le manuia foi mai le Atua, o loo silisili lava i mea uma e manatu i ai, e leoleoina ai o outou loto atoa ma o outou mafaufau ia Keriso Iesu (OTP)
Neongo pe ko e hā ‘a e me‘a, ‘oua te mou lotomo‘ua ai; ka ‘i he me‘a kotoa pē tuku ke hā ki he ‘Otua ho‘omou ngaahi kole, ‘i he lotu mo e hūfia, pea fai mo e fakafeta‘i. Pea ko e nonga ‘a e ‘Otua, ‘a ia ‘oku mama‘o ‘i he tatae ‘o e ‘atamai kotoa pē, te ne malu‘i homou loto mo ho‘omou ngaahi fakakaukau ‘ia Kalaisi Sīsū (TMB).
Dou kakua sara ni lomaocaoca; ia e na ka kecega me vakatakilai vua na Kalou na nomudou kerekere e na masu kei na dau cikecike kei na vakavinavinaka. Ia na vakacegu ni Kalou, sa uasivia na ka kecega e kilai rawa, ena vakataudeitaka na yalomudou kei na lomamudou e na vuku i Karisito Jisu (FOV)
Koi cheej ke chinta nai karo, lekin sab cheej ke waaste preya karo. Dhanbaad se aapan preya aur jon cheej mañgta hei, Parmeshwar ke aage rakkho. Jab ke tum Yeeshu Maseeh ke hei, Parmeshwar tumme saanti ke u aasheesh dei jon koi nai puura samjhe saki. Aur wahi saanti tumhaar soch aur keise mahsuus karta hei uspe kaabu kari (FRHNT)
• Wednesday 14 June
• Thursday 15 June
• Sunday 29 October
Champions of the Mission— All Of Us Together!
On Sunday 29 January 2023, supporters from around the territory gathered at Johnsonville Corps (church) as the newest intake of Salvation Army cadets, Ngā Toa o te Mihana—Champions of the Mission, were formally welcomed, writes Jules Badger.
Five cadets will train in Upper Hutt at Booth College of Mission over the next two years, with a further ten cadets about to commence training in Fiji.
Recently returned from four years of service in Australia, Captain Shane Healey addressed the cadets for the first time in his new role as territorial candidates secretary.
With the spotlight on the cadet’s sessional name, Shane referred to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16–20. ‘Jesus clearly laid out the mission we are to champion—“Go and make disciples of all nations…” This is the mission that you are called to champion and carry with you.’
As training principal, Major Garth Stephenson formally received the
cadets for training. He carried on the theme: ‘As a verb, champion becomes an action—an activity. Something you do, rather than something or someone you are. In this sense a champion is someone who enthusiastically, untiringly defends, supports, promotes and advocates for a person, ideal or cause. The Salvation Army needs champions who enthusiastically and untiringly defend, support and promote the mission of God.’
Are you listening?
By the time Commissioner Julie Campbell took the platform to preach, the afternoon’s message was resoundingly clear. ‘I hope you’ve got the message this afternoon already,’
she said. ‘You can’t possibly have missed it!’ Julie affirmed that each cadet was already a champion in the sight of God, having accepted Jesus as Saviour, but went on to detail an expansive definition of Champions of the Mission:
‘We are called to be champions of the mission—all of us together. Champions of the mission are people who vigorously support and defend the message of Jesus and continue pushing his mission forward. People who proclaim what Jesus has done for them and what he can do for others. The world is looking for answers and searching for peace and joy and love and hope. But we already
know who can provide all of that!
Champions of the mission are people who vigorously proclaim and demonstrate the good news and love of Jesus Christ.’
Who are you?
The stand-out for the afternoon though, was the testimonies of the cadets themselves. Territorial Secretary for Personnel Captain Pauleen Richards began by asking Cadet Manasa Natera (Hamilton City Corps) how he likes to relax, with the answer being fishing. ‘You can throw the line out into the river and think about absolutely nothing for a while,’ he said. Manasa explained that fishing helps him reflect on his life with God, and he always comes home refreshed—sometimes even with a fish!
the relationships and the interaction with the people.’
Cadet Ashton Vaitaki (Manukau Central Corps) was asked to recall a decision that changed her life. Ashton spoke of a moment of surrender at a women’s event. As she got up out of her seat and responded to the altar call, ‘everything that had held me back from coming back to the Lord lifted,’ she said. ‘A woman prayed for me saying, “nothing you have ever done, nothing you could ever do, will ever separate you from the love of God.” Since then, it’s been such a rollercoaster ride of mountains and valleys, but God has been so patient and faithful.’
Cadet Niko Vaitaki shared how God challenged him to take up a job working for The Salvation Army.
‘At first, I said no! I get triple that amount at Fletcher Steel,’ recalled Niko. ‘Eventually I did give that money up, but at first, in the new job, my heart was still with the money at Fletcher! But really, now, the new job was the most beautiful thing in my life. God changed me through that smaller amount of money. Now I have less money, but I spend more time with my family.’
reassured Tania that she has nothing to worry about—he will make a way through. And Tania testified that God certainly has!
Prayer cards for the cadets are available from your local Candidates Secretary.
When asked to share about a significant time that shaped her life, Cadet Anna Natera spoke of a mission trip to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Anna confessed that her life at the time was easy and very self-focused, and that her faith was intertwined with that of her parents, ‘In PNG I had to rely on God in a way I hadn’t before. That was the beginning of having my own strong personal relationship with God, and it developed into a love for people … I went to PNG thinking I had something to give or offer, but the learning and blessing came from
Asked to share something people may not know about her, Cadet Tania Viljeon (East City Corps, Howick) spoke about her background working for the South African Police Force.
