IHQ Unveils New Vision for Women’s Ministries
Mister Rogers on Being a Good Neighbour
Advocate for Gender Equity Appointed
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
G N I R E T C I S I M N I M PANDEervices an-d19 s r ID e V t A s O a INrgency dissponse to C Eme rmy’s re the A
May 2020 • Volume 15, Number 5
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19 Perspectives Be a Good Neighbour by Lt-Colonel Brian Armstrong
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20 Fresh Ideas Best Buds by Kristin Ostensen
23 Ethically Speaking
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Sacred Wishes by Captain Crystal Porter
28 People & Places 30 Salvation Stories Purpose and Promise by Geraldine Lambert
COLUMNS 4 Editorial Faith Over Fear by Geoff Moulton
5 Onward Territory Appoints Advocate for Gender Equity by Commissioner Tracey Tidd
26 Viewpoint Access Denied by Darryn Oldford
27 Grace Notes Be Brave by Captain Laura Van Schaick
FEATURES 8 Still Giving Hope Today How The Salvation Army is responding to COVID-19 from coast to coast.
10 Reimagining Women’s ministries in The Salvation Army. by Commissioner Tracey Tidd, Colonel Shelley Hill and Captain Laura Van Schaick
14 Are You Ready? How The Salvation Army gives hope through emergency disaster services. by Kristin Ostensen, Perron Goodyear and Carolynn Barkhouse
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READ AND SHARE IT! Rescued From Addiction
15 The First Emergency Manager Lessons from the story of Noah. by Perron Goodyear
SAVED TO SERVE P.15
Hope for the Hopeless
There for Mom
BREAKTHROUGH P.10 THE DOOR PRIZE P.5
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
16 Called to Serve From Mali to the Bahamas, International Emergency Services provides a unique opportunity for ministry. by Carolynn Barkhouse
17 Peace in a Time of Pandemic The message of Philippians and COVID-19. by Aimee Patterson
24 The Least of These
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Ordeal in the Operating Room AS DEBBY NELSON UNDERWENT BRAIN SURGERY, HER UNBORN CHILD’S LIFE HUNG IN THE BALANCE. P.16
Who are the widows, orphans and aliens in our society? by Donald E. Burke Salvationist May 2020 3
Faith Over Fear
hen I first wrote about COVID19—then known simply as “a coronavirus”—for my editorial at the end of January, few could have predicted that things would get this dire. The virus has now spread to every corner of the globe, infecting countless people. Due to the pandemic shutdown, Salvationist and our other publications (Faith & Friends, Foi & Vie and Just for Kids) will temporarily go to a digitalonly format. Starting this month, the magazines will be available free on our Salvationist.ca website as we wait for corps and other ministry units to reopen. Our churches are also continuing to use technology to worship and provide outreach. Our front-line workers are the true heroes, faithfully serving the vulnerable in our food banks, shelters, health-care centres and other social service institutions (page 8). Let’s continue to pray for them and support the Army’s work through our donations. For the latest news on The Salvation Army’s response to the virus, you can visit Salvationist.ca/COVID-19. We have added territorial and international news reports, FAQs and a weekly worship service that will help you stay connected. In addition to the practical suggestions of hand-washing, social distancing and self-isolation, the Canadian Council of Churches—of which The Salvation Army is a member—issued a timely call to compassion, urging us to: Salvationist
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 May 2020 Salvationist
• Recognize through prayer the human dimension of grief and suffering COVID-19 has brought to communities both near and far; • Be mindful of the needs of shutins and other vulnerable groups who may require additional help accessing medical services and basic amenities; • Actively repudiate the racism and xenophobia that has shaped certain reactions to COVID-19; • Use this as an opportunity to embody hospitality and kindness with creativity and hope; • Give thanks for the many professionals who continue to risk their own health to treat the sick, be near to the dying, contain the virus and protect their communities.
other crises (page 14). And ethicist Aimee Patterson helps calm our anxieties by pointing to Scripture and helping us fix our eyes on Jesus (page 17). Elsewhere, we celebrate women by unpacking the new international vision for Women’s Ministries (page 10), announcing a new Gender Equity Advocate (page 5) and reflecting on a special motherdaughter bond (page 27)—appropriate topics for Mother’s Day and every day. In the midst of fear, may we find God’s peace. In the face of adversity, may we find courage. In this time of darkness, may we find hope. GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
This issue of Salvationist features the essential role of the Army’s Emergency Disaster Services in responding to the pandemic and Baby on Board: We want to convey our best wishes to our Associate Editor, Kristin Ostensen, who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and we welcome her replacement, Leigha Vegh, to the Editorial Department team
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.
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Territory Appoints Advocate for Gender Equity It’s time to identify and address systemic issues, so that every individual can develop, serve and lead. BY COMMISSIONER TRACEY TIDD
am pleased to announce the creation of a new appointment for the Canada and Bermuda Territory: an advocate for gender equity. The Salvation Army has a longstanding reputation for providing equal opportunities for service and leadership for both men and women, but the reality may not match our reputation. Since commencing my role as territorial president of women’s ministries last October, I have watched and listened for the faces and voices of women at tables of leadership. What I have observed has encouraged me; but clearly, we can do better. It is time to work together to identify and address systemic issues, so that every individual can develop to their fullest potential and serve to their greatest impact, regardless of gender. The appointment of a territorial advocate and the establishment of a gender
equity committee will work to ensure that biblical teaching about women in leadership is implemented in The Salvation Army. Captain Kristen Jackson-Dockeray will take up this position effective September 1, 2020. In recent years, the question of “default” appointments for married women when their husbands are appointed as divisional commanders has been acknowledged by International Headquarters (IHQ). Moving forward, IHQ will consider the skills and gifts of the officer and the needs of the division in the appointment process for married couples. The appointment of a person who has a passion and gifting for women’s ministries, regardless of the appointment of their spouse, will only strengthen our ministry to women. It remains a critically effective ministry and is in no way diminished by
focusing upon gender equity for all. The advocate for gender equity will report directly to me, ensuring that this emphasis is given the appropriate priority attention. A significant part of the advocate for gender equity’s role is to recommend the implementation of strategies to deal with identified systemic issues. Gender equity is everyone’s responsibility. For all that God has in mind to do in and through The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, we want to ensure that all people are given opportunity for development, service and leadership. Commissioner Tracey Tidd
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Ontario Divisions to Merge in July
he Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory will merge the Ontario Central-East and Ontario Great Lakes divisions to form the new Ontario Division, effective July 1, 2020. This change has been approved by International Headquarters. “While each division is already doing commendable work, we envision a more unified approach to every area,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander. “We have incredibly gifted officers, employees and volunteers across Ontario. By connecting them under one division, we will strengthen our ministry units as they carry out the mission of The Salvation Army on the front lines.” A single Ontario Division will: • Provide a united Salvation Army voice across the province; • Improve social services co-ordination across the province and better leverage our subject matter experts; • Enable a consistent approach to increasingly complex regulatory requirements; • Increase knowledge-sharing across similar roles;
for insight while determining how roles should be integrated between the two divisions. The Ontario Division will be led by Majors Shawn and Brenda Critch, who will work with a steering committee and current divisional leaders to finalize the details for the creation of the Ontario Division. “Providing effective support to our ministry units as they deliver the mission in local communities is a key priority for us all,” says Commissioner Tidd. “We will work to minimize any disruption to the operations of the ministry units during the merger process.” The integration of roles, procedures and systems will occur over the first 12 months following the formal creation of the Ontario Division in July. There are no changes planned or intended for the ministry units as part of the decision to create the Ontario Division, other than a potential change in who they report to. “This merger is intended to ensure The Salvation Army is able to do more of what we do best—be a transforming influence in the communities in which we live and work as we share the love of Jesus and meet human needs,” concludes Commissioner Tidd.
• Strengthen our approach to camp ministries; and • Improve geographical alignment of the regions managed by each area commander for travel and time efficiencies. “We want to be clear that this merger is not a cost-cutting exercise,” Commissioner Tidd notes. “The volume of work across Ontario is not decreasing and we need to ensure that we have sufficient resources in place to support ministry units in Ontario.” The process of connecting the two divisions has not yet been finalized. Territorial leaders will look to the lived-experience and expertise of current divisional officers and employees
Mjrs Shawn and Brenda Critch will lead the new Ontario Division
Seniors’ Fashion Show in Corner Brook
orner Brook Citadel, N.L., launched a new weekly seniors’ group in February with a tea and fashion show that drew a full crowd. The group, which gathers on Wednesdays, began as a response to a discovery that seniors were meeting in malls during the cold winter months to save on heating costs for their homes. “We thought that there had to be more interesting things to do with the day than sit in a mall,” explains Captain Darren Woods, corps officer, Corner Brook Citadel. To celebrate the launch of the new group, members of the home league put on a fashion show and tea, offering sandwiches, cookies and other snacks. The fashion show featured clothing from the Corner Brook Salvation Army thrift store, which was available for purchase after the show. Volunteering as models to walk the runway were several seniors who regularly attend the citadel. The show was closed by two “super-models,” Captain Woods’ children, Darragh and Bram, who wore pieces that would be appropriate for grandchildren. Even with the winter weather, the event was almost at 6 May 2020 Salvationist
A group of Salvationists act as models for a seniors’ fashion show at Corner Brook Citadel
capacity with 47 people attending out of the 50 tickets given out. Also in attendance was a reporter from CBC ’s Morning Show, creating excitement among the crowd. While tickets to the event were free, many attendees insisted on leaving donations in appreciation of the event.
Victoria Corps Celebrates New Location
ictoria’s Connection Point Church held an open house and celebratory Sunday service on March 7-8 to mark the official re-opening of its new, permanent location. The service featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with special guests Majors Les and Tiffany Marshall, area commanders, British Columbia Division, and Lillian Szpak, acting mayor of Langford, B.C. The day prior, the newly rebranded Connection Point Church and Resource Centre opened its doors to the public to showcase new programs that will better serve the community. Connection Point offers activities such as a café to practise speaking English, and a technology class for seniors. “Connection Point is a significant resource and spiritual influence for the community,” says Major Catherine Burrows, corps officer. Formerly known as the Westsong Community Church, the corps launched 16 years ago under the leadership of then Captains Mark and Isobel Wagner. Three years ago, Majors Les and Catherine Burrows partnered with Unstuck Ministries to plan a revitalization. After evaluating corps health, they developed an action plan, hoping to find a permanent location that would include a community and family services ministry. “The new Connection Point Church is located directly
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held at the new Connection Point Church. From left, Beverly Moffat, senior soldier; Lillian Szpak; Mjr Les Marshall; Mjr Les Burrows; and Tom Moffat, senior soldier
under a pub in a space that was once a nightclub,” Major Catherine Burrows says. “We feel it’s exactly where God has opened the doors for us in typical Army fashion of redeeming places for his work.”
