Salvationist February 2020

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Should We Celebrate Christian Celebrity?

Temporary Work: Perils of the Gig Economy

Finding God in the Alleys of Downtown Winnipeg


February 2020

Maternal health, housing and education highlighted in newest Partners in Mission command

Blessings in


Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, Territorial Leaders

Calling all officers, soldiers, adherents, employees and volunteers from across the Canada and Bermuda Territory. It’s not too late to join us for 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture. We asked 100 Salvation Army ministry units for their praises, petitions and intercessory prayers. And we’ve paired them with 100 essential Bible passages. Let’s discern together what God has in store for our territory. We believe he will do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

“ See, I am doing a new thing!” —Isaiah 43:19

January 1–April 9, 2020 Visit for daily updates and to sign up for the e-newsletter.


Salvationist February 2020 • Volume 15, Number 2


Departments 5 Frontlines

Hi kids! Every year, people in The Salvation Army—adults and kids—raise money to help people in other countries. This fundraiser is called Partners in Mission.

In this issue of Just for Kids, you’ll read about what The Salvation Army is doing to help people in Bangladesh. The Army has schools in Bangladesh for children who have special needs. Without the Army, they would not be able to get an education. Ask your corps officer or Sunday school teacher about how you can get involved with Partners in Mission.

Live It Out by Colonel Eleanor Shepherd

Loaves and Fishes by Geoff Moulton

7 Onward Dynamic Duos by Commissioner Floyd Tidd

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Features 8 Your Gifts in Action How The Salvation Army is impacting Bangladesh, India and the Bahamas.

10 Blessings in Bangladesh Maternal health, housing and education highlighted in newest Partners in Mission command. by Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray

14 Casting a Vision

24 Viewpoint The Gig Economy by Darryn Oldford

16 Joy in The Salvation Army

Christian Celebrity by Captain Laura Van Schaick


The Salvation Army believes that every child should be able to go to school. In Savar, Bangladesh, the Army runs an integrated education centre that provides housing and education for boys who are blind.

Just for Kids

A Salvation Army school in the Bahamas empowers blind and visually impaired students. by Kathy Nguyen

25 Grace Notes

Malaria is a terrible disease. It causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to death. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes. In Bangladesh, about 14 million people are at risk of getting malaria. The Salvation Army provides mosquito nets for kids at the integrated education centre in Savar. Donations to the Army help prevent malaria, one mosquito net at a time.

Your friend, Kristin

27 People & Places

4 Editorial

Bangladesh is a beautiful country just east of India. More than 160 million people live there. The Bangladesh Command is a partner of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. The Salvation Army has been at work in Bangladesh since 1971. The Army has 86 officers, six cadets and 196 employees in Bangladesh. There are 32 Salvation Army corps (churches) and 12 outposts (church plants) in the country.

Join the J4K Birthday Club

Brick by Brick by Paul Carew and Captain Kim Chan



Just for Kids wants to wish YOU a Happy Birthday! Join our birthday club and get a message on your special day. Fill in the coupon below and mail it to Just for Kids, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON, Canada M4H 1P4. Or you can email

23 Taking the Lead

Who Is My Neighbour? by Kaitlin vanDeursen


Many boys and girls do not have enough food, clothing or money for education. The money we raise through Partners in Mission helps children and adults in need.

22 Ethically Speaking

30 Salvation Stories

Partners in Mission Bangladesh

A unique home in India cares for elderly women and girls. by Ruth Hobbis

Just for Kids is an exciting weekly activity page published by The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda for children ages five to 12, packed with Bible stories, games, puzzles, colouring, jokes and more. We've now partnered with Canada Bermuda Youth to incorporate elements of the ORANGE curriculum. Email circulation@can. or phone 416-422-6119 to learn how you can receive Just for Kids in your ministry unit. Cover photo: Mark Yan

Read and share it! The Trouble With Tribble


Army Helps


Road to Recovery


Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G

17 Have You Heard the Call?


Exploring Salvation Army officership. by Major Jennifer Hale

18 Helping the Helpers How a mission trip to Greece reminded me that God provides. by Major Cheryl Atkinson

20 The Road Back to Hope At Yorkminster Citadel, Lola Agosu found the support she needed to make a new life in Canada. by Kristin Ostensen


Salvationist  February 2020  3


Loaves and Fishes


f you’ve ever been on an overseas mission trip, you’ll know that it changes you. I went on my first mission trip fresh out of university. I travelled with North Toronto Community Church and other Salvationists to Belize to help build a second storey on a Salvation Army school. The younger Canadians on the trip engaged the school children through games and evangelism; still others painted and refurbished a nearby seniors’ home. The trip was organized by Bob and Shirley MacArthur, dedicated Salvationists who have generously given years of short-term missions support. The Belize trip was my first time on a construction site. I wasn’t much of an engineer, so my job was to lug concrete blocks from one end of the site to the other. While we met many new friends on that trip, one face still stands out in my mind. In fact, I wrote about him in my very first Salvationist editorial seven years ago. I’ll never forget Omar. I don’t think he went to the Salvation Army school—or any school for that matter. Every day, the thin, dusty boy would arrive at the construction site, perch on the fence and flash us a smile. We would gather up the empty glass soda bottles so that he could cash them in for a refund. We worked from sunup until sundown, and it was back-breaking work. But somehow looking into the eyes of that young man and


is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory Brian Peddle General Commissioner Floyd Tidd Territorial Commander Lt-Colonel John P. Murray Secretary for Communications Geoff Moulton Editor-in-Chief and Literary Secretary Giselle Randall Features Editor (416-467-3185) Pamela Richardson News Editor, Copy Editor and Production Co-ordinator (416-422-6112) Kristin Ostensen Associate Editor and Staff Writer 4  February 2020  Salvationist

knowing that we were making a difference in his life and the lives of children like him made it all worthwhile. In this issue of Salvationist, we launch our Partners in Mission campaign in support of the worldwide work of The Salvation Army. Our photo essay spotlights the Bangladesh Command, our newest partner (page 10). From health clinics to education to housing, the Army is bringing practical assistance and the good news of Jesus to many. We also focus on the India Central Territory where schoolgirls and elderly women live under the same roof, creating a special intergenerational bond (page 16). And we look at the Army’s school for the blind in the Bahamas where children are being equipped with the tools needed to flourish (page 14). Elsewhere, Major Cheryl Atkinson recounts her own short-term mission trip to Greece with 11 Salvationists and officers from the Prairie Division (page 18). They assisted Canadian officers Majors Jean-Curtis Plante and Ray Lamont at the refugee centre as they coped with the influx of newcomers fleeing persecution, war or violence. “Throughout the trip,” remarks Major Atkinson, “I was amazed at how God was able to take the small things and make them sufficient—the little that we have to

Brandon Laird Senior Graphic Designer Hannah Saley Digital Media Specialist Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator Ken Ramstead Contributor Agreement No. 40064794, ISSN 1718-5769. Member, The Canadian Christian Communicators Association. All Scripture references from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) © 2011. All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory and can be reprinted only with written permission.

offer, our loaves and fishes.” I don’t know what happened to Omar. I pray that he found a good education and was able to thrive despite his difficult circumstances. During this Partners in Mission campaign, please give generously to the work of The Salvation Army. Together, we can reach more children like Omar and give them a brighter future. God will take our small offering, our “loaves and fishes,” and multiply it in miraculous ways to build his kingdom. GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Annual: Canada $30 (includes GST/ HST); U.S. $36; foreign $41. Available from: The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto ON M4H 1P4. Phone: 416-422-6119; fax: 416-422-6217; email:


Inquire by email for rates at

News, Events and Submissions Editorial lead time is seven weeks prior to an issue’s publication date. No responsibility is assumed to publish, preserve or return unsolicited material. Write to or Salvationist, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto ON M4H 1P4.


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.


Territory Launches Prayer Initiative

Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd


he Canada and Bermuda Territory has embarked on 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture. The initiative, launched by territorial leaders Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd in January, runs until April 9, 2020. “As we step into 2020, we invite Salvationists across Canada and Bermuda to join in this journey of prayer, reflection and spiritual growth,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial

commander. “During this period, you will have the opportunity to pray for representative Salvation Army social services or corps ministries from around the territory, as well as read and reflect on a passage of Scripture. We encourage you to take this time to listen carefully for what God is saying to you through his Word.” Daily updates and downloadable resources are available on Salvationists can also sign up to receive a daily email outlining the Scripture reference and ministry to be prayed for each day. In the 30 days leading up to Easter, Salvationists will have the opportunity to share with the territorial leaders what they have learned. “Anticipating together more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to God’s power at work in and through his Salvation Army, we look forward to praying with you in the days ahead,” says Commissioner Tracey Tidd, territorial president of women’s ministries. Visit to learn more and join the 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture initiative.