‘I saw things that no one should see,’ said Tania. When she moved to New Zealand, she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. Part of her healing journey was working in the maternity ward at Middlemore Hospital—she even delivered a baby in the carpark! God brought Tania from ‘death daily to new life—literally’. God has repeatedly
The Salvation Army needs champions who enthusiastically and untiringly, defend, support and promote the mission of God.
Relying on God
Fran Haira is an adherent at Whanganui City Corps. She speaks to Rachel Montgomery about her journey to faith and The Salvation Army.
When I was younger, my husband left me and our three children. It was a struggle trying to raise them. I had found a church in my local community in Wellington, and I kept asking God to help me. I was considering going home to Scotland but one of my children was with the Open Home Foundation and I knew she would not be able to leave New Zealand. I recall God speaking to me one night with these words, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’. I had never heard these words before. The following Sunday, the children stood up in church and recited their Sunday school memory verse, the exact words God had spoken to me! I was amazed.
From then on, God kept helping me through the good times and the hard times. I was able to secure a property in Whanganui and a friend helped the children and me move from Wellington. This opened many opportunities for me to work with the Open Home Foundation.
Many years later, I was attending a church in Castlecliff that had a lovely young pastor called Phil. He was an encourager and an evangelist. I had some incredible experiences in that church and was able to help people in my community. Tragically, Phil died in an accident. I was asked to be the assembly leader to keep the church together until a new pastor could be found— I was just like the mum who kept them all together. People were grieving for Phil and they needed someone to listen to them and be there for them.
At this time I helped wherever I could. There was a man in the church named Paddy who had been helping Phil with painting and fixing up the place. He decided he would keep doing what Phil had wanted, to make the place look nice and tidy. I knew he couldn’t drive because of his medication, so I offered to take him into town for supplies. We didn’t
even particularly like each other, but we spent a heap of time together. Then one weekend I went away to this annual Christian leaders’ prayer conference. While I was away, I realised I missed Paddy and that I had feelings for him. When I came back from the conference, I learned that he had missed me too and that we actually loved each other but we hadn’t recognised it at the time. We kept it under wraps for a while, and then we decided we should get married. When we told the church we were getting married, they were not surprised as they had been waiting for this. They could see what we hadn’t been able to see. I felt God gave me a second chance at love.
Paddy and I went to visit my family in Scotland, and when we came home there was hardly anyone left in the church, which was very sad because it had been so good. Although we stayed for a little longer, I just knew my season there was finished. For a while we were floundering, not knowing where to go. We had been singing in the community choir and it was there where we met John Coffey. John told us he attended The Salvation Army, so we went along to see what it was like as we needed a spiritual home. We were so happy to be part of the corps (church).
I have been involved with different activities in the corps, as I have wanted to be part of a church that is outward-focused and helps people in our community. I went into nursing because I wanted to help people. I was part of the Open Home Foundation because I wanted to help families. I have been willing to lend
There is a lovely Māori proverb that means if things are being looked after in the back, things will go well at the front.
a hand wherever it is needed. I have seen many answers to prayer.
A couple of years ago we put our house on the market but didn’t end up selling it. However, the sleep-out became classified as a flat through this process because it has a kitchen bench. The council then started charging us for two dwellings, which meant our rates doubled. We are superannuitants and found ourselves struggling with the increase in rates. We prayed about it and then Paddy’s daughter told us of a lady who needed an affordable place to live. It all happened within a month of praying, we met her and she moved in. If this had not happened, I don’t know what we would have done. I thank the Lord that he brought her along at the right time and she has been wonderful to have here. God helped us and we helped her by giving her somewhere to live.
Paddy was raised in a Māori family. Whenever anything happened at the local marae his dad was the cook, so Paddy took on serving. It seemed logical to us that we could help at church in the kitchen by doing the dishes. There is a lovely Māori proverb that means if things are being looked after in the back, things will go well at the front. We thought if the leaders don’t have to worry about the dishes or that kind of stuff, they can concentrate on what they do best.
God has been amazing and still is, of course. He provides for me in so many ways. It’s hard to pinpoint all the times he has helped me, yet whenever I have needed something, it happens. One important thing I have tried to remember throughout the years is that God hears and cares about the little things I pray about. His words remain true to me, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Joshua 1:5).
When we told the church we were getting married they were not surprised ... they could see what we hadn’t been able to see.
Inspiring Hope for 50 Years!
For 50 years, Christchurch Bridge has been a beacon of hope for countless people caught in the clutches of addiction and despair. War Cry looks back to the beginnings of the addiction centre and the success of the treatment programme.WORDS Jules Badger
Hope is no small thing. It may begin as a spark, but it doesn’t stay that way—especially when God’s involved. Even the tiniest ember can be fanned into a powerful flame.
‘If you feel like your hope is gone and everyone has given up on you—well, that’s just not the case at all because the Sallies don’t shut the door on anyone,’ says Juanita Hickey. ‘I now have hope and belief within myself. When I was at the Bridge, I found that having that one little thing to hope for—hope that I could get my life back—well, that was the start. The hope that I could have an even better life than before grew from there. So, fifty years of the Bridge? Well, I’m celebrating hope; hope for me and hope for others!’
A bridge to hope
The Christchurch Bridge was modelled on the success of addiction work in Wellington and Auckland. The Salvation Army had high hopes for its newest addiction treatment centre in Christchurch—the first of its kind in the South Island. In November 1972, the Christchurch Star wrote the following description of the venture:
A little wooden bridge spans the boundary between The Salvation Army Addington Social Service Centre in Poulson Street and its adjourning property facing Collins Street. And in more ways than one that bridge is indicative of the work which
will be carried out in the Collins Street house from November 12. At present the large old house is being converted into a Salvation Army ‘Bridge Centre’—a midway home for alcoholics bridging the gap between their old life and a new life.
