What’s Behind the Army Salute?
On the Air: Radio Show Celebrates 20 Years
7 Sacred Teachings in Indigenous Tradition
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
t e e r St l o r t a P
es v r e e s back s r u le n ized in l i v e Bell arginal cities t the m and ten s alley
It’s not too late to join
Salvationist March 2020 • Volume 15, Number 3
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6 Frontlines 7 World Watch
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16 Ethically Speaking Baby on Board by Cadet Jenelle Durdle
22 Not Called? “Really, God? Me?” by Ken Ramstead
25 Cross Culture 26 People & Places
30 Salvation Stories
8 Street Patrol
New Beginnings by Craig Trousdale
Columns 4 Editorial Going Viral by Geoff Moulton
5 Onward A New Thing by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd
11 Chief Priorities A Holy Swagger by Colonel Edward Hill
23 Viewpoint Rethinking Mission by Darryn Oldford
Belleville nurse serves the marginalized in back alleys and tent cities. by Giselle Randall
12 All Our Relations The Seven Grandfather Teachings can help us on the journey of reconciliation. by Major Shari Russell
15 To God Be the Glory Behind the Salvation Army salute. by Captain Sheldon Bungay
/salvationistmagazine Like us on Facebook for photos and updates. Interact with our community of 37,000+ fans @Salvationist Follow us on Twitter for the Army’s breaking news. Use hashtag #SalvationArmy for your own updates and photos On the cover: Debbie DeVries; photo: Giselle Randall
Read and share it! Fine-Feathered Rescue
BYE-BYE BIRDIE P.5
DARK SIDE P.9
Salvation Army Helps
BLESSING’S STORY P.12
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
17 In the Valley
Learning to suffer with each other. by Aimee Patterson
18 The Right Frequency Salvation Army radio program celebrates 20 years. by Major Jim Hann
24 Grace Notes
20 Peace of Mind
#EachforEqual by Captain Laura Van Schaick
Living with an acquired brain injury can significantly affect mental health. Here’s how you can help. by Lieutenant Rick Apperson
Working His Magic SAWYER BULLOCK HAS SOMETHING UP HIS SLEEVE HE WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT: HIS FAITH. P.16
Salvationist March 2020 3
s I write, a new health scare is on the horizon. A coronavirus, originating in China, has already killed more than 100 people, sickened thousands and is spreading around the globe. It has provoked lockdowns in 14 Chinese cities and closures of tourist sites such as the Great Wall and Disney’s theme park in Shanghai. Airports are on high alert, screening people for possible infection, and health centres are bracing for a possible flood of patients. Many will remember the SARS epidemic of 2003, particularly those who faithfully ministered at The Salvation Army’s Scarborough Grace Hospital where many Toronto residents and front-line staff were infected. That virus killed 44 in Canada and nearly 800 worldwide. Knowing the potential for harm, we pray that the current coronavirus can be contained. Our ministry units are taking appropriate precautions, but these cases show just how vulnerable we are to outbreaks. Health is a precarious thing. Testimonies in Salvationist about people’s personal health journeys are among our most popular stories. We all know someone who has had a health scare. Maybe you have had to wrestle with an illness or injury. While God doesn’t always cure us, we know that prayer and the fellowship of church
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 March 2020 Salvationist
friends can carry us through dark times. This month’s cover story features Debbie DeVries, a street nurse in Belleville, Ont., who is working to improve the health of a vulnerable population (page 8). She not only works for The Salvation Army, she also has an amazing journey of faith. Elsewhere in the publication, Lieutenant Rick Apperson shares about the challenges of an acquired brain injury (page 20) and Cadet Jenelle Durdle helps start a conversation about the importance of breastfeeding (page 16). In Faith & Friends magazine (found in the centre spread), we profile former baseball major-leaguer Corey Koskie, who suffered a debilitating concussion that not only put him out of the game, it almost ruined his life. Find out how his faith kept him strong. Then pass the magazine on to someone who could use some encouragement. Health is not the only problem on the global radar. As of the end of January, the devastating bushfires in Australia had destroyed an estimated 18.6 million hectares and killed at least 30 people and more than a billion animals. The Salvation Army emergency services have been on hand since the beginning, giving aid to the first responders and helping families
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.
pick up the pieces (page 7). In The Salvation Army, we care about the whole person—body, mind and spirit. Ultimately, our bodies will fail and we’ll pass from this life—promoted to glory as we call it in the Army. When we do, we can only hope to receive the same salute as Major Lorraine Abrahamse who served so faithfully (page 15). Whatever our role in this Army, we all work to hear those words from Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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A New Thing Join us in what God is doing across the territory. BY COMMISSIONERS FLOYD AND TRACEY TIDD
e’re listening. We’re looking. We’re learning. In these earliest months of our time back in the Canada and Bermuda Territory, we have been listening, looking and learning. Listening to people share their hearts, hopes and dreams, for not only The Salvation Army, but for their neighbourhoods and communities. We are looking and finding God at work, using the Army to transform communities—and transforming the Army. We’re learning that people are stepping up with anticipation, responding to God’s leading in their lives and in the lives of others around them. We’re learning that God is doing a new thing. We are grateful to all who connected with us as we’ve travelled across the territory. We have carefully read the responses of more than 800 people who shared their
perspective through an online survey in December. We are already sensing the impact of well over 1,000 people across the territory who are actively participating in the 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture. God is listening to the prayers of his people and speaking through his Word, and in the conversations people have as they share what they are learning through the prayers and Scripture passages. We look forward to sharing the results of the online survey in the next issue of Salvationist. And it’s not too late to join the 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture (salvationist.ca/100days). We will provide another opportunity for people to share their reflec-
tions as we enter the final days of the campaign and approach Easter. Continue with us to listen, look and learn—confident that as we seek God with our whole heart, we will find him. He is doing a new thing (see Isaiah 43:19), and he doesn’t want us to miss it. In fact, he wants us to join him in what he is doing.
Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd
“ See, I am doing a new thing!” —Isaiah 43:19
It’s not too late! Join with us for 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture. 100 prayers from ministry units. 100 essential Bible passages. Let’s discern together what God has in store for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Visit Salvationist.ca/100days for daily updates and to sign up for the e-newsletter.
Salvationist March 2020 5
Kettle Campaign Raises $23.5 Million
Colonel Edward Hill, chief secretary, and members of Calgary’s Glenmore Temple Band support the local kettle campaign
at their stores. The Army is particularly thankful for the support of Costco, where kettles collected $1.3 million, and Walmart, where kettles brought in $3.5 million. “We are grateful to all our partner organizations, volunteers, employees and officers for their leadership and commitment to the territorial Christmas effort,” says Lt-Colonel John Murray, secretary for communications. “These funds will help us feed, clothe, shelter and empower marginalized and vulnerable people in 2020. It’s heartwarming to witness the compassionate giving of Canadians to assist struggling people in their local communities.”
Grande Prairie Launches Community Kitchen
he Salvation Army in Grande Prairie, Alta., has partnered with the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre to open a community kitchen in November. The partnership aims to enhance and expand existing feeding programs offered by the Army and the Indigenous Friendship Centre, providing nutritious, safe and culturally
he Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle campaign raised $23.5 million this holiday season—well exceeding the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s $21.6-million goal and the amount raised through last year’s campaign. This total includes $360,642, which was raised by National Recycling Operations in thrift stores across Canada. These funds will be used by local ministry units to operate community and social service programs throughout the year. As part of running a successful campaign, The Salvation Army relies on many corporate partners across the country, who allow the Christmas kettles to be placed
appropriate food for individuals and families in need. The partnership also represents another step in the Army’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The launch of the community kitchen was made possible in part by the City of Grande Prairie, which provided a start-up grant worth $72,000. Along
with collaborating financially, staff from the Army and Friendship Centre will share meal preparation duties. The new community kitchen, which is housed at the Friendship Centre, operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., providing three meals a day from Monday to Friday, with plans to expand to seven days a week in the future.
Kemptville Corps Holds Grand Reopening
alvationists in Kemptville, Ont., were rejoicing in November as the local Salvation Army corps held a praise party to celebrate its official reopening. The event featured a time of worship, a special presentation by the youth and children’s ministry, and enrolments, as well as refreshments following the service. Leadership of the event was provided by Calvin and Erin Wong, pastors, Kemptville Church, with support from Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice, divisional commander, Ontario Central-East Division. “Kemptville is a missional church where worship is the central act, celebrating the goodness of God with joy and thanksgiving,” says Erin Wong. “We practise genuine hospitality, and believe in cultivating the spiritual discipline of celebration, understanding that the way we behave toward one another is an integral indicator of our spiritual health.” The Salvation Army originally “opened fire” in Kemptville in 1888. In the years following, various Army ministries thrived and, in 1981, rummage sales evolved into the opening of the town’s first Salvation Army thrift store. As the church experienced ups and downs, there was a decline in membership and, in 2002, a restructuring took place that involved closing the corps. The Army’s presence in Kemptville remained strong through community and family services, as well as the thrift store, which operated in the former corps building. 6 March 2020 Salvationist
Today, the Army cares for local individuals and families through various ministries, including a food bank, cooking classes, income tax clinic, car repair ministry, emergency shelter, thrift store vouchers for emergency clothing and household items, and much more. “With women’s, men’s, family, youth and children’s ministries, there is something for everyone at Kemptville Church,” says Wong. “Exciting times are ahead as we look forward to relocating both the church and the thrift store to larger facilities to accommodate growth. Praise and glory to God for what he has done!”
A full house celebrates the reopening of Kemptville Church at a praise party in November
Salvation Army in Australia Responds to Bushfire Crisis
A Salvation Army canteen serves firefighters in Australia
s the new year dawned, the world watched in horror as massive bushfires devastated much of Australia, forcing thousands of people across the country to flee their homes. By mid-January, the bushfires had burned an estimated 15.6 million acres, while millions of animals had perished. As the crisis escalated, The Salvation Army mobilized across Australia to provide emotional, spiritual and material support to firefighters, volunteers and evacuees. With the Army active across several states, a national response has been co-ordinated by the Army’s strategic emergency and disaster management (SEDM) team. Major Topher Holland, general manager, says the emergency response involves all expressions of The Salvation Army. “The SEDM team is facilitating, but we are working alongside the corps and the local community who are doing amazing work,” he explains. “All parts of our Army are involved, partnering with the local community.” Major Holland notes that the Army is working across multiple phases of disaster response. The first phase involves Salvation Army emergency service (SAES) personnel and volunteers feeding and
providing support to first responders and assisting with the management and service of evacuation centres. Phase two is an initial assessment and provision of emergency financial support to those affected. Phase three is the recovery phase—providing financial support for those affected following a more detailed assessment of the individual or family’s needs. “The nature of this unprecedented and ongoing disaster means that in some areas we have moved into our recovery phase and, in other areas, we are still providing emergency response,” Major Holland says. Ongoing Response As of January, Salvation Army personnel were active in evacuation centres across the states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW). In Sale, Victoria, people were airlifted by military helicopter to a centre with the capacity for 300 people—with 300 beds supplied by Salvos Stores, The Salvation Army’s thrift store chain. In Bega, NSW, Army workers, volunteers from other churches and community members united to serve 3,000 people at the peak of the emergency. SAES teams
were also feeding firefighters in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and at Bulga in the Hunter Valley. Captain Ben Knight, corps officer, Batemans Bay, NSW, says he has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and local businesses. “It’s astounding how the community has come together,” he says. “We would be talking among our team and saying, ‘What are we going to do for dinner?’ and in walks a business owner saying, ‘I’ve got 500 of this or 500 of that ... Do you need them?’ ” The Salvation Army has also been providing support in South Australia, notably at Kangaroo Island where fires have destroyed more than half of the island, consuming the national park and extending into farmland. SAES personnel have worked tirelessly to prepare meals for hundreds of firefighters and emergency personnel and give those emergency workers some respite. Recovery Efforts In the northeastern state of Queensland, recovery is underway in various parts of the state following bushfires from earlier in the season. “We haven’t forgotten about those people who remain affected by earlier emergency events,” says Adam Cole, SEDM co-ordinator for Queensland. “We are still in these places working our best to make a positive difference in the recovery phase.” Even as the fires continued to rage around the nation, Major Sue Hopper, SEDM specialist, Queensland, was in Sydney to assist with recovery efforts. “We are providing Salvation Army grants from our public appeal to people who have lost their homes, as well as offering a listening ear, support and hope,” she says. “What we’re doing is immediate help and gives people a bit of hope—something to move forward with one step at a time.” At the beginning of January, the Canada and Bermuda Territory launched its own appeal in support of the Australia Territory’s bushfire crisis response. By mid-month, more than $300,000 had been raised. To donate to the appeal, visit salvationarmy.ca/emergency. Salvationist March 2020 7
Belleville nurse serves the marginalized in back alleys and tent cities. BY GISELLE RANDALL
Photos: Giselle Randall
Debbie DeVries is a Salvation Army street nurse in Belleville, Ont.