Hope in the City Events Kick Off Christmas Season


n November and December, The Salvation Army held various Hope in the City (HITC) events across the territory, to inspire guests, raise funds and increase awareness of the Army’s work at Christmas and throughout the year. In Calgary, a packed banquet hall enjoyed hearing from Paul Brandt, Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer and humanitarian. In his keynote speech, Brandt discussed the issue of human trafficking. The HITC breakfast in Winnipeg took a similar theme, as human trafficking survivor Victoria Morrison shared her personal story of how she was trafficked and eventually helped by The Salvation Army. Vancouver’s 18th annual HITC event featured Arlene Dickinson, a Canadian businesswoman best known for appearing on CBC ’s Dragon’s Den. Around 1,200 guests gathered to hear from Dickinson, whose story of hope stems from her own childhood living in poverty. The Honourable Janet Austin, lieutenantgovernor of British Columbia, spoke at HITC in Victoria. The second annual event in that city featured the presentation of the Hero for Hope award to Eric Maze, the first winner on Vancouver Island. Guests in Ottawa, Toronto and Barrie,

Ont., heard from Olympian Jeremiah Brown, who trained to be a silver medalwinning rower in just four years. Events in London and Hamilton, Ont., also featured a keynote from a well-known professional athlete, Jim Kyte, the only legally deaf player to ever play in the National Hockey League. Along with presenting Kyte, the HITC breakfast in London served to raise awareness around the autism spectrum disorder. Hundreds of people attended the fifth annual HITC event in Windsor, Ont., which featured local author Rosita Hall. During her inspiring speech, Hall shared life lessons and encouraged everyone to find a way to serve others. Guests in Edmonton heard testimonies from two Red Seal chefs who were able to overcome their addictions, thanks to the Army. James Hansen and Jay Barnard, who is known as “Chef Recovery,” shared their life-changing experiences with Salvation Army treatment programs in Edmonton and Ottawa, respectively. In Eastern Canada, Senator Stan Kutcher shared the importance of offering compassion, commitment and community to enhance our own mental health and that of others while speaking at HITC in Halifax.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, a sold-out crowd in St. John’s enjoyed a presentation from Peter Halley and Shelley Neville of the Spirit of Newfoundland musical theatre company. Canadian country singer Paul Brandt speaks at Hope in the City in Calgary

Hope in the City kicks off the kettle campaign in Halifax

Salvationist  February 2020  5



Holiday Run Supports Army

aking place in 37 cities across Canada, from Victoria to St. John’s, N.L., the 29th annual Santa Shuffle saw more than 14,000 runners, walkers and four-legged friends come together in support of The Salvation Army in December. Presented in partnership with The Running Room, the five-kilometre run and one-kilometre Elf Walk raises funds for local Army ministries. In keeping with Santa Shuffle tradition, participants dressed in festive gear, from Santa suits to reindeer costumes, often braving cold temperatures or rain for the event. Many locations offered participants hot drinks and food, as well as a commemorative Santa Shuffle medal. This year, the Army in Maple Creek, Sask., hosted its first Santa Shuffle. Through the event, the town of just 2,000 people raised more than $10,000 to support the community and family services provided by the corps. Meanwhile in Toronto, the Santa Shuffle, which supports the Gateway Shelter, had a particularly fruitful year, exceeding previous fundraising amounts by raising more than $100,000. “After another successful year for the Santa Shuffle, we say


Photo: Courtesy of Church Planting Canada

thank you to our dedicated race directors, volunteers, participants and donors, without whom we couldn’t do this event,” says Angela Rafuse, then national Santa Shuffle co-ordinator.

Broadview Village Sponsors Awareness Events

n line with October being Down Syndrome Awareness month, The Salvation Army’s Broadview Village, located in Toronto, led a campaign to promote understanding and inclusion by sponsoring informative movie nights at several ministry units in Ontario. Broadview Village, a ministry that caters to adults with developmental disabilities, purchased the rights to


A “grinchy” supporter and her dog take part in the Santa Shuffle

host viewings of Normie, a documentary about a young woman named Annemarie who is coming to terms with her Down syndrome. Movie screenings were held at London Village, Mississippi-Rideau Lakes Corps in Smith Falls, Northridge Community Church in Aurora, Scarborough Citadel and Agincourt Temple Community Church in Toronto, and North Toronto

Community Church. Chaplains from Broadview Village were on hand to facilitate most of the events. “Everyone who saw Normie was moved,” notes Major Shelley Kerr, chaplain, Broadview Village. “There was excellent discussion about the movie in all the locations where it was shown.” Major Kerr says that more screenings of Normie will be held in 2020.

Salvationists Attend Church Planting Congress

alvation Army delegates joined hundreds of Christians, representing various denominations and organizations, for a national biennial church planting congress, held in Montreal in October. The congress was hosted by Church Planting Canada, a learning community of more than 25 denominations and catalyzing networks, including The Salvation Army. The Army’s territorial corps ministries department sponsored 23 people to attend the congress, representing six divisions across the territory. Inspired by the Toronto Raptors’ slogan “We the North,” the planners of the event adopted the theme “Plant the North” for the congress. Speakers tackled such topics as the future of church planting, the nature of the sending church, effective multicultural ministry, marks of meaningful leadership diversity and pastoring our communities. The final speaker, Bill Hogg of C2C Collective, passionately called upon the church gathered from all denominations to “unite the clans,” a line attributed to William Wallace in the film Braveheart. 6  February 2020  Salvationist

Cadet Bill Mailman, who attended the congress, says the theme of unity was his principle takeaway from the week. “The Army cannot be a silo,” Cadet Mailman comments. “The Army is merely a battalion in this spiritual war. We need to fight with others under the banner of Jesus.”

Graham Singh, outgoing director of Church Planting Canada, speaks about the importance of congregational mission in Quebec at a recent churchplanting congress


Dynamic Duos Partners in Mission helps us to be stronger together. BY COMMISSIONER FLOYD TIDD and are enabled to achieve the goal set before them.

Photo: RichVintage/iStock via Getty Images

2. Effective partnerships serve as a catalyst to bring about growth and success that would not be possible without them. Something in the working together causes a new thing to happen. This type of partnership creates an environment that supports innovation, invention and greater achievements.


o you remember Batman and Robin, Abbott and Costello, Cagney and Lacey, Lennon and McCartney, Timon and Pumbaa, Laverne and Shirley, and Chip and Dale? Forever tied together, the names of these dynamic duos connect us back to favourite memories. They fought crime, wrote the soundtrack of a generation, made us laugh, celebrated friendship and did life together. Partnered together they have left an imprint upon our hearts and minds. Since returning to the Canada and Bermuda Territory in October, Commissioner Tracey and I have visited every division to connect with officers, soldiers, employees, volunteers, youth and children. We have appreciated, once again, what Paul referred to in his letter to the Philippians as a “partnership in the gospel” (see Philippians 1:5). We have heard the stories of partners in the gospel sharing the love of Jesus and meeting human needs, and have seen the evidence of communities being transformed one life at a time. What a profound imprint is being left upon the hearts and minds of thousands of our neighbours and friends. As Salvationists, our partnership in the gospel extends beyond the national boundaries of Canada and Bermuda. We are partners in mission with Salvationists around the globe. Over the course of our recent years serving and visiting overseas expressions of The Salvation Army, we

have experienced the dynamic and privilege of being partners with others from different countries, speaking different languages yet declaring one message. From the rural communities of the northern highlands to the urban slums of its capital, The Salvation Army is on the ground and active within the life of Papua New Guinea. We joined the march of thousands of Salvationists in the countryside of Zambia as they gathered for a congress to worship and hear from God’s Word. We have witnessed the power of life transformation through education for young girls in Indonesia. These and so many other similar moments of shared experiences have fortified our understanding of the power of partnership. Being partners in mission not only allows us to be stronger together, but we are individually better for participating in the partnership opportunity. Sharing resources to support and encourage others around the world blesses us with a different perspective and challenges us to be a stronger Salvation Army at home. Studies have shown that partnerships that make a difference have common traits. 1. Supportive partnerships are strong and effective. The collaboration that takes place brings a sense of optimism and provides a fresh and sustaining hope. When people are supported through partnerships, they become inspired

3. Partnerships that make a difference are based in service, not selfishness. No one partner does all the work, nor works for their interests alone. There is an intentional focus and action directed toward the other partner. The collaborative effort offered by each partner enables the other to be more and do more than what would be possible without the partnership. As we approach this year’s emphasis on Partners in Mission, remember that we are stronger together. We have the opportunity to participate with other Salvationists in a supportive partnership that enables a worldwide Salvation Army to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination. As partners in mission, we can help create new opportunities in the life and ministry of our partner territories, and open our eyes to new possibilities in our own faith communities and neighbourhoods. I challenge us all to consider what it means to be a true partner in mission. How will we contribute this year to the Army’s worldwide mission? How can we be a part of the “new thing” that God wants to do as we actively and sacrificially partner with others? May our commitment to the partnership opportunity before us leave an imprint upon hearts and minds for eternity, both here at home and around the world. Commissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist  February 2020  7

Y our Gifts in Action India Central Territory Zone: South Asia Bapatla

• States included in the territory: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana • Languages in which the gospel is preached: English, Tamil, Telugu • “The Salvation Army” in Tamil: Ratchania Senai; in Telugu: Rakshana Sinyamu

Bahamas Division Caribbean Territory Zone: Americas and Caribbean • Languages in which the gospel is preached: Creole, Dutch, English, French, Surinamese • The Salvation Army "opened fire" in the Bahamas in 1931 8  February 2020  Salvationist

Bangladesh Command The Salvation Army’s Integrated Children’s Centre in Savar, Bangladesh, is a primary school and home for vulnerable girls and visually impaired boys. The centre required a reliable vehicle to transport students and staff to activities and appointments. Last year, the Canada and Bermuda Territory provided a new 16-seater minibus as a mission support project.

