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Halifax Army Reunites Immigrant Families

“I Dream”: General André Cox’s New Vision

Theology 101: Are You a Sinner or a Saint?

Salvationist The Voice of the Army 

February 2014

Children of War Education programs heal the youth of war-torn Liberia

Make It Personal

Partners in Mission puts a face on need


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February 2014 Volume 9, Number 2 www.salvationist.ca E-mail: salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org

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Departments 3 4 Editorial

24 Letters 4 26 Celebrate Community

5 Around the Territory 14 Mission Matters

29 Ties That Bind

Free at Last by Geoff Moulton

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Thorn in My Flesh by Major Kathie Chiu

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General André Cox shares his vision for a Christ-centred Army that practises what it preaches from the top leadership down Interview by Geoff Moulton

12 Lessons from Liberia

Living by faith in the midst of poverty and destruction Putting a Face on Need by Major Anne Venables PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL In theFOREST Trenches by Commissioner Brian PeddleLABELING GUIDE It’s True, I’m a Saint! (And So Children of War Spiritual Disciplines Education provides a future for Liberia’s lost youth Are You!) Time to ’Fess Up by Kristin Ostensen by Major Amy Reardon by Major Gail Winsor

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23 Cross Culture

Cover photo: Matthew Osmond

19 Going the Extra Smile

A free Salvation Army dental clinic in Cranbrook, B.C., provides an essential service by Kristin Ostensen

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20 Family Reunion

An Army program offers free immigration help to newcomers in Nova Scotia by Kristin Ostensen

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Inside Faith & Friends Trusting Her Pilot

Maureen Ajoku’s faith is as sharp as her bobsled’s blades

Ambassador of Change

David Sprauge lived in an alcoholic stupor until one flame-filled day when everything changed

Divine Intervention

A doctor’s devastating diagnosis tested Julie Desjardins’ faith

Finding Grace

Could The Salvation Army reunite two long-lost sweethearts?

Share Your Faith When you finish reading Faith & Friends, FAITH & frıends pull it out and give it to someone who needs to Trusting hear about Her Pilot Christ’s lifechanging  + power February 2014

faithandfriends.ca

Inspiration for Living

Hockey Haven in Winnipeg

Maureen Ajoku’s faith is as sharp as her bobsled’s blades

A DOCTOR’S DEVASTATING DIAGNOSIS

C.S. LEWIS: Supersleuth?

Edge for Kids

Hi kids! More than 100 years ago, William Booth asked members of The Salvation Army to give money to help poor people in other countries. A Salvation Army officer named Major John Carleton wanted to help, but he didn’t have any extra money to give. Major Carleton decided he would give up his pudding every day for a year and offer that money to William Booth to help others. William Booth was so impressed with Major Carleton’s idea, he asked other members of The Salvation Army to do the same thing. William Booth called it a Self-Denying League. Today we call it Partners in Mission. We still try to give up something small for a few weeks, such as a treat we buy on the way home from school. Then we donate the money we’ve saved to help people. It reminds us of how much we have compared with many others around the world. What can you give up for a few weeks this year?

Edge for Kids is an exciting weekly activity page published by The Salvation School-time Army in Canada Sudoku and Bermuda for children five to 12. In this month’s issues, readers will: • Get involved with the Army’s Partners in Mission Appeal • Have a happy Valentine’s Day • Explore the fun activities of

N

ot long ago, there was a war in Liberia. The war is over, but life is still very hard for children there.

During the war, many children to go to school.

were not able

Your pal, Pacey

Fill in the squares so that each row, column and 2x2 box contains each of these four items:

Today, more than 4,000 young people attend Salvation Army schools in Liberia.

issue

5

At Salvation Army schools, young people learn new skills that will help them get jobs.

wintertime • Learn about Isaiah, God’s messenger • Enjoy puzzles, games, jokes, colouring and more! Salvationist • February 2014 • 3


EDITORIAL

F

Free at Last

or 27 years, Nelson Mandela languished in a prison cell. Half a world away, we watched as news reports depicted graphic scenes of life in South Africa: a brutal, white minority regime that regularly rained down tear gas on its own citizens, burned their homes and shot protestors in the street. When he was finally released in 1990, the world marvelled as Mandela put aside bitterness, led the struggle for democracy and put an end to apartheid. As leader of the African National Congress and, later, South Africa’s president, he helped eradicate the country’s brutally enforced racial segregation. Mandela died in December, and the world mourned. Through marches, strikes and peaceful civil disobedience, he changed the political landscape in Africa. His Truth and Reconciliation Commission has served as a model for healing in other conflict-ridden lands. Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Forgiveness is the only way forward. The Salvation Army paid its respects to the great statesman. Salvationists circulated a video of a Salvation Army band, joining the throngs outside Mandela’s house, to play Abide With Me. General André Cox, who spent four years as leader of the Southern Africa Territory and is The Salvation Army’s first African-born world leader, wrote a letter of tribute to Mandela. In it, he saluted “a great man—one whose character was nourished by hope, expressed through forgiveness and testified to through reconciliation.” Great leaders are people with vision. They dream of what can be. In this issue of Salvationist, I invite you to read an exclusive interview with General Cox on his vision for the Army. You’ll discover a man of humility who is committed to a Christ-centred Army that practises what it preaches from the top down. As our hearts turn to Africa, we also think of our Partners in Mission Appeal, an opportunity to come alongside those around the world as 4 • February 2014 • Salvationist

One Army with One Mission. This year, we spotlight the work of The Salvation Army in Liberia and Sierra Leone, two countries that have been devastated by civil war. Learn how our schools are helping heal the scars of children who have been exposed to decades of brutal fighting. And read the story of Chris, the child on this issue’s cover, who, like so many others, is still in need of the Army’s assistance (see page 12). “Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit,” noted President Barack Obama, in his eulogy. “There is a word in South Africa—Ubuntu—a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.” Mandela’s rallying cry was Amandla Ngawethu, Zulu for “Power to the people!” It is also the Army’s goal. Your gifts help to leverage the resilience, strength and capacities of the people in our Partners in Mission territories. As we build others up, we give thanks to the God who provides all that we need and offers us perfect freedom in Christ. 

GEOFF MOULTON Editor-in-Chief

Salvationist

is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory André Cox General Commissioner Brian Peddle Territorial Commander Lt-Colonel Jim Champ Secretary for Communications Geoff Moulton Editor-in-Chief Melissa Yue Wallace Features Editor (416-467-3185) Pamela Richardson News Editor, Production Co-ordinator, Copy Editor (416-422-6112) Kristin Ostensen Associate Editor and Staff Writer Timothy Cheng Art Director Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator Ken Ramstead Contributor Agreement No. 40064794, ISSN 1718-5769. Member, The Canadian Church Press. All Scripture references from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version (TNIV) © 2001, 2005 International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide. All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory and can be reprinted only with written permission.

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Mission

The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world. Salvationist informs readers about the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. salvationist.ca salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org facebook.com/salvationistmagazine twitter.com/salvationist


AROUND THE TERRITORY

Ottawa’s Project Self-Esteem Supports Homeless “PROJECT SELF-ESTEEM IS all about confidence and job readiness,” says Kim Zapata, co-ordinator of the life skills program at Ottawa’s Booth Centre. The first annual event, held in November in conjunction with Algonquin College’s Recreation and Leisure Services, is part of the new life skills program, which supports homeless men at the downtown Booth Centre. Project Self-Esteem consisted of four different stations. The first one offered men a haircut and a beard trim in a non-judgmental and safe environment with the help of volunteer stylists at the Ottawa Academy School of Hairstyling and Aesthetics and Beauty. Throughout the afternoon more than 75 haircuts were completed. A second station offered men business-casual clothing, including dress pants and dress shirts. “When you look good, you feel good and sometimes that’s enough to motivate someone to do something they might not

otherwise do,” says Zapata. There was also a coffee and dessert station to promote socialization and conversation skills and a photo opportunity for those who wanted to capture the moment. Each participant also received a hygiene kit and a package with a list of resources to help them with their job search. “These resources include resumébuilding clinics, job employment specialists and job agencies that also offer volunteer options for those who are not ready for employment but want to get involved in their community,” says Zapata. Project Self-Esteem reinforces many of the lessons being taught in the life skills program, which began in August 2013. Now with 30 men enrolled, the program requires each participant to complete 16 lessons that include building a positive image, conversation skills, forgiveness, stress and anger management, coping with change, and healthy leisure. The

participants also have a weekly conversation with Zapata to set their goals for the week. The life skills program helps men break unhealthy or negative cycles in their lives. “My motto for this program is ‘time for change’ and the clients get to observe the cycles they have broken and see how influential the program is on their lives,” Zapata says.

Two participants in Project Self-Esteem

High River Thrift Store Reopens Heritage Brass Celebrates 25 Years

A SIGN OF hope and recovery, The Salvation Army’s thrift store in High River, Alta., officially reopened its doors in November. “When the flood waters rose in June 2013, the Salvation Army facilities in High River suffered extensive damage,” explains Captain Pam Goodyear, divisional secretary for public relations and development, Alberta and Northern Territories Division. “We were fortunate to be able to resume our services very quickly out of tents and trailers on our church parking lot. Like many of the local businesses and services, we are thrilled to be back in our own facilities. As our neighbours begin to put their lives back together, we will be here, giving support and hope for years to come.”

A CAPACITY CROWD enjoyed a variety of music at a concert honouring the 25th anniversary of Heritage Brass, held at Oshawa Temple, Ont., in October. Led by Major Greg Simmonds, the band’s executive officer, the evening featured Heritage Brass and local guests the O’Neill Collegiate Chamber Choir and Nuance Vocal Ensemble, both directed by Erin Collins. Bandmaster Geoff Norton chose a number of selections that have connection with past celebrations, including Symphony of Thanksgiving, which is associated with the International Staff Band’s diamond jubilee celebrations in 1951. Long-serving bandsman Cliff Cummings gave a photo presentation showing highlights from the band’s 25 years, and Lt-Colonel Susan van Duinen, divisional commander, Ontario Central-East Division, provided a devotional that challenged and inspired those in attendance.

Mjr Grant Effer, DSBA, Alta. & N.T. Div; Lts Kelly and Cory Fifield, COs, High River’s Foothills Church; High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass; and Mjr Lauren Effer, AC, Alta. & N.T. Div, officially open the High River thrift store

The Heritage Brass band

Salvationist • February 2014 • 5


AROUND THE TERRITORY

Mission Connection Fair Inspires Women in Bermuda gather for a lay women leadership development day

Raising Up Women Leaders IN A FIRST for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, the territorial women’s ministries department hosted a fall conference that brought women from across the territory together, no travel required. The conference was broadcast live from territorial headquarters in Toronto via webcast, with 900 women tuning in. The purpose of the event was to encourage leadership development among lay women. Guest speaker Susan Lawrence encouraged the women to “live out loud,” being empowered by God to make a difference in all areas of their lives. Lawrence’s sessions focused on soul care and self care, spiritual gifts and confidence building. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, territorial president of women’s ministries, also shared a message to wrap up the day. Captain Jennifer Reid, organizer of the event and co-ordinator of women’s ministries resources at territorial headquarters, believes the live webcast created a special experience for the women involved. “It was an experience of unity because everyone heard the same speaker and the same message,” says Captain Reid. “As one participant put it, ‘When you folks prayed, we prayed. When you sang, we sang. When you knelt at the altar, we knelt at our altar.’ ” Efforts were made to accommodate the event’s large geographic scope. For example, given the territory’s six time zones, the day ran from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.—not starting too early for British Columbia or ending too late for Newfoundland and Labrador. Everyone participating in the webcast gave a donation to Deborah’s Gate, a Salvation Army shelter for women rescued from human trafficking in Vancouver.

ONE ARMY, ONE Mission, One Message was the theme of the fourth Greater Vancouver Mission Connection Fair, held at Cariboo Hill Temple in Burnaby, B.C., this fall. This biannual event showcases ministry units, social services and corps ministries throughout the Lower Mainland. More than 150 Salvation Army employees, officers, soldiers, members and volunteers attended the fair. The event opened with a testimony from Michael Collins, associate pastor at Cariboo Hill Temple, and then attendees were invited to the gym where 22 ministry units shared displays about their programs. A celebration service followed with music provided by the band and songsters from Cariboo Hill Temple and the worship team from The Willows, an Army congregation in Langley, B.C. Special performances were offered by Aaron White, corps leader at Vancouver’s 614 Corps, who recited excerpts from William Booth’s speeches, and a vocal solo from Lieutenant Joshua Ivany, corps officer, Surrey Community Church, B.C. The evening’s message came from Darrell Pilgrim, director of The Salvation Army’s Caring Place, Maple Ridge, B.C. “It makes no difference if you are teaching Sunday school, washing floors or serving in a food line, if you’re a volunteer, employee, solider or officer,” he said. “We have one message of the love that the world so desperately needs to hear.”