tethoscope. Blood pressure cuff. Bandages and antibiotic ointment. Blood sugar monitor and orange juice. Naloxone opioid overdose kit. Sharps container. Bible. This is what Debbie DeVries carries on her rounds as a registered nurse—but she doesn’t work at a hospital. Instead, her rounds take her to the back streets, 8 March 2020 Salvationist
alleys and tent cities of Belleville, Ont. As a Salvation Army street nurse, she reaches out to the marginalized with care and compassion. “My role is to be a health presence in the community, to provide nursing care for those often overlooked by society,” says DeVries. “As a Christian, I believe God values every human being. We’re all
created in his image. And as a nurse, I’m called to treat everybody with dignity and respect.” DeVries is following in the footsteps of Doug Roy, who introduced the street nurse program to Belleville, supported by the Women’s Christian Association. When Roy passed away in 2018, the organization gave The Salvation Army
three years of funding to continue the program. “It fits with our mission to meet human needs,” says Connie Goodsell, director of community and family services (CFS) in Belleville. “A lot of our clients don’t trust the mainstream health-care system, and won’t seek the help they need. This gives us the opportunity to go out and meet them where they are, to build relationships, so we can help them—no matter what their circumstances.” Under a Bridge On Tuesdays, DeVries spends time with people at the Army’s community lunch, and then heads out into the neighbourhood. Today, she walks down to the Moira River, which runs beside the historic downtown district along Front Street. “It’s a stark contrast—a beautiful river with a walking path, and then all of a sudden you see somebody who’s homeless, or their belongings,” says DeVries. According to a local advocacy group, about 90 people live in tent cities around Belleville and another 15 live on the streets. DeVries is keeping an eye out for a few people. Although it’s an unseasonably warm day in October, she’s thinking ahead to winter. “I’m quite concerned, because the weather is going to get cold soon, and the shelter’s not open yet,” she says. Planning for Belleville’s first emergency shelter began in 2015, but progress has been slow. “Last winter, before I had officially started as a street nurse, I helped a man who came into family services with frozen feet,” she recalls. “He was in a lot of pain. He’d been to the emergency room once, but the second time they weren’t as accommodating. I can’t help but wonder—if he had been a successful businessman, would he have been sent away? I doubt it.” Before turning onto Front Street, DeVries approaches a woman wrapped in blankets under a bridge, calling her name gently to make sure she’s OK. “Someone’s left you food,” she says. “I don’t want it! Go away!” the woman yells. DeVries sees between 10-15 people a day—sometimes just to check in. While she looks for people experiencing homelessness, there are many others who have a place to live, but are still marginalized. “A lot of our clients live along here—
DeVries checks in on Barry, who has an acquired brain injury. He attends Belleville Citadel
“I have the time to listen to people’s stories ... I have the ability to treat the whole person.”
see all the upstairs apartments?” she points out. “Rent prices are going up. Sometimes people can pay their rent, but have nothing left. So they come to The Salvation Army’s food bank and for community meals.” Her next stop is Market Square behind city hall, where a volunteer group serves free meals in the evenings, but nobody is there at the moment. A woman who often panhandles nearby is also not at her usual spot. DeVries continues on to the Freedom Peer Support Centre, a governmentfunded drop-in program for people struggling with addiction and mental health, and chats with a volunteer. The conversation soon turns to the shelter. “It’s been in the works for years,” the
volunteer says. “What’s taking so long?” “Political red tape,” DeVries replies. “We really need it, but its only going to have 21 beds. It still won’t be enough.” In the Alley In the alley behind the Freedom centre, DeVries comes across “Justin,” and tells him she’s a street nurse with The Salvation Army. She asks where he’s staying, and he explains that he and his wife have tents at a campsite. “The weather’s decent now,” he says. “I’m surviving the best I can.” “Are you eating?” DeVries asks. “We eat one way or another. I make sure we do,” he replies. “I just drank a fourlitre bag of chocolate milk, so I’m full.” He tells DeVries he’s an opioid user. “I was doing good, but I’ve relapsed pretty badly. I’m using pretty much every day now.” “I hope it’s not fentanyl, because that’ll do you in,” DeVries says. “If you’re getting stuff on the street—and you probably know this better than I do—you don’t always know the strength, you don’t know how clean it is. Have you considered going on methadone?” “I’ve tried,” he says. DeVries examines an abscess on his leg. “It’s not bleeding or infected. I’m Salvationist March 2020 9
Disposing of a needle in the alley behind the Freedom Peer Support Centre
not concerned about that right now,” she says. “I’m more concerned about what caused it.” “Now that the kids are gone, my life’s gone downhill,” Justin says. “And I’m up on these charges. I’ve been to jail once— I don’t want to go back. I’m terrified. I’ve stood on the Bay Bridge, thinking of jumping. Sorry for rambling on.” “That’s OK. It helps me understand your situation better,” says DeVries. “It’s nice to know people do care,” Justin says as he leaves. As a street nurse, DeVries rarely gets a patient’s history—often it’s just a first name and the presenting issue. Wounds, foot care and nutrition are all challenges for this population. “Justin, for example— he’s basically eating whatever he can get his hands on,” she says. But the main issues she sees are addiction and mental-health concerns, or a combination of the two. “In hospital nursing, you have so many patients and only so much time— and you can only address physical, not spiritual needs,” she says. “One of the things that really excites me about this 10 March 2020 Salvationist
role is that I have the time to listen to people’s stories. And if spiritual questions come up, I have the freedom to talk about faith—I have the ability to treat the whole person.” On a Bench DeVries crosses Pinnacle Street near The Salvation Army’s CFS and thrift store, walking through a parking lot to reach Church Street, where construction is in progress on the shelter. She stops to talk to a construction worker, who gives her a look inside. He has serious reservations about the project. “What will it mean for the neighbourhood?” he asks. “There will be people loitering, needles on the ground, vandalism. What about safety?” DeVries briefly shares her perspective, encouraging him to see past his preconceptions to the people who need help. After a quick check at Pathways to Independence, a community agency for people with developmental disabilities and complex needs, she carries on to the public library, another gathering place. “Evan” is having a smoke on a
bench in the courtyard. He’s just moved back to Belleville but doesn’t yet have a place to live. DeVries lets him know she’s available. A nurse for 30 years, DeVries has always been interested in gaps in the health-care system. A few years ago, while living in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., she volunteered at The Salvation Army’s CFS. “I heard it again and again—‘I don’t trust the health-care system anymore,’ ” she says. “There’s a lot of social stigma.” With the support of Major Shellie Kirschman, then community ministries director, she started a free health clinic. “I’d ask people, ‘Why do you come to me? You know I’m a nurse,’ ” she says. “And they’d say, ‘It’s different. This is a safe place.’ I sense that here, too.” As DeVries reaches out to the vulnerable and marginalized, she draws on her own experience. “I’ve been there,” she says. “I’m a single mom with four kids. I’ve stood in a food line. I’ve waited for a Christmas hamper. I’ve felt the shame when someone you know walks in. “What I’ve lived through has given me empathy. And that helps just as much as my nursing training.” DeVries started attending The Salvation Army when she needed to leave an unsafe situation. “It was the first church I attended where I didn’t feel like I had to explain what I was dealing with,” she says. “People just seemed to get it. It’s where I first understood the motto, ‘Heart to God and Hand to Man.’ ” In April 2018, she became a senior soldier at Belleville Citadel, where she plays in the band, leads a prayer meeting and Bible study, and helps with the youth group. “I Care” After the library, DeVries returns to family services. Her friend, Barry, who has an acquired brain injury, comes to the Army to socialize. “First I met Debbie was at the Salvation Army church,” he says. “She’s helping me pretty good. Whenever I need to talk to her about something, she’s always there. Gives me good advice. She’s been helping my friend, too.” DeVries smiles. “A listening ear and emotional support is important with so many of the people I see,” she says. “I care about these people.” The Grace Inn Shelter officially opened its doors in December 2019.
A Holy Swagger We need renewed confidence that nothing is impossible with God. BY COLONEL EDWARD HILL
Photo: PeopleImages/E+ via Getty Images
ecently, our territorial commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, asked the soldiers, officers and employees of the Canada and Bermuda Territory, “What one word describes your aspiration (hope) for our territory in the next five years?” There were many good responses: vision, resources, youth, faith, candidates, relevance, etc. As I pondered my own response, I settled on this word: confidence. That is my personal aspiration (hope) for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Confidence is necessary for just about every endeavour in life. Rarely will individuals or teams experience victory on the athletic field without confidence. Confidence is also crucial to the musician, public speaker or prospective employee during a job interview. Confidence is typically driven by natural ability, giftedness and tireless preparation, all of which are potentially positive attributes and assets. However, the confidence I aspire to for The Salvation Army will not emanate from ability or capacity—although our territory is loaded with talented and gifted people—but rather through faith that embraces the truth declared by Jesus: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). This verse is a good reminder that when we are in step with God’s will, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. As I travel the territory, I occasionally come across officers and soldiers who seem to be in a near state of mourning over the loss of what “used to be” in many of our corps. I understand that
feeling. We have all seen the rise and fall of healthy congregations. For those worshipping and serving in communities where the Army’s footprint is smaller than in the past, that reality can be discouraging or, worse yet, naturally lead to pessimism and inertia. However, we must not think for a moment that the decline among our ranks is inevitable. There are plenty of reasons for optimism going forward. Many of our corps are growing, most often when confidence is at work and faith exists that “with God all things are possible.” Some months ago, I visited a congregation in the British Columbia Division. The Salvation Army had been inactive in the community for four years. Indeed, it was deader than a doornail, but the newly appointed officers began initiatives to connect with the changing demographics of the community—young people, families, new immigrants—and meet practical needs. Within a year, the congregation had grown to 100 people. The Sunday night meeting I attended could best be described as chaotic. There were kids everywhere, chatter throughout the meeting, people coming and going out of the sanctuary. It was not perfectly aligned with my preferences for worship, but the good news is that even in a messy gathering of believers, worship took place. There was prayer, singing, special music, an offering, testimony, a sermon and seekers at the altar. The Lord was present. After the service, we headed downstairs for a lovely meal, where I met attendees who now live in Canada, but
were recently transplanted from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. It was a congregation that reflected the community in which the Army was located. While there may have been a sense in the past that the Army would not rise again in that location, it has. People are finding the Lord, growing in their faith and finding opportunities for worship and service in our movement. In days of transition, Salvationists must rediscover confidence in the Lord’s power and plan, lived out by the founding officers and soldiers of the territory, as well as biblical figures such as Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, Peter and countless others. From the beginning of Scripture to the present age, people have boldly faced and overcome what must have seemed impossible odds. Indeed, we might even say that countless saints of the past were blessed with a “holy swagger,” something we need to recover in the 21st century. If God is for us, who can be against us? That is reason for a righteous confidence in God, most of all, but also in ourselves and others. My aspiration for the territory? I’ll pray for confidence that comes from the belief that “with God all things are possible.” What is stifling your spiritual growth? What is holding back your corps from making an impact in your community? It could be a lot of things, I suppose, but nothing that can’t be overcome by a fresh dose of confidence in God’s infinite power. Colonel Edward Hill is the chief secretary in the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist March 2020 11
12 March 2020 Salvationist
All Our Relations The Seven Grandfather Teachings can help us on the journey of reconciliation. BY MAJOR SHARI RUSSELL
This article is adapted from a sermon shared by Major Shari Russell (Yellow Quill First Nation), territorial Indigenous ministries consultant, at The Salvation Army’s third annual Celebration of Culture at Pine Lake Camp in Alberta last August. The Seven Sacred Teachings (or Seven Grandfather Teachings) are based on the Anishinaabe tradition, but are valued and practised by many Indigenous people. Reflected in Scripture, they are a guide to living in right relationships with All Our Relations—with Creator, with each other, with the land and with ourselves.
he story is told that Creator gave the Seven Grandfathers the responsibility to watch over the people. Life was hard and so the Grandfathers looked for a helper, someone who could be taught how to live in a good way with all of creation. Finally, they found a baby boy, pure enough to receive the teachings and bring these teachings to the people. Each Grandfather gave the young boy a gift: a teaching to share with all the people. Each one is associated with a specific direction, season, colour and animal, among other attributes. The Seven Sacred Teachings were (Left) “A Prayer for Love” from Prayers for the Creator’s Children, 2006, painted by Ovide Bighetty, commissioned by Indian Metis Christian Fellowship (IMCF), now known as Indigenous Christian Fellowship. Reproduction and exhibition rights belong with IMCF. Visit icfregina.ca for more information.