Zone: South Asia • Country included in the command: Bangladesh • Languages in which the gospel is preached: Bengali, English

Photo: Mjr Bill Barthau

• “The Salvation Army” in Bengali: Tran Sena

In the India Central Territory, we support several children’s homes through the Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program. Here, Major Donna Barthau, sponsorship co-ordinator, uses a fun game to teach math skills at a girls’ home in Bapatla. These homes have been providing shelter and education for vulnerable children for close to 70 years. Last year, the Canada and Bermuda Territory funded renovations and provided essential kitchen equipment so the children can thrive in a healthy environment. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the kind support,” says Jeevan Roy Pitta, the sponsorship co-ordinator in the India Central Territory.

In September 2019, hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas. It was one of the worst disasters the country has ever seen. Major Clarence Ingram, divisional commander, Bahamas Division, described this catastrophe as “an incredible devastation.” The Canada and Bermuda Territory provided gift cards to 4,000 displaced people, allowing them to purchase necessary household items and boosting the local economy. Salvationist  February 2020  9

Blessings in Bangladesh Maternal health, housing and education highlighted in newest Partners in Mission command.

Photos: Mark Yan



he sig ht s a nd s ou nd s of Bangladesh are both colourful and vibrant. More than 165 million people call this beautiful land their home—one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The capital city of Dhaka has an electric energy as people move around in rickshaws and on motorcycles. It’s estimated there are more than 600,000 rickshaws in Dhaka alone. For the visitor, the traffic initially seems to be chaos on wheels, but one quickly comes to realize there is an ebb and flow to the movement of people. As a floodplain, with more than 700 rivers and inland waterways, traditional wooden boats, such as Bainkata or Kosha, are also an important means of transportation.

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The Salvation Army began work in Bangladesh immediately after the Liberation War with Pakistan in 1971. A team of Salvationists, who had been serving in refugee camps in Calcutta, India, accompanied the thousands who returned to the newly liberated country.

Today, The Salvation Army continues to serve in this Muslim-predominant country, with 86 officers, six cadets, 32 corps and 12 outposts. It also has 196 employees, and is involved in vast outreach ministries in the areas of health, housing, education and women’s empowerment. The Canada and Bermuda Territory and Bangladesh Command became Partners in Mission on January 1, 2018. Last year, a team from the world missions department visited Bangladesh to see how The Salvation Army is bringing hope to the communities it serves. Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray is the director of the world missions department.


 Sweety, a young mother, visits The Salvation Army Mirpur Clinic in Dhaka for a follow-up appointment. After a positive test for tuberculosis, she underwent a successful six-month treatment. “The doctors and nurses have been very helpful,” she says. The clinic has been treating patients with tuberculosis and leprosy since 1972, when it was first established as a mobile medical clinic. The current building was purchased in 1989. This busy clinic has a holistic approach to community health care, and the words of the Army slogan, "Heart to God and Hand to Man,” are clearly seen in the way people are treated with care and compassion.

 Staff at the tuberculosis control clinic explain their services. In 2018, the clinic treated 286 patients. In addition, they take every opportunity to educate the community and raise awareness of the symptoms and transmission of this disease.

 Dr. Jessy J. Rozario, a medical officer at the leprosy control clinic, with a patient cured of the disease through good medical treatment and care. Antibiotics can cure, but not reverse, the deformities caused by leprosy.

 Major Stephen Biswas, corps officer at Mirpur Corps in Dhaka, with children outside The Salvation Army Mirpur Clinic. The corps provides a spiritual foundation for ministry in the community, as they interact with patients and staff at the health clinic, support the women’s empowerment program and hold regular home league meetings.

Salvationist  February 2020  11

Housing and Education  The Salvation

Army believes that every child has a right to education. At the Integrated Children’s Centre in Savar, Bangladesh, exercise builds self-esteem and contributes to a child’s overall health and well-being.

 Yasin’s smile exudes the joy of the moment. The Integrated Children’s Centre provides housing and education for vulnerable girls and visually impaired boys. An integrated approach to life and learning benefits everyone.

 Manik is excited to show his mosquito net. According to the World Health Organization, a child dies of malaria every two minutes, and more than 200 million new cases of the disease are reported each year. The Salvation Army Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program provides mosquito nets as part of their support to the Integrated Children’s Centre. Through generous donations, you help to prevent malaria one mosquito net at a time— and keep Manik healthy.

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Women’s Empowerment  Major Lipi Biswas, corps officer at Mirpur Corps in Dhaka, with women from a community-based empowerment program. They call their group “Mukti,” which means “freedom.” The women organized themselves and, with the support of The Salvation Army, are building their capacity through literacy, education, and savings and loans. Here, they show their government certificate for a microcredit license. They received the registration on April 4, 2017, which has become a day to celebrate every year.

 Future generations are forever changed when women are empowered to reach their full potential.

Corps Ministry  Captain Sarah Bapari prays with a soldier at an amalgamated service at the school on the Integrated Children’s Centre compound. “We’re all seeking the same Saviour, we’re all seeking the self-same Lord, we’re all claiming the same cleansing, we’re all finding our peace restored.” —John Gowans/John Larsson

Training College  Music is an integral part of worship. Six cadets of the Messengers of Grace Session share a special song with guests and territorial leaders at the training college chapel.

Salvationist  February 2020  13

The Salvation Army Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Nassau, Bahamas, gives children hope, encouragement and support

Casting a Vision A Salvation Army school in the Bahamas empowers blind and visually impaired students. The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.—Helen Keller


hese are the words you’ll find painted on the walls of The Salvation Army Erin H. Gilmour School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Nassau, Bahamas. For nearly 50 years, the Army has been a pioneer in aiding the blind and visually impaired in the Bahamas. This school opened its doors in 1971 and continues to be the only school for the blind and visually impaired in the entire country. The mission of the school is to provide quality education for children with visual and learning impairments so that they can acquire the skills and knowledge to be productive members of society. In many parts of the world, formal education and employment opportunities for the blind are either scarce or non-existent—this school is a true haven for some of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in the country. At present, there are three visually impaired and 11 completely blind stu14  February 2020  Salvationist

dents attending the school. Many of these children also struggle with learning disabilities, such as borderline autism. With well-trained teachers, individualized teaching, modern equipment and assistive technology devices, the children are being equipped with the tools and resources they need to flourish. “Individualized teaching helps the students because they receive the attention they need,” says Sheralyn Murphy, the acting principal of the school. “All children deserve an education and I see a great future for each and every one these students.” Loren Humes works alongside the principal as the school’s braille technician and teachers’ aide. He helps to operate and repair the various machines and equipment, translates materials from print to braille, provides training on how to use them, and has a wealth of knowledge on all things braille. He ensures that the children are well-equipped in their classrooms and is a role model for many. Humes works well with the students and knows what their needs are because he attended this school as a child. “I was blind at birth,” says Humes.