Still going strong
The Christchurch newspaper The Press reported Lt-Colonel Frank Hay’s humble words at the official opening: ‘We are just starting, and are on a tight budget, but we are hoping to build something worthwhile.’
Major Sue Hay, current director of Christchurch Bridge says, ‘Fifty years on and we are still here and going strong’. Following 20 years of service working in the addiction space, Sue has been involved in the evolution and development of the Army’s treatment progamme. ‘The biggest changes in 50 years are all about the treatment,’ she explains.
‘Fifty years ago, the Bridge team started doing what was hoped would work. These days, Bridge programmes have access to research which informs how we partner with people on their recovery journey,’ affirms Sue. ‘The Bridge’s four-pronged Model of Treatment includes the evidence-based Community Reinforcement Approach which focuses on strengthening positive lifestyle choices and lifegiving connections with friends, whānau, the wider community and a “higher power” we call God.
‘In the early 1970s, attitudes in the community were more around addiction being a moral issue. People were considered weak because they couldn’t control their use of alcohol. Now it is understood that for many people addiction becomes a coping mechanism for past trauma—people are trying to manage their life or mask their pain because it’s too unbearable to face,’ says Sue.
This was certainly true for Juanita. Following treatment in 2010, she maintained sobriety for eight years, completing a social work degree during that period. However, Juanita was faced with the unthinkable when both her sons were killed in a car accident. Prescribed benzodiazepines by her GP to help manage the resulting trauma, Juanita lapsed back into addiction. A year and, half later she reached out for help. ‘I had to face my grief sober,’ she says. ‘I really wanted to get clean and get my life back on track.’
A pilot scheme takes off
Interestingly, while The Salvation Army had considerable experience working with alcoholics when the new centre opened, its programme for drug addicts was a pilot scheme. Quoted in The Press, Lt-Colonel Frank Hay explained, ‘We can only see how it turns out. We can gain experience, and if it works, we will
extend the work.’ Fifty years on from that tentative beginning, treatment is now offered for all substance abuse—and recovering addicts with lived-experience like Juanita are part of the treatment programme.
‘I’m loving doing peer support work because I’m able to relate with a genuine understanding of what others are going through. I love offering hope by sharing my story and letting them know that I got to rock bottom, too. People had written me off, but there is a way to come back from that,’ she says.
Connection, connection, connection
In his famous Ted Talk, Johaan Hari says, ‘the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection’. Sue believes this emphatically because she has seen the evidence. ‘Strengthening people’s connection is a key facet of the recovery journey,’ she says. ‘We have a much better understanding now of what will sustain recovery. So, we work hard to connect people with a recovery community, their local Salvation Army and their own whānau. We encourage people to find meaning and purpose—even voluntary work at a local church can establish rewarding connections and this will be a protective factor. If we can enhance what is good and strong and deepen the relationships, then
the need for substances to numb the pain lessens. The reliance on alcohol or drugs may not go away entirely, but these new connections all build steps towards life becoming more manageable.’
This has certainly been the case for Blair Street who was 35 years old when his drinking spiralled out of control.
‘I was drinking every day. I was spiritually, morally and financially bankrupt. My family didn’t like me, and I didn’t like me,’ he admits. It took Blair two stints at the Christchurch Bridge to find sustained recovery.
‘The first time around I lasted six months clean because I didn’t follow through with all the things I had learned. I started full-time study so stopped going to meetings and connecting regularly with others in recovery. And then, because I’m an alcoholic, I did what alcoholics do and started drinking again.’
Blair ended up in hospital needing a heart-valve replacement. He had a stroke on the operating table and ended up in a coma. ‘I basically drank myself to the worst possible health without intentionally meaning to do so because I couldn’t stop drinking.’
Back at the Bridge for round two, this time Blair worked the programme. ‘I am now fully abstinent from all forms of drugs including alcohol. I’m a member of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and attend three meetings a week and have a sponsor. That’s how I maintain sobriety—working those 12 Steps,’ he explains.
Like Juanita, Blair is now a peer support worker at Christchurch Bridge.
‘I’m so blessed to be able to do this job. The nature of the work means you get to know people on a deep level; connection is embedded into the job. We talk about things that most of the population keep behind locked doors. But that level of connection is healing, and so we encourage the sharing of what are often considered taboo feelings and emotions,’ says Blair.
It’s who you know
Generating broader, practical connections is also crucial to recovery—the Bridge can’t and doesn’t work in isolation from other Salvation Army services. ‘There’s some fantastic He Waka Eka Noa—All Of Us Together—expressions of The Salvation Army’s work in Christchurch,’ says Sue. ‘Our people need help addressing practical issues like housing, food deprivation or financial concerns—we need all those Salvation Army wraparound services. And our local centres offer connection in a safe, drug- and alcoholfree space and that’s crucial for people in recovery— waiata groups, Positive Lifestyle Programmes, parenting groups, drop-in or Recovery Church.’ For Daniel Young it’s these safe spaces that support and sustain his recovery.
When Daniel hit rock bottom he was in and out of court, and prison seemed imminent. But Daniel was also a sole parent. ‘Mum said, “That’s it! We’re taking our granddaughter before Oranga Tamariki does. She’s not safe with you.” They made it clear I was to get myself sorted—off the drugs and out of trouble— before even thinking about asking for her back. They showed me a real tough love, but they were right.
‘I’m so rapt to have her in my life and be part of hers. If I hadn’t got clean, I would’ve missed it all.’
I knew I would end up dead and my daughter would go down with me if I didn’t get clean,’ confesses Daniel.
Daniel lived at The Salvation Army’s supportive accommodation in Addington while he did rehab through another provider. Eight months into his recovery journey, his whānau were still hesitant about his capacity to be a responsible parent. ‘I had no idea what I wanted to do, and didn’t think I could get a job, but my support worker said, “We can help with that”. It turned out the Sallies had the kind of connections that meant they knew employers who were prepared to give someone like me an opportunity.’