Salvation Army Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic
s the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spread across the globe, bringing many countries to a near standstill, The Salvation Army took extraordinary measures to combat the virus. “From coast to coast, The Salvation Army is heeding advice from the government and health authorities to protect the safety of the 1.6 million people we serve each year, as well as our officers, employees and volunteers,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander. “We continue to stand by our communities to bring help and hope.” Measures taken to help contain the virus have been unprecedented:
• All Salvation Army corps have ceased Sunday services, as well as regularly scheduled activities such as band and songsters. • The VOIT/SEE Territorial Youth Congress has been postponed to spring 2021. • All thrift stores across Canada are now closed to the public, as is the Trade North supplies and purchasing store at territorial headquarters. • Convocation events for Booth University College have been cancelled. Despite the practice of social distancing, Salvation Army ministry units have
continued to find ways to serve their communities. For example, adjustments have been made to feeding programs such as providing bags of food instead of sit-down meals. The territory has also mobilized its emergency disaster services (EDS) to provide support as the situation develops. “Across the territory, EDS teams have been participating in pandemic planning and response,” says Perron Goodyear, territorial director of EDS. “We are taking every precaution to ensure personnel health and safety, while maintaining vital support services in the communities we serve.” For the most up-to-date information on the Army’s response to COVID-19, visit Salvationist.ca/COVID19. Salvationist May 2020 7
Still Giving Hope Today How The Salvation Army is responding to COVID-19 from coast to coast.
Alberni Valley Corps Provides 2,000 With Necessities
he Salvation Army in Alberni Valley, B.C., was busy offering assistance for those in need during the pandemic. In 10 days, they provided 2,000 people with basic necessities such as hot food, hygiene kits, hampers and other supports. The Army partnered with the Bread of Life soup kitchen, Community Mental Health Association (CMHA), Literacy Alberni and the Shelter Society to provide for the homeless and the hard to house. While dining areas were closed,
meals were cooked every day at CMHA and the soup kitchen and delivered to The Salvation Army where they were distributed for people to eat offsite, being careful to practise social distancing. “The community support has been amazing,” Captain Michael Ramsay, corps officer, Alberni Valley, B.C., reports. “One local minister helped recruit volunteers through the city’s website. People donated, which made it possible to continue to feed and house the vulnerable. Soap for Hope,
a Rotary-sponsored group operating out of Victoria, provided hygiene kits. We worked with local businesses, the city, the province and our Member of Parliament. “Our staff and congregation were also amazing,” he continues. “With the thrift store and regular church activities closed or moved online, our people really stepped up—packing hampers, getting meals ready, keeping everything clean and sanitized, ensuring people maintain social distance and delivering food.”
Kemptville Corps Delivers Care Packages
he Sa lvation A rmy corps in Kemptville, Ont., delivered 44 care packages to children and youth to encourage them during a time of social distancing. Small plastic bins were packed with Sunday school craft kits, Bible stories, devotionals, prayer journals, snacks and activities, and left on their doorsteps. “We wanted to send a message as well as some practical help; to remind our young people that God loves them and, while at home, they can continue to learn about Jesus,” say Calvin and Erin Wong, corps leaders. The corps also continued to provide emotional and spiritual care to the community. Staff and volunteers called clients to check on their well-being, book appointments and set up deliveries. “We are here for them, whether it’s food or medications they can’t access or just want someone to talk to if they are feel-
ing lonely or anxious,” says Erin Wong. “We are doing our best to adapt to these challenging times to keep con-
nected with our church family and the community,” she says. “We just want everyone to know we are here for them.”
Children hold care packages from the Kemptville Corps in Ontario
Army Serves Truckers in Newfoundland and Labrador
he Salvation Army partnered with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Marine Atlantic to provide meals to truckers during the coronavirus pandemic. All the restaurants along the route to and from the ferry crossing in Port aux Basques had been closed. Marine Atlantic provided the number of truckers on each crossing and plans were made accordingly to prepare and serve 8 May 2020 Salvationist
the meals. The Salvation Army started in Port aux Basques, where 44 truckers picked up a hot turkey dinner. The meals were prepared at the newly upgraded commercial kitchen at the local Salvation Army corps and transported to the visitors’ centre parking lot on the outskirts of town for distribution. A generator was used to operate a microwave oven to ensure that the meals were warm for the truckers.
Cadets Assist Front-Line in Manitoba
Salvation Army Assists Shelters in Halifax
uring the COVID-19 pandemic, the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg mobilized its crisis management team, as part of its emergency preparedness plan. Cadets responded to requests from the Winnipeg Centre of Hope to assist front-line staff in offering wellness checks and pastoral care. The Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) also set up a temporary overnight warming centre in the Weetamah Corps, while second-year cadets who had completed their EDS training engaged in supportive roles. “The cadets and officer staff of CFOT stood ready, committed to continuing in the officer training program, while taking on additional responsibilities as the need arose in the pandemic,” says Major Andrew Morgan, training principal at CFOT. In Portage La Prairie, Man., cadets served at a local food bank when there was a staffing shortage from the pandemic. The cadets assisted with packing food hampers and regularly sanitizing the area. With social distancing measures in effect, they distributed prepacked hampers to the public. A volunteer stands in front of an Army canteen ready to serve the homeless in Halifax
From left, Cadets Alecia Barrow, Danielle Feltham and Amy Patrick pack hampers at a food bank in Portage La Prairie, Man.
he Salvation Army provided food services, and emotional and spiritual care, at two temporary shelters set up by the department of community services in Halifax. The shelters were set up to keep everyone safe by allowing existing shelters to provide proper social distancing. Each night, The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope prepared hot meals for more than 100 people and transported them to the shelter using the emergency disaster services vehicle, where volunteers unloaded the food and distributed it to guests. “Everyone is coming together to help, with each group utilizing their strongest resources,” says Captain Jamie Locke, divisional secretary for public relations and development. “Collaboration ensures needs are met, and the pop-up shelters can be open as long as they need to be. “Safety is our first priority,” he explains. “We are following all necessary protocols to keep everyone safe as we prepare and distribute the meals, including our guests and dedicated volunteers.”
Orangeville Corps Turns Sanctuary Into Food-Drive
he Salvation Army’s New Hope Community Church in Orangeville, Ont., turned their sanctuary into a regional food drive to serve more than 1,000 families during the COVID19 pandemic. “Since we were unable to hold services, we thought this was good stewardship of our facility,” say Majors Mike and Karen Puddicombe, corps officers. To minimize any potential spread of the virus, a special strategy was put in place to maintain social distancing. People would either walk or drive up to the outside of the corps, where a volunteer met them and took their information electronically. Another volunteer inside the sanctuary would see to the
digital request, “shop” for the items, then leave an assembled food basket outside for the family to take with them. The idea for a community partnership began when Heather Hayes, the Orangeville food bank director, invited all the local food banks to meet at the corps to discuss a co-ordinated approach to the COVID-19 crisis. Soon after, the Dufferin Food Share was conceived as a way to minimize the potential spread of the virus by having a one-stop location. The expense of the food drive was offset by partnerships with the City of Orangeville, the County of Dufferin and local donations. Salvationist May 2020 9
REIMAGINING women’s ministries in The Salvation Army.
he recent Reimagining Women’s Ministries launch at International Headquarters (IHQ) was more than just a onetime event. It opened the door to reimagine how women’s ministries can effectively share the love of Jesus, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in our communities, as it has been since our earliest days. Over the past several months, I have listened with growing excitement to the stories of new initiatives in women’s ministries across the territory. The “reimagining” launch calls us to again consider how we can share the love of Jesus with the women and families in our communities. What needs are women in our neighbourhoods facing? How can we walk alongside and share their journeys, and together see our communities transformed—one woman, one family at a time? God is doing a new thing in and through The Salvation Army. He is calling us into something far bigger than ourselves. I encourage you to embrace the invitation extended by Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, and echoed by myself, to embrace the call to equip our women to share the love of Jesus through their networks of relationships. As we develop creative responses to the needs in our communities, God will do more than we could ever ask or imagine. I encourage you to join me in focused prayer for the women in our corps and communities as we step into this new chapter in women’s ministries. God is already at work, doing a new thing. He wants us to join him as lives and communities are transformed. “Give us faith, O Lord, we pray, faith for greater things” (SASB 525). There are new stories emerging every day as women continue to join with God in what he is doing through The Salvation Army. I count it a privilege to be a partner in the gospel with you and look forward to sharing this journey of “reimagined” ministry to women. Commissioner Tracey Tidd is the territorial president of women’s ministries in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
The launch event at IHQ included a gallery exhibition, with photos of Salvation Army women’s ministries from around the world, the result of a photo competition last year. Almost 130 photos were submitted, and 36 entries were featured at the exhibition. (left) In the winning photo, Major Marie Grace Nsengiyaremye, divisional director of women’s ministries, Kamonyi Division, Rwanda and Burundi Command, gives a young child nourishing porridge. Photo: Jean Baptiste Nkuruziza
10 May 2020 Salvationist
Roberta Perry, youth development manager for The Salvation Army in Memphis, Tennessee, enjoys the water fun day at Camp Hope, a summer camp for people who live in or have graduated from the Purdue Center of Hope, which offers residential care for women and their families. Photo: Gwen Cooper
he Salvation Army’s international women’s ministries department has been undergoing a reimagining to ensure that this crucial ministry remains relevant and contemporary to our 767,000 members worldwide. In support of this effort, a new logo has been created and shared throughout The Salvation Army. The new international women’s ministries logo expresses the light, life and freedom of spirit that is available to all women seeking a spiritual home, a place of service and the opportunity for friendship. The logo presents women standing on the Bible, which represents the foundation of our Christian faith and the universal message of God’s revelation to all. The logo also includes five birds, which represent the five zones of the international Army—South Asia, Africa, Americas and Caribbean, Europe, and South Pacific and East Asia. The international women’s ministries department hopes that this design will remind women of all cultures and backgrounds that every day is an opportunity to come together as one voice and body, grounded in God’s love. One of the beauties of women’s ministries is the flexibility it provides for local congregations and communities to carry forward programs and services that are most appropriate for the local context. In the past, home league
:30 a.m. wasn’t so bad after all!” shared Major Shirley King, divisional secretary for women’s ministries in the Ontario Central-East Division, on Facebook following the Reimagining Women’s Ministries event, livestreamed from IHQ on February 12, 2020. With the time change, the event, which started at 9:30 a.m. in London, England, occurred in the very early morning across Canada and Bermuda. Major King invited others to join her online for a virtual cup of tea and an opportunity to witness history in the making, despite the early hour. And others did join her, sharing comments online that the event was “inspired,” “filled with energy” and “refreshing indeed.” As feedback on the event poured in, the excitement among women was evident. Indeed, this is a time to reimagine what women’s ministries can be for The Salvation Army around the world! In Canada and Bermuda, there is a sense that we have already been reimagining women’s ministries for some time, and we see this in vibrant expressions across the
has been the primary expression of ministry to women, with the four-fold pillars of worship, service, education and fellowship. While home league will continue to play a key role in many locations throughout the world, the reimagining process is a reminder that there are no boundaries on how corps may reach out to women today. Indeed, the only limitations on our ministry to women are those we place on ourselves! Let’s strive to be more intentional and creative than ever in reaching women and their families for Jesus Christ. My prayer for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, and the Army around the world, is that we would seek the Lord’s guidance and strength in pursuing women’s ministries through fresh and exciting initiatives. The time has come to reimagine women’s ministries as we share with present and future generations of women. I’m In, Are You?