“When my mom held me in her arms, God told her to look me in the eyes and she knew I was blind.” His mother rushed him to the eye clinic, where she was informed that Humes had cataracts in both eyes. The doctor explained that the clear lenses in his eyes were cloudy, rendering him totally blind. Refusing to give up on her child’s future, she enrolled Humes in the Army’s school when he was eight years old. It was his only opportunity to receive a formal education. There are no limitations when it comes to this special school—teachers follow the Ministry of Education curriculum, ensuring that the students are receiving the same educational standards as other schools. Humes was able to learn academic subjects as well as valuable life skills, such as cooking, ironing, laundry and even making his bed. “In the beginning, being a student was a strange concept to me because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to attend a school,” he says. “But the teaching made it easy for me to learn.” Miraculously, Humes was eventually able to undergo cataract surgery. The

Photos: Joel Johnson


surgery was a complete success and he woke up, for the first time, with vision. In order to ensure that Humes had the additional skills to find employment, The Salvation Army sent him to Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he did an intensive two-week training course to receive his braille technician certification. Shortly after becoming certified, Humes' former principal called to inform him she required additional staff at the school. He was hired as a braille technician and has been working at the school ever since. Humes is happy to be working and is grateful for the opportunities he’s received at The Salvation Army. “This school gives children hope, encouragement and support,” he says. “They gave me an opportunity to reach heights I didn’t know I could ever reach.” The Salvation Army acts as a catalyst of change and a haven of hope in more than 130 countries, empowering thousands of vulnerable individuals to reach their potential. The school for the blind continues to make a lasting impact in Humes' life; he goes to work every day enriching the lives of students who sit in the same classrooms he once learned in. It’s a story of triumph. Humes' life is proof that when children are given care, support and resources, their dreams can become reality.

Loren Humes, who once attended the school, is now a braille technician and teachers’ aide

Students learn academic subjects as well as valuable life skills, such as cooking, laundry and ironing

Kathy Nguyen is the resource media co-ordinator in the world missions department.

With individualized teaching, modern equipment and assistive technology devices, the children are being equipped with the tools and resources they need to flourish

Salvationist  February 2020  15

(left) Girls at the home receive food, shelter, clothing and education. They have come to see the elderly women as grandmothers, and share living space and communal meals. From left, Puvanes, Kalpana and Dana

Photos: Mark Yan

(below) Mary shares a song with visitors to The Salvation Army Home for the Aged and Girls’ Home in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in the India Central Tty

Joy in The Salvation Army A unique home in India cares for elderly women and girls.



oy! Joy! Joy! There is joy in The Salvation Army. Sing together. Joy! Joy! Joy! In the Army of the Lord. Mary claps as she sings this song, one she has known since she joined The Salvation Army as a young woman. While her voice may now be frail, the music still stirs something inside her. Bedridden and in her 90s, Mary delights in visitors and is reluctant to see them go without singing a favourite chorus one last time. The Salvation Army Home for the Aged where Mary lives is tucked away in Virugambakkam, a residential neighbourhood in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in the India Central Territory. This area offers respite from the city’s busy streets, where it’s not uncommon to see a three-person family riding on a single motorcycle, hordes of tuk tuks weaving between cars or cows grazing lazily at the side of the road. The Home for the Aged, which doubles as a Salvation Army girls’ home, is a haven for vulnerable women and girls and is a unique example of the Army’s mission to restore hope and dignity to marginalized people. While the building itself is basic, with stone floors and simple furniture, the facility boasts a sizeable backyard 16  February 2020  Salvationist

where chickens peck for scraps under the shade of mango and coconut trees and a nearby well provides the home’s clean water. The elderly women and girls share a living space and meals together at communal tables in the kitchen. As many of the young girls are orphaned or have come from towns and villages far away, they have grown to see the older women as grandmotherly figures to learn from, alongside Majors Ratnasundari, the officers who run the home. At 3 p.m., 20 girls race home from school, their backpacks and ribboned pigtails swinging. They enter their dorm rooms and put away their schoolbooks in the cubbies that line the wall opposite the row of single beds. The girls are grateful for what they receive here at the home. They study hard, do well in school, help out with chores, and love to read and play together. Dana, a 14-year-old girl, sits crosslegged on the floor in a red salwar kameez dotted with daises. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up, she says. Before coming to the girls’ home, she lived in Chennai with her mother. A single parent, her mother struggled to earn enough

to take care of her daughter. She decided to bring Dana to The Salvation Army so she would have a chance to get a quality education and hopefully one day achieve her goal of becoming a doctor. Dana’s friend, Puvanes, comes from a village far from Chennai. Her aunt suggested she come to the girls’ home so she could get the best education and care her mother, also a single parent, could afford. The stories of the other girls are similar—they are orphaned, from families struggling to overcome poverty or are the daughters of single mothers who have been abandoned or widowed. At the Salvation Army girls’ home, they receive shelter, education, regular meals, clothes and other basic necessities. Here, they have a chance to go on to higher education and get a good job, with earnings they can use to support their families and break the cycle of poverty. Likewise, the elderly women receive a bed, meals and loving care, and their families are unburdened from the worries of caring for elderly parents on a limited income. In this way, The Salvation Army affords the elderly dignity in their final days. By combining care for elderly women and girls, The Salvation Army Home for the Aged and Girls’ Home in Chennai is a unique example of the Army’s ministry to meet human needs and give hope to the vulnerable. Watching the women and girls learn from and take care of one another is just one of many joys in The Salvation Army. Ruth Hobbis was the resource media co-ordinator for the world missions department when she wrote this article.

Have You Heard the Call? Exploring Salvation Army officership. BY MAJOR JENNIFER HALE

Illustration: CSA-Printstock/Digital Vision Vectors via Getty Images


ecently, my family and a few friends led a chapel service at The Salvation Army’s Meighen Health Centre in Toronto. Several retired officers were there that evening, and after the meeting we spent some time greeting them and others. As is often the case when I’m in the presence of retired officers, I came away with my heart full, feeling inspired to continue in my own ministry. As they shared some of the joys and challenges they experienced in their various appointments along the way, I thought about the impact they have had on countless lives and communities as a result of their response to God’s call to become a Salvation Army officer. No doubt many have come to know Christ as a result of their decision to say yes to God many years ago. In the Canada and Bermuda Territory, we give special emphasis and focus to call and commitment during the month of February. The theme for this year is “Kingdom Choices—Kingdom Impact!” We’ll be considering Matthew 6:33: “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (NLT ). We’ll be asking Salvationists across the territory to consider questions such as, “What is this kingdom Jesus is referring to?” “What does it mean practically to seek the kingdom above all else?” “How do we live righteously in a depraved world?” “Can we trust Jesus’ promise to give us everything we need to fulfil his kingdom purposes?” For some, seeking the kingdom above all else will mean surrendering their lives to officership. The purpose of call and commitment Sunday is to emphasize the call to service

in The Salvation Army, while also giving people an opportunity to respond to that call. Our goal is to inspire every committed Salvationist to consider the impact they can have on God’s kingdom by making his plan and purpose for their lives a priority. We want to say to Salvationists everywhere: “There’s a place for you. There’s an opportunity for you to serve God through the ministry of The Salvation Army, whether as a soldier, a local officer or through officership.” Call and commitment Sunday is a time when we can all be challenged to go deeper in our walk with the Lord and pray about how God’s kingdom priorities are being accomplished through our life and service. It’s a Sunday when the worship, preaching and testimonies are all focused toward God’s plan and purpose for each of our lives and also for The Salvation Army. As long as people are in need of salvation, The Salvation Army will continue to be at work, sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ in communities across Canada and Bermuda and around

the world. The need for covenanted officer leaders is great, and the opportunities for advancement in the salvation war are endless. Truly, there is no greater time to be an officer in The Salvation Army. A variety of resources have been made available to every corps officer in the territory to help with the planning of call and commitment Sunday. Over the past year, the candidates department has promoted officership in a variety of ways, including the “Not Called?” series in Salvationist magazine, which tells the stories of how individuals have heard and responded to God’s call. How can you participate? Ask your corps officers about the resources, or visit This year, we have included a four-week video Bible study teaching series, by officers in our territory, that you can use personally or in a small group setting. You can also fast and pray for call and commitment Sundays across the territory and ask the Lord for a great response to the call for officers. You can consider your own life and God’s purpose for you in his kingdom plan. You may want to spend some more time volunteering at your local corps or social services centre to gain experience and learn more about The Salvation Army’s work. You can begin a conversation today with your local corps officer or divisional secretary for candidates to explore the possibility of officership for your life. Kingdom choices have kingdom impact. Major Jennifer Hale is the secretary for candidates in the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist  February 2020  17

The mission team with local Salvationists at the Salvation Army corps in Athens, Greece. Front, from left, Ruska, Debbie Clarke, Mjr Cheryl Atkinson, Trish Patey, Jenny Hale, Mjr Kristiana MacKenzie and Mjr Brenda Critch. Back, from left, Donna Lee Samson; Tim Prathipati; Cpts Anastasia and Neofytos Arpatzi-Totsios, COs; Dianna Bussey; Paula Marshall; and Justin Russell

Helping the Helpers How a mission trip to Greece reminded me that God provides. BY MAJOR CHERYL ATKINSON In October, a group of 11 Salvationists and officers, representing the Prairie Division, travelled to Greece to support The Salvation Army’s ministry there. Welcomed by Canadian officers Majors Jean-Curtis Plante and Ray Lamont, who served in Athens from June 2016 to November 2019, the team spent a week serving refugees, teaching classes, engaging in street outreach and more. Major Cheryl Atkinson, who attends Regina Haven of Hope, reflects on her experiences.