Daniel’s new job was in Blenheim. He was there for three years, clean and sober. The Salvation Army Blenheim welcomed him, and he went to church regularly, attended AA meetings and had a sponsor. ‘I was doing all the right things, and then Mum called and said it was time to come home and be a dad.’ Daniel moved back to Christchurch and began rebuilding his relationship with his daughter, who was by then 11 years old. ‘I’m so rapt to have her in my life and be part of hers. If I hadn’t got clean, I would’ve missed it all.’
Daniel’s time in Blenheim taught him the importance of connection in maintaining sobriety, so he quickly made his way back to the people he knew would offer that—the Sallies.
Like Juanita and Blair, Daniel found connection through the Bridge’s drop-in recovery house, Te Awhina (all-embracing love and care). Groups are offered every day of the week ranging from art group, women’s and men’s groups, through to specific relapse prevention groups, as well as check-in support going into the weekend and then debriefs on Monday.
‘Previously, Te Awhina was for those considering treatment or those finishing treatment. In recent days we have worked on eliminating potential hoops a person has to jump through so that access to hope and healing is more immediate,’ explains Sue.
The Bridge also offers the Brief Education Programme (BEP) which is for people with mild to moderate
struggles with substances. ‘This enables us to work with people and intervene in the progression of addiction before it becomes severe. We’re also about to launch a shorter programme based around the question, Have I got a problem or not? and helping them to clarify where they are at with their substance abuse and set goals accordingly,’ explains Sue.
Hope and healing
Daniel is now a volunteer at the Bridge helping with the BEP group, while studying towards a community social service diploma. And beginning in April this year, Daniel’s work experience placement will be at Te Awhina.
‘The Bridge is all about connections with others. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, what you’ve done; you come into this space and find hope and get help to live. They showed me how to live and I’m forever grateful. I didn’t know how to live—not live well, anyway. That connection and being part of something bigger than myself—that’s it! I love the work of The Salvation Army, it’s such a special organisation to me because they really do care and love people. And now as a volunteer and on placement I get to be one of those people helping others who arrive in the same state I was—lost and broken. Fifty years of the Bridge? I’m celebrating that I get to connect and show people there is another way of living—without drugs and alcohol and violence—and with the hope of a better future.’
For Sue, working alongside people like Daniel, Blair and Juanita adds to the celebration: ‘Fifty years of the Bridge? I’m celebrating lives transformed through the powerful ministry of hope and healing which happens in this place!’
‘I knew I would end up dead and my daughter would go down with me if I didn’t get clean…’
Raise Your VoiceWORDS Jules Badger | ART Nicole Gesmundo
The Salvation Army is an egalitarian movement. This means that we believe all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. While there is still much work to be done, we celebrate the jewel in our egalitarian crown— the equality women hold within The Salvation Army—thanks, of course, to the influence, ability and theological prowess of our cofounder Catherine Booth.
Catherine’s deft exegetical handling of the ‘clobber passages’ used to keep women quietly in submission, alongside her broader reading of Scripture that emphasised examples of women leading, ministering and prophesying, soundly convinced her husband William Booth that equality between men and women was not only part of God’s original design, but part of his redemptive plan. And so, since the 1860s, our women have always led and preached—this is one of our distinctives and one that we should be very proud of.
This month we celebrate the launch of Raise Your Voice, a gender equity Bible study, available for download from March 18. Contributors to the study are Ingrid Barratt, Liz Gainsford, Ian Gainsford, David Noakes, Christina Tyson, Fay Molen and Missy Ditchburn.
‘We felt strongly that we needed a robust, strong, biblical foundation for what we believe,’ says Ingrid Barratt, member of the Territorial Gender Equity Committee. ‘This is a Bible study for men and women. The emphasis is on women because that’s whose voices we need to raise, but we need men to understand the Army’s allyship in gender equity, just as William Booth did.’
The Gender Equity Committee would love every corps and centre to use Raise Your Voice this year. ‘Please use it because gender equity is such an integral part of who we are as an Army,’ explains Ingrid.
Raise Your Voice is available for download from March 8. Go to women.salvationarmy.org.nz
Cultivating a Kingdom Perspective
Part three of the four-part series by Major Mat Badger looks at the seed amongst thorns from the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3, 7, 22).
Sometimes I feel as if I’m pulled in so many wrong directions. Unfortunately, my affections can be easily influenced by what I see. And in a digital world, this can be dangerous. If I’m not careful, things can grow out of perspective, become toxic, and it can become hard to guard my heart.
After addressing the issues of confusion and persecution in the first two parts of this parable, Jesus moved on to address the issue of where we
place our attention—the things that we focus on.
‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed … other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.’
Jesus then disclosed to his disciples in private the true meaning of these words: ‘The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.’
The use of thorns here invokes a powerful image that would have related well to Jesus’ first-century audience. The implication is that someone initially hears the truth of the kingdom and resolves to become a Christ-follower. But over time these metaphoric thorns slowly grow and choke the believer, who loses focus and is pierced with deception. The ‘choking’ process is not instant but gradual, like the growth rate of thorns—a slow, insidious creep that penetrates the human heart.
You are what you … think
This parable centres around the question of our attention and where we place it. Psychologist Jordan Peterson writes that our thoughts will ultimately direct the course of our lives. ‘People tend to base their day-to-day actions on what they choose to think about in the moment and over longer periods of time.’
This is also what Jesus was alluding to. Put simply, our lives will become what we predominantly meditate on.