Rachel Timbalian explains services offered by Metrotown Citadel to Mjr Judy Regamey, executive director, Vancouver Harbour Light Corps and Treatment Centre

St. Thomas Army Hosts Band Sharing Day ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FORTY GRADE 7 and 8 students descended on The Salvation Army in St. Thomas, Ont., for the first district-wide Band Sharing Day. The day was organized by five elementary school band teachers from the Thames Valley District School Board, who approached the Army seeking a venue for their event. 6 • February 2014 • Salvationist

The day began with a welcome from Captain Mark Hall, corps officer, who stressed the importance of music in a person’s life, whether they pursue it professionally or as part of life in general. The student audience was then entertained by a wind ensemble from Central Elgin Collegiate Institute. For the rest of the morning, students

participated in sessions on a variety of topics and learned music to be played in the mass band clinic in the afternoon. Captain Hall worked with students as a clinician, and John Lam, bandmaster of the London Citadel Band and Canadian Staff Band, was the guest conductor for the mass band in the afternoon.


AROUND THE TERRITORY

Bermuda Congress Declares God’s Glory SALVATIONISTS AND FRIENDS of the Army in Bermuda gathered in November for the biennial divisional congress under the banner Declare His Glory, based on Psalm 96:3: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Supported by Majors Shawn and Brenda Critch, divisional commander and divisional director of women’s ministries for the Bermuda Division, Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s ministries, led the weekend of praise and community engagement commemorating 117 years of ministry in Bermuda. Celebrations began with Friday’s gala of praise and worship through music, liturgical dance, drama and testimonies of lives changed by the power of God. Colonel Mark Tillsey and Major Shawn Critch recognized the faithful and exemplary service of David and Marion Knight to the mission of The Salvation Army in Bermuda and abroad. A highlight of the weekend was the community celebration on Saturday, which saw 600 members of the public, from Somerset to St. George’s, enjoying a fun afternoon in a carnivallike atmosphere. “It is important that we be a community of faith engaged in the community around us,” says Major Shawn Critch. “Saturday’s event was a great opportunity for the local corps family to reach out to build relationships and introduce others to the ministry of their church. It was an awesome day.” Funding for the day’s events came in part from the territorial Mission Focus Fund. North Street Citadel was filled to capacity for Sunday morning’s holiness meeting. From the initial call to worship that highlighted Psalm 96:3, to the conclusion of the service, there was a beautiful sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit. With the support of the Bermuda Divisional Band, under the leadership of Bandmaster Warren Jones, and worship leaders Andrea Cann and Carol McDowall, the sanctuary was filled with vibrant singing offering adoration and praise to God. The participation of Kevin Simmons, Jonique Crockwell and Wendell Anderson reminded those in attendance of the importance of one generation commending the work of God to another (see Psalm 145:4) through testimony and song. Kayla Esdaille shared a vocal solo. In his message, Colonel Mark Tillsley focused on Jesus and how he represented, modelled and glorified God, his Father. The chief secretary challenged the congregation by stating that if we are to be like Jesus, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to

Artist Kevin Simmons proudly displays his contribution to congress celebrations

BY LYNNE CANN

From left, Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley, Mjrs Brenda and Shawn Critch, and Lionel Cann take part in a march of witness

Face painting was a popular activity for children at Saturday’s community event

do the same through us. The theme song, Declare Your Name, by Brooklyn Tabernacle, brought the morning worship to a conclusion. Congress events concluded with a march of witness through a portion of Hamilton and an afternoon of praise and worship in a local park where the message of the gospel was shared with the community. Upon returning to North Street Citadel, Salvationists gathered on the street corner to sing the final verse of O Boundless Salvation in a moment of commitment.

Bermuda Divisional Band ministers in music Salvationist • February 2014 • 7


Pursuing the Dream

General André Cox shares his vision for a Christ-centred Army that practises what it preaches from the top leadership down

H

ow would you see your last day in office as the General of The Salvation Army?” That’s the question then-Commissioner André Cox was asked at the 2013 High Council. It caused him to put into words his vision for The Salvation Army. After being elected as the Army’s 20th General, he shared his “I Dream” statements with the world.

I Dream …

I dream of a committed, effective and joyful Army, rooted and confident in the Word of God and on its knees. I dream of an Army that truly reflects the mind of Jesus in our commitment to the poor and the marginalized. I dream of an Army that practises what it preaches from the top leadership down, an Army that is a visible and living example of kingdom values.

I dream of an Army with strong, relevant and streamlined administrative structures and a much more effective use of our financial and material resources. I dream of an Army where all cultures are equally accepted and celebrated through the spiritual ties that bind us all together. I dream of an Army that shuns the dependency culture.

8 • February 2014 • Salvationist

Photo: Brent Forrest

I dream of an Army that values its youth, where our young people feel that they have a voice.

The General speaks at William Booth College, London, England

Salvationist’s editor-in-chief, Geoff Moulton, spoke with the General six months after his election to hear more about those dreams and find out how to turn them into a reality. General Cox, what inspired you to communicate this vision? What do you hope to achieve? Proverbs 29:18 says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). If we don’t have dreams, if we don’t have

a vision, then there’s nothing to aim for. Without vision, man wouldn’t have landed on the moon. It’s an impossible dream and yet someone had it. Having a vision helps us focus on a goal so we can work toward something. I hope it will inspire people to reach for something more. I want to see an Army that will continue to grow, believe and develop. A lot of what I see in that dream is happening now, but we have the potential to aim even higher.


How do the “I Dream … ” statements fit with the call to One Army, One Mission, One Message? This vision touches every aspect of the One Army, One Mission, One Message vision and reinforces that call. As one Army we talk about deepening our spiritual life, uniting in prayer, reaching out and involving children and youth. We also pledge to stand for and serve the marginalized, communicate Christ unashamedly, reaffirm our belief in transformation and increase self-support. All of those things are echoed in my dream, so I think the two dovetail quite neatly. You envision an Army “rooted and confident in the Word of God.” With the rise of secularism, do you think Salvationists have lost some of this rootedness? How can this be restored? I don’t believe we’ve lost the battle on this because some of the challenges and economic realities that we’re seeing in many western cultures are driving people to search deeper and rediscover some of the spiritual values that had previously been discarded. In a multimedia society where communication is limited to 140-character tweets and screen time with your family exceeds your face time, we can become superficial. We can nibble at little bits of life without prioritizing time with God by studying his Word, meditating and reflecting. I believe the Word of God has not changed and is still relevant in our 21st century. By engaging and being serious about the Word, we can regain that confidence.

declining. Does this concern you? It is a real challenge and I don’t think we should paint a picture that’s extremely rosy, but I do believe that we’re seeing signs that offer us hope. A lot of our corps in Europe, for example, are confronted with the reality of extreme poverty on our doorstep. Corps that had been given up for dead for a long time are suddenly taking on a new lease of life as Salvationists engage and support people. In a practical way, many people now come to corps simply because they need assistance with food parcels and basic necessities. This opens up new opportunities where corps are engaging with people and sharing the gospel message. While travelling throughout the world, I am encouraged by the large number of young people expressing a calling to serve as Salvation Army officers. It’s more than I’ve seen in the last 15 or 20 years! So I think there are possibilities for growth when we genuinely show Christ’s compassion in the things that we do. In the early days of the Army, greater numbers of soldiers were engaged in our work with the poor. Today we increasingly pay “professionals” to carry out much of our social work. What impact does this have on the culture of the organization? I think there are obvious pluses when we work with professional people—when we raise the standards of what we’re doing. But there’s a danger in relying on professionals who do not necessarily

subscribe to the spiritual values of the Army. When we take pride in being part of The Salvation Army and the wonderful works we do, but lack the driving passion to win the world for Jesus, there’s a disconnect because we’re only delivering half of the mission. Jesus calls us to have a heart of compassion and reach out to a needy world. While we care for those who are sick, we should also be concerned for those who are dying in sin. Being a wonderfully run institution is not enough to meet all the physical, emotional and spiritual needs in our communities. What does it mean to “reflect the mind of Jesus” in our interaction with the poor and marginalized? Jesus often drew attention to the things that were insignificant, discarded. I think of the spotlight he put on the poor widow who was giving her mite or how he would draw children to himself. Or how about his compassion for the sick or for those who would have been outcast in their society because of the sicknesses they had? I don’t think we should be looking for accolades and public acclaim, however pleasant that is, but we should be seeking to reflect that same concern for the seemingly “insignificant” or marginalized people in the world today, people without a voice who are considered to be nothing. The typhoon that hit the Philippines in November has reminded me rather starkly that, very often, the communities that suffer most are the poorest of the

In some parts of the developing world, the Army is experiencing significant growth, yet in the developed world the numbers of soldiers are

Photos: Courtesy of Salvation Army IHQ

As Salvationists, how should we interpret the Bible? There is a danger in being judgmental, in seeing the world through a very narrow lens, but on the other hand, I also see an equally troubling tendency to try and adapt the Word of God to suit where we’re at so that nothing has to change. The Word of God challenges us and the values of the kingdom are countercultural. It should make us uncomfortable in the areas of our life where we don’t live out those values.

The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox at the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Tty’s congress Salvationist • February 2014 • 9


poor because they’re in the least secure locations. That’s why it’s important that we strive to reflect the mind of Christ and think of things that the world considers to be unimportant. You dream of an Army that “practises what it preaches, from the top leadership down.” How are we currently doing with respect to this? If you’re looking for perfection, don’t look to me. I’m still a work in progress, but I recognize the need to lead by example and not by words. In my travels to various countries in different cultural settings, I’ve been pleased to sense an energy and passion in those who serve the poor and the marginal-

ized. When we present, believe and live out the gospel message, transformation takes place. Can you give us a few examples? I remember listening to the story of a man at one of our recovery centres in Australia who had an alcohol problem. He went out and bought himself a trombone even though he had no idea how to play it. The officer in charge of the institution played in the local corps band and spent time with this man, teaching him to play the instrument and mentoring him in his walk with the Lord. This man accepted Christ and can now speak confidently of his own sense of worth as a child of God.