intended to help people live a good life, a righteous and holy life. When we follow these teachings, they help us live in peace and harmony with All Our Relations. They help us on our journey of reconciliation. Reconciliation is a difficult word. Some Indigenous people struggle with this word. As a follower of Jesus, I see beauty in the grace that reconciles us with our Creator, and then with one another. It is an incredible gift. Reconciliation is a difficult journey. It is not a quick and easy process. It is not saying “I’m sorry” and expecting people to “get over it.” Reconciliation requires repentance, restitution, relationship and resilience. One elder has said, “I appreciate you apologizing, but we don’t need your apologies. What we need is your resilience. It’s OK that you’re feeling weak, disoriented and unclear as to what to do. What’s not OK is that you quit because of those feelings. I need you to be resilient and to stick in the game and to walk alongside us who have no choice but to move forward.” I have heard people say, “We have apologized for the Indian Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop—what more do you want?” More than apologies, we need change. Reconciliation is a relationship. Don’t settle for what you hear in the media or read in a book. Reconciliation means getting to know us. When asked, “How can we even begin to engage the sin against the First Nations of the Americas? Most people are too overwhelmed by the whole thing to even think about it,” Richard Twiss, co-founder of Wiconi International,
responded, “Just be our friend. Come and talk to us. Get to know us. Get to know what makes us laugh and what makes us cry. And when you find out what we care about, then make our concerns your concerns. Make our struggles for justice your struggles for justice.” Relationships are never easy, but the Seven Sacred Teachings help us navigate these relationships so we can live well together. Humility—Journey to the East As I watch the sun rise in the east, I am reminded of Psalm 8: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4 NRSV ). Reconciliation must begin with humility as we speak truth about the history of our nation: the greed for land, but also the arrogance of people who thought they knew better. Jesus demonstrated humility when he laid down his privilege and “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7 NRSV). Humility allows us to let go of power and control, and the systems that continue to maintain colonial ways of thinking and being. Honesty—Journey to the South Sitting through the events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I was saddened by the defensive response of school administrators, teachers and church leaders, who said, “We had the best of intentions.” Today, similar defensive comments echo. The journey of honesty means that we see beyond Salvationist March 2020 13
personal culpability for the past to take responsibility in the present. In Genesis 32, Jacob had to come to grips with who he was and what he had done before he went to reconcile with his brother. There is a difference between finding fault and taking responsibility. A person may be responsible for a situation even if it’s not their fault. “By taking responsibility as opposed to fixating on blame for our present reality, we have a won-
or those easily discouraged. It takes courage to do what is right and advocate for justice. The Bear (Makwa) is the model of courage. Courage is a decision to act in the face of fear. Just as courage sleeps in Makwa through long winter months, it can lie dormant within us. It needs to be awakened. When there is a threat to her young, Makwa will not stop until they are safe. In our lives, courage is needed to transform those fears that might prevent
A Prayer For Love Creator Father, help me to love you with all of my spirit, mind, heart and strength. Help me to love all creatures as I love myself. May your Spirit purify and strengthen my love so that I may have peace with you, my family, other creatures and all creation. Meegwetch. In Christ’s name. Amen.
derful opportunity to effect meaningful change,” as Commissioner Mark Tillsley, international secretary for the Americas and Caribbean Zone, wrote about The Salvation Army’s international gender equity task force. As Indigenous peoples, we are asking people to take responsibility to do what is needed for reconciliation. Respect—Journey to the West The phrase All Our Relations speaks to the interconnectedness of creation. We can only live well together to the degree that we treat all creation with respect. This value is evident in Scripture, as important provisions and laws were made concerning the land and animals. The Year of Jubilee was intended to restore justice, respect and equity for those who had become marginalized. Courage—Journey to the North Reconciliation is not for the faint of heart 14 March 2020 Salvationist
us from living the life God has called us to live. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Wisdom—Journey Up to the Sky Wisdom is the synthesis of knowledge and experience that deepens our insight and understanding of relationships and the meaning of life. Observe your life and the lives of others to gain insight. Proverbs 1:7-9 (TLB) asks: “How does a [person] become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord! Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honours.” Truth—Journey Down to the Earth The Anishinaabe refer to this land as “Turtle Island.” The turtle, slow-moving
and strong, symbolizes truth. It does not rush ahead or presume. It is patient, realizing that sometimes change is slow. We learn truth from all creation as we observe the rhythms of nature and the elements around us. As Psalm 85:11 says, “Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven” (NLT). Reconciliation requires truth, which is the foundation of relationship. Our Elders knew it when they asked for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Truth is the groundwork for all that comes after. Continue learning the truth of our history and what continues to happen in the relationship with Indigenous peoples. In your eagerness to respond, be patient with your learning and allow it to change your perspective and understanding. Love—Journey Within Love is the central value that holds everything together and is central to reconciliation. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbour as ourselves. Love makes us whole, bringing healing to the fragmented or broken parts of our lives, including our relationships. Corrie ten Boom, who was arrested and sent to a concentration camp for helping Jews escape the Holocaust, wrote about her encounter with a former guard after the war. He said he had become a Christian and asked for her forgiveness, saying, “To think that, as you say, [Jesus] has washed my sins away.” She then writes: “Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them … Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him … Give me your forgiveness … And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to love our enemies, he gives along with the command, the love itself.” Some of us have been hurt and have deep wounds. We may struggle when we hear the words of Jesus calling us to love our enemies. Others of us may be on the other side of that hurt or are seeking reconciliation in the midst of the messiness of our history. We may not know what to do or how to respond. The wisdom of the Seven Teachings can help us in these next steps. May we learn to walk gently with one another on this journey of reconciliation.
To God Be the Glory Behind the Salvation Army salute. BY CAPTAIN SHELDON BUNGAY
Photo: Cpt Sheldon Bungay
hroughout history, simple hand gestures have served as a form of human communication, conveying meaning and allowing people to identify themselves with a group. Think of the military salute, the “thumbs up” gesture or the Scout sign. On many occasions, I have seen motorcyclists give a left-handed, low wave to acknowledge a comrade passing in the opposite direction. A raised, clenched fist is symbolic of unity in the midst of struggle. Placing your hand over your heart during an anthem is viewed as patriotic. My mother-in-law’s two outstretched hands mean I’m about to be embraced. Did you know that The Salvation Army also has a salute? We raise the index finger of our right hand above shoulder height, pointing to God, as a way of saying that God deserves all glory and praise. At a recent emergency disaster response, I was asked, “When will The Salvation Army finally get rid of its military terminology and those silly uniforms?” Even within the Army, there are those who think it’s time to do away with some of our symbols and traditions. Is the Army salute meaningful? What purpose does it serve? I had never put much thought into it. Until yesterday. It was my great privilege to serve as a pallbearer for Major Lorraine Abrahamse, a fellow officer and a friend. It was a beautiful service of celebration as we honoured her life and ministry and rejoiced in her “promotion to glory.” Unsurprisingly, there were many Salvation Army officers present, both active colleagues and the retirees who blazed the trail before us. At the end of the service, all officers present were invited to form an honour guard to flank both sides of our colleague as we carried her casket out of the sanctuary. As we made our way to the beginning of the honour guard, something happened that I did not expect, and its impact will remain with me for the rest of my life and ministry. As the casket reached the first officers in the guard, they began to quietly and solemnly raise their right index fingers in salute. The salute continued as we passed each officer. It wasn’t long before the magnitude of the moment became almost too much for my emotions to handle, and my eyes overflowed so that I could hardly see where I was going. Why? Well, I’m still processing what it all meant to me, but I know this for sure. I am blessed to have been called to work with some of the greatest people on earth, people who give of themselves tirelessly to meet basic human needs and
spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in whichever city or town The Salvation Army appoints them. Are any of them perfect? No, but some of them have sacrificed so much to respond to the life of ministry, often working with limited resources and expected to meet whatever task is placed before them each day. As I watched the faces of my colleagues that day, I was profoundly aware that many of them have been forced to deal with criticism; have forfeited meals and time with their own families to respond to a hospital call or a grieving family; have wrestled with their own convictions and studied hard to determine what God is leading them to say or do; and, often with limited skills, have worn many hats in ministry, required to be administrators, business professionals, pastoral counsellors and public orators, one minute planning events for children, and the next for seniors. In each of their appointments, they have been compared to those who have gone before, and—in the minds of some— did things better. Given that they will eventually move on to another community and another appointment, there are whole generations of officers who have no idea what it feels like to establish lifelong friendships. Some, like my friend Lorraine, have to come to terms with the reality that none of us are immune to sickness and death. And yet, they seek no praise. Instead, they raise their index finger and silently say, “To God be the glory.” Captain Sheldon Bungay is the divisional youth secretary in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division. Salvationist March 2020 15
Photo: lolostock/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Baby on Board Why breastfeeding is a social justice issue. BY CADET JENELLE DURDLE
would like to start a conversation about an issue near to my heart as a mother, and related to my previous work as a nurse: breastfeeding. You may wonder how this is relevant to our mission as The Salvation Army. The conversation is important because breastfeeding impacts our lives together. There are many childbearing women in our community, and the impact of breastfeeding in women’s lives is immeasurable—it affects us emotionally, socially, physically, financially and spiritually. It influences our early parenting experiences, both positively and negatively. Further, breastfeeding is a social justice issue. The United Nations and the World Health Organization recognize infant nutrition as a global health issue, stating “breastfeeding needs to be the norm, not the exception.” The following are just a few widely accepted facts about breastfeeding: • Breastmilk is a sustainable food source for infants. • Exclusive breastfeeding increases food security for the whole family. • Breastfeeding impacts the health of mothers, leading to a decreased risk of breast cancer, 16 March 2020 Salvationist
cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and osteoporosis throughout the lifespan. • Breastfeeding protects the infant against respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, sudden infant death syndrome and childhood obesity. Breastfeeding is positive for the community and for the health of both mother and child. Statistics show that 90 percent of Canadian mothers intend to breastfeed, and yet only 25 percent of women who start breastfeeding continue for the recommended six months and beyond—and they tend to be women in their thirties or older, with postsecondary education. One of the mostcited reasons for stopping breastfeeding is returning to school or work. This factor disproportionately affects disadvantaged mothers and families. One recent study from Newfoundland and Labrador found that the rate of breastfeeding cessation after one month was three-and-a-half times higher in the socioeconomically marginalized population than in the privileged population. For babies from marginalized families, the developmental and health results of
breastfeeding are described as “the great equalizer” in relation to early childhood development, social skills and childhood hospitalizations. Yet very few women from this demographic continue to breastfeed beyond a few weeks. Considering this evidence and the great work The Salvation Army does in vulnerable communities, we need to cultivate an understanding of the social issues that impact breastfeeding. Discussing breastfeeding can be uncomfortable, but it is imperative that we start the conversation. A good place to begin is to identify our values and ideas about breastfeeding. Ask yourself, How would I feel if a woman wanted to stay in the sanctuary to breastfeed her baby, instead of going to the nursery? How would I feel if a client needed to feed her baby during a program or food bank appointment? What if an employee asked for an extra break to pump her breastmilk? Did you know that breastfeeding, wherever and whenever, including pumping breaks, is a human right? Other questions to ask are: Do I know how to connect clients with local breastfeeding supports? When pregnant women use our resources, do we ensure that they have access to local health education related to pregnancy, childbirth and parenting? And within the Army, what specific challenges related to breastfeeding do officers in full-time ministry face? The ministry of The Salvation Army is varied and diverse—breastfeeding will not be a focus for all of us. But it should be discussed when we provide services to childbearing women. As officers, employees and volunteers, we may not be equipped to have direct discussions with clients about breastfeeding, but we can create an environment that accepts, supports and promotes breastfeeding in our facilities, and we can network with local resources that provide prenatal education and breastfeeding support. The following websites are a wonderful resource to find local information about breastfeeding for your community: lllc.ca and breastfeedingcanada.ca. No mother should be made to feel guilty about her feeding choices, but as a public health concern and social justice issue, we have a responsibility to address the factors that can be changed to support women to breastfeed. Cadet Jenelle Durdle is part of the Messengers of Grace Session, and a member of the social issues committee.
In the Valley Learning to suffer with each other. BY AIMEE PATTERSON why God is hiding (see Job 13:24). And psalmists beg God for redemption:
Photo: PeopleImages/E+ via Getty Images
Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not cast us off forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For we sink down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love (Psalm 44:23-26 NRSV).