Jesus makes it clear that these briars take two forms and both lead to an unfruitful life for the kingdom. The first form of choking happens when a Christ-follower becomes entirely consumed with the worries of this life. Vexation can take many forms. We can all look at the news and see that the world is a mess. Our personal circumstances can also contribute to our apprehensions—sickness, loss of a job, relationship breakdowns or death of a loved one are all examples.
Additionally, we can unintentionally impose worries of this life on ourselves, particularly if we look at the way some people portray their lives online or in the media. We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that we’re not good enough or successful
enough. Researchers say that it is one of the contributors to the poor mental health epidemic that we currently face in New Zealand. This is not surprising when people globally, according to Broadband Search, currently spend an average of two hours and twenty-seven minutes on social media platforms every day. Comparison can take us to a dark space mentally, which robs us of our joy (a byproduct of the kingdom), and we lose sight of our true purpose. We can begin to lose our identity and fall into the trap of placing our worth in other people’s hands, instead of remembering it’s what God thinks about us that is the most important. Therefore, it is important not to compare ourselves with other people. This very principle is found at the heart of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) when we are told not to desire anything that belongs to our neighbour.
The second form of metaphoric choking, according to Jesus, is the deceitfulness of wealth. We live in a society consumed by materialism. Everywhere we look, advertising reinforces this, whether it’s the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the houses we live in or items that are nice to have but we don’t really need—such is the power of advertising!
Sadly, some parts of the Church too can be guilty of teaching an unhelpful prosperity doctrine. The prosperity gospel is a form of the message of the kingdom filled with error. As Erik Raymond writes in his blog: ‘Prosperity thinking has subtly lulled us to sleep dreaming solely of sunsets, success, and self-fulfilment … the prosperity gospel has gone viral, and the worst part is, many of us don’t even realise it.’
People who come to Christ under the prosperity doctrine do so out of what God can do for them—how God can benefit them materially. This gospel taps into sinful human nature. However, people who come to Christ through the true full gospel as taught by Jesus and the apostles do so in gratitude, and begin to ask the question: ‘What can I do for God?’ There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but it can be tricky if we value money and possessions over our relationship with God. Wealth can lead to self-sufficiency rather than dependence on God. This is the trap the Parable of the Sower is warning us about. The danger is that someone who is consumed with getting rich could eventually be consumed by their wealth.
him ‘...if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’.
Cultivating authentic faith
A subtle insight in this parable is the idea of what we see versus what we hear. Often, temptation in life comes from what we see—whether it’s looking at who other people are, what they have, or things we see in the world around us—this can lead to a warped ungodly perspective. In contrast to this, according to Jesus, the secret to healthy, authentic faith is all about what we hear. As believers, we are to hear the Word and allow it to shape our lives.
The most practical way of keeping a kingdom perspective can be found in Romans 12:2 (NLT): ‘Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect’.
Jesus, in another context, explained that the obsessive pursuit of riches is the direct opposite of being a disciple, ‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’ (Mark 8:36). At all costs we must guard our hearts against the spiritual minefield associated with money and possessions. According to Jesus, having material wealth and being a Christ-follower is a call to generosity. That’s why he challenged the opulence of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21. When Jesus said to
If you want to know what God’s will is for your life then you need to spend time with him. The best way to do this is through prayer, reading the Bible, developing other spiritual disciplines and rhythms, and spending time with like-minded people. Of course, to keep a kingdom perspective you also need to be out in the world prayerfully searching for where God is already working and align yourself accordingly.
If you want to cautiously navigate the minefield of deception and cultivate a kingdom perspective, then you need to focus on God, make sure you have a good understanding of the full gospel, and prayerfully seek out his plan for the world through you every day.
I have always felt that the first form of prosperity should be the prosperity inside of us, not the amount of money we have in the bank.
Award-Winning Napier Family Store Volunteers
Two Salvation Army Napier Family Store volunteers have been working hard but also playing hard at tenpin bowling in the Special Olympics around the country. Hope Burmeister reports. Volunteer John Brewer lives in Napier and has worked at the Napier Family Store for almost two years, two days a week—Tuesday and Friday.
His main tasks are sorting out donations and pulling apart boxes and folding them down. He also often goes out as a truck assistant to pick up furniture donations.
John previously volunteered at a Family Store when he lived in Taupō, so was keen to keep volunteering when he moved to Napier.
He said his favourite parts of volunteering are ‘meeting and greeting people nicely. Being part of The Salvation Army and being with these people because they’re like a family to me’.
When he first started, John was less talkative but has grown in confidence as he’s become more comfortable. He hasn’t ever felt he had a place to belong, but now sees the Napier Family Store team as his family.
Outside of volunteering, John enjoys tenpin bowling, especially competing in the Special Olympics. His recent achievement was winning a third place trophy in tenpin bowling, with team member Fran, at Hastings Super Strike.
He met Fran and her dad, who is a coach for the Special Olympics, when he moved to Hawke’s Bay. John and Fran then decided to form a tenpin bowling team.
He has been competing with Fran in tenpin bowling for a few years now, and they have become top players as a team.
The two of them compete against other teams of two. Their final score at the recent competition was impressive, well over 200, earning them third place.
It was a proud moment for John when he received his trophy: ‘I was so emotional to see a trophy in my hands. I was proud of it because it’s a good achievement for me’.
Although he’s won many trophies and ribbons for tenpin bowling, he said he isn’t always perfect: ‘Sometimes I’m really good and sometimes I can have bad days, so I can get gutters quite a bit’.
In preparation for the Special Olympics, he was trained by a coach to improve in tenpin bowling. Although he was nervous when he first started competing, he never gave up.
‘I was a little bit nervous, because in my first game I just bowled it off to the gutter and everybody said, “Come on, come on, you need to do better than that”. I didn’t give up and I just kept on going.’
John first started competing in Rotorua and then Hawke’s Bay. He now travels all around New Zealand and went to six tournaments in 2022.