Colonel Shelley Hill is the territorial secretary for women’s ministries in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
territory. Major Sandra Stokes, divisional commander and divisional director of women’s ministries in Bermuda, shares, “For years we have reimagined what could work … to empower, encourage and equip [women] on our journey toward abundant life in Jesus.” As we seek to future-proof women’s ministries by reimagining what ministry by women, to women and for women could look like in our ever-changing world, we recognize there are many innovative and creative ways this is already happening. We celebrate these exciting expressions of women’s ministries that are empowering women and transforming communities.
Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer.
Salvationist May 2020 11
Winter Camp, Warm Hearts
A Seat at the Table The Newfoundland and Labrador and Maritime divisions are praying that women leaders will catch the vision and passion of finding community through “the turquoise table,” a model of ministry presented by author Kristin Schell in her book by the same name. Recognizing the chronic loneliness that often affects women and her desire to make honest, comfortable connections with others, Schell put an ordinary picnic table on her front lawn, painted it turquoise, and invited those in her neighbourhood to join her for times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer. It worked, and now she’s inviting others to do the same. The Turquoise Table was promoted at the Women of Purpose conference in Newfoundland in 2019, and copies of Schell’s book have been gifted to each ministry unit in the two divisions. Major Jennifer Reid, divisional secretary for women’s ministries in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division, shares, “We can imagine and envision seeing turquoise tables popping up in front of our churches and on front lawns in many of our rural communities as well as larger towns and cities.” Copies of The Turquoise Table are ready to be distributed to ministries in the N.L. Div (Photo courtesy of N.L. Div)
12 May 2020 Salvationist
Safe Night Off Winnipeg Streets (S.N.O.W.) started in Winnipeg in 2007 as a one-night event, allowing women, including transgender women, to escape the streets for a night full of pampering, crafts, games and prizes. Now in its 14th year, the event has grown into a threeday camp that welcomed 30 women experiencing exploitation through prostitution this past February. S.N.O.W. camp, which is organized by the Salvation Army correctional and justice services, is an opportunity for women to pause for some sleep, to eat and to be reminded of their worth and preciousness in the eyes of the Lord as well as the community. This year, each woman was gifted with a prayer shawl, crocheted by Captain June Bobolo, a chaplain with correctional and justice services in Winnipeg. Through conversations around the campfire, and Indigenous drumming and song, they shared gratitude, pain, laughter and tears. Women at Heritage Park Temple supported S.N.O.W. by gathering items such as pyjamas, beauty products and prizes, making gift baskets for the women, and packing lunches for them to eat on their drive to camp. The “Followers in Training,” a discipleship group for those in Grades 6-9, assisted, making this an intergenerational outreach project. Kaitlin Russell shares, “Donating items and helping pack kits reminded us of the issues facing women in our community regarding abuse, violence and human trafficking. It helps us feel a sense of connection with these women and reminds us that there are women hurting within our reach.” Women are pampered at S.N.O.W. camp (Photo courtesy of Dianna Bussey, director, correctional and justice services, Winnipeg)
Ladies’ Night Out Each month, Major Donna Senter, community and family services officer at York Community Church in Toronto, hosts a ladies’ night out for women who otherwise might not be able to go out for an evening. Many who attend are immigrants and refugees from Nigeria and Uganda who have recently moved into the neighbourhood. York Community Church has also partnered with The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Residence, and a group of women from the shelter come, finding a place where they are loved and accepted. Major Senter shares that the lives of women are enriched through fellowship with other women. The women who attend are often lonely and ladies’ night out provides an opportunity to gather with other women, have fun and hear a message from God’s Word in a safe and accepting space. But the connection doesn’t stop at ladies’ night out. Many women have also brought their families to the corps, and York Community Church has welcomed more than 80 newcomers to their worshipping community since August 2019. Major Donna Senter (right) with Lynne and Osas
Girls Are Brave
Lunch Time! Women at Edmonton Temple are supporting Braemar School, a local school that helps pregnant and parenting teens complete their education, by cooking and delivering a nutritious hot lunch once a week to about 40 students. The lunch gives the students an opportunity to eat with their kids and reap the positive benefits of enjoying a meal together. Staff at the school have identified several positive impacts of The Salvation Army’s lunch program, including an increase in attendance, supporting the students’ budgeting goals and community building. Along with cooking weekly lunches for these pregnant and parenting teens, the women at Edmonton Temple have gifted them with Christmas presents for their children and provided opportunities for them to attend Moms and Tots camp. From left, Cora Weinberger, volunteer, and Stephanie Currie, community ministries coordinator for Edmonton Temple, prepare lunch for a local school that helps pregnant and parenting teens complete their education
On February 29, The Salvation Army hosted three BRAVE events to celebrate the strength of being a girl, in Victoria, Vancouver and Kamloops, B.C. BRAVE is a one-day catalytic event for girls ages 12-18 and, while it is focused on empowering vulnerable girls, everyone was invited. While the three events were held simultaneously, each was unique and featured music, dancing, pampering, self-defence classes and more. Captain Lisa Barnes, a corps officer from Seattle, Washington, spoke in person in Victoria. She shared, “The world says that women and girls are expendable, but if one brave act could show a girl that she is wanted and needed and loved, then I choose to be brave!” Captain Barnes’ message was livestreamed to each of the BRAVE events, and girls in all locations joined in the chorus, adding their own declaration that they “choose to be brave!” Captain Kelly Fifield, corps officer at Kamloops Community Church, shares, “We wanted girls to be reminded that they are loved, that they are cared for, that there are people in our community who want to support them, who want to walk alongside and help them if ever they find themselves in a place that they need that.” Following the one-day event, some corps plan to launch weekly BRAVE groups and host BRAVE girl meetups to continue building relationships and empowering girls in their communities.
Faith and Fitness Women in several communities across Canada are being introduced to a program called WholyFit, which focuses on being healthy in body, mind and spirit. It combines Scripture memorization with prayer, movement and Jesus-focused meditation, setting a path for spiritual growth as well as physical health. Major Deborah Coles, corps officer at Victoria Citadel, says WholyFit is a Christian response to the popularity of yoga, and an outreach program in her community. “Yoga is offered everywhere in British Columbia.,” she says. “My vision is that someone would come for the exercises and experience Jesus.” Captain Ruth Hickman, corps officer at Khi—A Community Church of The Salvation Army in Milton, Ont., is being trained as a WholyFit instructor. “One of the greatest benefits to the WholyFit practice is that it is a safe space for women to face their insecurities in the light of Jesus’ unconditional love,” she says. “In both my observations and my own personal experience, I’ve seen the practice of WholyFit contribute to reduced levels of anxiety and increased passion for the pursuit of spiritual maturity. It’s a beautiful and timely tool for women today.” Women in Terrace, B.C., practise WholyFit
BRAVE reaches out to girls with a message of empowerment
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Are You Ready? How The Salvation Army gives hope through emergency disaster services. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, PERRON GOODYEAR AND CAROLYNN BARKHOUSE
ires. Floods. Pandemics. While no two disasters are the same, one thing remains constant: the need for a response. From May 3-9, Canada will observe its annual Emergency Preparedness Week with the theme “Are You Ready?” (see GetPrepared.ca). As one of Canada’s major emergency relief organizations, The Salvation Army is ready to respond when disaster strikes. Here are some of the ways the Army is making an impact in our territory and beyond.
Eco-friendly EDS in Ontario The Salvation Army’s Ontario Central-East Division is taking steps to ensure its emergency disaster services (EDS) adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Beginning this spring, all of the division’s community response units (CRUs) will use compostable and recyclable items for food delivery, and will serve fair trade coffee.
“We say that we’re giving hope today, but we can’t do that at the expense of tomorrow,” says Glenn van Gulik, divisional director of EDS, Ontario Central-East Division. “We also can’t give hope in Canada at the expense of a coffee farmer in a developing country.” The move toward sustainable practices began with a desire to create consistency within the division in terms of food services, along with the initiative of Jillian Noel, administrative co-ordinator at divisional headquarters, who gave a presentation on sustainability in The Salvation Army to the divisional executive board. Going forward, the division’s CRUs will be equipped with compostable containers, cups, cutlery and so on, as well as coffee supplied by Equator Coffee Roasters, who have created a special Salvation Army blend. van Gulik is pleased to report that the new products not only fulfil the Army’s core value of stewardship in the environmental sense, but also in the financial sense. With bulk ordering through one supplier, Gordon Food Services, the division is actually seeing cost savings. Following the roll-out in the Ontario Central-East Division, van Gulik hopes that other divisions and territories will jump on board as well. “It just makes sense for us as an organization, and it puts us on a new plane in terms of living up to our brand promise,” concludes van Gulik.
Territory Launches Rapid Emergency Response Team The Ont. CE Div unveils its new compostable containers, cutlery and napkins
All EDS operations in the Ont. CE Div will serve fair trade coffee, provided by Equator Coffee Roasters
14 May 2020 Salvationist
The Canada and Bermuda Territory has assembled a new emergency disaster services (EDS) team, to better serve the territory in times of need. The Territorial Rapid Emergency Assistance Team (TREAT) currently consists of 18 experienced EDS personnel, representing all nine divisions as well as territorial headquarters. “The purpose of TREAT is to be available to deploy quickly following an incident to advise local leadership regarding response activities or assume command of Salvation Army response efforts,” explains Perron Goodyear, territorial EDS director and leader of TREAT. “It will enhance the Army’s ability to rapidly respond to emergency or disaster incidents in a professional manner.” As Goodyear explains, the team will be an integral support to divisions when they are affected by a disaster by providing timely and professional guidance and back-up. The responsibilities of the team will vary depending on the emergency, with team members fulfilling various roles as the need dictates. “With emergency management becoming more professionalized, having a highly skilled team will enable the Army to continue providing vital ministry during times of crisis,” he says.
“Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you …and be fruitful and increase in number.’ ” —Genesis 8:15-17
The First Emergency Manager Lessons from the story of Noah. BY PERRON GOODYEAR
his year, Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Week comes in the middle of a crisis unlike anything the world has seen in decades. The outbreak of COVID-19 reminds us that we never know when an emergency is going to happen—and it demonstrates how important it is for us to be ready. As Christians and The Salvation Army, we can take lessons in emergency management from Noah, arguably the first emergency manager. According to Public Safety Canada, there are four phases on the emergency management continuum: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation/prevention. The story of Noah and the flood shows us what each of these phases looks like and how we can engage with them in our own context. Preparedness “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood.”—Genesis 6:14
Preparedness means being ready to respond to a disaster and manage its consequences through measures taken before an event. God instructed Noah to build an ark to prepare for the coming flood. Although others may have scoffed at Noah’s actions, he obeyed God and built the ark according to the specifications he was given. When the floodwaters came, Noah and his fam-
ily were safe inside the ark because they were prepared. During Emergency Preparedness Week, Canadians are encouraged to get ready for future disasters. This includes developing a plan and making or buying an emergency kit. As Christians who are called to serve others in crisis, this is especially important. We can’t help others if we are not ready. Response “On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.”—Genesis 7:13
Response means acting during or immediately before or after a disaster to manage its consequences. When the rain started to fall, Noah, his family and the animals entered the ark to ride out the storm. This response required great patience. The water kept rising for 40 days and nights, and it was another 150 days before it started to recede. The Salvation Army has responded to disasters in Canada since the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Often assigned specific roles by emergency management officials, the Army meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of survivors and responders. As long as our response is needed, we will be there to serve.
Recovery includes repairing or restoring conditions to an acceptable level through measures taken after a disaster. Recovery does not necessarily mean restoring things to the way they were; often it entails a “new normal.” Recovery is also a slow process. This was especially true for Noah’s family as they were responsible for repopulating the earth. Following a significant disaster, recovery can take years. The Salvation Army is well positioned to help during this phase, having a presence in more than 400 communities across Canada. Recovery, however, is more than practical assistance. Just as important is the psychosocial recovery of people and communities. Emotional and spiritual care is a critical part of the Army’s recovery efforts. Mitigation/Prevention “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and … he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”—Genesis 8:20
Adapting to, eliminating or reducing the risks of disasters to protect lives, property and the environment, and reduce economic disruption, happens before and after a disaster. After leaving the ark, Noah made an offering that pleased God, who promised to never again destroy the earth. Noah’s sacrifice meant that future risks were reduced. Today, disaster risk reduction through mitigation efforts includes structural measures such as building codes, as well as non-structural mitigation such as flood plain mapping and insurance. Many of the people The Salvation Army serves are particularly vulnerable to disasters, so by assisting with mitigation efforts, we can continue to give hope to individuals and communities. We are still in the early stages of our response to the COVID-19 crisis. But as with Noah, we can take appropriate steps during each phase of the emergency management continuum, serving God as we serve others in need. Perron Goodyear is the territorial director of emergency disaster services. Salvationist May 2020 15
Carolynn Barkhouse (third from left) with emergency response personnel from various agencies in Abaco, Bahamas
Called to Serve From Mali to the Bahamas, International Emergency Services provides a unique opportunity for ministry. BY CAROLYNN BARKHOUSE
nternational Emergency Services has asked for you to deploy to Mali for two months to assist with our response to the civil war.” Those words were spoken to me seven years ago by Major Rick Shirran, then territorial director of emergency disaster services. Those words thrilled me. Those words scared me. Those words were the start of a new calling. Since that first call in 2013, I have deployed with International Emergency Services (IES) four times. In many ways, IES is similar to emergency disaster services (EDS). The initial focus of the response is on relief activities: feeding, goods-in-kind (GIK) distribution, emotional and spiritual care, or all of the above. However, IES teams also work to build local Salvation Army capacity and improve disaster resilience within the affected community. Guided by international humanitarian standards, we work to assist the community in becoming more self-sufficient, implementing solutions that integrate disaster risk reduction principles. Only one step on the reliefrecovery continuum, IES projects often lead to longer-term development projects such as building toilets, replanting coconut tree farms or starting livelihood training centres. You may learn more about cholera than you ever wanted to know. But that’s the calling. 16 May 2020 Salvationist
Similar to EDS, IES personnel work in teams. However, IES teams are typically small—only three to five members—the management team members are also frontline workers. Even the team leader will at some point take part in loading goods onto a truck, registering beneficiaries or conducting door-to-door needs assessments. But that’s the calling. IES teams are made up of trained personnel from across the Salvation Army world. They come with as many cultures and norms (and sometimes languages) as there are members, working in another country with yet another culture and set of norms (and sometimes language). Deployments are long—usually two to three months—and hardship living conditions are almost always in place. Think black mould, rats in the attic, termites, a leaking roof during rainy season, power outages, no running water—the list goes on. You must be willing to do whatever and live wherever with whomever to be an IES deployee. But that’s the calling. Deployed to the Bahamas I deployed with IES to the Bahamas last September, two weeks after a massive category 5 hurricane hit the country. Hurricane Dorian affected three islands, each one so differently that, in effect, it was like responding to three different
disasters simultaneously. New Providence experienced minimal localized flooding and so became the evacuation site for evacuees from other islands. Our response there included running an evacuation shelter and supporting government-led shelters with GIK. Grand Bahama faced major flooding, which led to significant black mould issues. There, we focused on GIK distribution and mould remediation education. The central part of Abaco was completely devastated; neighbourhoods were wiped out and the economic infrastructure was totally destroyed. With no permanent Salvation Army presence on this island, our response centered on GIK distribution through other agencies. We also partnered with other organizations to conduct community needs assessments to determine how best we could respond. Even as our response continues today, we know that recovery will be years in the making. Over my 10 weeks there, as I travelled around Abaco, I wondered how we could even begin to make a difference. Everywhere you look, there is evidence of Dorian—you cannot escape the havoc it wreaked. So much devastation. So much loss of life. And you think, How can one small team make any kind of significant impact on anyone’s life? But then you remember every ocean starts with one drop of water. Every smile brightens someone’s day. Every kind word reassures someone that others care. Every gentle touch reminds someone they are not alone. So you press on, following where God leads. One step after another, doing the work as you feel led. Seeing the jovial tourists in Nassau in juxtaposition with the utter decimation of Abaco plays with your mind. But that’s the calling. Each of my IES deployments has been unique. Each deployment has been in a different country, has called for a different response, and has used a different combination of skills. Each one has offered a different set of challenges, sometimes stretching me outside my comfort zone. But each has also given me great joy and an affirmation that this ministry is for me. I am called by God to do IES. And I wouldn’t change it for the world—that’s my calling. Carolynn Barkhouse is the divisional director of emergency disaster services, Alberta and Northern Territories Division
Peace in a Time of Pandemic The message of Philippians and COVID-19.