his was my first short-term mission trip, but I’ve always had a heart for the underprivileged after serving three years with The Salvation Army in Zambia. Going into this trip, the biggest question on my mind was: What can we accomplish in such a short amount of time? But as we interacted with the Salvation Army staff and volunteers, I realized how much our presence was a morale booster for them. They’ve been swamped with the refugee crisis for years—hundreds of thousands have flowed through Greece since the crisis began in 2015, with more people arriving every day. 18  February 2020  Salvationist

It’s overwhelming. The size of the task far exceeds the resources at hand. I found myself asking, how do they do this? We were only there for a week, while they are doing this day after day, week after week, month after month. Whatever we could do to help them, we wanted it to make a significant difference. Community Service Our ministry was based primarily at the Community Services—(Refugee) Day Center. The centre offers a range of programs, including case working, the distribution of non-food items (for example, hygiene products and diapers) and classes covering subjects such as budgeting, sewing and first aid. We also participated in the local corps’ Sunday meeting and street outreach, as well as the Green Light Project, which helps women from the red light district get off the streets. After a day for orientation and ministry-related workshops, our first day at the centre began at the crack of dawn when a shipment of 30,000 diapers arrived at 6 a.m. The pallets of diapers had to be carried up two flights of stairs to the storage room, so we formed a human escalator and after a couple hours, this part of the task was complete. The diapers

then had to be packaged into bundles of 10, which took a few more days. On Monday and Wednesday, I taught sewing classes, one in English and one in Farsi (with help from a translator). I was particularly excited to have the opportunity to teach the women who participated in learning a new skill because I saw the difference it made for the women I encountered while serving in Africa. Many women don’t have the opportunity to get an education—typically, families will put their sons through school first, so a lot of girls miss out on educational opportunities. Learning a skill such as sewing can help women get a job and earn an income for themselves and their families. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, we went over to the corps building and met Jacob (not his real name), a volunteer who delivers sandwiches and tea to people who are living on the streets. After helping with the food preparations, we hit the streets with him. Jacob knows where everybody stays, so if they weren’t at their spot, we left their tea and sandwiches for them—a simple but moving sign of his care for those he serves. Throughout the week, the most meaningful experiences for me were the opportunities we had to help the staff and

(left) Debbie Clarke shares a Bible story with some young friends (middle) Mjr Brenda Critch and Dianna Bussey shop for Christmas presents for almost 200 children, which will be distributed through the refugee centre

Team Members Major Kristiana MacKenzie, corps officer, Living Hope Community Church, Winnipeg (mission team leader) Major Brenda Critch, divisional director of women’s ministries, Prairie Division Major Cheryl Atkinson, Regina Haven of Hope Debbie Clarke, Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg Dianna Bussey, director, correctional and justice services, Winnipeg Donna Lee Samson, Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg Jenny Hale, Southlands Community Church, Winnipeg

volunteers. Simple things like unpacking the diapers meant they were freed up to do their regular ministry because that task was over and above what they already had to do that day. On Tuesday, I helped prepare a meal for the Green Light Project so that the woman who normally did the cooking could take a safe food handling class. We only worked with the staff for a week, but saying goodbye was difficult— everyone was tearing up because we had connected so well with them. Loaves and Fishes For me, this mission trip was a powerful reminder of how fortunate we are in Canada, compared to other parts of the world. The refugees we encountered came from places such as Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Myanmar, where conditions are so awful that they were willing to take the risk of getting on a boat to Greece, not knowing if they would make it alive. Meanwhile, I can come back to Canada and live in safety. We have so much to be grateful for in this country. From an outsider’s perspective, Greece may not seem like a “have-not” country. But when you see the number of people that The Salvation Army is helping, you realize that the need is, in fact, great and Salvationists all around the world need to do their part. Initiatives such as Partners in Mission make it possible for the Army to keep going in these countries—without

Justin Russell, Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg Tim Prathipati, Southlands Community Church, Winnipeg Trish Patey, Prince Albert, Sask. Paula Marshall, territorial headquarters, Toronto

our support, The Salvation Army would close down. Throughout the trip, I was amazed at how God was able to take the small things and make them sufficient—the little that we have to offer, our loaves and fishes. In Greece, as in other countries, it’s an overwhelming task; if you looked at the situation from a human perspective, you’d want to pack up and go home. But the staff there keep on keeping on. That’s a God thing. He continues to provide.

The team serves tea and sandwiches during street outreach

Salvationist  February 2020  19

The Road Back to Hope At Yorkminster Citadel, Lola Agosu found the support she needed to make a new life in Canada.

Photos: Kristin Ostensen



id I make the right decision? Or was coming to Canada a mistake? Lola Agosu struggled to shake the doubts and questions that were crowding her mind. It had been months since she and her five children left their home in Nigeria, and the immigration process had stalled. Even working two part-time jobs, Agosu found it hard to provide for her family. Nothing seemed to be going their way. “I was beginning to lose faith, wondering why God wasn’t answering prayer,” Agosu recalls. “I was starting to feel like God didn’t love me anymore.” W hat she needed, more than anything, was hope. 20  February 2020  Salvationist

Lola Agosu and her children attend Yorkminster Citadel in Toronto

The Right Fit Agosu and her children—aged six to 24— arrived in Canada in December 2017, settling in Toronto soon after. It was a difficult decision to leave her husband and their life behind, but a necessary one in order to protect their children. “I was having issues with my husband’s family because they expected us to be having boys, and I kept having girls,” Agosu explains. “There were threats and attacks. Our kids were no longer little children. We couldn’t just lock the door and stay inside with them. Once they were in high school, we couldn’t protect them all the time. We needed to get them out of there and go somewhere safe.” After moving to Toronto, Agosu and

her children initially lived in a shelter for refugees downtown, before finding accommodations in North York, near The Salvation Army’s Yorkminster Citadel. While they had a roof over their heads, there was little under it, and that was where the Army stepped in. “Many families who come to us from the shelter start with nothing,” explains Liz Colley, community and family services manager at Yorkminster. “They don’t get any financial support for beds, furniture or anything like that.” “When I came to the Army in June 2018, Liz did her best to get us everything we needed,” says Agosu. “We received vouchers for clothing, shoes—even bedding and other household items.”

As Agosu and Colley spoke, it became clear that Agosu needed more than just material assistance. “As we got talking, I mentioned that I was trying to find a church to go to and Liz said, ‘There’s actually a church right here and we’d love to see you,’ ” Agosu recalls. “I didn’t know that! I started attending and this was where I wanted to stay—The Salvation Army fit well.” Hope Again A few months after Agosu came to the Army, the corps decided to implement the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s new Pathway of Hope (POH) initiative. POH is a case-management system that helps participants break the cycle of poverty by setting and achieving goals. “At that point, I had a number of challenges in my life and it was difficult for me to find solutions, so I really needed a program like that because I didn’t know if I was doing anything right anymore,” Agosu says. “When Liz told me about POH, I was happy to join.” The Agosus were one of the first families to do POH at Yorkminster, working with caseworker William Jin. “I met William and he was very good, always sending me links and information, discussing things with me, following up and updating me,” Agosu says. “I was happy having somebody else thinking for me and about me; I wasn’t thinking alone.” Agosu’s primary goal involved finding new accommodation. “Her apartment

was in need of repair and she was not getting support from the landlord,” Colley explains. “This was something that my husband used to handle at home,” Agosu says. “So it was a big relief to have a counsellor guide me and help me make a decision.” Her second goal was to go back to school and complete a personal support worker program so she could get a better job and earn more income for her family. However, because she was working part time—at a shelter downtown, as well as driving for Uber—Agosu feared that she wouldn’t be able to fit school into her schedule. “But William encouraged me to talk to my supervisor and they gave me a more flexible schedule and I was able to go to school,” she notes. “I started having hope again. William showed me that I can do some things myself.” Agosu graduated from the program in January. Ready to Help With her practical needs taken care of, Agosu’s third goal concerned her spiritual life. “I was sad, finding myself in a situation that was not fair,” she remembers. “I was beginning to question a lot of things.” With support from the Yorkminster community and corps officer, Major Pauline Gruer-Caulfield, the despair that nearly overwhelmed Agosu began to disappear.