The General begins a glory march at the South America West Tty’s congress in Arica, Chile 10 • February 2014 • Salvationist

In South America, I heard the story of a young officer who testified how the home league influenced her mother. Her whole household changed because her mother had heard the gospel message at the home league meeting and now she is an officer of The Salvation Army. These stories are real and they’re still happening today. Lives are being transformed and it’s what makes it worthwhile to get up in the morning and do what we have to do. You long for “an Army where all cultures are equally accepted.” How are we doing in this respect? I sense a growing acceptance and celebration of our differences. I’m hoping we’ll capture a sense of that in the 2015 International Congress as the world comes together in London, England. People say to me, “How do you deal with the tension between the developed world and the developing world?” I’ve been surprised that there are not that many differences. We are more of a family than we think we are. There can be a tension between diversity and uniformity in the Army. What are the non-negotiables when it comes to Army distinctives? What binds us together is our common belief that the Bible is the inspired message of God, that it reveals his plan of salvation for the world. That’s the bedrock to start with. We’re also a covenanted people—we sign the Soldiers’ Covenant and Officers’ Covenant. My wife and I have travelled to officers’ councils in four of the zones this year and there is a sense of unity. Our doctrines also help in binding us together—they shape and guide the principles of our faith. Also, everywhere I go, people talk about how valuable the weekly prayer meeting has been for them. There is a sense of ownership for Salvationists in knowing they are praying for the Army around the world. Another thing that brings us together is our use of the mercy seat. I’ve been moved in each of the zones that I’ve visited this year to see how naturally and wonderfully people make use of the mercy seat for prayer, dedication and commitment. Lastly, our dress code is a clear, visible way to show that we belong to The Salvation Army. I know there are negative connotations to wearing the uniform in some parts of the world, but I’ve found


that it’s a wonderful way to open doors. As we travel, people stop us in airports and talk to us about their connections with the Army. I don’t believe in God’s secret service. This is an easy way to make sure we’re visible. Is the Army too top-heavy in its administration? How do we restructure to maximize our resources? I’m a firm believer that good administration leads to effective mission outcomes, but there’s a fine line between good administration and undue bureaucracy. I think we should be continually reviewing the relevance of our policies and procedures and the cost of our administration. The only reason headquarters exist is to support the front-line mission and be a resource. Getting the balance right is a challenge in many places and we should never lose our focus. I know that in every territory that I have served in, we’ve had a careful look at our structure because, if we get the balance wrong, we can suck up far too great a proportion of our resources just to keep the machinery going, and that’s not our purpose. We’re there to continue to ensure that souls are being saved, suffering humanity is served and that we’re growing disciples. Last fall, you invited young people to share their voice by submitting videos for the January 2014 General’s Consultative Council. How did that project go? We received more than 200 videos and were very pleased with the exceptionally good response. I viewed a large number of the videos and I don’t feel a huge disconnect with the visions and dreams youth have and the things that they aspire to. This was a great way for us to build bridges, rather than say there’s a generation gap. The Council was the first springboard to opening opportunities for youth in many territories. What other steps will the Army take to ensure that youth have a voice? I don’t want young people to be considered the Army of the future … they are the Army today. Only they can effectively reach their generation. And so we need to empower them, support them and engage them. Instead of looking at young people with the mindset of, “In a few years’ time, they might be able to

take over from us,” we must see it as a partnership that’s real now. For the 2015 Congress, I’ve asked planners to ensure that we don’t marginalize young people to an alternative platform, but to include them as a very visible part of the main events. You dream of an Army that shuns the dependency culture. What does this mean? If you look at the One Army vision statement, we talk about increasing self-support and self-denial. In the developed world, how many corps are self-financing and how many rely on mission support grants? I think there is a certain dependency culture—even in western society— when it comes to the evangelical work of The Salvation Army. I believe that if all Salvationists tithed, a lot of the financial problems would be resolved, certainly with regard to the sustainability, development and growth of our evangelical and corps work. The dependency goes further in other parts of the world, where we simply say, “Here’s a desperate need and we’re looking for someone to fund it.” I think that many of our territories have more resources at our disposal than we readily recognize. We might be cash-poor in some areas, but we are usually asset-rich when you look at our buildings and properties. We need to be a little more savvy about how we maximize our stewardship and management of some of those facilities. With a bit of creativity and thought, we could do a lot more and not look to someone else all the time to pay for our

next meal. We do have resources at our disposal, so changing that attitude is going to give us a huge start. What are the top challenges facing the Army today? What keeps you awake at night? Emergency situations such as the Philippines typhoon in November make me uneasy because I know just how thinly it stretches our personnel and financial resources to respond to crises of that magnitude. Another major concern is when I hear of people who belong to the Army— whether soldiers or officers—who fail to maintain the standards, particularly in cases of abuse. Those are horrendous issues that we have to deal with and often have huge repercussions in the lives of individuals, often to the point of scarring them for life. Those issues challenge me to the core of my being and cause me to reflect in the hours of darkness. Fortunately, there are a lot of positives in this organization. Seeing a lot of positive change and evidence of transformation is what helps me get through a lot of the other challenges. How can Salvationists help make these dreams a reality? My only call or challenge would be to ask them to consider these dreams. I’m not saying they should just go and do it without proper reflection, but to pause and think about what they would need to change in order to make these dreams a reality in their own lives.

Chile’s Arica Salvation Army school band meet the General in the South America West Tty Salvationist • February 2014 • 11


Lessons from Liberia

Living by faith in the midst of poverty and destruction

Photos: Matthew Osmond

BY MAJOR ANNE VENABLES

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Chris, sitting on the steps outside Albert Orsborn Primary and Elementary School in Kakata, Liberia

onths after my return from Liberia, West Africa, memories continue to come to mind. Some are pleasant, such as the small group of children singing Building up the Temple at the Salala Corps, or the serenity of Lieutenant Rachel Stewart as she proudly showed us the new quarters that was being built for her and her husband, Lieutenant Lincoln Stewart, behind the Mount Barkley Corps building. Some memories, however, are less pleasant, such as the piles of smouldering garbage beside the busy market in Monrovia. Or the four young boys in a rural part of the country who ran into the jungle when we stopped to take their picture because they thought we were “heart men” who wanted to kidnap them for ritual killings. Liberia and its neighbouring country, Sierra Leone, have endured years of civil war and evidence of the conflict is everywhere. Abandoned buildings riddled with bullet holes remain 10 years after the war ended. Everyone we met had a story about how the war affected them. Many lost homes, friends or family members and their lives were changed forever. And yet in the midst of the poverty and destruction, there is a beautiful spirit of hope. No Money for School The Salvation Army’s work in Liberia is centred around education. Through its 12 schools and vocational training centres, young people have hope for their future. At John Gowans Junior and Senior High School in Salala, we met female students in their 20s. During the civil war they weren’t able to go to school, but now, despite their ages, they are excited about 12 • February 2014 • Salvationist

completing their education. The most moving experience occurred at Albert Orsborn Primary and Elementary School in Kakata, Liberia. The classrooms were full of eager children, neatly dressed in their grey and white uniforms, and I was impressed by their attention to their teachers. Outside the buildings, sitting on some nearby steps was a little boy about five or six years old. He sat there quietly, watching us and one of the local women prepare milk for the students. As we toured the school grounds, he followed at a distance and continued to watch. I asked the officer to tell me his story. His name is Chris. Every morning he walks for about an

Children worry about being kidnapped when they’re not in school


Happy students in their classroom at Albert Orsborn Primary and Elementary School

Mjr Anne Venables met many students who were overjoyed to have the opportunity to go to school

hour to get to school because he wants to learn and be with other children. Unfortunately his family can’t afford the $50 to cover Chris’ school uniform and fees. I immediately offered to pay the money, but the response was: “What about next year? Who will pay next year? And what about the hundreds of other children who can’t go to school? Who will pay for them?” All I could think of was that any of my friends or family could easily part with $50 to ensure that children like Chris could get the education they so desperately wanted and needed. There’s a saying in Liberia: “A problem shared is a problem easily solved.” We need to get involved and commit to programs such as Partners in Mission to help Chris and the thousands like him.

They can teach us so much about living by faith. Without fail, everywhere I went, I met people who were full of joy and thanksgiving for what they had. They embodied the Apostle Paul’s message: “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 4:12-13 The Living Bible). We can learn from the faith and trust of Salvationists in our partner territories. We can learn from the simple lifestyle that relies more on community and family, and less on possessions. We can learn to be joyful in all circumstances. Our partner territories live by faith, that they will receive the support they need to accomplish their mission, and our gifts, through Partners in Mission, help them to do just that.

Next Steps How do we do this? We are rich in material resources. Not only do we have food, shelter and water, but many of us have disposable income that we can share with those in need. But what role do our partner territories play in this association? The answer became abundantly clear to me during my visit.

Major Anne Venables is the divisional director of women’s ministries for the Quebec Division. To learn more about Partners in Mission, visit salvationist.ca/pim.

Students from John Gowans Junior and Senior High School gather to sing for their visitors Salvationist • February 2014 • 13


MISSION MATTERS

Putting a Face on Need Don’t feel a connection to world poverty? Read stories to make it personal

Photo: Art Nickel

BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE

In Malawi, Salvation Army home-based care workers provide support to families affected by HIV-AIDS

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s territorial commander, I often face a steep learning curve. I am welcomed into weekly conversations around decisions, priorities and strategies that affect the lives of people who once seemed worlds away from me. Never is that more true than with our annual Partners in Mission Appeal. Having met some of these people and listened to their stories, my wish for Salvationists—and it might surprise you—centres not just on your generosity or sacrificial lifestyle. I want you to have an opportunity to know the people who are positively affected by our programs—to call them by name and claim a relationship with them. Impossible you say? I challenge you to delve into the stories in this issue of Salvationist, meet the feature characters, repeat their names and, through those telling the stories, create a relationship when you set aside a gift for Partners in Mission or buy Gifts of Hope to share with family. Putting a face on the need makes it more real. Read Meatta’s story on page 15. Visualize the plight of a nine-year-old 14 • February 2014 • Salvationist

in a war-torn community and follow it through to the final outcome of sustained hope for the future. Find out on page 12 why Major Anne Venables remembers a boy named Chris and his circumstance. When I give, the image of an HIVAIDS-stricken woman from Malawi named Gloria, lying on a mat and surrounded by her four soon-to-be orphans, creeps back into my mind. Will you remember Meatta, Chris and Gloria throughout this Partners in Mission focus? I’m often plagued with questions that are difficult to answer. Why is there such inequity in the world? Why, after years of effort, is there still so much poverty and a lack of education and daily sustenance? Why do governments fall to corruption and marginalize their people? Even without solid answers, I thank God that I can celebrate real stories of children rescued from trafficking, families given hope through a micro-credit program, thousands of orphans surrounded by a caring community and schools that provide daily hot meals.

I am so pleased to be a part of The Salvation Army. We have boots on the ground in so many needy parts of the world. I take great joy when the Canada and Bermuda Territory flexes its muscles and demonstrates its ability to show the love of Christ. Solving the world’s problems might be a bit beyond our reach, but changing the prospect of a family, creating sustained hope in a village and believing in Grace and her goal to become a nurse is within our grasp (see page 16). Learning curves often involve lessons that become a part of our own journey, attitudes, misconceptions and, yes, even our own poverty. The work we do through our world missions department is about fostering change, creating the capacity for sustainability in communities and doing much with little. We enable people to discover who they are, first, as God’s children and, second, as leaders of change in their own families and communities. I want to assure donors of good accountability standards in everything we do. We keep track of each donated dollar and make every effort to accomplish designated tasks. Internationally, we are growing as an organization as we embrace faith-based facilitation, community development and tools that measure our impact. I am learning that I am changed when I give. I understand my part as a territorial commander and Partner in Mission in places such as Liberia, where my friend, Colonel Festus Oloruntoba, leads the Army; in Zimbabwe, where Colonel Henry Nyagah dreams of a brighter future; in Malawi, where Colonel Moses Wandulu articulates an ambitious vision; and in Latin America North, where Colonel Tito Paredes guides the Army’s work in 10 countries. Who will hold them up in prayer? Who will offer their time and money? Who will take the time to understand and act? I am convinced that the men, women and young people of the Canada and Bermuda Territory will do all of that when we become active participants in Partners in Mission. Friends, let’s give because we are a blessed people. Commissioner Brian Peddle is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory.