Illustration: RomeoLu/iStock via Getty Images Plus
BY AIMEE PATTERSON
massively heavy and well-used academic Bible adorns a shelf in my office. I have another at home containing personal notes scripted over years past. But the Bible I use most frequently, whether at church or on the go, is provided through an app on my phone. Last year, the YouVersion Bible app boasted installation on more than 400 million unique devices. It also revealed the most-read Bible verse in 2019: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT ). It would not surprise me if Philippians 4:6 remains the most-read verse today. COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, whether we have been infected or not. And the vulnerable people among us have been made all the more vulnerable. Persons living in care homes are allowed few (if any) visits from loved ones. Those without homes and those living below the poverty line tend to have weaker immune systems. Many remote Indigenous communities have inadequate support systems in place, and access to potable water is often a concern. COVID-19 has heightened the economic and social inequities that mark Canadian society. In this time of plague, what am I to make of Paul’s instruction in this popular
verse? I have often read it, or heard it read, apart from the surrounding text. On its own, it sounds like a kind of selfhelp strategy. “Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. Go to your happy place. Think about all the things you are grateful for. Are you noticing your worries slipping away?” But Paul’s message reads quite differently when I think about his context. Paul does not write to his Philippian brothers and sisters from a yoga mat. He writes while imprisoned in a Roman cell. The Philippian community is growing but remains threatened by the persecution of its surrounding culture. Both the author and the audience know what it is to suffer and what it is to be plagued by constant worry. Immediately before this verse, and throughout his letter, Paul tells the Philippian Christians to rejoice and rejoice again (see Philippians 4:4). Rejoice when there is clear cause to rejoice and when there are things to worry about. Why? Not because joyfulness is a formula for being your best self. Following Jesus is not about measuring ourselves by the standards of the surrounding culture. And not because prayers expressed joyfully are winsome to God’s ears. When Paul says we should bring all our requests before God, he does not suggest God will respond by giving us what we ask for. His
letter is thick with accounts of suffering. As his own life demonstrates, there is no guarantee we will be delivered from the sources of our suffering. So, what does God provide when we express our anxieties in prayer? As a prisoner, Paul is locked away from society. But there is one thing that prison cannot lock out. Paul is comforted with the peace provided by the Spirit of Jesus Christ— something beyond his understanding and his own doing (see Philippians 1:18-19; 4:7). Paul may be surrounded by guards, but God is the sentinel of his heart and mind. In turn, Paul attempts to comfort the Philippians by sharing his own experience of peace in suffering. “You are not alone! We may be separated in body, but we suffer together” (see Philippians 1). The Philippian Christians must have felt solace when they heard they could share in the peace God’s Spirit has given Paul. They, too, believed in a God who loved them through suffering—a God who accomplished justice beyond what could be achieved through the release of an apostle or the end of religious persecution. The intention behind Paul’s message of peace is not limited to consolation, though. Those of us who have the peace of God, he says, are not the kind of people who are content with the world’s situation. We must keep on doing good work (see Philippians 4:9). Paul’s message remains true today. As COVID-19 increases human suffering, we are called to act creatively toward one another in ways that protect health and attend to the other aspects of personal and community well-being, whether material or spiritual. When we work out our salvation with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12), when we humbly commit our whole selves to the good work that needs doing, we may become more aware of how God’s peace is already at work in the midst of this plague. Dr. Aimee Patterson is a Christian ethics consultant at The Salvation Army Ethics Centre in Winnipeg. Salvationist May 2020 17
Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Become a sponsor today. saworldmissions.ca 18 May 2020 Salvationist
Be a Good Neighbour What we can learn from Mister Rogers about shalom. BY LT-COLONEL BRIAN ARMSTRONG
Photo: © The Canadian Press
number of months ago, I read an op-ed article in the Toronto Star written by a young man who came to Toronto from China to complete his graduate studies. The article was entitled, “Canadians are nice and polite. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to make friends here.” I was intrigued. From his experience, “smiles and cordiality—often masking indifference and distance—are no recipe for forging meaningful connections. Niceness, or politeness, seems to breed transient relationships. Canada’s signature openness and multiculturalism are very much the by-products of its niceness. But beneath it lurks the lesserknown side of the Canadian etiquette, one that seems steeped in aloofness and reservation and most pronounced at the personal level.” He supports his observation with two recent Canadian studies: a 2018 study from the University of British Columbia, which found that Toronto and Montreal were the least-happy cities in Canada, with low levels of community belonging; and a 2017 survey by the Vancouver Foundation, which revealed that a third of Vancouverites between the ages of 18 and 24 experience loneliness “almost always” or “often.” Shortly after reading this article, my attention was drawn to the books, documentary and new movie released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred Rogers, the creator of the PBS broadcast, had an acute understanding of our common need for relationship, acceptance and belonging. He believed that one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other is the gift of time. He intentionally opened each show with deliberate acts that altered the pace, changing from his jacket to a comfortable sweater and from dress shoes to running shoes. Without words and through simple acts, he let each child watching know that he valued his time with them enough to step away from the distractions of the day to be present with them. As you listen to the reflections of those who knew him well, this was his gift not only to children, but to everyone he encountered. His second gift to others was his vul-
nerability. “I just figured that the best gift you could offer anybody is your honest self, and that’s what I’ve done for lots of years,” he is quoted in The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth. He was a man of faith who carefully attended to the inner life. His engagement with others reflected his personal relationship with his heavenly Father. He shared the love and acceptance he received from God with all those he encountered. In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote, “When Christians are wholly his, they will be more themselves than ever.” When our inner life is deeply rooted, we can be open with our vulnerability. Rogers trusted that “what is offered in faith by one person can be translated by the Holy Spirit into what the other person needs to hear and see,” writes Hollingsworth. “The space between them is holy ground, and the Holy Spirit uses that space in ways that not only translate, but transcend.” Before entering the studio each day, he prayed, “Dear God, let some word that is heard be yours.” Rogers truly was a “good neighbour.” He was a living example of 1 Peter 4, with respect to community: “Be earnest, thoughtful [people] of prayer. Most
important of all, show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay for the night. God has given each of you special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings” (1 Peter 4:7-10 TLB). The young Star contributor ended his article with this: “I’m still learning and adapting, mindful that the transition to any new culture takes time. And that building social ties from scratch takes effort. Though sometimes I wish Canadians were less ‘nice’ and more willing to share and open their hearts.” As we strive to cultivate a community of shalom—of wholeness and flourishing— within our organization, one in which we believe the best in each other, want the best for each other and expect the best from each other, may we be quick to be good neighbours, sharing the gifts of time and vulnerability. May the space between us be holy ground rather than lonely ground. Lt-Colonel Brian Armstrong is the secretary for personnel.
Fred Rogers’ series originated on CBC television in 1962
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FRESH IDEAS Kaylee Humphrey (front) enjoys story time with Disney princesses Belle and Ariel at Willowbuds
Best Buds Salvation Army program connects with moms in person and online. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
aylee Humphrey will never forget the day she met her two favourite Disney princesses, Belle and Ariel. “It was definitely the highlight of my four-year-old’s life,” laughs her mom, Nakita Humphrey. The occasion was a “princesses and noble knights” party put on by Willowbuds, a mom-and-tots program of The Willows, a Salvation Army church in Langley, B.C. Participants dressed up as princesses and knights, enjoyed story time with Belle and Ariel, and had the opportunity to have photos taken with them. Special events such as these, which attract families of all backgrounds, are part of why Willowbuds has been so successful. The group has grown steadily since it launched—attendance now averages 45 moms and tots per session, while its Facebook group boasts 200 members. Building Community When Willowbuds began in early 2018, it was held at the home of Lieutenant Renee McFadden, corps officer. “At that point, it was for young moms in the congregation because there was 20 May 2020 Salvationist
a bunch of us who had children close together,” explains Andrea Petkau, administrative co-ordinator at The Willows and co-ordinator of Willowbuds. In the early going, the group was small—about half a dozen moms met on a monthly basis, including Petkau. When she began working at the church in June 2018, Petkau approached Lieutenant McFadden about some ideas she had for the group. “I had a vision for how Willlowbuds could grow and bring members of the community together,” Petkau notes. “I know that there’s a need for moms to feel community, especially when you are on maternity leave; you can feel very isolated. Renee was happy to continue working alongside me, but she let me take the lead on the project.” A key aspect of Petkau’s vision was making the group outreach-focused and accessible to moms who were not part of The Willows congregation. Over the summer, she found a hall to rent that would accommodate more people, and since September 2018, Willowbuds has met at the Fort Langley Lions Club.
Online Outreach Following the change in location, the church started advertising Willowbuds extensively throughout the area. “The Langley area is made up of a few different communities,” Petkau explains, “so a team of us at the corps split up and took on different areas, putting up posters in coffee shops, community centres, on community boards.” Petkau also recognized the untapped potential of using social media to advertise the group. “Being a young mom myself, I was connected to several Facebook groups for moms in the area,” she notes. “I noticed many people in the groups posting things like, ‘I’m new to the area and I don’t know anyone. Can anyone suggest a program?’ or ‘Is there anything free that I can attend with my child? I’m home by myself and I need to get out.’ ” Petkau would respond to messages like those by sharing information about Willowbuds. “I’d say, ‘We’re a church and we offer a free drop-in program. Here’s our schedule for the next three months if you want to check us out.’ ” One of Petkau’s posts received a reply that inspired a new phase in Willowbuds’ outreach efforts. “Someone asked if we had a Facebook group for Willowbuds,” she recalls. “We didn’t, but I thought maybe we should!” Petkau created a Willowbuds group and invited all the moms who were already part of the program, as well as anyone who helped with the program. The Facebook group gives Petkau a platform to share information about Willowbuds, along with other programs at the church, and it gives moms a place to talk and give feedback about the program. “The Facebook group is really helpful,” says mom Sarah Michel, who attends Willowbuds and the corps. “Even if you can’t make it on a specific week, you still feel like you’re in the loop of what’s going on and that you can be involved.” Humphrey also appreciates the online aspect of the group. “If we have a posi-
FRESH IDEAS Music time, led by Lt Renee McFadden, is a favourite activity of many children who attend Willowbuds
tive experience at Willowbuds, I always write something on the Facebook group, like, ‘Thanks for the great day,’ ” she says. Treasures Willowbuds meets twice a month on alternating Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow moms with different schedules to attend. The typical two-hour program includes time for free play, crafts, music and snacks, as well as coffee and snacks for the moms. The group also puts on special events such as the princess party and goes on field trips such as to a local honeybee centre. “Kaylee’s favourite part is definitely the crafts,” says Humphrey. “They’re always so creative—it’s not just a piece of paper and a crayon. They’re well thought out. My daughter also brings home treasures from preschool, but its the stuff she makes at Willowbuds that I keep.” “My boys love the music time, which is led by our corps officer, Renee,” says Michel of her sons, Judah and Sammy. “There are singing games, different sounds, different instruments for each song—I’ve noticed a lot of the kids really enjoy that time.” Humphrey’s younger daughter, Chloe,
is one of them. “Renee is so engaging and fun,” Humphrey says. “She creates this space where the kids can be excited to sing and learn about Jesus.” While Humphrey is not connected to any particular church, she appreciates this aspect of the program. “I don’t have a lot of people in my life who are faith-based,” she says. “I like being able to go to Willowbuds and connect with this group of women because they’re different.” Above and Beyond Overall, Humphrey is grateful for how warmly she has been welcomed by the organizers, volunteers and other moms at Willowbuds. “Whether it’s your first time being a mom or your third time, Willowbuds is inclusive,” she says. “They make an effort to know your name and what’s happening in your life. They make you feel like you’re important, like you matter. You’re not just a mom in a mom group; you’re a part of a mom group.” One of Humphrey’s most meaningful experiences at Willowbuds was a Mother’s Day event held last May. While volunteers provided childcare, the moms
were ushered to the back patio of the hall where organizers had set up a special brunch, just for them. “It was so moving because, as a mom, you rarely get to just sit and eat, and enjoy the company of your friends,” Humphrey says. “Everything that Willowbuds does is like that,” she continues. “They go above and beyond.” Michel agrees. “They treat the moms and kids really well,” she says, “so it’s a place you want to go because you know your kids are going to have a great time and there’s a real sense of community. It’s welcoming to everyone.” One of Petkau’s goals as co-ordinator is to create a safe space for every person who attends. And while the program is faith-based and families are invited to attend Sunday meetings and other events at The Willows, their primary focus is on relationship building. “People crave community and connection,” concludes Michel, “and Willowbuds provides an awesome space for that.” As with most Salvation Army programs across Canada and Bermuda, Willowbuds is currently on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its members and leaders look forward to resuming activities once it is safe to do so.
“At Willowbuds, they treat the moms and kids really well,” says Sarah Michel, with son, Judah
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Sacred Wishes Foster care should be a safe space. But is it failing Indigenous children?
Illustration: linephoto/iStock via Getty Images Plus
BY CAPTAIN CRYSTAL PORTER
n 2018, Indigenous children and youth represented about eight percent of all young people in Canada, but 52 percent of all youth within the child welfare system. Indigenous advocates rallied together to ask important questions and request inquiries. Their hard work uncovered alarming results: Indigenous youth within the foster care system had higher suicide rates, a greater dependency on alcohol and drugs, and significant mental health issues. A system that was intended to protect children was causing harm. This shouldn’t be surprising. For centuries, Indigenous peoples have been subjected to policies that removed children from their families and communities and attempted to wipe away any cultural identity. The child welfare system continues this legacy. It’s important for Canadians to realize that Indigenous children are heavily represented in the child welfare system due to years of colonization, residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. Assimilationist policies created significant trauma, detrimentally affecting individuals, families and community systems. This trauma will continue into future generations unless people are willing to learn the stories of colonization, which has and continues to threaten Indigenous communities.