hose of us who hope for the fulfilment of God’s kingdom experience both joy and suffering in the waiting. I have known profound suffering associated with brain cancer, treatment and its side effects. And I’m not the only one. We are all subject to suffering. So I challenge Christian communities to face the kind of suffering that just doesn’t make sense. Christians are good at supporting suffering people. The Salvation Army’s mission, as coined by General John Gowans, is to “save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity.” Sometimes, though, we forget that we are included in suffering humanity. And sometimes we forget that there is more to serving than practical support. We are called to be compassionate. “Compassion” comes from the Latin compassio, literally “to suffer with.” Paul puts this well in describing the fellowship of Christ’s body to the church at Corinth: “God has so arranged the body … [that] the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:2426 NRSV). He repeats this to the Roman church: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 NRSV). Why this calling? Suffering isolates. Suffering people like me need a community willing and prepared to break
down that barrier and suffer with us. What does compassion look like in action? Compassion is not taking on the suffering of another the way Jesus took on the suffering of the world. It does mean wanting to do so, like a mother yearns to change places with her suffering child. Compassion is not providing answers to questions that are as profound as suffering. “Why, God, do I have ALS?” “Why, God, was I abused?” “Why, God, is my child addicted to meth?” We may want to answer, but the old standbys can be received as cold comfort. When we skip forward to the happy ending, we fail to read the pages and pages of a person’s suffering. Compassion means being present with the person and grieving with them as they grieve. One way of doing this is through lament, something we don’t often practise together anymore. Lament is prayer to God uttered out of the sorrow, confusion, even anger felt in suffering. It takes courage to admit to a suffering person that we cannot explain their suffering. It takes even more courage to call on God for answers. But this is what people in the Bible do. The voices in Lamentations grieve together as a people rejected by God. Jeremiah asks God why his pain is unceasing and his wound incurable (see Jeremiah 15:18). Job demands to know
Even Jesus cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NRSV). The language of lament is strong! Perhaps that is why we fear it. But if those who lament in Scripture have anything to teach us, it is that God would rather receive the angry accusations of a faithful follower than the empty applause of a lukewarm worshipper. Suffering people need strong language to give voice to the indescribable evils we suffer. It’s cathartic, part of holistic healing. Lament (almost) always ends in a word of hope—the kind of hope that can be claimed even by a person in profound suffering: “I believe; help my unbelief!” Sometimes this help comes directly from God in personal prayer. But I doubt I would believe in God today if my community had not shored up my belief with the hope that can endure despite suffering. How can we rehabilitate lament as a community? We might start by using the mercy seat as a place of lament in suffering. Or by reading Psalms of lament together to express our grief and suffering. The important thing is that we lament with people who suffer. Compassionate communities are wise enough to admit they don’t know why suffering is taking place. They are courageous enough to join suffering people in asking God questions we can never answer on our own. Dr. Aimee Patterson is a Christian ethics consultant at The Salvation Army Ethics Centre in Winnipeg. Salvationist March 2020 17
The Right Frequency For 20 years, a Salvation Army radio program has been delighting listeners around the world. BY MAJOR JIM HANN
Let There Be Praise The origin of the show was humble. As Christmas 2000 approached, Quick, who ran a weekly Monday evening classical music radio show on CKWR, realized that he would be broadcasting on Christmas Eve. A devoted Salvationist, Quick went to his corps officer, Major Sterling Snelgrove, with an idea. Rather than simply playing a list of Christmas favourites, why not allow the Army to use the time to thank the community for their support of the Christmas kettle appeal? Major George Patterson, then in charge of public relations for the Ontario South Division, loved the idea, and made arrangements for greetings to be sent from various Salvation Army units in the area. Quick interspersed them with Christmas music by Salvation Army bands, for a program entitled, “CHRISTmas With The Salvation Army.” The program was a great success. Betty Ann answered a deluge of phone calls that came in during the show while 18 March 2020 Salvationist
Tom Quick shares the music of The Salvation Army with the world every Wednesday night
Quick ran the board. When the radio station approached Quick about filling a 30-minute space on Sunday nights, he returned to Major Patterson, who arranged for the public relations department to sponsor the show, and Let There Be Praise was born. It was so popular that Quick arranged with the radio station to add a two-hour show of Salvation Army music on a weeknight, contacting ministry units in Ontario South to support the show. Though it eventually became a monthly feature, the music continued to play. Around the World in Music In the early days, the show was enjoyed only by those in the immediate area, but with the rise of the Internet, Quick found
himself blessed with a much larger audience. He was able to promote his show not only across Canada, but around the world. Steef Klepke created a website for Quick (salvos.com/tomquick), which was eventually picked up by Pieter Van Horssen in Amsterdam. Van Horssen has recorded every broadcast for the past 15 years, and they are now available on John Bannister’s website in Australia (salvoaudio.com) and Stuart Hall’s site in the United Kingdom (citadelpromotions.co.uk). Quick has had a longstanding association with the local Christian radio station, FaithFM 93.7, stretching back 17 years. A decade ago, the president of FaithFM told Quick that if there were ever an opportunity for the Christian channel to
Photo: Matthew Rios
t’s Wednesday night in Kitchener, Ont., and as 7:30 approaches, Tom Quick dons his headphones, straightens his stack of CDs and cues up his theme music. Quick notes the time in the corner of his screen and turns to tap the key, starting the CD playing. As on most Wednesdays these days, the band starts to play. “Let there be praise, let there be joy in our hearts…. Forevermore, let his love fill the air, and let there be praise.” And so begins Let There Be Praise, a two-hour show of Salvation Army music on FaithFM. For almost 20 years, Quick and his wife, Betty Ann, along with a few friends and volunteers, have spent their Wednesdays in the studio, letting the world hear the music that God has gifted to The Salvation Army. Bands, songster brigades, international soloists and various other groups from near and far have filled the hours. Salvationists and other music lovers from around the world listen in, both live and after the broadcast.
take on the show, he would be interested. About six years ago, Quick took him up on his offer, and Let There Be Praise became a monthly Wednesday program. Since then, Quick has spent many hours in the studio, usually broadcasting live with the help of his wife, a volunteer timekeeper and the guest host, who provides a couple of short devotionals and introduces music or talks about music groups and composers who are featured on the show. Quick has been astounded by the growing popularity of the show. Five years ago, the show had only enough sponsors to air once a month, with the occasional extra broadcast. In 2018, Quick had to be intentional about leaving a break in the fall, to allow time for a short vacation. Every other week of the year was booked by sponsors from all around the globe. The most popular broadcasts of the year remain true to their origin: CHRISTmas with The Salvation Army broadcasts, on Wednesdays in December, always book up as soon as they are made available. Let There Be Praise is far more than just two hours a week in front of the microphone. Quick draws on his massive collection of Salvation Army music to prepare the show, which may focus on a theme or feature a particular composer or musical group. Canadian broadcast standards require a certain percentage of Canadian content in each show; this allows Quick to feature local groups that usually would not be heard outside their immediate area. He also takes great pleasure in introducing Salvationists from every territory to his audience. He has received music from around the Army world—recently, additions to his collection have come from Japan, Australia, South America, Iceland, Hong Kong and many other corps from around the world. He feels that this variety adds interest for his listeners, who hear both the Army’s premiere groups, as well as musicians from smaller settings. This is an encouragement to those who provide music to their local congregations week in and week out. A Ministry Milestone The little studio on Belmont Avenue in Kitchener has seen many faces over the past 19 years. Quick has hosted guests great and small, including Commissioner Susan McMillan, former territorial commander for Canada and Bermuda; Lt-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications; guests from the International Staff Band, the
Canadian Staff Band and the Canadian Staff Songsters; composers and musicians from across Canada and the United States; and the weekly sponsors who pay the $200 cost for the show. Sponsorships come from around the world, with some groups sponsoring shows to promote their latest recordings or upcoming concerts, others in memory of loved ones and still others simply for the love of the Lord, the Army and the music. Quick, a proud Cornishman who was born and raised in St. Ives, England, has been involved with music in The Salvation Army all his life. A world traveller, Quick has played with various musical groups in Britain, Australia, the United States and Canada. He and Betty Ann support their local corps, The Salvation Army Hespeler Community Church in Cambridge, Ont., with Quick on his beloved trombone and Betty Ann at the piano. He recently celebrated his
79th birthday, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up his ministry. Yes, ministry. A highlight of Quick’s life is receiving emails from around the world, telling him how much of a blessing listening to Army music is. The Lord has used the hours in the studio to touch the lives of thousands of people, many of whom Quick will never meet this side of heaven. This year, the Quicks celebrate 20 years of musical offerings, and thank God for this special ministry he has given them. Tune in to Let There Be Praise on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (EST/ EDT) at kitchener.faithfm.org. Tom Quick can be contacted for requests and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Major Jim Hann is the corps officer at The Salvation Army’s Essex Community Church in the Ontario Great Lakes Division.
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Peace of Mind Living with an acquired brain injury can significantly affect mental health. Here’s how The Salvation Army can help. BY LIEUTENANT RICK APPERSON
hortly before Christmas, I was waiting at a pub to pick up toys from a recent motorcycle toy drive. What was supposed to be a five-minute job took more than two hours, and I had to wait in an extremely noisy environment, with thumping music, loud voices and an auctioneer who had the mic cranked up high so that people at the back of the pub could hear him. When I was finally able to leave, I spent the next couple of hours crying, lying in bed, unable to do much of anything. It took me a few days to find my balance again. My brain felt like it was stuck in molasses. I am a Salvation Army officer and I live with an acquired brain injury. Some days—like that day at the pub—it can significantly affect my mental health. 20 March 2020 Salvationist
Never-Ending Recovery As I started to write this article, I sat in my office with tears streaming down my face. It had not been the best day. Nothing major had happened—nothing that would qualify as a “reason” for the tears running down my cheeks. But when you experience mental illness, any day can be a struggle. At times, it feels like you are on the verge of going over the edge of a cliff and clawing to stay on top. I have had nine concussions, with my most significant ones occurring in 2013 and 2014, and my last one in 2017. Most of these head traumas were the result of playing sports and games, as well as accidents. One was a work-related accident from a prior job. The recovery process has been long
and hard and will never truly end, barring a miracle from the Lord. At my worst, I did not recognize letters. Reading, watching TV—any activity—fatigued me and I would nap for hours. My emotions have gone up and down—I’ve experienced a lot of anger and shed many tears. I’ve lived with a humming sound in my head for more than a year. I still cannot process background noise, fatigue more easily and struggle with words when I am tired or stressed. My shortterm memory is horrible. If something is not written down, it is gone. Yet I have recovered to the point where I can work full time, and write and deliver a sermon. This year, I was able to preach without notes for the first time in years. Yet I still struggle with my
emotions and can fixate on the most minor of things (a real struggle for those with brain injury). My healing journey has involved lots of prayer, talk therapy with my counsellor, brain activity games and learning new coping skills so that I can manage my symptoms. Silent Struggle By some estimates, more than 400 million people around the word struggle with a mental health issue, and one in three Canadians will struggle with or be impacted by a mental health issue in their lifetime. It could be anything from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It could be caused by trauma, abuse, environmental issues or genetics. Mental health issues cut across all ages, cultures, educational backgrounds and income levels. They can impact our emotions and our physical health. It is hard to explain mental health issues to those who have not experienced them. As I shared in a group therapy session recently, when someone has a visible disability, others understand if there are limitations. If someone has a health issue and it is public knowledge, people will also understand that there will be good and bad days. It is different with a mental health issue. There may be limitations or struggles, but the stigma around sharing this with others is still very real. Among my community of brain injury survivors—some have had strokes; others, like myself, have suffered numerous concussions—the one thing everyone says is that they feel shame in talking about their brain injuries and mental health. Even though we have been told it is OK to talk about it, many people do not feel comfortable talking about their mental health with strangers, employers or even family. This is true for the person struggling, as well as those who are supporting, working or living with someone with cognitive difficulties or other mental health issues. Hope and Dignity If you, a family member, congregant, volunteer, staff, client or customer struggle with mental health issues or brain injuries, help and hope are available. And I believe The Salvation Army can be on the leading edge of this valuable and vital area of ministry. While time and resources are often
limited, there are little things we can do to ensure those who struggle know that they are loved by a Saviour who wrestled with anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane and shed his blood so that we can have a relationship with a Father who cares for our every need. We may not feel equipped for the task, but we need to remember that God is with us in it. As Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” As The Salvation Army, we can: 1. Make our corps and ministry locations safe places to talk about mental health issues. This can be as simple as hanging posters that address mental health or stickers that show this location is a safe place to talk. 2. Pray for and with those who struggle with mental health issues. Remember that the struggle is real. This is not a time to “teach” ways to improve the situation, but to respond with love and compassion. 3. Make space available for support groups. In Terrace, B.C., our corps is available for use by the local brain injury association, and we have brought in guest speakers to our community brunch program.
have a “mental health day” or to express one’s struggles. 7. Become familiar with Scripture. The Bible is filled with people who struggled with fear, doubts, anxiety, depression, anger and so on. Encourage those who are struggling that God understands. Help them to pray like the man who encountered Jesus: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). 8. Above all, love as Jesus loved. The Salvation Army can be a place of rest and refreshment for those who struggle with mental health issues. It’s right in our core values—we offer hope and dignity to all. Through our thrift stores, corps and various ministries, the Army comes into daily contact with individuals who may be among the silent majority of people suffering with a mental health issue. My prayer is that we will seize the opportunity to make safe spaces for those who struggle with their mental health, while truly being a transforming influence in the world around us. Lieutenant Rick Apperson is the corps officer in Terrace, B.C.
4. Take available training in the area of mental health. For example, I have taken part in a 10-week Strengthening Families Workshop that talked about the basics of mental health (see strengtheningfamiliesprogram. org). 5. Ensure our language is non-judgmental. The worst thing to tell someone who is suffering is to “Push through!” It is also not a time to talk about “sin” and repentance. Instead, ask what supports they need to handle the current situation. Walk with them through their journey. 6. Encourage rest—physical, spiritual and emotional. Make it clear that it’s OK to
Lt Rick Apperson
Salvationist March 2020 21
“Really, God? Me?”
Andrew and Jessica Downie were happy Salvation Army soldiers. But God wanted more from them. BY KEN RAMSTEAD
essica and Andrew Downie thought they had it all planned out. Andrew would continue to serve in the navy until the day came when he would retire with a full pension. Jessica would continue working for The Salvation Army—doing what she loved and serving God through her work. “Together, we would enjoy our peaceful retirement plans,” she smiles. “And now here we are, both of us senior soldiers, applying for officership.” A Natural Fit The Salvation Army has always been near and dear to Jessica, who began her faith journey as a young child through a bus ministry program. “It’s where I found faith as a child.” She left the Army as an adolescent but came back to God in her early 20s. Shortly after starting work in social services, she became an adherent. “The mission and values resonate with me,” she says. Andrew, not surprisingly, portrays his life in nautical terms. “Before becoming a Christian, my life was like a ship without an anchor,” says the leading seaman, “going with the flow of things and seeing where life was going to take me. Before coming to know Jesus, I focused on what felt good to me with little regard to how that was affecting anyone or anything else.” Andrew first heard about the gospel as a teenager when he attended a youth group meeting in Ontario. “I knew Christians were different from how I viewed myself but I saw them as naïve and hypocritical because that was easier than accepting the hard truth that I was missing something in my life, and that was God.” After they married, he and Jessica attended an Alpha course together. “God became real to me,” Andrew says, “and I could no longer ignore him. God used Alpha as a catalyst in our lives.” Andrew and Jessica decided to look for a corps where they could worship and in 2018 went to Westsong Community 22 March 2020 Salvationist
Andrew and Jessica Downie listen to Mjr Les Burrows during their soldier enrolment
Church (now Connection Point Church) in Victoria, where they have attended ever since. “I felt God’s presence there, which I had not felt in a long time,” Andrew says.