Children of War Education provides a future for Liberia’s lost youth

Photos: Matthew Osmond

BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

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eatta was just nine years old when civil war broke out in Liberia, forcing her to flee her home in Lofa and seek safety with family in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. It took several weeks of travel—much of it on foot—for Meatta to reach her destination, and during that time and the years following, she witnessed horrific things that no child should see. “Killings, rapes, amputations and more. Many victims were my own family members and friends,” she says. “Some of my schoolmates were kidnapped into the guerrilla army—young boys as soldiers, young girls as sex slaves. It was

Meatta (centre) sings with students from John Gowans Junior and Senior High School in Salala, Liberia

unimaginable.” When the war finally ended in 2003, Meatta had lost her youth and struggled to have hope for the future. Her education was cut short by the war and it seemed unlikely that she would be able to change that. “While many boys and young men returned to school, most girls and young women didn’t have that chance,” she says. “In Liberia, many families will pay educational costs for their sons, but not their daughters.” But today, her future is looking much brighter. Meatta is a Grade 12 student at The Salvation Army’s John Gowans Junior and Senior High School in Salala,

thanks to a scholarship provided by the Army, and after she finishes school, she plans to continue her studies and become a nurse. “The Salvation Army came along and changed everything,” she says. “Now, at the age of 28, I’m on track to graduate with the education I need to live a good life.” Supporting the Youth In a country with a sizable youth population—more than half of Liberians are younger than 18—Meatta is one of many young people whose lives have been drastically altered by the civil war. Spanning 14 years, the war uprooted Salvationist • February 2014 • 15


most of the population and claimed an estimated 250,000 to 520,000 lives—a devastating number for a country that, today, numbers only four million. The return to normalcy following the war has been slow as the effects of the war are still being felt, but The Salvation Army is making efforts to bring restoration and hope to those affected. “After the war, we wanted to find ways to support the youth, recognizing that many had missed school and had traumatic experiences, and there were gaps in their education,” says Major Gillian Brown, director of world missions for Canada and Bermuda. Major Brown says that education is the key to helping young people who’ve only

known war and destruction move forward with their lives. The Salvation Army has been active in Liberia since 1988 and operates 12 schools across the country, currently enrolling 4,700 students. John Gowans has 85 students from a broad area—some travel two or three hours by foot each way every school day. Expense and a lack of infrastructure make other travel methods unfeasible. Many of the students at John Gowans are, like Meatta, in their 20s or even early 30s, having missed out on getting an education because of the war. This situation creates some unique challenges for the Army’s schools. As Major Brown says, “How do you have 16- to

Almost 100 students attend the Army’s Albert Orsborn Primary and Elementary School in Kakata, Liberia

Students learn auto mechanic skills at the Army’s vocational school in Monrovia, Liberia 16 • February 2014 • Salvationist

18-year-olds in a primary class with six-year-olds?” In addition to funds raised through donations, John Gowans operates a piggery which provides money for scholarships so that girls and young women can go to school when their families can’t afford to pay. A Nation of Orphans The Salvation Army’s largest school in Liberia is located in Monrovia, a city of one million people and the centre of commerce for the country. With a combined enrolment of 1,459 students in the primary, elementary, junior and senior high levels, the two Len Millar schools are named for Canadian Major Leonard Millar. He and his wife, Mrs. Major Dorothy Millar, commenced the Army’s work in Liberia. Strip away the physical surroundings and Len Millar is a typical school with an intelligent and friendly staff, who are giving children the education they need to be successful in life. But there are many reminders that the city was at war not long ago. A high fence surrounds the school and there is a security guard at the gate checking students in when they arrive. Next to the school stands a half-demolished building, a casualty of the conflict and subsequent neglect. “It’s very hard living in Monrovia,” says Grace, a Grade 12 student at Len Millar. “When you are not getting the support you need, going to school is very hard. “Most of the youth don’t have parents due to the war,” she explains. “Some of their parents died in the war, some have gone missing and some have lost their connection with their children. That’s why the youth don’t have parents and some of them are homeless.” Grace proudly shares that she is taking 13 subjects this school year and hopes to become a nurse. She’s grateful for the opportunity to attend the Len Millar school. “The Salvation Army is doing a great thing by opening schools, clinics and churches, and encouraging the young people,” she says. During the war, Grace had many traumatic experiences that will stay with her for the rest of her life. “I can remember people lying on the streets, bleeding, people were running from gunshots, people fainting, people dying,” she shares. “But from that time


up till now, I am seeing improvement in the country. I’m seeing that young people are taking education seriously, and more young people are going to school.” One of the challenges Len Millar and many other schools in Liberia face is a lack of supplies. Since the end of the civil war, there has been a severe shortage of textbooks. A survey conducted by the Liberian Ministry of Education and its partners put the student-to-textbook ratio at 5:1 in urban areas and up to 12:1 in some rural communities. Most of the students at The Salvation Army’s schools come from low-income families and cannot afford to buy textbooks. To remedy this situation and help students improve their academic performance, the Army has provided textbooks for core subjects such as language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. A related problem is the lack of science lab equipment. During the war, many schools were looted and the import of chemicals was banned to prevent people from creating bombs. “So there was nothing for schools when they reopened,” explains Major Brown. “But since then, The Salvation Army has restocked the labs with books and supplies, and more necessary equipment is on its way.”

day to day is a constant challenge. Across the country, 64 percent of Liberians live below the national poverty line and more than 80 percent of Liberians are living on less than US$1.25 per day. “You’ve got 10-year-olds who are trying to support their two or three younger siblings,” says Matthew Osmond, who travelled to Liberia with the Army’s world missions team. “Or they could be supporting extended family such as cousins if, for example, their uncle was killed.”

“Some of my schoolmates were kidnapped into the guerrilla army—young boys as soldiers, young girls as sex slaves. It was unimaginable”

“A lot of the people who go to the college have finished high school but don’t have the means to go on to secondary education because they don’t have parents to support them,” says Osmond. “The Salvation Army provides the funding so that they can get the training they need to provide for their families.” The college offers a wide variety of training, which includes auto mechanics, construction, flooring, roofing, tailoring and hairdressing. The government of Liberia has given The Salvation Army land in Lofa in northern Liberia—the area of the country where the war lasted until 2005—to create similar programs for the people there. Planning for Tomorrow With a stable government and a recovering economy, Liberia and its young people have reason to be more optimistic about their future. In the 10 years since the war ended, Major Brown has seen a gradual shift in how Liberians see their prospects. “Of all the African countries, Liberia is one that seems to feel that it’s always on the edge of another civil war,” she says. “In the years after the war, when we would propose a long-term project such as a goat bank, they would say, ‘OK, but tomorrow we could be at war again and the goats will be killed.’ It’s taken a long time, but now they’re getting to a place where they feel they can plan for tomorrow.”

Securing the Future For children who have lost their parents, getting an education is unlikely to be their top concern. Merely surviving from

In Monrovia, the Salvation Army Vocational Technical and Training College gives young people the opportunity to learn practical skills to secure their long-term financial future. The college currently enrols 300 students who are typically in their late teens or 20s.

Liberia’s civil war left many children orphans

The Salvation Army’s Len Millar schools in Monrovia, Liberia Salvationist • February 2014 • 17


SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

Time to ’Fess Up

Shackled by guilt? Lighten your load and start being honest

Photo: © Ingimage.com/Graja

BY MAJOR GAIL WINSOR

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” —Psalm 51:3

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eginning in Genesis, the Bible reminds us that we all experience sin that interferes with our relationship with God and damages our human relationships. Each of us can recall feeling condemned and weighed down by the guilt of our own sins. Verses such as “the wages of sin is death” (see Romans 6:23) drive home the seriousness with which God looks upon our transgressions. The Bible also balances God’s justice with his mercy and our guilt with God’s grace. In Celebration of Discipline, Richard J. Foster writes: “At the heart of God is this desire to give and to forgive. Because of this, he set into motion the entire redemptive process … Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance.” God wants to forgive our sin—but to be forgiven, sin must first be confessed. Our confession of sin is directed 18 • February 2014 • Salvationist

toward God, who alone can forgive sin. This is modelled for us by the psalmist who admitted to God, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:4). We do not need to confess every sin to someone else. Many issues can be settled between ourselves and God. However, like a child whose fear of the dark prompts him to call out for a parent because he needs someone “with skin on,” we sometimes benefit from the comfort that God offers through another Christian. At these times, the Scriptures encourage us to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Before such a confession, we should ask God to direct us to one who is emotionally and spiritually mature, wise, compassionate and confidential. We need someone who has been gifted by God to hear and respond to the spiritual needs of others.

What does the discipline of confession involve? •• Confession begins with inviting God to speak to us about our behaviour. This “examination of conscience” requires responsiveness to God’s Spirit who reveals to us the areas in which we fall short of God’s will. It includes an admission of sin, repentance and willingness to name specific sins so that they may be addressed. •• Confession requires honesty and humility in the presence of another person. When we confess to someone, we become vulnerable to them and also become aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in them, showing us the reality of our sin and the immediacy of God’s grace. That is a humbling experience. •• Confession opens us to receive God’s healing and forgiveness. In The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard notes that confiding in another about our struggles and hearing that person offer scriptural assurances of forgiveness can remind us that God’s forgiveness is as real as the person with whom we are sharing. This can be a powerful means of hope and healing. •• Confession helps us avoid sin. Through confession, we make ourselves accountable to another and receive needed support. •• Confession breaks the bond of secrecy that has been the downfall of many souls. In Thirsting for God, Gary Thomas writes, “Secrets allow Satan to blackmail us.” Secrecy also isolates us from the people God has placed in our lives to encourage us and separates us from the spiritual resources that God offers us. When we confess our sins, we disarm Satan’s campaign to discredit us both before God and our fellow believers. •• Confession leads to joy in the forgiveness of sin and in the ongoing work of God in our lives through his Spirit and the support of God’s people. For tips on practising the discipline of confession, visit salvationist.ca/ confession. Major Gail Winsor ministers through the leadership development department at Canada and Bermuda’s territorial headquarters. She is also a trained spiritual director.


Going the Extra Smile

A free Salvation Army dental clinic in Cranbrook, B.C., provides an essential service

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any people dread a visit to the dentist, but not Paulette

Dallaire. “I was jumping all over the place because I was coming to see the dentist,” says Dallaire. “I was so happy to have my teeth fixed.” Until she visited the free dental clinic at The Salvation Army in Cranbrook, B.C., this past November, she had not been to a dentist in 13 years. Her long absence had nothing to do with whether she wanted to look after her teeth—Dallaire simply could not afford to go. “If you have no money, you let your teeth go,” she says. “It’s a miracle to have this clinic, to be able to see a dentist and not have to worry about how much it’s going to cost.” The Salvation Army’s Mouth Minders clinic opened in October with one dentist, one dental hygienist and three dental assistants volunteering their services. The idea for a free dental clinic was developed by hygienist Nancy Sazarie, who also works for the B.C. Interior Health Authority, and semiretired dentist Dr. Dale Sellars, who together proposed the clinic to Captain Kirk Green, corps officer, Kootenay Valley Community Church. They originally saw the clinic as part of a new

multi-million-dollar Army facility that is currently in development in Cranbrook. “I said, ‘Why not start now?’ ” says Captain Green. The clinic is the first Salvation Army-owned and operated dental clinic in Canada. It is housed in a converted Sunday school room at Kootenay Valley Community Church and is modelled after a similar clinic at the Kelowna Gospel Mission in Kelowna, B.C. To get the clinic up and running, a local retired dentist donated some large items, including a chair and an X-ray unit, a dental supply company in Calgary donated other items, and The Salvation Army purchased the rest. Funding for supplies and renovations came from Columbia Basin Trust and Pacific Blue Cross. Based on the experience of the Kelowna Gospel Mission, Captain Green expects that Mouth Minders will have 360 patient visits in its first year—though that number may increase. Within the first month of the clinic opening, two more dentists had volunteered their services. “Ever yone h a s been extremely supportive,” says Sellars, whose many years of experience are being put to good use at the clinic. The need for Mouth Minders is great. The clinic

Photo: Cranbrook Daily Townsman

BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

Dr. Dale Sellars and Lara Kahl, dental assistant, volunteer their services at Mouth Minders, a free Salvation Army dental clinic

serves not only people on government assistance, such as Dallaire, but also people with low incomes. “If you’re the working poor and you have a choice between putting food on the table for your children or getting your tooth fixed, the tooth will wait,” says Captain Green. Candice Young, who came to Mouth Minders in October, needed to have three teeth removed, one of which was abscessed. “I couldn’t eat or sleep, I could hardly breathe,” she recalls. “It was horrible.” She visited her regular dentist who told her it would cost $500. “I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “That’s a whole pay cheque and then some for me.” Young was at the Army’s soup kitchen when she heard about Mouth Minders. Having the teeth removed was “a great experience,” she

says. “Everybody was very friendly. I was in, frozen, teeth all pulled and ready to go home within an hour.” For people who visit Mouth Minders, getting dental work done means more than just having a problem solved; it’s about restoring their dignity. “Not being able to go to the dentist impacts your selfesteem a lot,” says Dallaire. “It keeps you from smiling, and you try not to open your mouth so people don’t see how bad your teeth are. But now I can go out and look for work and not be afraid of opening my mouth when I speak.” At this point, Mouth Minders mainly provides maintenance services, such as teeth cleaning, and pain management, such as extractions, but the clinic hopes to expand into restorative services soon. Salvationist • February 2014 • 19