In the past five years, I have been on a journey to reclaim my Mi’kmaw identity, and in that process I am trying to learn more of my grandmother’s language. Recently, I was introduced to this beautiful phrase: “Kisu ’lkw tlite ’lmisk wskwijinuin,” which means, “It is the wish of the Creator that you should become a person.” This teaching reinforces the importance of life. Each being is wished into existence. Life is a sacred gift. In An Aboriginal Missiology of Identity Reclamation, Wendy Peterson extends this idea of sacred identity to the Christian doctrine of Imago Dei. Peterson explains that although colonization has had a negative effect within Indigenous communities, the church is called to see people created in the image of God. “This, necessarily, is translated into respect for each human and loving one’s neighbour as oneself (see Mark 12:31),” she writes. Each child is sacred, and this sacredness does not expire with the beginning of adulthood. The Indigenous mother whose child was forcibly removed is sacred. The Indigenous father who struggles with addiction is sacred. The Indigenous parent who was belittled because of their race; who wasn’t given the opportunity to learn basic parenting skills; who was abused in residential schools; who was trapped in a
hegemonic system—they are all sacred. There are countless reasons why children are removed from their biological homes and placed in foster care. It’s not my intention to speak into the removal process or examine a list of qualifying circumstances, but it is important to acknowledge that the single act of putting a child in foster care doesn’t resolve deep-rooted issues. It doesn’t break any pre-existing cycles. It doesn’t ensure holistic healing. However, it should provide a safe space. And in this safe space should be the initial steps of healing. Foster parents are entrusted with sacred wishes. They must ensure not only that an Indigenous child’s physical needs are fulfilled, but also that their Indigenous identity is not lost in transition. A child’s safe space needs to be somewhere they can express their cultural traditions, have access to traditional teachings and maintain connections with their relations. They deserve a place where their whole self—mental, emotional, spiritual and social well-being—is fostered. It is a foster parent’s responsibility to gently walk alongside a child as they struggle with countless questions, and to continually remind them that they and their family are Creator’s sacred wish. As a foster parent, I am thankful for the incredible families in my circle who are doing amazing, life-giving work. They are creating safe places where kids are encouraged and supported to explore their Indigenous identity. The over-representation of Indigenous youth in foster care is an important issue, but it’s not the whole story. The conversation cannot stop here. Communities must have access to clean water, health care and education. Mental health supports are needed to journey with residential school survivors, abuse victims and substance users. Land protectors need to be a respected partner in conversations about natural resources. Changes need to happen, because healing depends on it. When First Nations must fight for basic human rights, it reinforces the reality that there is no respect for Indigenous peoples and their lives do not matter. The cycle of poverty, trauma and injustice continues. It is time we start listening to Indigenous voices, and then maybe we will realize that Indigenous children, women and men are sacred wishes of the Creator. Captain Crystal Porter is the divisional youth secretary in the Prairie Division. Salvationist May 2020 23
Photo: pictore/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images Plus
The Least of These Who are the widows, orphans and aliens in our society? BY DONALD E. BURKE
he prophets of ancient Israel were clear: Israel was called to show generous concern for the weakest and most vulnerable in their society. In the language of their day, the weak and vulnerable were identified by three groups: widows, orphans and aliens (not extra-terrestrials, but resident nonIsraelites or refugees). These groups had no right to own land in Israel and therefore were marginalized economically, socially and politically. They had few legal rights, fewer economic rights and no political standing whatsoever. So when it came to reaping the benefits of any economic boom or suffering the perils of any bust, these groups would be tossed about like so much refuse. Even in the best of times, daily life was precarious—the widow, the orphan and the alien would be the first to starve, the first to be prosecuted for minor offences and, ultimately, the first to die. Prophets such as Amos, Micah and Isaiah were sensitized to the plight of 24 May 2020 Salvationist
the widow, the orphan and the alien in Israel because they preserved the memory of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt where the Hebrews themselves had been aliens; where they were without legal standing; and where they were the lowest economic, social and political class in Egypt. The Hebrews were the “disposable” people. Their life was hard, violent and hungry. With its penchant for understatement, the Bible describes Israel’s situation as “bitter” (see Exodus 1:14). The Character of God Alongside the collective memory of this hard slavery, the prophets also preserved the memory of the Lord’s attention to the cries of these oppressed, powerless and hopeless Hebrew slaves (see Exodus 2:23-25). Israel learned that God hears the cries of those who are marginalized and oppressed. This became one of Israel’s first confessions about the character of the Lord their God. As Moses reminded Israel in Deuteronomy
10:17-19, “the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the stranger, providing them food and clothing… You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (NRSV ). Moses claims that it is fundamental to the character of Israel’s God to protect and love the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the land. In other words, God’s character is evident clearly in this divine concern for those who are most vulnerable and most easily oppressed. For its part, Israel, as the people of the Lord, was to embody this concern. Israel was to make special provision for the widow, orphan and alien. So, for example, every third year the entire tithe was to be set aside to provide for them (see Deuteronomy 14:28-29); the Sabbath rest was to be granted to slaves and aliens among others (see Deuteronomy 5:12-
15); part of the harvest was to be left in the fields to provide food for the poor (see Deuteronomy 24:19-22); and justice was to be executed for the widow, the orphan and the alien (see Deuteronomy 24:17-18). In Deuteronomy, there is a definite tilt in God’s favour toward those who were most vulnerable. And just in case you haven’t got the message yet, all who deny justice to the widow, the orphan and the alien are cursed (see Deuteronomy 24:19). What the Scriptures assert is that Israel, as the people of this God, had a vocation to be a community in which those who are weakest, most vulnerable, and most easily consigned to the garbage heap of society, are to be the recipients of special attention. They are to be protected, provided for and sheltered—even non-Israelite refugees who settled in the land. No strings attached.
be destroyed (see Isaiah 5:1-7). Lest we dismiss this as simply so much Old Testament mumbo jumbo, let’s remember that in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus introduced his mission with the announcement that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him to bring good news to the poor, the imprisoned and the sick (see Luke 4:16-30) and that, according to Luke, Jesus spent the vast majority of his ministry among those who were marginalized. It was to the weak, the poor
Identity and Vocation The tragedy is that Israel did not live up to this vocation. The prophets make that abundantly clear. For the prophets, this was not a peripheral issue; it was central to Israel’s identity and vocation. Israel’s amnesia concerning its own experience as slaves in Egypt and its failure to recognize the deep commitment of God to the marginalized led to the oppression of the poor and dispossessed—both Israelite and non-Israelite. According to the prophets, this was endangering Israel’s covenant with God. It was this warning that Amos sounded when he confronted Israel. In fact, the overwhelming mistreatment and disregard for Israel’s weakest compelled Amos to announce on God’s behalf, “The end has come upon my people Israel!” (Amos 8:2). It was this injustice that prompted Isaiah to sing a parody of a love song concerning the Lord’s vineyard (Israel) that ends with the promise that the vineyard itself will
and the sinners that Jesus devoted much of his attention, and it was these same disenfranchised people who responded most readily to the gospel. When we read Luke with eyes opened to the social status of those Jesus interacted with most often, we learn that his ministry was largely directed toward those who held little influence or wealth in the community of his day.
our piety will ring hollow—just as Israel’s worship rang hollow in the time of the great prophets Amos, Micah and Isaiah. We also need to ask ourselves, “Who are the widows, the orphans and the aliens in our society?” Who are the most vulnerable and who are marginalized most easily? We may see them as outsiders, intruders, “others.” Look for those who are often viewed as being a little less “human,” those who are said to “invade” or “infest” our land. Listen
Christian concern for the most vulnerable in our world is not peripheral to our faith. It is not an optional add on.
Others or Neighbours? But what does all this have to do with us who are Christian? I think that the general tenor of Scripture compels us to recognize that Christian concern for the most vulnerable in our world is not peripheral to our faith. It is not an optional add on. Instead, the very foundation of our Christian faith leads us to active concern. The core of our mission is found in our service and advocacy for the widow, orphan and alien among us. If we neglect the poor, our worship and
for language that strips them of their dignity as human beings. But it is these people whom God views with special concern—and so should we. What we learn from the Bible is that the quality of a society is not to be judged by its wealth, power or affluence, but rather by the way it treats (or mistreats) those who have the least—the least influence, the fewest resources, the lowest standing in the courts. We shall be judged according to how we deal with “the least of these” (see Matthew 25:31-46). Our praises to the God revealed in Scripture sound like clanging cymbals when our neighbours are hungry, homeless or incarcerated. And if the prophets are to be believed—and if Jesus himself is to be believed—a society that mistreats its widows, orphans and aliens will not endure. God will not permit it. Dr. Donald E. Burke is a professor of biblical studies at Booth University College in Winnipeg. Salvationist May 2020 25
Access Denied It’s not your job to determine how disabled a person is. BY DARRYN OLDFORD
Photo: Cecilie_Arcurs/E+ via Getty Images
ith my father’s permission, I’d like to share a bit about his life and disability. At this point, he has had three knee operations: first one knee replaced, then the other, then back to the first one for “revision” surgery. He wasn’t born with a disability, and in his youth played football and rugby, and ran several kilometres every day. But wear and tear, combined with age, resulted in pain, to the point where his knees needed to be replaced. From day to day, he struggles with mobility and was issued an accessible parking permit. Although he doesn’t need his cane for the distance between car and store, he always takes it with him when he parks in a designated accessible parking space. He has the same disability with his cane as without it, but walking with a cane acts as a sign to onlookers that he is, in fact, disabled and does need that space. It’s more for everyone else’s benefit than his own, until he gets a shopping cart to support him. When we try to make people prove how disabled they are in public spaces, we take away their power and agency. My grandfather, who was also disabled, was prone to giving people a piece of his mind if he saw someone get out of their car in an accessible spot without any walking aids. Despite trying to explain to him, numerous times, that some people have heart conditions or other invisible illnesses that don’t require a cane, but do require an accessible spot, he never believed it. He, like many, was ready to pounce if he thought someone was cheating the system and taking up space they shouldn’t be using. Part of the problem is a misunderstanding of terms. Not all blind people are completely blind, so you may see someone who is visually impaired looking at their phone. Not all deaf people are completely deaf, so you may see someone who is hard of hearing at a concert. Not all wheelchair users are completely paralyzed, so you may see someone leave their chair to go on a ride at a theme park. 26 May 2020 Salvationist
Just because you witness something that seems to disprove a disability doesn’t mean they don’t have a disability. They may have supports, such as leg braces or extra-large print on their phone, that you can’t see. Not all disabilities are the same, and everyone, with disabilities or not, has abilities that change based on their environment, the type of event and how they are feeling that day. Limited exposure does not paint an accurate picture of someone’s life. I can tolerate taking out
the garbage while wearing shorts during the winter, if it’s a 10-second walk to and from my warm house—but that doesn’t mean I go carolling dressed for a Hawaiian vacation. Although speaking up for people with disabilities might come from a place of love and concern, ultimately, it is up to them to voice their grievances when issues arise. As a non-disabled person, I am aware that people with disabilities can advocate for themselves and require
accommodations, not pity. Deaf people, for instance, have a unique language, culture and view of the world, and don’t necessarily feel they are missing anything by not being able to hear. Just because they may need accommodations doesn’t make them any less capable of arguing on their own behalf. Unless you’re working for social services, the Ministry of Health or the parking authority, it’s not your job to determine how disabled a person is. As bystanders, we are not the gatekeepers of what qualifies as a disability. There are those, however, who thrive on righteous indignation, whether it’s their fight or not. Proverbs 26:17 says, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.” Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet
life: you should mind your own business.” We should err on the side of compassion rather than taking offence. It is exhausting having to continuously prove that you exist and belong. On the rare occasion when someone fakes an illness or takes a parking spot they don’t need, it reflects on them and their character. How we choose to respond to others reflects our own. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto.