He has won ribbons and trophies for tenpin bowling before, but said he hadn’t won a trophy in some time. From competitions, he’s received 16 first placings, along with 16 third and fourth placings.
But one of the best things he ever received was his own bowling ball, gifted
Mary emphasised how wonderful it is to have reliable and hardworking volunteers like John and Fran.
on his fiftieth birthday in Tauranga, which he treasures most.
John’s future plans are to go to the next tenpin bowling national competition. He has competed in nationals in previous years when they were held in Dunedin, Wellington and Marlborough.
Volunteering and bowling
John’s team member Fran Morgan also lives in Napier and has been volunteering with Napier Family Store for seven months. She started volunteering after being told by John and others what a great place it is to work.
She volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, doing various tasks such as cutting up boxes, greeting customers who drop their goods at the back and sorting out donations to see if they’re saleable. She’s always happy to do whatever needs to be done.
For Fran, the highlights of volunteering at the store have been meeting customers, working hard and meeting her bosses, Team Leader Mary Cooper and Store Manager Fiona Kelsen, whom she gets on well with.
When she’s not volunteering, she is tenpin bowling in competitions with John. She said she has been tenpin bowling for years, and most enjoys having fun and playing against others in competitions.
Fran's goal is to win lots of medals and she is hoping for a first place award at the next national competition.
A winning Family Store team
Both Mary and Fiona are proud of John and Fran’s achievements and grateful to have them on their Family Store team. Mary emphasised how wonderful it is to have reliable and hard-working volunteers like John and Fran. She said, ‘When we get somebody who is a stayer and a keeper, you can guarantee they’re going to turn up, and they look forward to coming here just as we look forward to having them’.
Fiona also explained how important it is for Family Stores to be places where everybody can belong: ‘John tells me that he’s never been looked after or welcomed like he has at The Salvation Army. For someone who has lived that many years in the community, it has taken that long to find somewhere where he belongs and who values him. I mean without them, we can’t do what we do, we really can’t.’
He hasn’t ever felt he had a place to belong, but now sees the Napier Family Store team as his family.
But one of the best things he ever received was his own bowling ball, gifted on his fiftieth birthday in Tauranga, which he treasures most.
Go to our website— warcrymagazine.org.nz
to access the full news stories, plus further news as it is reported.
Te Ope Whakaora at Waitangi
This year’s Waitangi Day celebrations held at Waitangi had special significance for Te Ope Whakaora. The Salvation Army was invited by Bishop Te Kitohi Wiremu Pikaahu to be the lead denomination in the two Waitangi Day services held at Te Whare Runanga on the Treaty grounds. The two services added significantly to the intense mix of celebration, carnival atmosphere, debate and protest, along with the very spiritual sense that seems to permeate Waitangi— something akin to a nation’s heart.
Kai for All at Whangārei Salvation Army
Whangārei Community Ministries have been shifting from the traditional foodbank model to opening a social supermarket, with a passion to provide kai (food) to all. The social supermarket runs on a points system that is facilitated by wellbeing workers (social workers). Their role is to meet with whānau (families), find out what’s happening in their lives, and to offer a kai plan for however long they need it. The team’s overall vision is that ultimately kai will bring their whole community together to get behind and support one another.
The Salvation Army Assisting in Cyclone Crisis
The Salvation Army has been responding where needed in the national cyclone emergency response. Our Emergency Services responded to Cyclone Gabrielle by ensuring there were people assisting in Civil Defence Centres; a team was also sent to an apartment complex in Auckland to offer welfare support to those being evacuated. Food is also being provided to support emergency services. Practical and psychosocial support is being offered in parts of the country— Auckland, Northland, East Coast and Hawke’s Bay—that have been most affected by the disaster.
Greymouth Corps on the Move
As a long-awaited answer to prayer, Greymouth Corps has relocated to newly leased freehold premises at 77 Shakespeare Street. While the Family Store remains at its location on Murray and Tainui Streets, Sunday and midweek meetings are now being held at the new site. After building renovations have been completed to accommodate office space, the Community Ministries, foodbank and other services will move to the new location. During their last meeting on 15 January, reflections, thoughts and memories were shared of times at the old site.
Glenfield Corps Celebrates Fifty Years of Ministry
Past and present members of The Salvation Army Glenfield Corps in Auckland gathered over three days (10–12 February) to celebrate the corps’ 50th anniversary. The corps citadel was opened on 10 February 1973 by then Territorial Commander Colonel Ernest Elliot.
State of the Nation 2023 Report Provides
of Social Realities
The escalating cost of living, increased household debt, lack of affordable housing, worsening of education outcomes and increase in young people reporting psychological distress are among some of the challenges facing New Zealanders identified in a new Salvation Army report. The 16th annual State of the Nation report, titled ‘Costs … of Living/ Ngā Rourou Whakaiti’
was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington on 15 February. The report pulls together existing data to provide an annual snapshot of our social progress as a nation. Read the full report at salvationarmy.org.nz/SOTN2023
Mosgiel Social Housing Residents Welcome
A $2.6m upgrade of a Salvation Army Social Housing village in Mosgiel is improving the lives of the 61 residents with warmer, drier homes and improved social space. The Salvation Army originally built the 60-unit complex—59 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit, plus a community hall—in the mid-1980s as affordable rentals for people aged 55 and over. The community has developed increasingly into social housing, with newer residents coming from the country’s Housing Register.
New Sheds for Blenheim Toy Library
Blenheim Corps recently built two new sheds which were placed in an unfilled space in the courtyard near the corps building to store toys for the toy library. Captains Jacob and Emma Howan, corps officers, say it was an issue that the toys were stored in different places. Funds for the sheds came from a former member of the corps and a volunteer in the toy library, a woman who passed away and left money to the corps in her Will.