Family Reunion

An Army program offers free immigration help to newcomers in Nova Scotia

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BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

woman’s spousal sponsorship application has been refused and she doesn’t know when she will see her husband again. A mother has been separated from her child and she fears for his safety in a war-torn

country. Between 25 and 30 people walk through Marie Kettle’s doors in a given month—every situation presents a new challenge and a new opportunity to help someone in need. Kettle is the settlement co-ordinator at The Salvation Army’s Atlantic Refugee and Immigrant Services (ARIS) Project in Halifax. The project has been an official Army program for four years now and is part of the Army’s Spryfield Community Church and Family Resource Centre, which opened in 2009. ARIS offers free assistance to immigrants and refugees of all stripes, with a particular focus on family reunification. Kettle, a trained paralegal, is a helpful guide for many people who do not necessarily need a lawyer but are having difficulty navigating the immigration process. This typically means helping them with applications and various kinds of paperwork. “For example, we see a lot of people from various African and Asian countries who have been separated from their children,” Kettle says. “After they arrive in Canada, they have a one-year window in which to apply to bring their children. We help them fill out the forms correctly and gather the necessary documents. “People are often intimidated by forms,” she explains. “English is not their first language and they’re afraid they’ll do something wrong. If the forms are not done properly, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will just send them back—sometimes without a clear explanation of why.” Some clients can be helped with just one appointment, while others require years of work. In more complex cases where a lawyer is required, Kettle has a network of volunteer lawyers that she can call upon for assistance. She notes, for example, that hiring a lawyer for a spousal sponsorship application can cost $5,000, a sum that is far out of reach for many new immigrants. Last year, Kettle was honoured for her work with ARIS when she received the Mohamed Hashish Award from Nova Scotia’s Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS). The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional and innovative efforts in welcoming immigrants to the province. “It was very nice to have the work recognized and to realize that we are making a difference,” she says. “There is a real need and demand for our services, and I hope we can continue to serve these clients.” Here are three of their stories: An End to Violence Monireh and Yosof were childhood friends, both refugees from Afghanistan living in Iran. 20 • February 2014 • Salvationist

Marie Kettle receives the Mohamed Hashish Award for her work with the Army’s ARIS project

“We had to leave Afghanistan because of the war,” she explains. “Both my father and Yosof’s father were killed by the Taliban.” In 2010, Monireh came to Canada with her family as refugees, but she and Yosof stayed in constant contact and she returned to Iran in November 2011 so that they could be married. She went to ISIS, looking for help with her application to bring Yosof to Canada, and they referred her to the Army’s ARIS project. Monireh came to the Army in March 2012 and Kettle assisted her with her spousal sponsorship application for Yosof, filling out the required forms and helping her gather the necessary supporting documents. In May, Monireh received a letter from the Canadian Embassy in Turkey, informing her that they were in the final stages of processing the application but that Yosof needed to go to the embassy in Turkey in person to obtain his visa. “That was the most difficult part,” Monireh shares. As a refugee from Afghanistan living in Iran, Yosof was not able to travel to Turkey legally and there was no one he could trust to take his passport to Turkey to obtain the visa for him. Desperate, Yosof tried to travel to Turkey through illegal means, but he was picked up by the Iranian authorities and taken to jail. When Monireh didn’t hear from him, she started to panic.


“We were all worried about him but we didn’t know what we should do,” she says. “He told me afterward that they put him in a small room, which had no window and no air conditioner. It was dark and they didn’t feed them.” Yosof had been in jail for a week when he was finally able to call Monireh. “We were so happy that he was alive because he told us that there were many people who were trying to enter Turkey illegally and the Iranian police shot them,” she says. “Many people had been killed.” “I started calling MPs’ offices, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)—anywhere I could think of to get help,” Kettle recalls. When the Iranian authorities released Yosof, they deported him to Afghanistan, where he went into hiding with his uncle in Kabul. “He was scared because it was not safe. He said there were more soldiers in the city than roads,” Monireh says. Kettle had a contact in the IOM office in Ottawa who brought Yosof’s case to the IOM office in Kabul and secured an appointment for him. The IOM then took his passport to Turkey where they obtained his visa, and they arranged his trip to Canada. Yosof arrived in Halifax in July 2013. “I was so happy,” says Monireh. “I couldn’t believe that all of this trouble had finally gone away.” When some of Monireh’s friends have gone through a similar situation, she’s referred them to The Salvation Army. “I introduced them to Marie,” she says. “She is the best at helping people.” Back to Life “Are you Payvay?” Weedor had been waiting for this moment for almost 10 years. Weedor was living in Liberia in 2002 when a group of armed men entered her village, shooting and killing people in the streets. At the time, it seemed a blessing that her threeyear-old son, Payvay, was out of town on a trip to Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, with his grandmother. But when the son and grandmother returned to the village after the trip, Weedor was gone, having fled for her life to Guinea. Weedor eventually found her way to a refugee camp and starting asking around, desperate for information about her son a nd h i s grandmother. “I was very worried about them,” she says. “I didn’t know where they were. They weren’t in Monrovia.” Finally, Weedor received the devastating news: “Some of my friends told me that they Refugees from Afghanistan, Monireh and her had been killed, husband, Yosof, are now safely living in Canada that they had

Weedor was reunited with her son, Payvay (third from right), with the assistance of the ARIS project

seen their bodies with their own eyes.” While in the camp, she found out about a Canadian program for Liberian refugees and she came to Canada in November 2005 with her second son, Saliou, who was born in the camp. After she settled in Halifax, she received the most surprising e-mail from her uncle in Monrovia: Payvay and his grandmother were alive and living in a refugee camp in a remote part of Liberia. “I said, ‘That can’t be true,’ because my friends told me that they saw them with their own eyes,” she says. But as her uncle explained how he found them, Weedor was overjoyed. She was determined to do whatever was necessary to bring Payvay to Canada. “Being separated from him was terrible.” While searching for help, a friend pointed her to the Army’s ARIS program. Kettle connected Weedor with two volunteer lawyers and they prepared a humanitarian and compassionate application to bring Payvay to Canada. Kettle helped Weedor complete the necessary paperwork and prepared her for an interview with Canadian immigration. The process took about two years, but finally, in September 2012, Weedor and Payvay were reunited. Weedor and her family—which now included husband, Cherno, and daughter, Rugiatu—waited anxiously at the airport. When the passengers arrived, Weedor searched the crowd. Payvay was just about to pass her by when she called out, “Are you Payvay?” Having not seen him since he was three, Weedor wasn’t sure if it was really him. But he stopped, their eyes met and she knew. “If it wasn’t for Marie, I don’t think my son would be here now,” she says. “It means so much to me. The Salvation Army has brought my life back together.” Special Delivery When Olayiwola (Layi) came to The Salvation Army in October 2010, his situation seemed hopeless. He had emigrated from Nigeria to Canada with his family in March 2009, leaving behind his girlfriend, Roseline. He went back to Nigeria the following January and they were married, and as soon as Layi returned to Canada, he submitted a spousal sponsorship application to bring his new wife Salvationist • February 2014 • 21


documents needed. ARIS also found him a volunteer lawyer, who was willing to represent Layi at the appeal hearing in Canada, and helped prepare Layi for the hearing. When the hearing finally came in August 2012, Layi was confident that their application would be successful. “Prior to the hearing we had DNA testing done on Layi, Roseline and Daniel which proved that Daniel was their child,” explains Kettle. Winning the appeal was a “big relief,” says Layi. “I was delighted.” Layi travelled to Nigeria to meet his son and wife and they travelled to Canada together, arriving in March 2013. “I can still remember the day when we got home,” he says. “We prayed and thanked God for the journey, for making everything possible for us.”

Layi, Roseline and Daniel were helped by Marie Kettle and the ARIS project

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to Canada. While they were waiting for the application to be processed, they discovered that Roseline was pregnant. When they found out that Roseline’s application hearing would take place before her due date, Layi was optimistic. “I was hoping that she would be here with me before the due date,” he says. “I was troubled that I was away from her, that she was by herself.” By the time Roseline travelled to Ghana for her interview, she was eight months pregnant. It was her first time ever to leave Nigeria or to travel on an airplane. Unfortunately, the interview did not go well—the immigration officer did not believe that theirs was a genuine marriage and refused her application to come to Canada. “I was very troubled,” Layi shares. “At that moment, I saw myself as a failure because I promised that I would get her to Canada before she delivered. Now, that would not be possible.” Their son, Daniel, was born on October 1, 2010, but because Layi was working two jobs to support his family, he was not able to travel to Nigeria to see his son. Layi immediately tried to secure a lawyer to help him appeal the ruling, but found that it was too expensive. There was no way he could pay. Not knowing what else to do, he came to the Army’s ARIS project. Kettle helped him file an application for an immigration appeal and worked with him to collect all of the supporting


CROSS CULTURE

Inside a High Council

David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell The tale of David and Goliath is one of the Bible’s best-known stories and has come to symbolize any battle between an underdog and a giant. This story provides the underlying theme of a new book from Malcolm Gladwell, author of bestsellers such as Outliers and The Tipping Point. In David and Goliath, Gladwell offers a new interpretation of the classic story—he suggests that David wasn’t really an underdog at all—to challenge how readers think about obstacles and disadvantages. From there, the book’s nine chapters each examine a different theme and central story, demonstrating that so much of what is good and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. As well as the chapter on David and Goliath, the final two chapters of the book look at the power of faith: one tells of a woman who forgave her daughter’s murderer and the other examines the Hugenots who defied the Nazis during the Second World War. As with Gladwell’s previous books, David and Goliath draws on history, psychology and powerful storytelling to support its ideas. Though Gladwell is not known for writing about religion, his work on David and Goliath yielded unexpected results in his own life. In an interview with Religious News Service, Gladwell shared that writing the book caused him to reconsider the Christian faith he grew up with: “I was so incredibly struck in writing these stories by the incredible power faith had in people’s lives, it has made a profound impact on me in my belief.… I am in the process of rediscovering my own faith again.”

How Salvation Army Generals Are Elected by General John Larsson (Rtd) Six months ago, 117 Salvation Army leaders from around the world gathered in London, England, to elect the 20th General of The Salvation Army. With the help of the Internet and social media, Salvationists everywhere were able to follow the proceedings as they unfolded and welcome General André Cox after his election. But what was really going on behind the closed doors? In Inside a High Council, General John Larsson (Rtd) offers readers a detailed account of what happens during a High Council. General Larsson is well-placed to write such a book, having attended four High Councils, including two where he was nominated for General. As well as explaining the various stages of a High Council, the book includes previously unpublished extracts from speeches given by candidates.

FRAMES Season 1

by Various Authors In the age of always-connected social media and the 24-7 news cycle, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends. Christians today face the challenge of not only keeping up but also responding to these trends in a way that reflects their faith. Aiming to help Christians with this task is FRAMES, a series of mini-books on nine of today’s most important issues. Topics include handling information overload (The Hyperlinked Life), finding contentment (Greater Expectations), becoming a peacemaker (Fighting for Peace) and why church matters (Sacred Roots). One of the FRAMES, 20 and Something, specifically addresses issues facing young people. With an emphasis on real-life application, FRAMES provides commentary, expert insights, infographics and provocative questions to help readers and small groups think through these issues. A DVD companion is also available.

The Question That Never Goes Away

What Is God up to—or not —in a World of Such Tragedy and Pain? by Philip Yancey “Whether in large-scale tragedies or more intimate crises of hurt and loss, we all ask the question ‘Why would God allow this to happen?’ Indeed it is the question that never goes away.” More than 30 years ago, bestselling author Philip Yancey wrote the classic, Where Is God When It Hurts?, in which he explores the problem of suffering and offers a Christian response. Yancey returns to this problem in his new book, The Question That Never Goes Away, which he began working on after travelling to Newtown, Connecticut, following the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. In the book, Yancey visits three places that have experienced great suffering: Newtown; Japan, still recovering from a devastating tsunami; and BosniaHerzegovina, a country torn apart by war. Yancey shares what he learned in each of these places and offers hope for those who struggle to have faith when it is most severely put to the test. Salvationist • February 2014 • 23


LETTERS

Choosing Our Beggars

IN THE TRENCHES

Back to Our Roots I had mixed emotions as I read Major Amy Reardon’s A column, “Back to Our Roots” (October). I agree, I disagree … I don’t know what to think. I am a former Salvationist who still has a passion for the unchurched. It saddens me when I see suburban corps (and even more when I see officers living in neighbourhoods that their average soldier could not afford). The immediate response may be that moves have had to be made to “keep current and safe.” However, when the corps becomes just like every other suburban church, I think that much of the mission of The Salvation Army is missed. North America is filled with churches. We don’t need more churches. We need more people who are committed to sharing the good news. We need more people to be the hands and the feet of the church. What would our Founders, William and Catherine Booth, say if they saw The Salvation Army today? I suspect that it would be along the lines of, “Where do we go next to impact more folks who are unchurched?” I pray that none of God’s children will become too comfortable. Blessed? Absolutely! Comfortable? Never! Dr. Patti Williams Are we still the church of the poor?