Be Brave A letter to my daughter. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK
Photo: Kirsten Buyer Photography
rom the moment I knew I was going to be a mommy, I have celebrated you. Over the six years of your life, I have watched you shine with confidence. At age one you learned to walk, and I celebrated each step you took in between diaper-padded falls. With determination you pulled yourself up each time. A failed attempt didn’t hold you back. By age two you were dressing yourself, and I celebrated your independence. You still have your own unique sense of fashion; with contrasting colours and princess dresses, yours is a style that is all you. At age three you asked to sing in church, and I celebrated your boldness. Accompanied by Daddy strumming on the guitar, you bravely sang Jesus Loves Me off-key in a room filled with adults, but an audience of One. You were four when we visited Disney World, where you wielded a light sabre and defeated Darth Vader. You exclaimed “I did it!” as you vibrated with adrenaline (and perhaps a bit of fear) and I celebrated your adventurous spirit. At age five you were the youngest to participate in your school’s talent show, and I celebrated your achievement. Now, at age six, I see leadership potential in you. I have seen you welcome newcomers while being a newcomer yourself. I have seen you speak up to teachers and stand up for the marginalized. I celebrate the brave way you use your voice and the way you care deeply for others. But a few weeks ago, you said something that broke my heart. You had been diligently working on a project. When you felt it was complete, you came over to share what you had accomplished, exclaiming with bright eyes, “It turned out pretty good, for a girl.” For a girl.
Cpt Laura Van Schaick dances with her daughter, Vanessa, at her sister's wedding in 2018
I know the statistics. According to Ellen Duffield, author of The Brave Way, by age six girls in the West have already been socialized to believe that boys have the potential to be smarter than girls. By age seven, many girls believe they are valued more for their looks than their character. I knew this was the norm. I just didn’t think it would ever apply to you. I’ve raised you to know that you are capable and strong. I’ve raised you as an equal to your brother, to know that you are both made in the image of God and deeply loved as his children. I’ve parented by example, emphasizing that your daddy and I are equals in the household and in life. I’ve preached and led and used my voice in your presence countless times. And still, you have become a statistic. You feel you are doing well “for a girl.” This is not OK. I want you to know that you are worth
just as much as any boy. That you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to, that you are smart and that your voice matters. I want you to know that what you say, how you act and the decisions you make are more important than how you look. I want you to be confident and bold. I don’t want failure to hold you back—we all fail sometimes—but rather for you to learn from your mistakes and to persevere. My dear girl, you live in a world of stereotypes and judgments, and I recognize that this comes at a cost. I want you to know that I am not living in ignorance anymore. I thought you were immune to becoming another statistic. You are not. But I want you to know it isn’t your fault. As your mother, and as a woman, I commit to encouraging you to be brave. I commit to reminding you every day that you are valuable and that you are enough. I commit to pushing you to take risks and to step outside of your comfort zone. I commit to complimenting you on more than your looks. I commit to modelling for you what it means to be brave in a world that is often still destructive for women and girls. On most Sunday mornings, as the worship team begins to play, you make your way to the platform and begin to dance. In these moments I see the free, confident, self-assured girl I know you to be. I see you embracing your identity as a beloved daughter of God, and it gives me such joy. My prayer for you is that you would continue to dance. Dance before the Lord in worship, and dance through life—not because no one is watching, but because someone is, and they might just be inspired by you. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer. Salvationist May 2020 27
PEOPLE & PLACES
HAMILTON, BERMUDA—Terry Battersbee receives a certificate of appreciation from Mjr Kent Hepditch, CO, North Street Citadel, as he retires following many years of faithful service as the corps’ colour sergeant.
FLIN FLON, MAN.—Salvationists and friends celebrate the 90th anniversary of Flin Flon Corps and the Army’s ministry in the town and its surrounding communities. (Above, left) From left, Reverend Allison and Eileen King, guest leaders for the festivities, served as corps officers in Flin Flon from 1964 to 1967; Mjr Shawn Critch, DC, Prairie Div; and Mjrs Barbara and Albert Bain, COs. (Above, right) Planning committee members are, from left, Robyn Garrett, Sherry Trudeau, Nellie Brown and Mjrs Bain. CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L.—Four junior soldiers are enrolled at Conception Bay South Corps. Proudly displaying their certificates are, from left, Leah Loveless, Finley Kean, Jacob Kean and Amber Dawe. Supporting them are fellow junior soldiers and, from left, YPSM Charlene Butler, ACSM Claudette Hillier, and Mjrs Claudette and Chris Pilgrim, COs.
SHERBROOKE, QUE.—Thanks to the efforts of the Delta Zeta Phi fraternity at Sherbrooke University and the support of students and faculty members, 60 winter jackets, 20 pairs of winter pants, 10 pairs of boots and money were collected in support of the Army’s ministry in Sherbrooke. Cpt Ricaurte Velasquez (left), CO, Sherbrooke CC, shares a moment with Nicolas Jolin and Touri Cardyn as he receives a cheque for $200. 28 May 2020 Salvationist
THOMPSON, MAN.—Twila Hynes is commissioned as the assistant young people’s sergeant-major at Thompson Corps. From left, CSM Baxter Critch; Mjrs Shawn and Brenda Critch, DC and DDWM, Prairie Div; Twila Hynes; YPSM Cavelle Smith, and Rose and Roy Bladen, corps leaders.
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.—Lynn (Munro) Lowe was born in Edmonton in 1934, and grew up on a homestead near Busby, Alta. At 15, Lynn accepted Christ at summer camp. After attending high school at Prairie Bible Institute, she worshipped at Edmonton Temple and entered the College for Officer Training, in the Soulwinners Session, in 1954. Lynn held appointments for two years in southern Alberta and British Columbia. Married in 1957, she shared 62 years of marriage with her husband, Gordon. Lynn faithfully served at the corps in Lethbridge as Guide captain, company guard, band member, songster leader, and corps organist for 50 years. Lynn earned a bachelor’s degree in education and taught elementary school for 17 years. Musically gifted, she served as the vocal director at Pine Lake music camp for several years and introduced handbells to the school system and Lethbridge Citadel. Adept at solo ringing, she donated her handbell set to the corps. Lynn never hesitated to witness to her faith, and even when confined to a wheelchair, she was cheerful and ready to praise her Lord. Lynn is missed by her husband, Gordon; son, Ian (Jacquie); daughter, Ty Lowe; granddaughter, Ashley; fellow soldiers, friends and the community.
INTERNATIONAL Appointments: Apr 1—Lts Richard/Heidie Bradbury, GS/CSWM, Bangladesh Cmd, with rank of cpt; May 1—Lt-Cols Garth/Patricia Niemand, TC/TPWM, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Tty, with rank of col; Mjr Hary Haran, CS, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar Tty, with rank of lt-col; Jun 1—Cols Daniel/Arschette Moukoko, TC/TPWM, Democratic Republic of Congo Tty; Cols Moses/Sarah Wandulu, TC/TPWM, Mozambique Tty; Lt-Cols Alfred/Pamela Banda, TC/TPWM, Malawi Tty, with rank of col; Lt-Cols Zothanmawia Khiangte/Vanlalnungi Thiak, OC/CPWM, Bangladesh Cmd; Mjrs Imran Sabir/Nighat Imran, CS/TSWM, Pakistan Tty, with rank of lt-col
NANAIMO, B.C.—Raymond C. Smith was born in Humboldt, Sask., in 1932, and promoted to glory at the age of 87. Ray joined the Royal Canadian Navy from Prince Albert, Sask., and served in the diving unit for 35 years. Following his retirement, he worked for the Army’s thrift store for 13 years. Ray married Mona (Williams) of Fernie, B.C., and they shared 62 years together. He accepted the Lord when he was 22 and became active in The Salvation Army. Ray loved working with and supporting young people in both Esquimalt and Nanaimo, B.C. He also served as corps sergeant-major, youth group leader, greeter and usher. Ray spent many years helping with kettles during the Christmas season and enjoyed playing Santa. As a legion member, Ray, with Mona’s help, sold poppies and took part in Remembrance Day services at the corps and seniors’ homes where he often recited In Flanders Field. Ray is missed by his devoted wife, Mona; children Lyle (Sheila Crawshaw) and Sue-Lynn (Doug Gray); grandchildren Pearlanne, Delsarose (Marc Morin) and Christopher, all of whom are active in The Salvation Army; sisters Florence, Olga, Sheila and Mary; brother, Wayne (Corrine) Vera; nieces, nephews, family and friends.