“I was missing something in my life, and that was God.” —Andrew Downie At that point, both Andrew and Jessica were content to be members of the corps. But the more the couple learned about soldiership, the more they realized that this was what God wanted in their lives. “It was a natural fit,” Jessica says. “It resonated with who we were and who we wanted to be.” The couple started the process of becoming senior soldiers after attending commissioning in Vancouver last year. Working Out Officership had been on Jessica’s heart “quietly for a while” but she didn’t share this feeling with anyone, even her husband, who was happy in the navy.
“Plus, we weren’t even soldiers yet so it felt silly to discuss it,” she says. But then, corps officer Major Catherine Burrows asked Jessica if she had ever considered officership. “That started a dialogue between Andrew and me,” she says, “but he still wasn’t feeling called, and so I let it go.” A week later, a retired officer also asked Jessica if she had considered officership. “I explained what had happened with Major Cathy and that Andrew wasn’t feeling called. She said she would be praying for us.” That night, the couple attended Bible study. Later that evening as they were about to go to sleep, Andrew sighed and said, “Jess, I think God is calling us to officership.” “We don’t see officership as a choice, really,” Jessica says. “We see it as a calling, and taking that next step is just obedience to that call. We have always served our churches and in our community, so it feels like God has been preparing us for this step, unbeknownst to us, for a long time. We are just listening and responding. “I still struggle with feeling worthy of this calling,” she continues. “Every day, I pray, ‘Really, God? Me?’ But I know that all things will work out for his glory.”
Photo: adl21/E+ via Getty Images
but also the church or organization that sent you. If you were to invite someone for dinner and they spent the entire time complaining or telling you how much better their life is, how likely is it you’d want them to come back? The key is to listen more than you speak. Sit back and observe. Be generous, yet sincere, with your compliments. While abroad, you are an ambassador for all Canadians, so behave as such. Remember 2 Corinthians 5:20.
Rethinking Mission Four things to consider before you go on a short-term trip. BY DARRYN OLDFORD
ission trips can be a great experience for those involved, providing an opportunity to learn about another culture, connect with people with lives very different from your own and develop a stronger faith. But there are also pitfalls to avoid. I offer the following perspective and suggestions after living in South Korea, Israel and Kenya, and studying best practices for charity work in the developing world, as part of a postgraduate degree in international development. 1. People are not props. Everyone, at some point in life, has had a terrible day. Maybe their house burned down, their dog died or a family member was just diagnosed with a serious illness. Now imagine a stranger approaching, asking personal questions about what they are going through and taking pictures to show their friends. The people you meet on your travels deserve the same dignity and respect you would like to be shown. If someone’s house was destroyed in a storm, or they need food rations, or they are in the hospital, ask yourself: “If it were me,
would I want this moment captured forever?” If you’re not sure, ask. If you can’t ask, choose to put the camera down. Use Philippians 2:3 as a benchmark.
2. Don’t focus on the bad. A mission trip often revolves around filling a particular need, but a problem arises when we only see people based on their needs—we miss out on the rest of their humanity. When we only recognize poverty, we reduce people to one characteristic that is often beyond their control. Find out more about the people with whom you are working. What are their favourite songs? What foods do they like? What makes them happy? Many trips involve telling people back home about your experiences. Although the reason you went should be the focus of your report, don’t only talk about the negative things you encountered. Pray over Acts 15:4. 3. Remember you are a guest. When going on a mission trip, you are being invited into the communities, and often homes, of local people. You are not only representing yourself,
4. God is God. One of the most dangerous aspects of a mission trip—a byproduct of a colonial past—is to go with the mindset that it is your job to convert people. If it’s your personal mission to bring Jesus to Africa, South America or the Carribean, you are bound to be disappointed. He is already there and already at work. Those best equipped to spread the gospel tend to be locals who understand the language, culture and customs. Church may look different from what you are used to—including, but not limited to, four-hour meetings, incense and traditional songs—but if you quiet your heart and mind you will recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit. Instead of going with the thought of converting people, focus on making connections with other believers. Pray together. Share meals together. Open yourself to the thought that just because someone worships God in a different way, it doesn’t make their relationship with him any less powerful. Meditate on the promise of Acts 1:8.
Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Not only is God pleased, but giving of ourselves also builds us up individually. Isaiah 58:10 claims, “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your light will become like the noonday.” Whether travelling abroad on a mission trip or volunteering with a charity at home, helping others is a holy act. Remembering the dignity and worth of others while doing your good work, however, will ensure you are engaging with the right mindset and an open heart. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto. Salvationist March 2020 23
#EachforEqual Seven ways to celebrate International Women’s Day. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK
1. Be #EachforEqual
An equal world is an enabled world, and it’s up to each one of us to make gender equity a reality. Check out the resources on www.internationalwomensday.com to plan your own event at your corps, workplace or school. You can also download activity cards and selfie cards to help you promote action via social media.
Thunberg. Celebrate these women by learning their stories.
2. Be Inspired by Women in Scripture
4. Listen to a Woman’s Story
In a time when women were marginalized and persecuted, many fearless women stood firm in their faith and helped make a difference in God’s kingdom. Take some time to read the stories of the courageous women in the Bible—women like Ruth, who moved with her mother-in-law to a new country; Esther, who risked her life to save her people; Priscilla, who led the early church in Rome; and the five daughters of Zelophehad, who discussed land rights with Moses. Some of these women are well known, while others’ stories are found in less-read portions of Scripture, but all are inspiring and worth revisiting.
And speaking of stories, women don’t need to be famous to have a story worth telling. By listening to a woman’s story, you are giving her a voice and celebrating her value. Call your mother, take your wife for coffee, visit a shutin or sit with a woman at the soup kitchen. Ask her what she’s most proud of in her life or what her most cherished memory is. And then be quiet and receive. Her story is a gift.
3. Learn About a Woman in History
Women have helped shape history since the beginning of time. There are great biographies and autobiographies written about these inspiring women—women such as Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama and even Catherine Booth. Pick up a magazine or newspaper and discover women making history right now—women such as the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, and climate activist Greta 24 March 2020 Salvationist
Salvation Army personnel strike the #EachforEqual pose in support of International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women and mark a call to action to create a gender-equal world
5. Ask a Woman for Advice
Women are smart and are now employed in every societal role possible, with their participation in the Canadian workforce more than doubling in the last three decades. Still, women fill only 10.3 percent of seats on Canadian advisory boards, while a simple Google search, “Ask a woman for advice,” garners mostly responses that mirror the infamous “Dear Abby” column. Women are able to speak into a wide range of topics beyond dating and relationships and their voices need to be heard. In fact, a 2014 Statistics Canada report identifies studies from Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe
which demonstrate that businesses with more women on their boards and in senior management outperform those with fewer women. So next time you need advice, try asking a woman. 6. Support a Woman in Business
One of the best ways you can support gender equity is to support a woman who is living it. Do you know a woman business owner? Shop at her store or make use of her company’s services. Not sure where to start? Purchase something from Others—Trade For Hope and empower women around the world who are learning a marketable skill, earning a fair wage and transforming their families and communities. Find out more at www.tradeforhope.com. 7. Celebrate the Women in Your Life
Whether it’s your wife, daughter, sister, mother, colleague or friend, it is important to encourage, support and celebrate the great women in your life. Thank them for all they have done for you, throw them a party, pray for them and support their goals and dreams. Honour them in love, not only on March 8, but every day of the year. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer.
Photo: Jumaani Davison
he first International Women’s Day was honoured by more than one million people in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Now celebrated around the world, International Women’s Day on March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, while advocating for greater gender equity. Want to join in the celebrations? Here are seven ways you can get involved.
NEW FROM SALVATION ARMY AUTHORS Better Together How Women and Men Can Heal the Divide and Work Together to Transform the Future BY DANIELLE STRICKLAND In the aftermath of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements, is it possible for men and women to find hope and healing and create a better world together? Well-known speaker and author Danielle Strickland believes we are at a strategic cultural intersection with respect to the relationship between women and men—an opportunity to begin again and create a different future. In Better Together, Strickland offers practical steps toward a real and workable solution that includes two things needed for change: a vision of a better world and an understanding of oppression. “I refuse to believe that all men are bad. I also refuse to believe that all women are victims,” Strickland says. “I don’t want to be just hopeful, I want to be strategically hopeful. I want to work toward a better world with a shared view of the future that looks like equality, freedom and flourishing.” Available alongside the book is a six-session video-based Bible study, intended to amplify the message of the book and guide group discussion.
STAYED The Simple Secret to Discovering and Enjoying Animating Spiritual Contentment and Profoundly Divine Fulfillment Throughout All Your Years and Into Eternity BY PHIL LAEGER AND STEPHEN COURT In an age of anxiety and uncertainty, could there be anything more desirable than perfect peace? In STAYED, Salvationist singer-songwriter Phil Laeger and Major Stephen Court, territorial evangelism consultant, show that such peace is not only possible, but available to all Christians. The title of the book refers to Isaiah 26:3 (TLV): “You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on you.” In the book, “stayed” is also an acronym that stands for Spend Time Alone with Yahweh Every Day. The authors break down this acronym into four easy-to-understand components, providing insight and practical wisdom. STAYED culminates in a 21-day devotional (seven days, repeated three times), which covers the “seven Ps of perfect peace.” Each day includes suggested devotional music to reinforce the book’s message, available soon on the YouVersion Bible app with Laeger’s original accompaniment.
The Problem of Pain
In new memoir, Canadian author reflects on chronic illness, healing and faith. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
arah Bessey was driving along the highway after stopping at a Tim Hortons, sipping a double-double and in no particular hurry, when another driver’s splitsecond decision would change her life forever. While not fatal, the car crash would leave her with serious injuries and send her on a difficult journey of healing and not-healing, which is chronicled in Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God. Based in Abbotsford, B.C., Bessey is the author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed books, including Jesus Feminist, and speaks at churches, conferences and universities around the world. In her latest book, she takes a deeply personal approach to the subject of suffering. Miracles and Other Reasonable Things is not a theological treatise but a spiritual memoir, where theology is explored through storytelling. Throughout the book, she addresses her reader like a friend, from the introduction to the closing benediction, where she prays for and with her reader. Miracles is divided into four parts, beginning with the accident and its aftermath, as well as Bessey’s prior experiences and beliefs around healing. In the second part, Bessey takes her readers with her to Rome for Pentecost, where she experiences miraculous healing in her back. Other parts of her body, however, continue to be a source of debilitating chronic pain, eventually leading to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The third and final parts of the book explore this part of her journey and conclude with what she has “unlearned and relearned” about God. After the storytelling setup of the first half, the second half of Miracles is where Bessey wrestles with how her condition is changing her understanding of miracles and healing. “Over time,” she writes, “I grew disillusioned with the way we chased after the miraculous, the big movement, instead of after Jesus…. I began to realize that we valued the victory, not the struggle. We wanted the testimony of God’s faithfulness so badly that we didn’t know how to engage in the work of miracles and healing.” Coming to grips with her own suffering, Bessey recognizes that “God was often revealed to me in the darkness rather than in the light.” As the book draws to a close, she shares the new vision of healing given to her through this experience, one rooted in the Easter miracle of resurrection, of life birthed from death. Avoiding platitudes and easy answers, Miracles will resonate with people who have experienced chronic pain, or wish to gain insight into that experience. With her signature down-to-earth style, Bessey offers her fellow believers encouragement—that we would see the “ordinary miracles” in our ordinary lives. Salvationist March 2020 25
PEOPLE & PLACES
TORONTO—From left, Abimbola and James Menone are enrolled as adherents at North Toronto CC. Supporting them is their corps officer, Mjr Ken Smith.
TORONTO—Three adherents are enrolled at North Toronto CC by Mjr Ken Smith, CO. From left, Christine Snow, Trevor Francisco, Mjr Ken Smith and Heather Green.
HAMILTON, ONT.—The NEON Worship Team, under the leadership of Simon Gough from the music and gospel arts department at territorial headquarters, conduct an afternoon of training to help the adult and youth worship teams of the Hamilton Laotian Corps better serve their congregation by improving their leadership skills.
26 March 2020 Salvationist
TORONTO—Scarborough Citadel enrols nine senior soldiers. Front, from left, Lt Johnny Valencia, CO; Ruby Teniente, Carrie Graham, Maryuri Marin, Nancy Pulido and Alexandra Mateus, senior soldiers; and Lt Carolina Valencia, CO. Back, from left, James Thistle, Fernando Contreras, Hector Sandoval and Joan Hein, senior soldiers; and Comr Susan McMillan.
BRANTFORD, ONT.—Gary Cameron is commissioned as the corps sergeantmajor at Brantford CC. With him are Mjrs Darrell and Lise Jackson, COs.
PEOPLE & PLACES
KEMPTVILLE, ONT.—Three adherents and one senior soldier join the ranks of Kemptville Church. From left, Erin Wong, pastor; Terry Shepherd, Sonia Goyer and Isla Whitteker, adherents; Allen Brown, senior soldier; Calvin Wong, pastor; and Kenny Dolliver, holding the flag.