“Here, I’m able to be myself—I’m natural and real,” she says. “The love and the warmth I’ve felt here is something different from where I’m coming from. At The Salvation Army, you see the expression of what Jesus would have done.” As time went on, Agosu’s faith was renewed. “I don’t have a lot of things here in Canada, but I have other things I can be grateful for,” she says. “I started to remember what God has done before and this gave me confidence that he’s able to do more than that again.” Since they started attending Yorkminster, Agosu’s children have joined the band, singing company and timbrel brigade, and her oldest daughter helps with Sunday school, while Agosu has joined a small group. One of her sons was enrolled as a junior soldier last year, and Agosu and two of her daughters have completed senior soldier preparation classes. Watching three of her children participate in the corps’ Christmas pageant last year was particularly special for Agosu. “She was excited that her 12-year-old son had a speaking role in the play because she said he’d been so shy,” remembers Colley. “She was so proud to see him up there performing and reciting his lines, she recorded a video to send back to her husband.” For Agosu, what makes the Army unique compared to other churches she has been to is the love that she and her children have experienced. “I cannot express how much I appreciate it,” she says. “It’s easy for me to tell my friends, ‘Come and try The Salvation Army.’ They don’t want to know if you’re black or white, they don’t want to know about your background; they are here and ready to help.”

“Lola is a gracious woman with a love for God,” says Liz Colley, with Agosu

Salvationist  February 2020  21

Illustration: SaulHerrera/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images


Live It Out

Every choice we make is a piece of the puzzle. BY COLONEL ELEANOR SHEPHERD


ohn Woolman was a merchant, itinerant Quaker preacher and social reformer in the 18th century. When he discovered the hazards posed by stagecoaches, the preferred method of transportation of his day, he refused to use them. The post boys who worked on them sometimes froze to death as they travelled overnight. Innocent pedestrians were run over in the dark. The overworked horses that pulled them could not long survive the rigour of their task. While the Quakers were efficient in business, they also held firmly to the belief that God was in everything, and thus all they did must honour him. Their enlightened labour practices led to high productivity, and their adherence to the truth and unambiguous speech gave them trustworthiness in their business dealings. It’s easy to forget that God is in everything. We conclude we must either focus on the spiritual, the inner life, so that we are personally ethically consistent, or the material, believing we must try to correct the obvious ethical problems in the world. But there is a third way—the incarnational life, living out the spirit22  February 2020  Salvationist

ual in the everyday world, following the example of Jesus, as John Woolman seemed to be doing. This works best in community, where we can encourage and learn from one another and practise our faith. Perhaps as we face cultural pressures together, we can create timeless responses to them. We will have to find ways to incorporate the interdependence of our economic relationships. Yet we need to do this within the context of our consumer culture, the ubiquitous availability of resources that advertising and media insist are essential for our well-being. The Quaker word for all of the accumulation this engenders is “cumber,” and that is exactly what it does to our lives. Cumber creates in us an imbalance, drawing us away from the realization of a whole and happy life. Instead, we find ourselves with anxiety about having too little, if we heed the seductive voices proclaiming new and better solutions for all of our problems. At the same time, our angst increases as we realize we are overburdened with more than we can handle, and our time and effort are pre-

occupied with the management of it. In either case, the development of our inner being in harmony with creation, community and worship is pushed aside by our “cumber.” The solution may be found in community. Together, we seek wisdom from God and rely upon affirmation from one another about decisions concerning the blending of the material and the spiritual in the incarnational, so that a whole and happy life becomes accessible to one another. The pattern was established in the early days of our faith. Israelites were given direction by God as to how they could manage their resources with the instructions given to them in the law. In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus distributed food to all present and they shared with one another. In the early church, the needs of widows and orphans were not neglected. Throughout Christian history, the torch has been picked up and desert mystics, religious orders, renewal movements and reformers found ways to adapt to changing economic realities, making their response coherent with the spiritual attentiveness to the actions of God in our world. This was obvious in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the unique efforts of the church to respond to both the physical and spiritual darkness of their day, using the resources of the Industrial Revolution to provide for those enslaved by poverty and the lack of moral education, as well as spur advances in health care and literacy. Those whose faith was clothed in practical caring went out to offer soul care and social care. Among them emerged our own movement, The Salvation Army. So where are we today? How do we blend the material and the spiritual in incarnational living, in such a way that the whole and happy life becomes accessible to all? Often, we quickly perceive hindrances to addressing complicated ethical problems. We need to ask ourselves hard questions, and seek to discern the answers, with the help of fellow pilgrims. We need to weigh our choices and ask how they might impact others. In the spirit of John Woolman, what are the stagecoaches we should stop using today? Colonel Eleanor Shepherd is a retired Salvation Army officer and a member of the social issues committee. For more information, visit



Brick by Brick

Leadership means engaging others. BY PAUL CAREW AND CAPTAIN KIM CHAN


here’s nothing better than working with an engaged team that goes above and beyond what is expected—there seems to be no limit to what can be achieved. It’s as if the engagement is contagious and the result is more than simply the sum of the individual components. One might even make the case that success grows exponentially. The question for a leader is, “How do I build a sense of engagement? How do I create an environment that will result in everyone feeling valued and dedicated?” In the October issue of Salvationist, we introduced the LEADS framework (visit and began a series exploring each of the five capability domains. In this issue, we will take a closer look at ENGAGE OTHERS: leaders who engage others foster the development of others, communicate effectively, contribute to the creation of healthy organizations and build teams. Last September, Captain Kim Chan, divisional secretary for business administration in the Maritime Division, was invited to speak at the annual senior band retreat for St. John’s Citadel, N.L. Here, she shares her experience using ENGAGE OTHERS during her weekend with the band:

The bandmaster requested that I focus my time with the band around unity, and the LEADS framework immediately came to mind. The components of this domain emphasize the importance of teamwork to effectively and efficiently accomplish ministry goals. I divided the band members into groups and gave each group a Lego set. Then I asked each group to function as a different type of team—a basketball team, bowling team, surgical team and an orchestra—while they put together the Lego. How would each team approach the task? A basketball team works together, combining individual skill and talent to produce a product greater than the sum of its parts. This is also true of an orchestra, and in both cases there is a leader/coach whose role is to create a better whole. This is very different than a surgical team, in which the leader provides specific directions and calls on each member of the team to contribute their expertise at particular moments in time. They may be asked to work together, as well as provide feedback, but they are at the command of the team leader.

The bowling team has another dynamic. Each player simply takes a turn, and has nothing more to do than cheer when their teammates are participating. After the exercise, each team shared whether they were able to complete the task, and the moments of collaboration and frustration in the process. When team members were asked to switch roles or join a team that functioned differently, the consequences were significant. When a team worked well together, it was based on their knowledge of each individual role, but also how each member completed the team. This relatively simple activity, used as a tool to demonstrate the importance of the ENGAGE OTHERS domain, asks participants to consider individual strengths while being part of a team. It also helps to demonstrate the need to foster collaboration within a group. I will continue to use the LEADS framework and the tools from the LEADS learning series as a way to develop leaders when such opportunities arise.

Creating an environment of high engagement is an important requirement for those in leadership. All types of teams can be successful, and different teams are needed at different times. We must pay attention to the characteristics of the various groups we are trying to lead, and ensure that all members are engaged. Sharing vision and clarifying goals that align with our mission and strategy help to engage others and build the organization not only locally, but also at the territorial level. Paul Carew is the leadership development secretary. Captain Kim Chan is the divisional secretary for business administration in the Maritime Division. Salvationist  February 2020  23


The Gig Economy Temporary work is growing—but what are the consequences for workers? BY DARRYN OLDFORD

24  February 2020  Salvationist

Illustration: z_wei/iStock via Getty Images Plus


he world of employment is constantly changing. Gone are the days, if they ever truly existed, when a family could afford a house and a car with only one income and a high school education. For people of my generation, it sounds like a dream. Most of my friends’ dreams are much smaller: “I’d like to be able to afford a clean apartment without roommates.” “I’d like to travel out-of-province on vacation.” “I’d like to order something off a menu without first looking at how much it costs.” These are not people who spend beyond their means. They were in university when the recession began in 2008, and many are still struggling to make ends meet, while paying off enormous student debt. Little wonder, then, that the gig economy is growing. If your first thought when you hear the word “gig” is a single performance by a musician at a club, you’re not far off—in modern terms, it means a one-off job opportunity, with a well-defined beginning and ending. The gig economy includes white-collar executives who lend their expertise to massive companies for a six-figure salary, but for the most part, the jobs are much less lucrative. Examples of freelance workers include the driver you temporarily employ using a ride-sharing app, the person who brings you the sandwich you don’t want to make and the programmer who troubleshoots your website. Some people pick up these odd jobs to earn extra money, but for many it is how they pay their bills. While traditional taxi and pizza delivery drivers had some flexibility with their work, they were also employees of a larger company or cooperative. Now, workers can be independent contractors who decide how much or how little they want to work. But the flipside to this freedom is that people can wind up working for less than minimum wage for more than 40 hours per week, with no benefits, simply because it is the best available option. There is something inherently evil about a company that makes record prof-

its while paying their front-line workers starvation wages. This is doubly true when a company could not exist without exploiting the labour of people who desperately need a job. 2 Timothy 2:6 says plainly, “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” A culture based on consumption is more interested in speed and ease of access to goods and services than the impact on the lives of real people. With the touch of a button on my phone, I can order a car to take me anywhere and choose not to speak to my driver for the entire journey. Similarly, I can order food and, short of saying a quick thanks, not have to speak to the person delivering it. In many ways, we have given up human connection happily, not troubling ourselves to wonder how many hours this person has been working, how much of what we pay actually goes to them or whether their needs are met. It’s not revolutionary to think that if someone is working full time, even in the service industry, which is often looked down on, they should be paid enough to have a life worth living. Regardless of

our political ideology, human decency should drive us to care about the wellbeing of others. Many people take these jobs because they can’t find more stable employment. Barring widespread economic restructuring and a complete change in how we perceive work and society, things are unlikely to change. However, what we can do is recognize the inherent value of everyone we meet through their work, and do our best to ensure they are being paid fairly. Minimum wage needs to be a livable wage, and no employer should be exempt from that. Even if you disagree with me, and you are one of the lucky few with a steady paycheque at a good job, pray for those who struggle financially. Make eye contact. Smile. Do something to let them know you see them as an image bearer of the divine, just as you are. They may be in your life for only a few seconds, but a kind word and act can last a lifetime. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto.