Photo: © depositphotos.com/nata-art

BY MAJOR AMY REARDON

n older Salvationist once told me that when she joined a nondenominational Bible study for seniors, she was embarrassed to tell the other members that she attended a Salvation Army corps. I was quite surprised. What on earth could be shameful about that? I have always found that people commend me for being involved with the Army. True, they usually have no idea what it really means, but they find it respectable—laudable, even. “You do such good work,” they tell me. I pressed the woman to find out why she felt as she did. “Oh well, you know,” she said. “It isn’t very sophisticated to be with the Army now, is it?” I was bemused, but listened on. I learned that her friends remembered when soldiers were people from “the streets” and the Army was a church where society’s undesirables were not only welcomed, but made to be integral members. If you were part of the Army, you must have come from undesirable stock. For my generation, however, Salvationists are seen as good citizens who reach out to the needy. Salvationists aren’t necessarily themselves the needy or even the formerly needy—as the public sees it—and this is largely true. We are the adequately educated, gainfully employed, capable and good-hearted people who offer a hand up. It is no longer assumed we are the poor and dejected. It’s assumed we help the poor and dejected. In many Army congregations, there is actually a mix of people from all walks of life. There are well-off people and poor people, educated people and high school drop-outs, ethnic minorities and the local ethnic majority. But most of the people who are in leadership (lay leaders and otherwise) and who are part of the “in crowd” are like me: raised in the Army, never having lived in poverty, educated and employed. There is something positive about this. It means that the great experiment

by our Founders, General William and Catherine Booth, worked. In the nascent days of the Army, they scraped the hardest cases from the streets and turned them into lovers of Christ and, as a result, responsible citizens. This reform meant the children of those converts were a bit better off. And the following generation was better off than that. It isn’t my family’s story, but many of my friends can trace their roots back to the moment when one of their ancestors was gloriously saved from a life of debauchery. What wonderful success! Instead of

a continuous cycle of ruinous living, the Army effected an upward trajectory in many families. But where does this leave us now? Are we still the church where the man in rags is equal to the woman in cashmere? Are those who sleep in cars welcomed as much as those who drive up in them? Many of our centres of worship have left the ugly parts of town and moved to the tree-lined streets. I can’t help but wonder if the people who live in their cars feel comfortable making their way to suburbia to worship with us. Had our Founders opened fire amid England’s country estates, where no street urchin would ever wander, what would our story have been? Maybe this is the natural evolution of things. Maybe we’ve cleaned up, grown up and become a church for healthy persons in a pleasant environment. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs Jesus—from the alcoholic on skid row to the Real Housewives of New Jersey. There is nothing unchristian about nestling in beautiful places, opening church doors and finding that mostly beautiful people walk through. But I think we should bear in mind that if that is where we settle, it means a complete change of identity for our Movement. When our Founders started what became The Salvation Army, they did it so there would be a home for the outcast. While it is a testimony to the Booths’ vision that the descendants of their converts are now teachers, lawyers and Salvation Army officers, it is an abandonment of their vision if we teachers, lawyers and Salvation Army officers prefer to worship only with our own kind. If we open our social services doors to all people but make our worship centre doors inaccessible to the poor, who are we? We may be something very good and noble and kind. But are we The Salvation Army? Can the accomplished people of this world put an arm around those whose lives are in ruin and call them equals? Can they break bread together, even live life together? Can they offer help of all kinds to each other? Can they, in short, be family? If any entity was designed for such kinship, it was The Salvation Army. Are we still The Salvation Army? Major Amy Reardon serves at U.S.A. National Headquarters as editor of the Young Salvationist magazine and assistant national editor-in-chief.

30 I October 2013 I Salvationist

I read Major Reardon’s article with interest. I am a soldier at Dartmouth CC in Nova Scotia and held a post as corps treasurer until I resigned due to health reasons. I was not raised in a Christian home nor in The Salvation Army. I never graduated from the sixth grade, was an alcoholic by 15, a bigot and believed that God was a bad joke. Then I met Major Dale Pilgrim at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg who led me to the Lord. I can now testify to full salvation. To God be the glory, amen. Larry Johnson I moved from the Methodist church to The Salvation Army about 10 years ago. The main thing that drew me was the practical, hands-on style of ministry. Here I felt I was not just keeping a pew warm, or “serving” at a stall at a rummage sale, I was giving practical help to those who needed it, which often resulted in a chance to talk about Christ. That was, and still is, the good part. The bad part is that I have found there is a line that divides our corps. Just about every member of our corps is willing to help with our drop-in centre, soup kitchens, fundraisers for the homeless, night shelters, annual appeals, you name it. However, Sunday must not be touched by “those people.” When I have managed to convince those we help to come along to a Sunday worship meeting, they are not welcomed. They are not made to feel loved. They receive sideways looks, and there are invariably complaints made to the corps officer after the meeting that “those people” disrupt the meeting, they smell bad, they speak at inappropriate moments, they scare the kids, and so on. We had a chap who used to be a professional musician 24 • February 2014 • Salvationist

before he fell on hard times. One Sunday, wearing the secondhand clothes we’d given him the Friday before, he asked if he could play in our band. You’d think someone had just suggested sacrificing a pig on the mercy seat, to hear the reaction. And so, “those people” don’t come back next Sunday. I have visited other corps, where this is NOT the case. But, sadly, it is well and truly entrenched in the minds and hearts of the people who make up my current corps. I pray their hearts will change—but each time I see this, the more inclined I am to find out what’s happening at the corps in the next town over. Gary M. Excellent introspective article. I am a “first generation” Salvationist who came to The Salvation Army in my late 30s. Years before my time, our corps was located downtown where the people we are called to serve were. In the mid-’70s, the corps moved to the edge of town—away from everybody, except a nursing home and assisted-living home. There is another ministry serving the homeless and street people now. I call it surrendered ground. From what I’ve learned, these were ministries that we used to do, but quit doing because of money. Yet I was surprised and taken aback by all the “hoopla” that accompanies commissioning and congresses. Even today, only kids from better-off families can afford our youth sports programs where Christ usually isn’t allowed. Scholarships for the poorer kids are few or only half the cost. We no longer hire Christian or Salvationist people to run our most important social service programs or youth programs. You tell me. Have we left our first love? Jesse Oldham

What Is a Salvation Army Officer? I found Major Ray Harris’ web - e xclu sive a r t icle, “Identity Crisis” (posted on salvationist.ca in November), to be infor m at ive and uplifting. As a worker for The Salvation Army for 14 years, I served with four sets of officers before our corps closed. I enjoyed working alongside all of them for different reasons. As the Army has “turned over” many of the locations to those of us who are not Salvationists (but are Christians), I think we need to be more aware of the mission of the Army. I have been blessed to have spent some years working with officers so I understand the mission as well as the protocol and procedures used in the work. I would like to see more training for the staff and employees regarding the work of the Army. We are on the front lines doing the work that was once done by officers and, prayerfully, we are fulfilling the needs. But there are times when I worry that the training and experience is not enough to provide for those we serve. Thank you for sharing this article. I plan to copy it so all my fellow staff may read it. Sharon Hall


LETTERS

People love tacking on the word, “ordained,” without taking on the implications. So, for example, when an ordained minister resigns, he keeps his ordination. The Salvation Army has not changed anything about what being an officer means apart from adding in a word to say they are a church, too. Peter Jamieson Thank you, Major Ray, for an informative article. Having cited Ephesians 4:11-12 as a prime responsibility of pastors and teachers, perhaps we could encourage each other with the knowledge imparted with the remaining portion: “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13). The church is built up as all the members work together. Yes, the officer will teach and equip, but then all the church must work. We are in this together. Dean Noakes

It’s Not Just A Bikini

TIES THAT BIND

Purity in a Sex-Driven World In response to Major Kathie Chiu’s article, “Purity in a SexDriven World” (November), a bikini is not a swimsuit, it’s T fashion wear, designed to look alluring. And no, men and boys do not have full control of what they think when they see an underdressed woman; it’s partly hardwired in. They do have control of how they “act,” apart from the momentary “brain freeze,” which has caused accidents—for example, sexy billboard images causing car crashes. If you don’t want to encourage a sexualized atmosphere, “no bikinis” is a sensible policy. And people are responsible for how they dress. So are their parents. Simon Newman Teaching teens to value others and themselves despite their wardrobe (or lack thereof!) BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU

hese are just some of the tweets that went out over the twittersphere when Miley Cyrus performed with Robin Thicke at MTV’s Video Music Awards this past summer. I think we are all a little shocked at what Hannah Montana has grown into, but then again, our kids have been exposed to the MTV culture for so long now. Why are we surprised? Then there was the blog post on GivenBreath.com by Kim Hall of Austin, Texas, that went viral and was shared more than 10,000 times. Her piece asked girls to watch what they were wearing when they posted on Facebook or she’d make her sons unfriend them. She writes, “If you think you’ve made an online mistake … RUN to your accounts and take down the closed-door bedroom selfies that make it too easy for friends to see you in only one dimension.” Hall seemed to put the onus squarely on the girls for what they were wearing and how it affected her sons and their ability to keep their thoughts pure. In response, RedLetterChristians.org author Kristen Howerton wrote that, while she sympathized with Hall, she clearly felt her perspective came from a place of fear and anxiety. She also suggested Hall’s boys were themselves responsible for any stray thoughts they might have had after seeing a scantily clad girl. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to sort through the messages that are out there and help guide my boys to grow into men. There’s a lot of pressure in the Christian community for girls to be modest. As the mother of two daughters, I understand how it feels when too much skin is showing and the urge to tell them to cover it up is so strong. Trust me, it doesn’t change even when they’re grown and married. I want to make sure that my boys don’t grow up to objectify women. How do I do that? First, keeping the lines of communication open and having honest conversations with them is important. When we hear statements about girls that place blame on them, we can challenge that and remind our sons that what they think when they see a girl is their responsibility. Second, we need to make sure we challenge what our teens are watching on television and in movies. When we see women being objectified, we need to caution our children and change the channel. At the very least, we need to have a conversation about what we saw, what was wrong about it and question whether we should have watched it.

Photo: © Shutterstock.com/solominviktor

“Things I learned watching the #VMAs2013: If the goal is to not look creepy onstage w/ an underage twerker, a striped suit is not your friend.”—James Van Der Beek “I will always have this version of Miley. Let’s live in the past and heal.”—Judd Apatow “Poor Billy Ray …”—Andy Roddick “Officially diagnosed with PTSD after watching Miley’s tongue wiggle waggle. #ThanksALot”—Adira Amram

What we say to girls about this issue also has great importance. While I don’t want my girls wearing skimpy clothes, that’s because I’m a protective parent. I know not every parent of every boy is teaching their son not to ogle my daughters. However, making rules about what girls can wear in certain situations shames the girls. It forces them to subordinate their preferences to the unhealthy thoughts of men and boys. For example, girls who attend a Christian camp may see a sign that says “No Bikinis.” But at a public beach, you’ll see girls in bikinis all the time. Why is it out of context to wear a bikini to a swimming pool in a Christian camp? Though you wouldn’t wear a bikini to a mall to go shopping, wearing one to the beach or a swimming pool is in context—it’s for swimming and sunbathing. How do we follow God’s teachings and live holy lives in a world saturated with unholiness? The most important thing is to bring Jesus into the conversation in a natural way. If we’re keeping God at the centre of our lives and bringing our uncertainties before him in prayer together with our children, he’ll help guide them through the tumultuous teen years. Major Kathie Chiu is the executive director of Victoria’s Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre.