SHERBROOKE, QUE.—Christiane Amond offers the Army salute as she is enrolled as a senior soldier at Sherbrooke CC by Cpts Vilma Ramos and Ricaurte Velasquez, COs, while Joanne Guèvremont holds the flag.
HAMILTON, BERMUDA—From left, Carol McDowall, Lorraine Jones and Juanita Ming celebrate winning the second annual Spaghetti Bible Quiz event at North Street Citadel. Joined by their teammate, Brian Gibbons, the “Bermuda Onions” took the top prize for successfully answering the most questions on the books of Galatians and Ephesians. Created to highlight the importance of studying the Bible and encourage attendance at the corps’ weekly Bible study, the event features a battle of wits on biblical content between randomly selected teams of four. In addition to a scrumptious spaghetti dinner and decadent desserts for all participants and spectators, prizes were awarded to the top three teams and audience members who correctly answered random questions.
KINGSTON, ONT.—Kingston Citadel celebrates with seven new senior soldiers as they are enrolled. Front, from left, Donna Bonner, Betty Granter and Patricia Borden, senior soldiers; Cpt Kathleen Ingram, CO; and Cyril Fry, holding the flag. Back, from left, Mjr Chad Ingram, CO; Les Smith, Graham Bonner, David Granter and Holly Smith, senior soldiers.
GAZETTE TERRITORIAL Appointment: Mjr Beverly Ivany, pastoral services officer, THQ (additional responsibility) Promoted to glory: Lt-Col Joyce Ellery, Dec 17; Mjr Lorraine Abrahamse, Dec 31; Mjr Janet Jones, Jan 11
CALENDAR Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: Mar 7-9 CFOT; Mar 18-25 General’s Consultative Council and International Conference of Leaders, Lisbon, Portugal; Mar 27 2nd-Year Institute, JPCC Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill: Mar 1 Suncoast Citadel, Goderich, Ont.; Mar 8-10 divisional review, Alta. & N.T. Div; Mar 22 2nd-Year Institute, JPCC; Mar 23 East Toronto women’s fellowship, Meighen Health Centre, Toronto*; Mar 29-31 divisional review, Que. Div (*Colonel Shelley Hill only) Canadian Staff Songsters: Feb 29–Mar 1 Orillia, Ont.
WINNIPEG—Lauralee McMillan proudly displays her Soldier’s Covenant as she is enrolled as a senior soldier at Heritage Park Temple. Supporting her are, from left, CSM Ruth Moulton; Cpt Tina Howard, CO; Mjr John McFarlane, holding the flag; and Cpt Josh Howard, CO. Salvationist March 2020 27
PEOPLE & PLACES
TRIBUTES ABBOTSFORD, B.C.—Mrs. Major Mabel Cuff was born in Wesleyville, N.L., in 1933, to Albert Blackwood, a sea captain, and his wife, Allison. Mabel had fond memories of growing up with her nine siblings, especially the relationships she enjoyed with sister Daphne and Grandmother Blackwood. At 17, Mabel moved to Toronto where she met her husband, Ellis Cuff. They enjoyed more than 50 years together and had three children, Dwight, Don and Patricia. In 1965, Mabel and Ellis entered the College for Officer Training in the Witnesses to the Faith Session. As a pastor, preacher, teacher and administrator, Mabel found creative ways to serve God and the community. Ministering together in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, the Cuffs retired in Abbotsford, B.C. Mabel loved her family and used her gift of hospitality to host many celebrations, complete with home cooking and beautiful table settings. She enjoyed walking, knitting, cooking, shopping, singing, playing the piano, drinking coffee, watching hockey on television and visiting with family and friends. Mabel is survived by sons Dwight (Faith) and Don (Gabi); daughter, Pat (John); grandchildren Lindsay (Yana), Jonathan (Femina), Joshua (Ashleigh), James, Brittany (Michael), Hannah and Ellys; and great-grandchildren Ulysse and Arthur. TORONTO—Ronald Ashford Wisdom, affectionately known as “Jimmy,” was born in 1947 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where he was raised in The Salvation Army. A gifted musician, Jimmy was part of a rhythm-and-blues singing duo known as Wisdom and Bob in Jamaica, which led to the creation of a band called The Advocates. Music brought Jimmy to Toronto in 1968, and he performed for many people, including Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Jimmy opened his first barber shop in 1974, and by 1980, his growing clientele necessitated a move to a larger space and the incorporation of a beauty salon. Wisdom’s Barber Shop and Beauty Salon stands today as a cornerstone in the community where Jimmy is remembered as a prominent leader. Invited by his mother to visit Toronto’s Earlscourt Citadel (now Yorkminster Citadel), where she attended after moving from Jamaica, Jimmy recommitted his life to the Lord, was enrolled as a soldier and sang in the songsters. Always willing to testify to the love of Jesus, he was a great source of encouragement to the young people of the corps. Jimmy is lovingly remembered by his wife of 39 years, Merva; children Ninfa, Ronald Jr., Ian, James and Nadine; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson. LANGLEY, B.C.—Major Stan Ratcliffe was born in 1934 in Edmonton to Salvationist parents, Joe and Ethyl Ratcliffe, alongside his twin brother, Joe. Stan married Dorothy Green in 1955 and as a couple they began a lifelong commitment to the plan and purposes of God. They entered the College for Officer Training in 1957 with their first daughter, Cathy, and were commissioned in 1958. God blessed them with five additional children. They served together in corps appointments across Canada, as well as in public relations, community services and business administration. Due to health struggles, a seven-year leave from officership led Stan to work with Barry Moore Ministries in London, Ont. Stan and Dorothy returned to active officership in 1986 and served faithfully until retiring in 2000. A committed Salvation Army soldier, Stan gave everything he possessed to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Promoted to glory at the age of 84, Stan is missed by his wife, Dorothy; children Cathy (Peter), Wayne (Nancy), Ken (Wendy), Sharon, Brian (Karen) and Barb (Brad); grandchildren Chris, Toby, Jenelle (Mike), Adam (Kat), Jordan (Jenna), Kevin (Kirsten), Kayla (Luke), Ryan, Emma, Tim (Hailee) and Bob; great-grandchildren Stella, Liam, Elleana, Raelyn, Lennon, Grayson and Presley.
Visit Salvationist.ca 28 March 2020 Salvationist
CHATHAM, ONT.—James Jhon Marshall was born in Botwood, N.L., in 1930, to Lillian and Charles Marshall. A faithful soldier at Chatham-Kent Ministries, Jim loved to volunteer with community and family services and during the annual Christmas kettle campaign. A roofer by trade, he is remembered for his quick wit and the warm welcome he extended to people at the corps. Surrounded by his family, Jim was promoted to glory at the age of 89 from the Chatham-Kent Hospice. Beloved husband of the late Velma Marshall and father of the late Gary Marshall, Jim is lovingly remembered by his wife, Beverley (Burleigh) Marshall; daughters Bonnie (Terry) Sharko and Vonneta (Paul) Innes; stepsons James (Kathy) Kealey and Scott (Julie) Kealey; 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. VANCOUVER—Dawn Marie Hansen was promoted to glory at the age of 59. Dawn was a lifelong member of The Salvation Army who offered her gifts of music, teaching, hospitality and pastoral care as a soldier, adherent and officer. She loved to travel and explore the world. She backpacked across Europe as a young adult, served in northern British Columbia and Mexico, and travelled with Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion World Tour for one year. Her faith in God guided her throughout life. That same faith upheld her during her courageous battle against cancer. Dawn was known for her deep zest for life and love for family and friends. She will be dearly missed by her mom, siblings, nieces, nephews and friends.
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DENY THYSELF So Others May Know Christ. saworldmissions.ca Salvationist March 2020 29
WHEN OTHERS TURN THEIR BACKS, LEAN IN.
EDUCATION FOR A BETTER W ORLD
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BYE-BYE BIRDIE P.5
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BLESSING’S STORY P.12
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Working His Magic SAWYER BULLOCK HAS SOMETHING UP HIS SLEEVE HE WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT: HIS FAITH. P.16
Final Destination? Travelling on the road of life isn’t always easy. Ethical detours, moral potholes and emotional dead ends can disrupt even the best itinerary. But whatever route you take, you can’t afford to make a wrong turn at the most important fork in the road of all. Eternal life in heaven with God or eternal separation from God? It sounds like an easy choice, but it’s a critical one, one that will haunt you forever if you lose your way. So how do you get there from here? Forget a compass, GPS and maps. The only road map you’ll ever need is the Bible. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” —Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message) Jesus’ plan for your life is all-encompassing, but you have to believe in His redemptive promise. If you do, He’ll make sure you’ll find your way home. To Him.
To learn more about the road to Jesus, visit our website at faithandfriends.ca or contact us at The Salvation Army Editorial Department, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto ON M4H 1P4
VOLUME 23 NUMBER 3
GOD IN MY LIFE 5 For the Birds
Richard Smith’s mission: rescue 250 feathered friends in five hours. HOT TOPICS 9 Sorry We Missed You
New movie explores the true cost of the gig economy.
SOMEONE CARES 12 “Here to Stay”
With the help of The Salvation Army, Blessing found a new home.
Pushing My Buttons
Sometimes, even the “queen of troubleshooting” needs help.
Tricks of the Trade
Sawyer Bullock has something up his sleeve he wants everyone to know about: his faith.
All in His Head
Corey Koskie thought no one understood his postconcussion syndrome. But someone did. FAITH BUILDERS
Cover Photo: Courtesy of Sawyer Bullock
How far would you go for one day with a departed loved one? LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin
Sudoku, Quick Quiz, Word Search. NIFTY THRIFTY
31 Great Expectations
How to shop for thrifted maternity fashion.
faithandfriends.ca I MARCH 2020
FROM THE EDITOR
A Bird in the Hand
o, that’s not me at the bottom of the page, though I have been called a birdbrain on occasion. The cockatiel’s name is Marcel, and he belongs to my friend, Mike. Recently, when he went on vacation, Mike asked if I could “babysit” Marcel. Of course, I said yes. Marcel and I had a riot. He’s smart, affectionate and inquisitive. A fine feathered friend. I would go to Mike’s apartment two to three times a day to let Marcel out of his cage and stretch his wings. He loved to sit on my shoulder, pirate-fashion, while we read a book or watched TV together. Turns out that Marcel is as big a fan of professional wrestling as I am! Who knew? And while he loves war movies such as Saving Private Ryan, his favourite movie happens to be Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I’m not sure why. Besides being bright, Marcel is playful. At the end of the day, he would perch on my finger while I brought him to his cage. Then, just as I was about to tuck him in, he’d fly across the room and wait for me, whereupon the process would be repeated four or five times before he deigned to retire for the evening. Getting one bird into one cage is bad enough. Imagine the plight of Richard Smith, his niece, Amanda, and some other Salvation Army church volunteers as they tried to corral 250 birds in five hours, before the building they were in had to be vacated. Read how they did it on page 5. Maybe Richard and Amanda could have used the help of Sawyer Bullock, magician extraordinaire, who just also happens to be a Christian. Could he have alakazamed them into their cages? Read his story on page 16. Ken Ramstead
4 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
Mission Statement To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith.
Faith & Friends is published monthly by: The Salvation Army 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto Ontario, M4H 1P4 International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4P 4EP, England William and Catherine Booth FOUNDERS
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Giselle Randall STAFF WRITER Scripture Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from New International Version Contact Us P. (416) 467-3188, F. (416) 422-6217 Websites faithandfriends.ca, salvationist.ca, salvationarmy.ca Email firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 email@example.com All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131
GOD IN MY LIFE
For the Birds Our mission: rescue 250 airborne evaders in five hours. by Richard Smith
Fine-Feathered Friends Richard Smith and his niece, Amanda
ave you ever had a budgie or cockatiel escape from its cage and tried to catch the avian escapee as it flew from perch to perch, just out of your reach? Imagine, then, trying to catch hundreds of birds with nothing more than a butterfly net. And they all have to be retrieved by sundown. This was the situation my niece, Amanda, and I found ourselves in recently.
“I’ll Help” It all started one evening when I was attending an Alpha session (alpha.org) at The Salvation Army’s Belleville Community Church in Ontario. These weekly introduction to Christianity meetings were something my wife, Beth, Amanda and I looked forward to. Not only had our group grown closer as friends but we had also become stronger Christians. For
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GOD IN MY LIFE
my wife and Amanda, Alpha had brought them to God. For me, Alpha introduced a whole different perspective to my life, almost as if I was walking with Jesus. We had just wrapped up our meeting for the night when one of our group appeared at the doorway. She told us that her apartment was slated for renovation and that she had less than a day to vacate the premises, and that there were a “fair number” of exotic birds she needed help moving. Before I knew it, I blurted out, “I’ll help you with your birds.” After all, how long could it take?
Act Like a Pirate Day “Almost as soon as Amanda opened the door, a bird landed on her head. All she needed was a pirate’s hat!”