Christian Celebrity Is there really room for all in the kingdom of God? BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK


Photo: moodboard/

t was August of last year when John Cooper, leader of the Christian rock band Skillet, wrote, “We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom.” He was writing in response to two popular Christian leaders who had publicly renounced their faith within a few days of each other: mega-church pastor and author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) and Hillsong’s singer-songwriter Marty Sampson. His words quickly went viral. In the days that followed, there was widespread concern over a generation losing their faith in Jesus. It was only a few weeks later that Justin Bieber led worship in a Los Angeles church after opening up on social media about how the love of Jesus helped him through a season of drug abuse and anxiety. Not long after, Demi Lovato shared on social media about a recent trip to Israel where her Christian faith was renewed. A photo posted to Instagram of her baptism in the Jordan River garnered 3.5 million likes. Then Kanye West’s album, Jesus Is King, was released in October, igniting

interest in his gospel transformation and eliciting responses that are as emotionally charged as they are polarized. It would appear that just as some celebrity Christians are publicly walking away from the faith, others are discovering Jesus and doing so just as publicly. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the ways in which these celebrities are expressing their new or renewed faith, what cannot be denied is that their public presence is sparking interest in Christianity across mainstream culture. While this is to be celebrated (what could be bad about having the words “Jesus Is King” on a billboard in Times Square?), there is a risk of falling right back into the habit of making “cool people … the most influential people in Christendom.” Because the most influential people in Christendom should not be mainstream celebrities, just as they should not be Christian authors, mega-church pastors or denominational leaders. The most influential person in Christendom should be—and is—Jesus. Writing on his website in March 2008, Billy Graham indicated that faith always implies an object. It answers the question, “What do you believe in?” For Christians,

that object is Jesus. If you are a Christian, your personal faith is in the gospel of Jesus as defined in the Bible which saves you from sin. This faith is the catalyst to a personal relationship with Jesus himself. However, when Jesus is not the most influential person in Christendom, the object of our faith is replaced with celebrity, which is idolatry. If we are putting our faith in someone like Marty Sampson or Kanye West or even a pastor/officer or denominational leader instead of Jesus, we find ourselves in a very perilous situation.

The most influential person in Christendom should be— and is—Jesus. Let’s not be confused about what the truth is. Let’s not value fanatics over facts. If “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1), then our certainty is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). I’m not sure why or how someone like Marty Sampson would choose not to identify as Christian anymore. Perhaps doubt starts to creep into their thoughts. If we are honest with ourselves, I think we all question the facts at some time or another. Providing space to express and explore these thoughts can actually correlate with an increased maturity of faith. The questioning itself isn’t toxic. But in the exploration, Jesus and the gospel facts must remain central. We cannot give these or other celebrities positions of influence in our lives and in our church communities that are greater than that of Jesus. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer. Salvationist  February 2020  25


Photos: Katherine Southern

GAMBO, N.L.—Mjr Curtis Butler, CO, Gambo Corps, and volunteer April Broomfield were on hand at Smallwood Academy to receive a cheque for $117.45 that was collected during the school’s Toonies for Turkeys fundraising effort in support of The Salvation Army.

COBOURG, ONT.—Three children are dedicated back to God at Cobourg CC. From left, CT Eric Hobe, holding the flag; Luke Lees; Emily Lees; Landon Best; Paisley Best; Riley Best; and Mjrs Carolyn and Michael Simpson, COs.

SUTTON, ONT.—A new veteran’s memorial mural covering an outside wall of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 346 building in Sutton was unveiled during Remembrance Day observances this past November. In honour of the contributions made to Branch 346 by the late Mjr Max Bulmer during his tenure as their padre for more than a decade, his wife, Mjr Helen Bulmer, was invited to offer a prayer of dedication for the mural. When the mural was uncovered, she was surprised and thrilled to see a section honouring The Salvation Army, including a tribute to her husband and the Army’s services to military personnel during times of war.

PENTICTON, B.C.—Standing under the flag held by Ron Oates, two senior soldiers are enrolled at Penticton CC. Front, from left, Mjr Les Marshall, AC, B.C. Div; Mjr Paul Trickett, CO; Alan and Nancy Madsen, senior soldiers; Mjr Lisa Trickett, CO; and Mjr Tiffany Marshall, AC, B.C. Div.

Accepted as Auxiliary-Captain Linda Kean Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg, Prairie Division I believe God has always been whispering to me that he had plans for my life. The problem was that I was carrying so much hurt and anger, but when I finally let go of all those negative feelings, I truly felt God’s call. I am currently living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., where I am serving as a corps officer beside my husband, Major Byron Kean. The auxiliary-captaincy program is allowing me to serve God while doing on-the-job training. I am very passionate about people who live on the margins of society and want to show them God’s love. Salvationist  February 2020  27


GAZETTE INTERNATIONAL Appointments: Mar 1—Mjrs Grant/Lauren Effer, CS/TSWM, France and Belgium Tty, with rank of lt-col; Mjrs Jan/Kjersti Risan, CS/TSWM, Denmark and Greenland Tty

KING’S POINT, N.L.—Ernest Hollett receives a certificate of appreciation, presented on behalf of the N.L. Div, as he retires following 33 years of faithful service as the corps treasurer at King’s Point Corps. From left, Mjr Brian Thomas, CO; Darren Green, holding the flag; Mjr Betty Thomas, CO; Ernest Hollett; and Mjrs Michelle and Scott Rideout, ACs, N.L. Div.

TERRITORIAL Appointments: Mjr Barbara Carey, divisional integrated mission secretary, Que. Div; Mjr Robert Sessford, Gitsegukla—Upper Skeena Circuit with Hazelton and Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell), B.C. Div; Mjrs Willis/Priscilla Drover, Yarmouth CC, N.S., Maritime Div Promoted to major: Cpt Royal Senter Promoted to captain: Lts Lance/Monika Gillard, Lt Peter Mitchell, Lt Aida Munoz-Perez Retirements: Dec 1—Mjr Robert Sessford; Feb 1—Mjr Betty-Lou Topping Promoted to glory: Lt-Col Cecil Cooper, Nov 29

CALENDAR Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: Feb 1-7 Safe Water and Livelihoods Development Project celebration, Sri Lanka Tty; Feb 7-11 Bangladesh Cmd; Feb 18-21 divisional retreat, Ont. CE Div Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill: Feb 8-9 Ottawa Citadel; Feb 10-17 divisional retreat and specialling, Bermuda Div Canadian Staff Band: Feb 1-2 South Windsor, Ont. Canadian Staff Songsters: Feb 1-2 Agincourt Temple CC, Toronto; Feb 29–Mar 1 Orillia, Ont.

Visit PENTICTON, B.C.—Sixty prayer shawls have been made by the prayer shawl knitting group at Penticton CC and presented to the community care ministries group for distribution to four seniors’ homes where services are regularly conducted. From left, Jean Mackie; Mjr Paul Trickett, CO; Lisha Anderson; and Helen Driscoll.