New Bikes for Kenya West Lieutenants
Kenya West Territory has purchased 31 bicycles for the lieutenants of the Messengers of Reconciliation session, which was funded by New Zealand International Development, private donors and contributions from retired officers. Divisional Headquarters and the homes of corps members in the Kenya West Territory are scattered, meaning the lieutenants need a mode of transport that is affordable, as catching a regular bus can be expensive for them.
Commissioners Mark (Territorial Commander) and Julie Campbell (Territorial President of Women’s Ministries)
25 Feb–5 Mar: SPEA Zonal Leaders Conference, Seoul, South Korea (Julie only)
27 Feb–1 Mar: Midland Division Summer Councils, Hamilton, Midland Division (Mark only)
2–3 Mar: Visits to areas affected by Cyclone Gabrielle (Mark only)
13 Mar: Central Division Officers Councils, BCM
26 Mar: Visit to Rangiora Corps, Rangiora, Southern Division
27 Mar: Just Brass and visit to Southern Divisional Headquarters
Colonel Gerry Walker (Chief Secretary)
25 Feb–5 Mar: SPEA Zonal Leaders Conference, Seoul, South Korea
9–10 Mar: SLT Strategic Awareness with Midland Division
13 Mar: Central Division Officers Councils, BCM
27–28 Mar: Personnel Conference
Lt-Colonel Liz Gainsford (Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development)
25 Feb–5 Mar: SPEA Zonal Leaders Conference, Seoul, South Korea
6–10 Mar: IOTALDC Conference
13 Mar: Central Division Officers Councils, BCM
To read the full version of Gazette notices, visit warcrymagazine.org.nz/gazette
Resignation: Effective 30 January 2023, Major Nigel De Maine.
We thank Major Nigel De Maine for his 17 years, 1 month and 21 days of active service. Major Christine De Maine will continue in her current appointment (Hēkeretari-Ā-Wehenga Te Waipounamu, Manatū Māori/Divisional Secretary for Southern Division Māori Ministry) as a Single Spouse Officer.
Effective 6 February 2023, Captain Matthew Herring. We thank Matthew for his ministry and service of 12 years, 1 month and 26 days. Captain Rebekah Herring will continue in her current appointment (Mission Officer Papakura, Supportive Housing— Addictions, Supportive Housing and Reintegration Services) as a Single Spouse Officer.
Promotion to Glory: Major Muriel Gooder was promoted to Glory peacefully on 29 January 2023 from Auckland, aged 88 years. Muriel and Kelvin Gooder entered officer training in the Pioneer session on 11 April 1959. Please uphold Muriel’s sister Major Evelyn Millar, Muriel’s daughters Marian, Faye, Vicki and their extended families, including extended family of daughters Karen, Robyn and Fiona (all deceased) in your prayers at this time of grief and loss.
Major Merilyn Goldsack was promoted to Glory on 4 February 2023 from Christchurch, aged 79. Merilyn with her husband Kevin Goldsack entered officer training in 1964 from Palmerston North Corps as cadets in the Proclaimers of the Faith session.
You are invited as we celebrate 140 years of Mission and Ministry to Auckland City.
Friday 7 April, 10.30am
Saturday 8 April, 4pm
Sunday 9 April, 10.30am
Resurrection Day—Looking Forward
Sunday 9 April, 6pm
Celebrating with other Metro Corps
Guest: Colonel Gerry Walker, Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory
Please support Merilyn’s children Suzanne, Andrea and Matthew, grandchildren, great grandchild and other family members in your prayers in this time of grief and loss.
Bereavement: Frank Henderson, the father of Auxiliary-Captain Neil Henderson, passed away on 12 January 2023, from Paihia, aged 84 years old. We ask you to uphold in prayer Auxiliary-Captains Neil and Tiana Henderson and their extended family at this time of grief and loss.
Gaylene Harvey passed away on 26 January 2023, aged 57 years. Gaylene was an officer of The Salvation Army from 2004 until 2017 and will be known to many. Please uphold Gaylene’s family in prayer at this difficult time of grief and loss.
Birth: We are pleased to advise that Lieutenant Bale Tuinaceva has given birth to a baby girl, Debra Talei Tuinaceva, on 21 December 2022. May God bless Lieutenants Akuila and Bale Tuinaceva, Timoci and Kelera as they welcome Debra into their family.
Change of Appointment: Major Racheal-Lee Kendrick ’s appointment as corps officer, Redcliffe Corps, Queensland Division, Australia Territory, will be concluding. She will be returning to New Zealand on 3 March 2022, and will be awaiting an appointment.Quiz Answers: 1. Sri Lanka (current name), 2. Anne, 3. Trousers, 4. Florence Nightingale, 5. Rachel.
A Bridge to Recovery
The Salvation Army has a rich and varied history which is preserved at the Heritage and Archives Centre (Plowman Research Centre). This article looks at the early beginnings of ‘The Bridge’ in Wellington and how it expanded throughout New Zealand.
The Bridge programme has become one of The Salvation Army’s most well-known services to help people recover from addictions.
In 1954, The Salvation Army appointed Colonel (Dr) A. Bramwell Cook as chief secretary in New Zealand. He had an extensive medical research background, and was part of a national society and council in alcoholism. After a government-sponsored conference in August 1956, Cook embarked on the development of a residential clinic in the centre of Wellington called ‘The Bridge’.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was already established at this time and its more formulated programme, in part, inspired the development of Bridge. AA made some acknowledgment of the importance of spirituality. However, The Salvation Army’s Bridge was to be more explicit in the importance of faith in recovery.
Fight the Good Fight: The Story of The Salvation Army in New Zealand 1883–1933 by Cyril R Bradwell said the philosophy statement of Bridge was based on both faith- and science-based research, which was an important shift in approach towards rehabilitation:
‘We welcome all that scientific research has contributed to the understanding and rehabilitation of alcoholics … It would, however, be denying our experience, and therefore unscientific, if we failed to give a distinctive witness to the power of God to transform people’s lives’.