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Tight Timeline We should have realized that this task was not going to be as easy as we thought when we escorted the woman back to her car in the church parking lot, only to be met by a police cruiser. They had followed her and planned to ticket her for distracted driving. It turned out that she had 13 dogs and a dozen birds in her little car. (She was en route to drop them off at a nearby animal hospital, which she’d already arranged.) That certainly would have been enough to distract anyone! Fortunately, Amanda and I and a
We’d open up a cage to put one bird in and two would promptly fly out. few others managed to persuade the police not to arrest her, on condition that she not use the car until the dogs and birds had been cared for. Early the next morning, I picked up my niece (she had volunteered to help me), and we proceeded to take the menagerie to the local animal hospital. Then, Amanda and I and a couple of Alpha volunteers borrowed a van to pick up the dozen or so birds we thought were there. We had less than a day to do what we needed to do before the renovations would start. Surreal Scene We quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be a simple matter of retrieving a “fair number” of birds. Almost as soon as Amanda opened the door, a bird landed on her head—all she needed was a pirate’s hat! The scene inside was pandemonium. Dozens of birds were careering around the house, startled by our sudden appearance. Bird feed and waste were scattered about. In the middle of the main room was a huge parrot perched serenely in a cage that was much too small for it.
All the while, dozens of birds flew around. The surreal scene reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Mission Accomplished Armed with what looked like big butterfly nets, we started after the fluttering flock. It was hot work. The windows were shut and it was the height of summer. We were wilting, and the birds weren’t making things easy for us. We’d open up a cage to put one bird in and two would promptly fly out. An exhausting three hours and 150 birds later, we had completed the task of corralling the birds on the first floor. We then tackled the second floor, which took two more hours, retrieving a hundred more birds in the process. By the end of the day, we’d captured all the birds in the house. (Or almost all. Despite our best efforts, one lone determined bird remained uncaught, but we were allowed to go back the next day to finish the job we’d started.) It took another four hours to deliver the birds to the animal hospital.
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GOD IN MY LIFE
Birds-a-Plenty The dozens of birds flying around reminded Richard of an Alfred Hitchcock movie
We were tired, dirty, sweaty and grungy from slip-sliding around, but we finally accomplished our task. New Resolve Looking back, I still can’t believe that all this actually happened. Our Salvation Army pastor, Major Wil Brown-Ratcliffe, told us that we showed “compassion in action” by helping our fellow Alpha participant on such short notice. I joked that this was God testing my resolve to my new Christian commitment! But if there is one thing I learned in Alpha, it is that, as Christians, we are supposed to be there for one another. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) is just one of a number of Scripture references
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in the New Testament on how I should act. I try to learn and grow in God’s Word and His expectations for my life and lifestyle every day. When we took on the task, I thought we were just helping the woman out, but looking back, I realized we helped a lot of animals, too. I thank God for giving me a “bird’s-eye view” of ministry. What Is Alpha? Alpha is a course that seeks to introduce the basics of Christianity through a series of talks and discussions. Alpha courses are conducted in churches, homes, workplaces, prisons, universities and a wide variety of other locations. Contact your local Salvation Army church for a course near you.
Photos: Courtesy of Entertainment One
Family Time The Turner family cherish moments together at the dinner table
Deliver Us From Evil Sorry We Missed You explores the true cost of the gig economy. by Kristin Ostensen
new pair of jeans, a phone case, a game—these days, it seems like you can buy anything online and have it delivered right to your door. But at what cost? The human impact of online shopping may not be something we think about when we click “Add to Cart.” With Sorry We Missed You, a new film in theatres this month, director Ken Loach implores us to think again.
Financial Crisis Sorry We Missed You centres on one British family, Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and Abbie Turner (Debbie Honeywood), both of whom are part of the gig economy. Ricky works as a delivery driver, while Abbie is a home-care nurse. The film is set 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis, but Ricky and Abbie are still struggling—they’ve spent years going from job to job without getting ahead. So when
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About 1.7 million workers, representing 8.2 percent of Canada’s labour force, did some kind of gig work in 2016. Ricky hears of an opportunity to become a self-employed delivery driver, he jumps at the chance. However, he quickly discovers that his new job has many pitfalls and none of the protections that come with conventional employment. First, he needs to get his own delivery van by purchasing or leasing one from the company, or renting one at an obscene rate. In order to buy the van, the Turners make the tough decision to sell the family’s car, which Abbie uses for work. Without it, Abbie must rely on spotty public transit to visit her home-care clients, making it nearly impossible for her to reach each person on time and provide the care they need. While he makes his deliveries, Ricky’s life is dictated by a package scanner that tracks his every move. The scanner sets strict targets for his deliveries, often forcing him to forgo proper meals and bathroom breaks. The worst part is the “precisors,” packages that must be delivered at a specific time—or Ricky will face penalties. Sorry We Missed You also explores how the gig economy impacts Ricky
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and Abbie’s children. As the parents are forced to work increasingly long hours, the family environment becomes more and more toxic. By the end of the film, their situation is dire—and it seems as if there’s no way out. Cash Flow Sorry We Missed You looks at the gig economy in the United Kingdom, but the film could just as easily be set in Canada. According to a recent Statistics Canada report, the number of workers in the gig economy is increasing. About 1.7 million workers, representing 8.2 percent of Canada’s labour force, did some kind of gig work in 2016. That’s a huge jump from 2005, when about a million people did gig work. Statistics Canada defines gig workers as “unincorporated selfemployed workers who enter into various contracts with firms or individuals to complete a specific task or to work for a specific period of time.” This includes freelancers and workers hired through apps such as Uber or Foodora. Earnings for gig workers are usually low—the median net gig
United They Stand Ricky (right) wants only the best for his family
income was only $4,303 in 2016. That might be all right for a person who is supplementing income for a full- or part-time job, but it’s hardly enough to live on. As Sorry We Missed You shows, companies that employ gig workers often exploit their desperation for work. They offer no benefits— no vacation time or sick leave—and punish workers financially for not meeting exacting standards. Questioning Consumption Facts and figures such as these can be abstract. That’s why a film like Sorry We Missed You is so valuable—it puts a human face on this concerning trend and gives us an opportunity to reflect on how our behaviour may contribute to the negative impacts of the gig economy.
We can begin by rethinking our consumption. Before buying something online, ask: Do I truly need this item? And do I need two-day (or faster) shipping, or is regular mail good enough? On a societal level, let’s consider how we can support legislation that protects workers, ensuring livable wages for all, not just those lucky enough to have secured conventional employment. And consider supporting organizations that help vulnerable workers find stable work. The Salvation Army, for example, has many employment programs— from resumé-building workshops to job fairs to one-on-one employment counselling. For many people, the gig economy doesn’t deliver the goods. How can we change that?
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“Here to Stay” With the help of The Salvation Army, Blessing and her family found a new home free from fear. by Linda Leigh
Photo: Joel Johnson
Trauma, Hope and Survival Blessing and Samuel at The Salvation Army’s 614 Corps in Toronto, where they both volunteer
fter years of being hunted down by a dangerous and deadly cult in their home country of Nigeria, Blessing and her family escaped to Canada for safety and solace. Today, she is in a place better than she could have imagined—and The Salvation Army helped to get her there. Fear and Intimidation “In Nigeria, I lived a good life, had a boyfriend and a successful career
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as a criminal lawyer,” says Blessing. “Then everything changed when a cult wanted Samuel’s obedience, time and money. “Samuel wanted nothing to do with having evil on his hands,” continues Blessing. “But when you refuse to co-operate with the cult, you are in immediate danger.” Samuel went into hiding for years with only a handful of people knowing his whereabouts. When he eventually married Blessing, he
“ When you refuse to co-operate with the cult, you are in immediate danger.” BLESSING slipped back into society. “One day, as we walked down the street, Samuel’s cellphone rang,” says Blessing. “The caller described the clothes we were wearing, my accessories and threatened to cut our throats.” The frightening calls continued. “We will find you. We will kill you. We won’t stop until we know you are dead.” Blessing and Samuel were ultimately tracked down. Blessing was kidnapped and endured a brutal beating. Samuel was taken into the bush where he was attacked and left for dead. New Life In 2017, Blessing, Samuel and their young daughter fled the country they once held dear. They came to Montreal through the United States and, soon after their arrival, their second daughter was born. “In 2018, we moved to Toronto with
the hope that I could return to my career,” says Blessing. “For months we lived in a family shelter with a few articles of clothing and little food.” Before long, Blessing heard that The Salvation Army could help. “The Salvation Army gave us everything we needed—food, clothing, diapers, shelter and a listening ear,” says Blessing. Today Blessing and her family live in an apartment in the Regent Park area of Toronto. Blessing works at a legal clinic and is waiting for accreditation to be an immigration lawyer. Samuel is a property manager. They both volunteer at The Salvation Army. “We are not broken,” says Blessing. “The Salvation Army gave us hope for a better future—one with new possibilities and more personal strength. We are here to stay.” Reprinted from The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda Annual Report 2018-19
(left) Linda Leigh is manager of communications at The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters in Toronto.
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Pushing My Buttons SOMETIMES, EVEN A SELF-PROCLAIMED “QUEEN OF TROUBLESHOOTING” NEEDS HELP TO SOLVE A PROBLEM. by Belinda Davis
ust over 12 months ago, my husband and I purchased one of the best things ever—a Jacuzzi. I really love having a Jacuzzi, so much so that we have used it almost every day in the past year, sitting and soaking, letting the bubbles dissolve our stresses. Imagine our distress when our Jacuzzi pump recently stopped working. The Missing Step My husband had a go at fixing the issue, but when it still didn’t work, 14 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
I decided to help. I am the selfproclaimed “queen of troubleshooting,” so my first stop was the owner’s manual. I followed the instructions to reset the unit, but no joy. I turned to my next source of information—Google. I followed the steps online for a “hard reset.” Nothing. I tried once more, just in case. Same result. At this point, there was only one course of action left—contact the company. I was sure this would cost us money because our warranty had expired a few weeks earlier
Photo: Drobot Dean/stock.Adobe.com
(of course), but I took a deep breath and rang them. I spoke to a lovely customer service representative who listened to my explanation and assurances that I had followed all the appropriate steps. He sympathized with my situation and found a reasonably cheap resolution if I could forward
And, lo and behold, what did I find? The reset button! And what happened when I pressed it? The unit sprang to life. I was both excited and embarrassed at the same time. Yes, the queen of troubleshooting had assumed she knew exactly what the instructions were referring to, all the while missing a vital step.
If things aren’t going well, it’s a good idea to ask for help and try something slightly different, even if we believe we know what the outcome will be. some documents via email. I was super-pleased with myself for negotiating this good deal and sent him the requested information. The email reply I received said something like: “Before we proceed, I just want to check that you have pressed this reset button on the unit” with a picture of where the button should be located. Now, I had read about the reset button and had already pressed it (several times). The button I had been pushing was located on the Jacuzzi’s electrical cord, because I couldn’t see one on the unit. I was absolutely certain that our pump’s model didn’t have the button displayed in that picture, but I did the right thing and checked again. This time, though, I didn’t just look; I ran my fingers carefully along the unit, using the picture as a guide.
Finding the Reset It’s so important to follow the instructions we are given in life, and not just think we already know everything. If things aren’t going well, it’s a good idea to ask for help and try something slightly different, even if we believe we know what the outcome will be. For me, the best source of information is the Bible, the written Word of God. May I encourage you not to assume you know what the pages may contain, but actually read it more closely and follow the instructions for living held within. Don’t be like me and miss out on things because you believe you’ve already given it a go and it didn’t work for you. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find the reset button along the way. Reprinted from War Cry (Australia), March 9, 2019
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Photos: Courtesy of Sawyer Bullock
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Tricks of the Trade
SAWYER BULLOCK HAS SOMETHING UP HIS SLEEVE HE WANTS EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT: HIS FAITH. by Ken Ramstead
THE MAIN LOBBY OF THE MOSAIC,
The Magic Touch Sawyer Bullock’s influences include Penn & Teller, Eric Mead and Derren Brown. “I first discovered Derren when I was teetering on the edge of giving magic up, as I found it trivial compared to other things I could be spending my time on. He embodied what it meant to take the craft seriously and respectfully–though that doesn’t mean that every performance has to be solemn or heavy!”
a resort located in the Blue Mountain area north of Toronto, is packed with guests of all ages, some coming in from the slopes and others registering. But time has stopped in one area just off the front desk. Sawyer Bullock—aka Magician Ordinaire, as it says on his business card—is holding his audience spellbound as he performs feat after feat of sleight of hand. He astounds some youngsters with his threecard trick, where he asks them to deal a trio of cards out of the deck and hand them back to him—only when they do, they keep handing a quartet back. He withdraws the fourth and returns three. Yet despite numerous attempts, they keep giving him four cards. “And that’s the three-card trick!” he smiles. But the most amazing trick occurs when faithandfriends.ca I MARCH 2020
Photo: Ellen Toompuu
“How Did You Do That?” The actual folded coin mentioned in the text
Sawyer asks one woman to take a coin out of her own purse, write her initials on it with a permanent marker and then hold it in her fist. At no time does he touch the loonie himself. Sawyer asks her to imagine the coin as a chocolate melting in her hand. When she opens her palm, abracadabra: the loonie is now folded over! “I felt it move in my hand!” she says. “How did you do that?” “Years of practice and social isolation,” Sawyer comically replies. A Course in Faith Sawyer, 24, was born and raised in Stayner, Ont., just outside of Collingwood, Ont. “Thankfully,” he recalls, “both my parents are strong Christians, so there never was a time in my life when I didn’t know God’s love and the personal work of Jesus.” 18 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
Growing up, Sawyer was fortunate to have good mentors and pastors in his studies right up to and including Tyndale University in Toronto, where he graduated with a degree in philosophy. “I originally went there for a business degree because I thought I’d need one to manage my magic career,” he says. “But I had to take some required philosophy courses, and I not only enjoyed them but found they helped me with my faith.” In the Spotlight When Sawyer was seven, he attended Muskoka Bible Centre, a Christian retreat in Ontario, where he took in a magic act. “The magician passed out a little booklet showing a couple of easyto-do tricks. I remember reading those, then going to the local library in Stayner and borrowing all their magic books—they had two!”