ST. THOMAS, ONT.—Three young people take a stand for Christ by being enrolled as senior soldiers at St. Thomas Citadel. From left, Sebastian Atkins, Zachariah Lalonde, Dawson Bond and Al Mintz, holding the flag. 28  February 2020  Salvationist



Servant of God, Well Done! TORONTO—Commissioner Donald Kerr, former territorial commander for Canada and Bermuda, was the fourth of five sons born to Major and Mrs. William (Elizabeth) Kerr. Born in Vancouver in 1933, Don grew up at Vancouver Temple and entered the College for Officer Training in Toronto in 1954 as a cadet in the Soul Winners Session. Serving as a cadet-sergeant for one year following training, he was appointed to the B.C. North District during which time he was engaged in full-time teacher training at the University of British Columbia. As a cadet, Don met and trained with Joyce Knaap. They married in 1957 and together were appointed as corps officers and, for Don, teacher in the Salvation Army elementary schools at Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell) and Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City) in B.C. North District. Further appointments included corps in Leamington and Woodstock, Ont., Winnipeg and Vancouver, followed by divisional leadership appointments in the then British Columbia South and British Columbia North and Yukon divisions. In 1983, the Kerrs were appointed to the College for Officer Training in Toronto where Don served two years as the assistant training principal and four years as the training principal. In 1989, they were appointed to territorial headquarters where Don served as the field secretary for personnel. International leadership followed in 1993 when they relocated to the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, where Don served as chief secretary. Don and Joyce returned to Canada in 1994 and assumed responsibility as territorial leaders for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. In all their appointments, Don loved and appreciated those he served, and served with, in ministry. Following 43 years of officership, the Kerrs retired to Jackson’s Point, Ont., and attended Georgina Community Church. During this time, Don served 14 years as a chaplain at the courthouse in Newmarket, Ont. In 2014, they relocated to Toronto, where they attended North Toronto Community Church. Don and Joyce have four children: Beverly (Ken Myrtle) with grandson Spencer; William; Marjory; and Donna (Rodney Hiscock) with grandsons Aidan and James. Commissioner Don Kerr was promoted to glory from Toronto on November 16, 2019, following a lifetime of faithful service to his Lord and 62 years of marriage with Joyce. BURLINGTON, ONT.—Frank William Roden, a dedicated soldier of The Salvation Army, was promoted to glory in his 85th year from the Chartwell Brant Centre in Burlington, surrounded by his loving family. Frank came to know the Lord through the Boy Scouts at Southall Citadel, West London, and was enrolled as a junior soldier in 1948. His passion was serving God in music and song and he was commissioned as a bandsman and songster in 1950. Frank was a lifelong volunteer with The Salvation Army, serving in many roles, including with the Boy Scouts, the men’s fellowship and Heritage Brass. A veteran who served in the British army, Frank retired from the Toronto Sun as a compositor. Predeceased by Heather, his beloved wife of 37 years, and son-in-law Keith Pond, Frank is lovingly remembered by daughters Cherry Pond and Caroline Parker (Reg); stepsons David Cochrane (Brada) and Stephen Cochrane (Krissy); grandchildren Melanie (Stephen), Nathan, Andrew, Bradley (Jenna), Michelle, Sarah and Christopher; great-grandchildren Benjamin and Sophia.



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LONDON, ONT.—Mrs. Brigadier Doris (Titcombe) Marsland was born in Galt, Ont., in 1919, to Salvation Army officers Kate and Rufus Raymer as the youngest of two daughters. Doris and her sister, Ruth, were involved in corps activities wherever their parents were appointed. Just 16 when their mother was promoted to glory, Doris resolved to follow in her mother’s footsteps and entered the College for Officer Training as a cadet in the Enthusiast Session in 1937. It was there that she met her future husband, Leslie Titcombe, and they married in 1941. Welcoming three sons to their family, Doris and Les served as corps officers across Canada and in divisional appointments in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Following Leslie’s promotion to glory in 1970, Doris was appointed chaplain at Windsor Grace Hospital, Ont., from where she retired in 1979. Returning to London, Doris worked for five years in correctional services. In 1984, she married Brigadier Vern Marsland and they attended North Toronto Corps before moving to London. Vern was promoted to glory in 1993. Missing Doris are her sons, Gary (Arlene), David (Trish) and Richard (Jane); eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; the Marsland family; and nieces and nephews. BRANDON, MAN.—Jean Walwyn was born in Brandon in 1938 to Charlie and Margaret Willey, and promoted to glory at the age of 81. Jean was a longtime member of Brandon Corps and an active participant in home league and the 55-plus group. She accepted the Lord at an early age, attended Sunday school and became a Sunday school teacher. Musically gifted, Jean played the piano and tenor horn, and was a member of the brass band. Married to Roy in 1955, she had one son, David. Roy and Jean loved to sing together and for many years sang with the group Musical Expression, winning many awards at the Country Gospel Music Association. In 1991, Jean attended Norvel Hayes Bible College in Tennessee where she earned a diploma in pastoral and religious studies. She visited local nursing homes where she shared her love for Jesus, and, with her husband, conducted services at the Dinsdale Personal Care Home. She was also a cherished member of the choir and participated in many fun events. Jean is missed by her loving husband of 63 years, Roy; son, David (Joan); and the community. GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L.—Major Garland Skeard was born in Port-Aux-Basques, N.L., and grew up attending the Anglican Church with his parents. As a young man, Garland began worshipping at The Salvation Army, where he accepted Christ and was enrolled as a senior soldier. He was an active member of the corps and served as the young people’s sergeant-major. Garland heard and accepted God’s call to officership and entered the College for Officer Training in St. John’s, N.L., in 1957, in the Courageous Session. Shortly after his commissioning, he met and married Captain Daisy Thompson. Together they served in several corps and social services appointments in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. Garland was a man of many skills and enjoyed helping others. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret Skeard; infant daughter, Victoria; brother, Clifford (Irene); and nephew, John Skeard. Remembering Garland with fond and loving memories are his wife, Daisy; son, George (Verena); grandson, David (Charlene); nieces and nephews; and a large circle of relatives and friends.

Guidelines for Tributes Salvationist will print tributes (maximum 200 words), at no cost, as space permits. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Tributes should be received within three months of the promotion to glory and include: community where the person resided, corps involvement, Christian ministry, conversion to Christ, survivors. A high-resolution digital photo or high-resolution scan of an original photo (TIFF, EPS or JPG; 300 ppi) should be emailed to salvationist@; a clear, original photograph mailed to 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto ON M4H 1P4 will be returned. Salvationist  February 2020  29


Who Is My Neighbour? Finding God in the alleys of downtown Winnipeg. BY KAITLIN vanDEURSEN The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.—John 1:14 (The Message)


30  February 2020  Salvationist

Kaitlin vanDeursen, a Salvationist and social work student at Booth University College in Winnipeg, in front of a mural by artist Mike Valcourt. The mural is dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous women

would be the impoverished, addicted and homeless of today. He socialized with lepers and those with physical disabilities. He spoke with people tormented by demons and various mental illnesses. He walked through areas of conflict. He went to Jerusalem, knowing there were people who were going to be violent toward him. In a way, Jesus is one of the people sleeping on mats in a room of 75 other people. You can see him in the person in psychosis and talking to the voices in their head. You can see him in the faces of the cold and shivering. You can see him in the physically ill. Jesus became a neighbour to the addicts, the chronically homeless, the mentally ill and the heavy-burdened.

I encourage you to take a little extra time this week to reflect on John 1:14. Do we fully believe that the Word became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood? Do we believe that the Word only moved into “nice” communities or do we believe that he is also present in the “not so nice” neighbourhoods? Let’s keep this verse in mind as we minister to those who are from neighbourhoods different from our own. Let’s also remember that even though society characterizes some people as unlovable (and some days we might be unlovable ourselves), Christ loved each and every one of us so much that he came to be our neighbour, and he is still with us.

Photo: Justin Russell

ver the past few months, this verse has become so much more real for me. I’m studying social work at The Salvation Army’s Booth University College in Winnipeg, and have been doing a practicum at Main Street Project, a non-profit community health agency, located behind the Army’s Centre of Hope. I’m there 40 hours a week and on the ground running for most of those hours. The neighbourhood around the project is a stark contrast from the safe, supportive and loving community I grew up in. As I walk through the garbage-littered streets, I often look over my shoulder to be aware of my surroundings. When meeting with clients, I wonder, “God, how can this be happening to your people?” Sometimes I go home at the end of the day and realize I haven’t spoken with God at all, because he feels so distant. It is hard to see people suffering from the effects of intergenerational trauma, abuse, addiction and poverty. Our city is hurting. In the last months, there have been robberies, violence and senseless murders, including two stabbings right outside my practicum. I’ve seen a group of teenagers with a gun just down the road from me. But John 1:14 reminds me that while the Word was in my comfortable neighbourhood growing up, the Word is also in Winnipeg’s downtown. When the Word became flesh and blood in the form of Jesus, our Saviour, he did not just move into affluent neighbourhoods or church communities. He moved under the Osborne Street Bridge, he moved into the tent city, he moved into the crack houses and cockroach-filled hotels, he moved into the dark back alleys and into the dumpsters. While it may not be glamourous to think about our Saviour in this way, we have to remember that in his time on earth Jesus associated with many people who


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