30 I November 2013 I Salvationist

I know of a situation in a church where the teen girls were creating quite a stir based on how they dressed. They were the object of many men’s conversations and glances. It was getting pathetic. As the children’s worker, I could, at times, address the youth group. So I pulled the pastor into a youth meeting and addressed the girls. The typical defenses arose: “They shouldn’t be looking at us,” or “It’s our business what we wear.” I simply said, “Wrong, ladies. When you come out of your home and join the public, what you say, wear and do is public. When you come to church dressing like that, the men see this

and that’s all they think of you. But if you respect yourself, you won’t want these men thinking less of you. Think about the men. You won’t want them sinning in their hearts. How would you ladies feel if I came to church with short shorts?” After our little talk, the girls realized that I wanted them to be treated like they deserved. I think all people should dress with some modesty and decorum. I don’t care if girls wear dresses or jeans. I don’t care if people wear suits or sweat clothes. Just be respectful of others as well as yourself. Donald Jefcoat

Across the Miles

From Saskatchewan to Saxony

In re spon se to M a rk u s Beveridge’s article, “From Saskatchewan to Saxony” (October), it was a privilege to have Markus with us. We still miss him and it was a wonderful time for us, too. It is also a blessed experience to invest in young people who are hungry for the will of God. Bless you, Markus Beveridge. Thank you to The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory! Captain Gert Scharf

Eight months with the Heilsarmee opened my eyes to the Army’s international work BY MARKUS BEVERIDGE

M

y name is Markus and I’m a 19-year-old soldier of The Salvation Army. I was raised on a ranch outside of Maple Creek, a small town in Saskatchewan. In Grade 12, I decided that after graduation I would set aside some time to volunteer overseas. Thanks to my corps officers, Captains Edward and Charlotte Dean, and divisional commander, Major Wayne Bungay, my application landed on the desk of Germany’s chief secretary, Lt-Colonel Marsha-Jean Bowles. I received word that the German Heilsarmee would accept me as a volunteer and that Captains Gert and Rosi Scharf were willing to take me into their corps in the city of Dresden located in Saxony, Germany. So in September 2012, I traded the howling of the coyotes on the ranch for the noisy bustle of the Strassenbahn (streetcar) in Dresden and was immediately incorporated into the corps’ “family” of volunteers. It was a time of spiritual growth and an opportunity to better understand this Movement of which I am a member. One of my prayers for this trip was to get a feel for the internationality of the Army. I was thrilled that just two

Markus Beveridge serves coffee to the homeless in Germany

weeks after arriving in Germany, I had the unique opportunity to attend the European Congress of The Salvation Army in Prague, Czech Republic. Having experienced The Salvation Army only in a small town, I now found myself sitting among 1,300 Salvationists from all over the continent. This really opened my eyes to the extent of the Army’s work.

The Salvation Army in Dresden

Throughout the following months I took part in multiple ministries, one of which was going out with the mobile canteen to serve the homeless. On a cold winter night they were especially grateful for a hot meal. The verse, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘Open wide your hand to your brother, to the

Markus Beveridge (centre) with staff and volunteers with the mobile canteen

18 I October 2013 I Salvationist

What a wonderful experience, Markus, and an opportunity to serve and minister. No doubt you will continue to share such love as you continue your journey through life. David Rattray

Kids in Church Thank you, Major Kathie Chiu, for your column, “KidFriendly Church” (August), and for your insight. I agree that children are a vital part of God’s family and The Salvation Army should never do anything to discourage them. Sadly, I have seen many children and young people leave our corps through unhelpful comments and demands. We need these future generations to continue our mission. Julie Carmichael

TIES THAT BIND

Kid-Friendly Church Children absorb more than we realize during Sunday services BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/CEFutcher

Thank you for these thoughts, Major Ray Harris. You have noted that officership begins at ordination. Would it be true that it starts at the calling? Just as the child’s life starts at conception of life and then the child grows and is finally born, a person is called into officership and is eventually commissioned as an officer. Without a calling from God, an officer is just an administrator. Thomas Perks

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s my seven-year-old son squirmed and rustled in his seat, I stood on the platform giving him the “evil eye.” Inwardly I groaned as he slithered onto the floor and rolled around. His feet then began to inch up the wall and I cringed as I heard them gently tapping the wall to the beat of the music. I’m sure I hit more than a couple of discordant notes while attempting to keep my concentration on the keyboard I was so inexpertly playing. His two sisters sat next to each other, oblivious to his behaviour because they were excitedly whispering away and giggling while writing notes to each other. This is likely why many prefer to keep children out of church services. It wasn’t an option during that first appointment as an officer in a little church on the prairies, and looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t. I learned over the years that those small ears and eyes were taking in everything around them. When I was a young girl growing up in Long Branch, a Toronto neighbourhood, my weeks consisted of walking back and forth to the local corps for various activities. Brownies and home league on Tuesdays, timbrel practice on Wednesdays, band practice on Thursdays and then later there was girl

guides and youth group. Another night was filled with junior soldiers and corps cadets and then there were Sundays, where my schedule looked like this: 9 a.m. directory, 9:30 a.m. Sunday school, 11 a.m. the holiness meeting, lunch and dinner at home, 6 p.m. back to the corps for prayer meeting and then at 7 p.m. the salvation meeting would start—my favourite! We’d sing rousing choruses, hear heartfelt testimonies and listen enraptured to the sermon that always ended with an invitation to kneel at the mercy seat. Even as young as seven or eight, I have memories of kneeling and praying at my seat, asking God for forgiveness and watching others do likewise. Every song, word and testimony swirled around me and had a major influence in my life. I am more spiritually enriched today because of these early experiences. Had Sunday school been held during the morning meeting, I would be poorer for it. Kim Garreffa, who works in the Army’s music and gospel arts department, says of her early experiences, “It amazes me what I remember about church as a child and how many songster songs I can sing. When adults thought I was just fooling around, I was actually listening and absorbing.”

Are we robbing our children by encouraging them to leave during the church service for activities geared for their age level? Do we underestimate what they can take in and comprehend just because they are fidgeting and seem to be unaware of what’s going on? As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about Jesus and show them what a relationship with God looks like. I think that not only includes prayer and Bible reading at home, hearing us speak in love and watching us live a godly life, but also worshipping corporately with all of God’s family on Sundays. Walter Br ueg gemann, an Old Testament scholar, suggests that adults need to be a “saturation witness” to their children. They need to be involved in an ongoing and constant conversation in the home that all of life is to be devoted to trust in God alone. Those three wiggly, giggly children of mine grew up and their love for God continues to grow. Two more have been added to our family and each Sunday they all sit in church with us while we lead the service and preach the message. They’re teenagers now and sometimes we discuss the message or something that was said during the morning. It’s exciting to hear their views and opinions about church, worship and Christian living. I’m glad they sat through church services over the years, eating Cheerios out of little plastic baggies and laying on the floor colouring, all the while absorbing God’s Word, sensing his Spirit and being influenced by the family of God. Recently I was listening to a podcast of a message I gave not too long ago. I noticed that, at one point, I stopped and made odd sounds. I laughed as I remembered that it was one of the mornings little Ethan, a toddler in our church, waddled over to me and I had stopped in the middle of my message to smile and speak to him in that singsong voice reserved for babies. Did it distract me? Yes. Was it a bad distraction? No. We carried on and the message was heard and delivered. All are welcome in the family of God. “Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’ ” (Luke 18:16). Major Kathie Chiu is the executive director of Victoria Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre. Salvationist I August 2013 I 31

I love it when my now-grown daughter says, “I always felt so safe with so many people watching out for me when I was young at Peterborough Temple.” I believe that most of us took seriously the vow to help raise up a child in our corps when they were dedicated—at least I did and know many others did as well. What a great place to allow children freedom in God’s home to grow up in a safe environment. Hard to come by these days, except in our churches. Thank you, God, for allowing us to build a church home for ourselves and the following generations to grow up in and feel “safe.” Marlyn Hawks Salvationist • February 2014 • 25


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

ENROLMENTS AND RECOGNITION

HAMILTON, BERMUDA—North Street Citadel enrols five senior soldiers. From left, Mjr Mildred Jennings, CO; Eugene Tuzo; Al Furbert; Ivan Cameron; Brian Gibbons; Terry Battersbee, holding the flag; Maxwell Assing; Mjr Bruce Jennings, CO.

NELSON, B.C.—Nelson CC celebrates as two community and family services workers are enrolled as senior soldiers. From left, Mjr Robin Borrows, CO; David Sprauge, food bank co - ordinator; Valerie Sherriff, program co-ordinator; Mjr Yvonne Borrows, CFS officer. To read the story of Sprauge’s recovery from addictions, see this month’s issue of Faith & Friends.

LEWISPORTE, N.L.—Mjrs Joshua and Pauline Randell, COs, welcome three new families—the Gosses, Noseworthys and Strides—to Lewisporte Corps. TORONTO—Once a month, a group of songsters from Yorkminster Citadel visits the Army’s Toronto Grace Health Centre to minister in song to the patients on each floor of the hospital.

BARRIE, ONT.—The corps family in Barrie warmly welcomes four young people as junior soldiers. From left, Mjr Doug Lewis, interim CO; CSM Sheila Palmer; Jacob Ritson; Mjr Lynn Cummings, AC, Ont. CE Div, and former CO; Ailidh Ritson; Kloe Sharp; Karleigh Sharp; Mjr Fred Ash, interim CO.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Young people from St. John’s West Corps and St. John’s Citadel take a break to visit Santa while supporting the local Christmas kettle effort. Back, from left, Jordan Wight, David Skeard, Danielle Bemister, Sarah Kean. Front, from left, Charlene Feltham, Laura Rowsell, Jonathan Sturge. 26 • February 2014 • Salvationist

FORT McMURRAY, ALTA.—“Here we ‘grow’ again,” says Mjr Stephen Hibbs, CO, as eight junior soldiers are enrolled at the corps in Fort McMurray. From left, Tracey Vandyk, junior soldier leader; Mikaela Ball; Abby Vincent; Karlie Reid; Kelsea Reid; Ashley Reid; Brooklyn Burton; Britney Reid; Mjr Elaine Hibbs, CO; McKenzie Critch; Mjr Stephen Hibbs.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Mjrs Brian and Valerie Wheeler, COs, welcome four senior soldiers to St. John’s Citadel. From left, Mjr Brian Wheeler; Jordan Mills; ACSM Matthew Osmond, holding the flag; Samantha Rideout; Melissa Mosher; Hunter Madden; Mjr Valerie Wheeler.


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L.—Michelle Hynes publicly declares her commitment to God as she is enrolled as a senior soldier at Conception Bay South Corps. From left, Jerry Mercer, colour sergeant; Mjr Lorne Pritchett, CO; Michelle H y n es; C SM Nic Dobson; ACSM Claudette Hillier. KENTVILLE, N.S.—Proudly displaying their certificates as they are enrolled as junior soldiers at Kentville CC are, centre, from left, Kendra Thomas, Hailie Nickerson, Olivia Seaman, Hannah Boswell, Katie Boswell, Matthew Barbour. Supporting them are, from left, Mjrs Ross and Doreen Grandy, COs; Mervin Misner, holding the flag; Lts Joyce and Josh Downer, COs, Glace Bay and New Waterford, N.S.; Cpts Lisa and Morgan Hillier, ADYS and DYS, Maritime Div; JSS Natalia Wheaton. SARNIA, ONT.—Cynthia Thibert is commissioned as community care ministries secretary at Sarnia Corps. From left, Mjr Drucella Pollard, CO; Cynthia Thibert; Mjr Rick Pollard, CO; Paul Dunk, colour sergeant.

LEWISPORTE, N.L.—During 97th anniversary celebrations at Lewisporte Corps, Elsie Lacey, 89, is honoured for more than 40 years of faithful ministry, including working with young people and distributing Salvationist magazine and its predecessor, The War Cry.

GAZETTE

TERRITORIAL Appointments Cpt Mark Crabb, executive director, Oakville Lighthouse Shelter, Ont. (additional responsibility); Mjr Anne Venables, audit consultant, internal audit group (additional responsibility) Promoted to glory Mrs Mjr Mary Park, from Hamilton, Ont., Nov 24; Mjr Robert Gilbert, from Toronto, Nov 25 Retirement Mjr Sharon Stinka, last appointment, executive director, Evangeline Residence, Toronto, Ont. CE Div

CALENDAR

Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle Feb 2 Halifax Citadel CC, Maritime Div; Feb 3-6 divisional retreat, Maritime Div; Feb 18-23 divisional retreat, Bermuda Div; Feb 27 opening ceremony and dedication, Toronto Grace Health Centre, Hillcrest Site, Toronto; Feb 28-Mar 2 130th anniversary, Cambridge Citadel, Ont. GL Div Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley Feb 10-13 divisional retreat, Que. Div; Feb 23 CFOT, Winnipeg Canadian Staff Band Feb 1 concert with Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Scarborough Citadel, Toronto; Feb 2 Orillia, Ont.