He kept checking and rechecking the books out and showing the staff what he had learned until one librarian said, “Sawyer, why not do a show here?” The youngster was ready to step into the spotlight. “Sawyer Does Tricks” How did that first show go? “It was awful,” Sawyer laughs now. “I didn’t know you had to have an act or anything planned out ahead of time, and I was doing some tricks
on the fly. The audience was a social and support group for young mothers and their babies, so they were just hanging out. But they were very supportive. I couldn’t have asked for a better opening-night crowd.” Living in a small town and being part of a faith community, word got out that “Sawyer does tricks” and he was soon asked to perform at birthday parties, barbecues and church events. Almost by necessity, Sawyer started expanding his act to keep up with demand.
“ I don’t want to spend the rest of my life just doing birthday parties. I think there’s more to the Christian life than that.” SAWYER BULLOCK
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“I kept being invited back to the same places,” he explains. “Some locations have been booking me year after year for almost a decade now, and for 50 to 60 days a year during the season, over and above my private bookings. “It’s like being a musician,” he explains. “You learn your first couple of songs and then you start adding more to your repertoire. The same with tricks. And you start to get a feel for what audiences prefer.” A Restored Whole Depending on the audience, Sawyer will bring his faith to bear. “Most of my show is fast-paced and upbeat and I interact with as many people as I can,” he explains. But when he starts winding up the show, the house lights are dimmed and he puts things into a lower gear. “The whole universe in a piece of yarn,” Sawyer says, holding it in his hand. Piece by piece, he starts breaking it apart while talking about “the reality of pain, loss and suffering, tragedy and misplaced hope, which are the realities of this life on earth.” Sawyer then rolls the separate pieces together into a ball. “How do you fix something that’s so broken?” he asks the audience. “This is where the gospel comes in. “It shows us what could be, what should be and maybe what will be—the broken made whole, the shattered restored.” 20 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
As he says these words, Sawyer opens his hand and displays what were once a dozen different lengths of yarn are one restored piece again. “That is the Christian message of restoration and redemption.” In His Blood Depending on if he is performing at, say, a Salvation Army function, Sawyer will also share his own faith journey and engage with the audience. “It’s a big decision, probably the
most important thing that you can do with your life,” he’ll tell a young audience at a Christian youth outreach retreat. “Let me tell you what it’s done for me. Let me tell you why I think Jesus is worth it.” And then he does. Currently studying at Ryerson University in Toronto, Sawyer has no idea if magic is in his future. “I do know that this is something I like to do but what I’ll be using these shows for is yet to be determined. I
don’t want to spend the rest of my life just doing birthday parties,” he says. “I think there’s more to the Christian life than that. So whether performing is how I’ll pay the bills or whether I simply use it to support my local church, either as a member of the congregation or in a more formal ministry capacity with some kind of campus outreach group, that’s still up in the air. “But one way or another, magic will always be in my blood.”
Solitaire Sawyer is in the process of securing a permanent location for his magic act and hopes to have a show up and running soon
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All in His Head THIRD-BASEMAN COREY KOSKIE THOUGHT NO ONE UNDERSTOOD HIS BATTLE WITH POSTCONCUSSION SYNDROME. BUT SOMEONE DID. by Jayne Thurber-Smith 22 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
orey Koskie went all the way from hitting rocks with a wooden bat on a farm outside Winnipeg to manning third base for the Minnesota Twins. After enjoying seven years with the Twins, he played for a year with the Toronto Blue Jays and then went on to the Milwaukee Brewers. But three months into that 2006 season, Corey went from living the
taken to the training room, where he was diagnosed with a concussion. When Corey got home that day, he thought he could just rest it off, but he continued to feel weird sensations, such as the room spinning and the floor moving when he tried to walk. For a week and a half, he tried to minimize what he was experiencing and push through it, and finally the symptoms went away.
Forget about a baseball comeback— Corey feared he would never get his life back. dream to a waking nightmare. It began when he tried to chase down a routine pop-up in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. A Personal Prison “I sprinted to the spot where I thought the ball would land,” he recalls, “but when I looked up, the ball was behind me. I fell backward and got my glove underneath the ball. When my glove hit the dirt, the impact sent the ball back in the air. Our shortstop was right there to catch it. The crowd went wild.” Unfortunately, as the game progressed, Corey began to hear all sounds as a jumbled mess, and the ground felt mushy underfoot. He tried to shake it off but couldn’t concentrate no matter how he tried. He finally told the trainer he didn’t feel well and was
“I felt great,” he remembers, “until I stepped on the field. After warming up, I felt sick.” The team sent Corey back to the hotel to sleep it off. “When I woke up, I had the worst head pain of my life,” he says. “My symptoms went from a zero to a 10, just like that. For the next two and a half years, I battled these symptoms. Every day, all the time. I’d try to do little things around the house, and the room would spin. I had bouts of anxiety, depression and obsessive thoughts.” Forget about a baseball comeback— Corey feared he would never get his life back. Making him feel even worse was the fact that no one really understood what he was up against, because everything he suffered was internal. faithandfriends.ca I MARCH 2020
Reaching Out Corey catches a line drive during his playing days with the Milwaukee Brewers
“If I were to write a book about my concussion experience it would be titled If I Only Had a Cast,” he says. “It’s literally in your head, so people don’t see that. You have all these demons pounding you, and all the tools you’ve used to deal with your stuff in the past don’t work. I couldn’t read or write or even go on the computer because everything made me feel sick. I couldn’t drive, or talk on the phone. I was in my own personal prison.” “I’m Done” Corey sought refuge in the basement of his house, where he could shut the doors and find absolute quiet. “I would just lie there,” he says. “On the wall, there was a framed Bible verse plaque that read, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). I would stare at that and God would give me peace, because I’d have to 24 • MARCH 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
What Is a Concussion? A concussion is a brain injury. Any blow to the head, face or neck may cause a concussion, and it can also be caused by a blow to the body if the force of the blow causes the brain to move around inside the skull.
be still with my mind and be OK not doing anything else.” As Corey waited on God, he went through a series of doctors until he found the right one to treat him, and he finally began to see progress in his recovery. He learned that many athletes try to return to the game too fast, which makes them susceptible to brain injuries. “The mistake that I made was trying to rush myself back because I really wanted to play, and that cost me my career,” he says. The day came when the doctor finally said, “Medically, you’re fine, so I will clear you. But you’ve got a great family that you love. Why would you still want to play baseball? If you get
For Services Rendered In 2018, Corey received a Diamond Award, an annual presentation that celebrates baseball and philanthropy, and is based on voting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America
another concussion, I don’t know what will happen.” “All I knew was that playing baseball would mean I was my view of normal,” Corey says. “So I tried again. I got a minor league invite with the Chicago Cubs and they were incredible to me. I played a couple of games, but then in the third game I dove for a ball and kind of felt funny. I pulled myself off the field and said, ‘I’m done. It’s not worth it.’ I walked away on my own terms.” A Necessary Ending Now coaching his own kids’ teams, he knows that early retirement was the best thing that could have happened to him. “It was a necessary ending at that time,” he says. “I am so glad I have been able to have these years with my boys.” Corey hopes to encourage the next generation of kids by sharing his own
and other athletes’ stories of what God can do on his website Linklete. com. He still deals with anxiety but continues to fight it with the sword of the Spirit, the Bible, just as he did in his basement a dozen years ago. “Everybody deals with the voice of self-doubt and what-if, and I have a few go-to verses for that,” he says. “Philippians 4:6 says, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ ” What Is PCS? Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a set of symptoms that may continue for weeks, months or a year or more after a concussion. About 15 percent of individuals with a history of a single concussion develop persistent symptoms associated with the injury. A diagnosis may be made when symptoms resulting from concussion last for more than three months after the injury. Though there is no specific treatment for PCS, symptoms can be improved with medications and physical and behavioural therapy. Education about symptoms and details about expectation of recovery are important. The majority of PCS cases resolve after a period of time.
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Quest for a Miracle Photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
How far would you go for one day with a departed loved one? by Diane Stark
In Onward, elf brothers Barley (left) and Ian Lightfoot are on a quest to restore the top half of their dearly departed dad
nward, Disney-Pixar’s newest computer-animated film, is set in a magical world full of mythical creatures such as unicorns, cyclops and mermaids. Except … no one believes in magic anymore. Though their world is magic, the inhabitants are losing their belief in it. Now, flying horses board airplanes instead of using their wings and fire-breathing dragons have gas fireplaces. Just One More Day But all of that changes for two teenaged elf brothers, Ian Lightfoot
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(voiced by Tom Holland) and his older brother, Barley (Chris Pratt). On his 16th birthday, Ian’s mother, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), gives him a prearranged gift left by their father who died before Ian was born—“He wanted to meet you more than anything”—and Barley was too young to remember him. The gift is a wizard’s staff that has the power to bring their dad back to life for just one day. Ian casts a spell, and it works! Kind of …. It only brings back the bottom half of their dad. Now the brothers have just 24
Ian’s birthday gift is a wizard’s staff that has the power to bring their dad back to life for just one day. hours to find a way to bring back the rest of him. “We’re going on a quest!” says Barley. The brothers encounter a helpful manticore (Octavia Spencer) and an entire police force made up of centaurs and fauns. They travel on The Path of Peril, following the map given to them by the manticore, searching for the magic gem she told them to find. There’s only one thing she didn’t tell them. “I told them about the map, I told them about the gem, I told them about the curse … oh, I forgot the curse,” the manticore tells Laurel when she goes looking for her sons. The boys will stop at nothing to finally meet their father. But will they succeed in their quest? How far will they go for one more day together? Magic or Miracle? While our world is often far from magical, we do have quests to accomplish. These quests, however, are not usually as exciting as the brothers’ adventure with a magic staff and gem.
Often, our quests are simply daily tasks, mundane things such as going to work, studying for exams or running errands. But as we go about our days, you can be sure that people are watching us, whether we are aware of it or not. They’re watching how we handle frustrations and disappointments. They’re watching how we treat other people. They’re watching how we spend our time and our money. For Christians, this is especially true. This fact increases the stakes of everything we do. Our daily “to do” lists can have an eternal significance. Does our behaviour point others to God, or away from Him? When people see our faith in action, they may ask us about God, giving us the opportunity to have the most important conversation we could ever have. Because sharing our faith with others is the reason why we’re here. There’s no greater quest than that. And it doesn’t just bring someone back to life for a day. It gives them eternal life. That’s not magic. That’s a miracle.
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Eating Healthy With Erin QUICK AND EASY GRILLED CHICKEN TIME 25 min MAKES 2 servings SERVE WITH bean salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 5 ml (1 tsp) garlic salt 1 ml (¼ tsp) salt 2 ml (½ tsp) paprika 2 ml (½ tsp) onion powder 5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil
1. Create crosshatch pattern on each chicken breast by cutting three lines down and three across with a sharp blade. 2. Mix spices and rub in to crosshatch side. 3. Drizzle olive oil over chicken breast and cook on crosshatch side first for 10 minutes on grill at 175 C (350 F) or pan set to medium-high heat. 4. Flip and cook other side for 10 minutes or until juices run clear.
FIVE-MINUTE BEAN SALAD
Recipe photos: Erin Stanley
TIME 5 min MAKES 3 servings SERVE WITH grilled chicken
560 ml (2¼ cups) can of mixed beans 1 celery stalk 1 small bell pepper ½ avocado 30 ml (2 tbsp) lime juice 5 ml (1 tsp) honey 1 ml (¼ tsp) paprika 2 ml (½ tsp) salt 15 ml (1 tbsp) cilantro 0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) cumin 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
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1. Drain and rinse can of mixed beans. Pat dry and set aside in a salad bowl. 2. Dice celery, pepper and avocado, and add to beans. 3. In small mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking for a minute to emulsify the dressing. 4. Add dressing to bean mixture and stir until evenly coated.
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HEAVEN’S LOVE THRIFT SHOP by Kevin Frank
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Great Expectations How to shop for thrifted maternity fashion. In pregnancy, feeling and looking good is sometimes easier said than done. As your baby bump grows, your clothes no longer fit, but new maternity pieces can be expensive. For the mother-to-be, a Salvation Army thrift store is a great place to build a wardrobe that grows with you. Here’s how: Look for longer tops. Make sure they are a stretchy material that will expand with your belly. Go a size up. Clothes that are slightly bigger than your normal size are often large enough to accommodate a growing belly, while fitting properly in the arms and shoulders. Look at the jeans. Moms donate, too! Keep an eye out for jeans with an elastic waist or a maternity panel. Alter items to fit. If you find a larger size that works with the bump but is too big in another area, a simple alteration can be an easy fix. Don’t go overboard. Your body is
changing every day. Buy a few pieces that co-ordinate and work for the season. If you outgrow those, then invest in a few more items.
(left) Tijana Popovic is the frugalista behind A Plentiful Life, a lifestyle blog that shows readers how to live their best life on a budget. She is also a creative expert for The Salvation Army’s thrift stores. Find a thrift store near you at thriftstore.ca.
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