As a new kind of treatment facility, Bridge gained acknowledgement with many being referred from AA, hospitals and the Magistrates Court. A person would be accepted into the facility as long as they were genuinely seeking help and currently sober. When Bridge first started, it was intended to be a short-term
programme, with people only staying a few weeks. Each centre (which expanded to other parts of Wellington by 1976) met the needs of certain groups at different stages of addiction. The Miramar rehab centre in Wellington catered more for older men and those needing medical attention, whereas in the Tararua Ranges focused on younger men who could do manual labour in the centre as part of their recovery.
From the success of the Wellington Bridge, a nationwide Bridge programme was launched, with clinics, hostels and rehabilitation centres around the country. By 1980, 700 people struggling with alcoholism were coming through the programme each year.
In Set Free: One Hundred Years of Salvation Army Addiction Treatment in New Zealand 1907–2006, by Majors Don and Joan Hutson, secretary for Social Programme at the time, Major Campbell Roberts, said at a 1994 conference:
‘What works is what we do. That is fine but we need to keep asking ourselves: “Does it work for our clients?” … We must have staff and officers not only highly trained in practical skills but well rounded in treatment skills.’
As a result, Bridge staff were given additional formal training and educational opportunities based on growing addiction research, and there was a gradual shift from residential programmes to communitybased programmes with family involvement.
Conversations over Conclusions
There is no doubt that we want our children to know God for themselves. We have a deep desire for our children to love God deeply and choose to live a life with him and for him. We need to be more intentional about creating space for conversations rather than conclusions.
Tricky subjects that often nobody wants to talk about are sin and salvation. Even adults can find these incredibly hard to talk about and often feel they are not equipped to walk their child through these conversations.
When our children ask questions, we want to give them the opportunity to answer for themselves, with a little help from us. Ask open-ended questions and always respond in a positive way, like, ‘Wow! What a great question’. It is through these interactions that we have the opportunity for conversation to explain that in this broken world there is both good and bad and someday God will fix this, but for now, we get to choose good and bad for ourselves. Our children don’t need a lecture about this. What they need to understand is that God is worth trusting. This opens up the opportunity to have a conversation about Jesus who died on the cross for us and is now alive, which means that someday everything will be good. God wants to have us as teammates, but he does not force us to be on his team and we get to choose whether to walk alongside him or to go a different way. This is a decision that individually we all need to make.
This is only the start of the conversation, so keep creating space for children to continue to ask questions as they learn to trust God, to know that he is close, that he cares for them and his love for them never stops.
Two resources by Meredith Miller you might want to consider:
Woven: Nurturing a Faith Your Kid Doesn’t Have to Heal From: tinyurl.com/WovenMeredithMiller
Do I Have to Talk About Sin?: tinyurl.com/SinMeredithMiller
Science Experiment Walking Water Rainbow
Supplies you will need
• Small plastic cups or glasses
• Paper towels
• Food colouring in primary colours
1 Place seven cups in a row and pour water in the first, third, fifth and seventh cup— about one-third full.
2 Add five drops of red food colouring to the first cup and the seventh cup.
3 Add five drops of yellow food colouring to the third cup.
4 Add five drops of blue food colouring to the fifth cup.
Doing the walking water experiment
5 Take a half sheet of paper towel and fold it in half lengthwise
and in half again lengthwise.
6 Trim off some of the length so that there isn’t too much excess paper towel that will stick up in the air between each cup. This will make the water ‘walk’ more quickly.
7 Place one half of a rolled paper towel in the first cup and place the other half in the cup next to it. Then another paper towel from second cup and into the third cup. This continues until you have placed the last paper towel that drapes over from the sixth cup into the seventh cup.
8 Watch what starts to happen. You should quickly be able to see the coloured water begin to crawl up the paper towels.
Read: In this verse, Jesus is talking to a Samaritan woman who is getting water from the well. Jesus asks the woman for a drink and the woman asks: ‘Why are you, a Jew, asking me, a Samaritan, for a drink?’ Back in Jesus’ time, Jews and Samaritans did not talk to each other. Jesus tells the woman that if she knew who he really was (the Son of God), she would know he could give her living water.
Think: Water is life-giving. We need water to drink to survive (you can’t survive more than a week without drinking water). Jesus says that you always need to drink more natural water, as you will get thirsty, but living water is different— it is the salvation of God which will cause your spirit inside you to never thirst again. Our physical needs are important, but so many of us forget about our spirit which craves to know God.
9 Keep checking back every couple of minutes. Soon you will be able to see that the water has crawled all the way up the paper towel and is beginning to walk back down into the empty cup next to it. Since the cup on either side of an empty cup has coloured water in it, the two colours begin to mix in the empty cup. So cool!
Source: funlearningforkids.com/ rainbow-walking-water-scienceexperiment-kids
Pray: Ask God to show you how to seek his love and guidance. Pray for Jesus to satisfy your ‘spiritual thirst’. What do you need Christ to satisfy in your life? Is it peace in your family or friendships? Wisdom and knowledge for your schoolwork and classes? If you haven’t asked Christ into your heart, try praying a simple prayer, asking God for forgiveness and that you believe he died for you.
Do: Try this for a day: every time you take a gulp of water, write down one way you can connect with God. This might be through prayer, reading a Bible verse, going outside to admire nature or asking questions about God. Talk to your parents or caregivers about doing each of these things with you, and tick it off when completed.
‘Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water”.’ John 4:10
Fact: Sea cucumbers & jellyfish are made of 95% water!
Today is our bridge to tomorrow, a span we walk for a lifetime. Pepper Blair