London Hope in the City Breakfast LONDON, ONT.—A capacity crowd gathered at the Lamplighter Inn in London, Ont., in November for the second annual Hope in the City Breakfast. Musical guests included a brass ensemble from London Citadel and Mjrs Gary and Marion Venables. Following her words of welcome, Mjr Pat Phinney, DSPRD, Ont. GL Div, introduced Murray Faulkner, retired police chief, 2013 London Kettle Champion and master of ceremonies. Harold Usher, city councillor, brought greetings from the City of London. Special speaker for the occasion was Stephen Lewis, one of Canada’s most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights, who shared his international humanitarian experiences and referenced the Army’s work that he has witnessed, both in Canada and abroad. From left, Cpt Tiffany Marshall, public relations officer, THQ PRD; Mjr Pat Phinney; Mjr Glenda Davis, AC, Ont. GL Div; Mjr Wanda Vincent, DDWM, Ont. GL Div; Stephen Lewis; Mjr Morris Vincent, DC, Ont. GL Div; Murray Faulkner; Cpt Les Marshall, territorial PRD secretary; Tony Marsman, event sponsor.

Officer Retirements Hearing the call of God on their lives, Majors Jack and Faye Strickland set out to training college in 1972 and were commissioned in the Followers of Christ Session in 1974. Their covenanted officership included a crossCanada tour of appointments in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. Jack and Faye held a variety of appointments including corps, training college, public relations and development, and correctional and justice services. Known for their dynamic preaching and Bible teaching, highlights of their officership include leading many people to Jesus, discipling, training and launching people into ministry. Using every opportunity in every place, Jack and Faye have witnessed the faithfulness of God in and through their lives of obedience and joy. “It’s been a journey of discovery,” Faye says, and Jack, “It’s been an honour to serve.” Salvationist • February 2014 • 27


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

TRIBUTES MONCTON, N.B.—Lewis Canning was born in Parrsboro, N.S., to Rupert and Jessie (Morris) Canning. Formerly a miner in Springhill, N.S., Lewis served as the manager of the Salvation Army thrift store in Moncton for more than 30 years. He was a long-time soldier of Moncton Citadel Community Church and a dedicated member of community care ministries. Lewis’ commitment to distributing The War Cry in nursing homes, hospitals and pubs blessed many. He loved music, enjoyed playing the accordion and piano keyboard, and took on any challenge for building, fixing or creating things. Lewis accepted his sickness with grace, dignity and a sense of humour. He is sadly missed by his loving wife of more than 63 years, Bertha; daughters Major Louise Embree (Major Rick), Carol Harrie (Ross), Lorraine Veysey (Fred), June Mulligan, Lt-Colonel Joan Canning; son, David; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; extended family and friends. MUSGRAVETOWN, N.L.—Mrs. Captain Susie Eveleigh was born in Wild Cove, N.L., in 1944. At 24, Sue recommitted her life to Jesus and was commissioned with her husband, Leaman, in the Soldiers of the Cross Session in 1975. They served in corps appointments in Little Bay Islands, Robert’s Arm, Stephenville, Musgravetown, King’s Point and Green’s Harbour, N.L., and as chaplains at the School for the Deaf and Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, N.L., before retiring in 1991 due to ill health. Married for 48 years, Sue and Leaman were loving partners in life and ministry and an inspiration to their children and grandchildren. The sudden promotions to glory of Stan, their only son, and Leaman, strengthened Sue’s character, and her grace was evident during her 23-year battle with cancer. Sue’s smile and encouraging words, even on her hardest days, were a testament to her faith and prayer life. During doctor’s visits, treatments and hospitalization, her family was amazed to witness how she shared the truths of the gospel with everyone she met. Sue is lovingly remembered by daughters Major Wavey Chaulk (David), Linda Humby (Melvin), Judy Eveleigh; three grandchildren; many friends.

28 • February 2014 • Salvationist

HARE BAY, N.L.—Silas Collins was born in 1933 and enrolled as a senior soldier of Hare Bay Corps in 1962. He served as corps treasurer from 1971 to 2007. Silas was involved in the men’s fellowship and thoroughly enjoyed the times of worship spent with the other men. He worked for the Town of Hare Bay for 23 years and served as a voluntary fire brigade member before being made an honorary member in his later years. Silas leaves to mourn his wife, Beatrice; sons Christie (Arlene), Snowdon (Pauline), Lorne (Sheila), Silas (Tina); daughter, Kathleen (Kevin); 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brothers Norman (Rita), Henry (Ruth); sisters Inez, Blanche (Walter), Mary (Frazer), Bonnie (Frank); many family and friends. HALIFAX—A reflection of God and an awesome example of his handiwork, Major Lillian Louise Jewer was promoted to glory in her 80th year. Originally from Sydney, N.S., Lillian was an active Salvationist. She was a corps cadet, played solo cornet, participated in the singing company and served as a Girl Guide leader and Sunday school teacher. In 1954, Lillian was commissioned in Toronto in the Shepherds Session, which was appropriate as she was a shepherd to many. Married to Solomon for more than 55 years before his promotion to glory, Lillian’s love for the Lord was exemplified as she served as an officer for more than 42 years with gentleness and compassion. Her service to God included appointments in men’s social services and corps in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A “shining star” to daughters Nancy, Janice and Janet, her beautiful smile will be missed. “Until then my heart will go on singing, Until then with joy I’ll carry on. Until the day my eyes behold the city, Until the day God calls me home.” Guidelines for Tributes Tributes should be received within two months of the promotion to glory and include: community where the individual resided; conversion to Christ; corps involvement; Christian ministry and survivors. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. High-resolution digital photos are acceptable. Clear, original photos may be submitted and will be returned.


TIES THAT BIND

Thorn in My Flesh How to cope when chronic illness takes its toll BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU

know exactly how I feel.” Tired, sore, losing mobility … slowly, but surely shrivelling … the world getting smaller, fewer options … all this tends to get to me every so often when a flare-up hits. I can go for months where I feel fine and then all of a sudden it hits and everything is so much more difficult. What can we do about it? How do we cope? Dragging ourselves out of the pit of despair over and over again in itself is discouraging. How do we keep on going? Early one morning I hauled myself out of bed. I had an appointment with a physiotherapist at the pool. I knew I’d fail to get to Aquafit

Photo: © Ingimage.com

In spite of my repeated prayers, moaning and groaning, the pain was still there

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iving with chronic illness is not easy. Some days the pain and the exhaustion are just too much. There are times when I’m at the end, my energy has run out and I just don’t want to go on. However, what goes through my mind is all the people who love me and who rely on me—my two youngest boys at home, my older children, my grandchildren and my husband. So I talk myself out of it and into a better place. I begin to list

the positives and think of all the things I can still do. I can walk (slowly), I can work and I can knit. “That’s it! Atta girl! There’s more, keep going!” I encourage myself. I muster up the determination once again not to give in. Can you identify with this? Does this sound like a familiar routine? If so, you’re just like Wilma, who called me after reading my article in the paper about living with a chronic illness and said, “You

if I decided to go on my own, but knowing someone was waiting for me at the other end of the pool would get me there. So I pushed myself and went. I got in the water with a young man who showed me how to exercise the right way in the pool. What was the reward for my hard work? Ten minutes in the hot tub and a homework assignment—breathe deeply three times every hour. Relax. Fill yourself. Feel better. I have fibromyalgia and an inflammatory arthritis. Others struggle with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, lyme disease, chronic fatigue or a host of other ailments that never go away but slowly chip away at your energy and resilience. If it weren’t for my

family, I wouldn’t be able to do much at all. My husband helps, I get great foot and ankle massages from my son and I have three sets of strong arms to lean on when movement is difficult. For many years I asked God to heal me from this affliction. I didn’t even know exactly what was wrong, but it was seriously affecting my life. I thought I couldn’t go on. In spite of my repeated prayers, moaning and groaning, the pain was still there. I begged God to take it away. I whined about it. When he didn’t respond, I argued and said, “I have children, I need to be healed. How can I look after them and my aging mother while I’m sick?” I reasoned with God and it seemed he wasn’t listening to me. Then I tried bargaining. “Hey, Lord, don’t you realize that without this condition I could accomplish so much more for your glory?” Nothing worked. As the years went by, resigned to live with the proverbial “thorn in my flesh” and remembering the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” I set about learning how to live with my condition. What happened after I accepted my situation? Well, even though I still have days when the darkness comes, I’m able to somehow hear God’s voice telling me he loves me and is with me. Does God heal people today? I believe he does. However, more often than not, he gives us strength for each new day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV). Major Kathie Chiu is the executive director of Victoria’s Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre. Salvationist • February 2014 • 29


IN THE TRENCHES

It’s True, I’m A Saint! (And So Are You!) God no longer sees us as sinners, so why can’t we do the same?

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/PeskyMonkey

BY MAJOR AMY REARDON

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y least favourite expression is: “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” It especially surprises me when Salvationists say this, since it is so contrary to the Wesleyan doctrine we embrace. From the day we believed the gospel and declared our faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour, God ceased to regard us as sinners. He sees us as those cleansed by the all-sufficient blood of the Lamb. We are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19), God’s own children (see 1 John 3:1) and participants in the divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). The saved are not referred to as sinners in the Bible. That is the label we used to wear. But the label we now wear is “saint.” Many of the epistles are addressed to “God’s holy people” in the New International Version, or “the saints” in the King James Version—terms that are essentially synonymous. Why have we not sufficiently laid claim to this identity? It is true that many Christians still willingly, knowingly commit sinful acts. (According to our Wesleyan doctrine, it is possible to live without intentionally sinning. Such a person might commit infractions by error, but not by will.) I guess that’s why people feel comfortable calling themselves “sinners saved by grace.” They still see themselves sinning! Yet despite our imperfections, we must remember that we have changed teams. We used to belong to the sinners, now 30 • February 2014 • Salvationist

we belong to the saints. Mislabelling ourselves as sinners is dangerous. There may be many reasons why, but here a few that occur to me. First, shrugging our shoulders and saying, “Oh well, I’m just a sinner,” gives us an out. It means that we don’t have to try as hard to live a holy life. We’re comfortable with our sin. But as a temple of the Holy Spirit, I must say, “I’m not comfortable with my sin!” As James 3:11 puts it, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” If I desire to carry the Holy Spirit within me, I cannot live carelessly. I am not satisfied with impurity in my life, are you? Is God? Second, I am convinced that using the sinner label distorts the way we view our brothers and sisters in the Lord. I don’t mean that we suspiciously regard one another as evil, but I think we find fault quickly because we have this “sinner” mindset. We too easily take note of each other’s shortcomings. But imagine if we were trained to look upon one another as saints. If we put on a whole new set of glasses, as it were. We would be more apt to see the reflection of Christ in each other. Instead of glaring faults we’d see glaring virtues. Finally, in viewing each other and ourselves with suspicion, we miss out on many of the facets of Christ’s personality. You, me and the guy in the pew next to us are very different creatures. Because we haven’t trained ourselves to find good and beauty and Christlikeness in one another, some of the differences between us may irritate when they should be allowed to radiate. For example, I was on the platform during a praise and worship set once, and I was doing what I always do—waving my hands in the air and dancing around a bit. Afterward, someone who had watched me from the congregation approached me and made a snide comment about me being too free in my worship. He made a judgment against me according to what he thought was appropriate, Christ-honouring worship. I am convinced, however, that those who worship like me reflect Christ in one way, and those who worship more internally reflect him in another way. The practical joker, the introvert, the person who jangles the timbrel through every chorus sung are all reflecting Christ in their own way. If we are made in his likeness, our unique personalities are varying reflections of who he is. But we are so quick to find flaws that we miss out on this holy variety, these differing expressions of who Christ is in and through us. Can we blame all of that on the expression: “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”? Well, maybe not. But if we stopped looking at ourselves and others as sinners for life and started thinking in terms of being God’s holy people, his saints, surely we’d love, understand and tolerate ourselves and our brothers and sisters better. If you’ve been claiming the sinner label, try reframing. See yourself as God sees you—a holy person, an occupied temple. See if it changes the way you live. Look upon your Christian friends as saints, and see if it helps you discover more beauty in them. The wonderful thing is that God doesn’t regard who we are. He acknowledges who we will be. Someday we will be complete in our Christlikeness. In the meantime, let’s hone our vision and seek out the saintliness. Let us look through the eyes of God. Major Amy Reardon serves at U.S.A. National Headquarters as editor of the Young Salvationist magazine and assistant national editor-in-chief.


Salvationist • February 2014 • 31


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Salvationist - February 2014  

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