TERRITORIAL Appointments: Feb 28—Lt Joseph Cantrell, assistant CO, Chatham-Kent Ministries, Ont. GL Div (transferred from U.S.A. Eastern Tty); Mar 2—Mjrs Rodney/Paulette Bungay, intern AC, Ont. CE Div, and intern, leadership development, THQ/business intern, THQ; Apr 1—Mjrs Richard/Deana Zelinsky, millennial project officer, corps ministries department, THQ/ territorial training and development officer, personnel services, THQ (retaining AC, Ont. CE Div); Cpts Mark/Jodi Dunstan, Ontario Camping Ministries (additional responsibility); Jun 26—Mjrs Shawn/Brenda Critch, DC/divisional secretary for spiritual life development, Ont. Div, with rank of lt-col; Mjrs Les/Tiffany Marshall, DC/DDWM and divisional secretary for spiritual life development, Prairie Div; Mjrs Keith/Shona Pike, DC/DDWM and director of officer training (French track), Que. Div; Sep 1—Cpt Jason Dockeray, executive officer to the territorial commander, THQ (from Jun 26-Aug 31, assistant camp director, Ontario camping ministries); Sept 1—Cpt Kristen Jackson-Dockeray, advocate for gender equity, THQ (from Jun 26-Aug 31, assistant camp director, Ontario camping ministries) Promoted to glory: Mjr Lynn Fisher, Feb 20; Mjr Joseph Loucks, Feb 28; Mjr Leah Snook, Mar 6; Mjr Ronald Trickett, Mar 15; Mjr Shirley Dawe, Mar 24
CALENDAR Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: May 10-13 Territorial Executive Conference (via videoconference) Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill: May 10-13 Territorial Executive Conference (via videoconference)
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Geraldine Lambert, a senior soldier at The Salvation Army’s West End Community Church in Bermuda, sends out a monthly newsletter to share the gospel
at a government school for children with disabilities—first as a supervisor, then as a principal when we were transferred to the Ministry of Education. My husband and I were married in 1965 at the old Salvation Army citadel on Court Street in Hamilton. He was a good man, Photo: Cpt Shawna Goulding
a good husband and a good father. I was a senior soldier at the White Hill Corps, but I couldn’t always get him to go with me. He was a hard worker, so when he had time off, he’d say, “It’s a beautiful day—I think I’m going fishing.” I wanted to spend time with him and our two sons, of course, so then we’d all go. I often felt guilty that I wasn’t as dedicated as I should have been. We don’t always stay on that steady path.
Purpose and Promise I’ve learned to put God first in everything. BY GERALDINE LAMBERT
ere in Bermuda, a beautiful island of about 20 square miles [50 square kilometres], all of God’s handiwork is on display. Tropical flowers,
plants and trees flourish. Homes are painted in pastel colours, with white limestone roofs for catching rainwater. I was born on May 7, 1940. I come from a generation when it was not uncommon to live with grandparents, so I spent most of my young life with my grandmother and a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins. I have always been very close with my siblings. We look out for each other and are in constant communication. My sister, Joy, and brother, Bernard, are deceased. My brother, Noel, attends St. George’s Corps. I had a beautiful relationship with my mother, who was a kind, giving and loving person. She made each of her children feel important, despite the circumstances she found herself in. My father became more active in my life after I became a teenager, and we developed a lasting friendship. 30 May 2020 Salvationist
As a young girl, church and Sunday school on weekends was a must. I
attended The Salvation Army’s St. George’s Corps, where I was introduced to Jesus, and later became a junior soldier at Hamilton Citadel. The Army was filled with caring people who were willing to help, who were there for us. We were never in need because of them, and their lifestyle inspired us to do the same.
As a teenager, I was often not as committed as I should have been. I didn’t really know what it meant to have a relationship with God—I was just doing what I’d been taught. I was very active in the Girl Guide movement and had many opportunities to represent The Salvation Army and Bermuda internationally, which included being involved with people with disabilities. I spent about four years overseas, studying and working with the disabled, as God prepared me for the purpose he had for my life. When I returned to Bermuda, with his guidance, love and will, I began working
After 25 years of marriage, my husband was killed in an accident at work. Many strange incidences occurred in the weeks before his death, and they made me realize that God was speaking to me. I knew I had to put him first in everything, so I rededicated my life to fulfilling God’s will.
As a senior soldier in The Salvation Army, I am very active in the church.
I have served as a local officer in the position of treasurer and secretary; taught Sunday school, led Bible studies and prayer meetings; and been involved with women’s ministries.
For the past 22 years, I have produced a monthly newsletter, The Communicator, with the blessing of the Army’s West End Community Church. The newsletter is sent to members of the church, friends and organizations in the community, as well as people overseas. It’s my way of sharing the gospel and bringing comfort, hope and encouragement. God’s love is in each word. Although I’m slowing down now that I have an autoimmune disease, I know God is still with me. I rely on him every day. I don’t wait to pray in the morning or evening, I pray all day long—for my family, for my friends, for the church. God is in control. I believe in his Word, and he has kept his promises to me.
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Feeling Boxed In?
A lot of people feel trapped in the workplace. Too many of us are blindly running around, neglecting our families to keep pace with the incessant workload or stepping over our colleagues to get ahead.
Long before the proliferation of CEO biographies, business handbooks and manuals on corporate culture, Jesus put His finger on what should be your first job when you walk through the office door:
When workplace one-upmanship, titles and perks take priority over loyalty and jobs well done, satisfaction plummets, souls deaden and hearts wither. We wander aimlessly across the corporate landscape.
“ Do to others what you would have them do to you.”—Matthew 7:12 If we conduct ourselves with integrity, honesty and compassion, maybe we will finally begin to think “outside the box.”
To learn more about Jesus, visit our website at www.faithandfriends.ca or contact us at: The Salvation Army Editorial Department, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto ON M4H 1P4
VOLUME 23 NUMBER 5
FAMILY TIME 5 The Door Prize
When Jeanette Levellie ran out of enthusiasm to decorate her mother’s apartment, an unexpected award energized her again. LAUGHING MATTERS 8 A Thick Frog on the Road?
One letter can make all the difference, but no one needs a slice of dread. SOMEONE CARES
10 Rescued From Addiction
SAVED TO SERVE P.15
Hope for the Hopeless
10 Tracy’s Breakthrough
A Salvation Army program provides hope for the hopeless. FEATURES
There for Mom
BREAKTHROUGH P.10 THE DOOR PRIZE P.5
I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
Ordeal in the Operating Room AS DEBBY NELSON UNDERWENT BRAIN SURGERY, HER UNBORN CHILD’S LIFE HUNG IN THE BALANCE. P.16
COVER STORY 22
Cover Photo: Carson Samson
Saved to Serve
Vince Cusack was at his lowest when he encountered God and The Salvation Army.
Ordeal in the Operating Room
As Debby Nelson underwent brain surgery, her unborn child’s life hung in the balance.
A Snail’s Pace
In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, our hero searches for his childhood friend. NOW & THEN 24 Jeff Bethke
The bestselling influencer still loves Jesus, and is addicted to grace. LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin
Sudoku, Quick Quiz, Word Search. NIFTY THRIFTY 31 Thrifting Like a Pro
How to make the most of your next thrift store visit. faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
FROM THE EDITOR
The “Miracle Baby”
ometimes, the most touching stories in Faith & Friends have the most inauspicious origins. Earlier this year, the editorial department received an email from General Linda Bond, the retired leader of the international Salvation Army. A Canadian herself, she mentioned in passing how her niece’s son, 11-year-old Hayden, loves Faith & Friends, and that he often passes his time reading the magazine during Sunday services at The Salvation Army’s Heritage Park Temple church in his hometown of Winnipeg. Well, such good taste just had to be investigated, so I contacted Hayden’s parents, Paul and Debby Nelson. It turns out that Hayden is still referred to by older members of the church as their “miracle baby.” When she was pregnant with Hayden, Debby had to undergo brain surgery due to a ruptured brain aneurysm, a procedure that could well have had dire effects for both mother and baby. Both lives hung in the balance, and their story is on page 16. Elsewhere in this issue of Faith & Friends, you’ll read about the caring Salvation Army staff who helped Tracy, overwhelmed by anxiety, see past her hopelessness. As well, Jeanette Levellie shares how, when her enthusiasm to help decorate her mother’s front entrance waned, an unexpected “door prize” helped rejuvenate her again. And funnyman Phil Callaway points out how some misplaced letters in a collection of children’s writings can make for hilarious consequences. Ken Ramstead
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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
Brian Peddle, GENERAL Commissioner Floyd Tidd TERRITORIAL COMMANDER
Lt-Colonel John P. Murray SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS Geoff Moulton, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ken Ramstead, EDITOR
Brandon Laird SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Hannah Saley DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Pamela Richardson, COPY EDITOR, PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR
Ada Leung CIRCULATION CO-ORDINATOR
Kristin Ostensen STAFF WRITER, PROOFREADER
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 email@example.com Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 firstname.lastname@example.org All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131
The Door Prize When I ran out of enthusiasm to decorate my mother’s apartment, an unexpected award energized me again.
by Jeanette Levellie
hen Mom, an 86-year-old widow, moved from the big city to our rural town to live near us, I was thrilled but worried. I knew that saying goodbye to the friends and familiar places she’d known for three decades—not to mention finding a new home for
her beloved cat, Rufus—would be a rough adjustment, and I wanted to do all I could for Mom as her only remaining child. I asked God for ways to show my love for her. Although I was no longer a child, I wanted to honour God by honouring her, like the Apos-
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Maternal Bond Jeanette Levellie (left) with her mother. Jeanette’s labour of love brightened her mother’s day
tle Paul told us to do in Ephesians 6:2. “Help me find some ways to be a blessing to Mom, and make her smile.” I Can Do That! Every Wednesday, I joined Mom in the dining room of her assisted-living facility for lunch. This became our weekly tradition. After we ate, we’d mosey back to her apartment and chat awhile before I had to return to work. It was usually the same topics we’d discussed the week before, but I didn’t mind. Mom got lonely, far from her friends. It made her happy that I listened. And I often prayed with her before I left. My husband and I took her to eat after church occasionally, or had her to our house for a meal. She loved talking to our cats, looking at the family pictures that covered our walls and playing board games. We took Mom shopping, to movies and
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yard sales. But I wanted to do more. I noticed that many of Mom’s neighbours decorated their doors for holidays. Mom liked to take us around the building and point out the prettiest ones. I can do that! I thought. It will help Mom feel more a part of this little community. Since I enjoyed decorating my own home, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to share the fun with Mom, adding a bit of bling to the outside of her apartment. From Fun to Chore Near the end of winter’s gloomy days, I put up brightly coloured paper flowers and a “Welcome Spring!” wreath. For Valentine’s Day, pink and red hearts dipped in glitter danced across the walls leading to her apartment. In summer, a silk flower arrangement sat under her mailbox. In the fall, I decorated the door with a wreath of pumpkins and a grinning
What began as a way to honour Mom and help her feel loved was now a chore. stuffed bear. And at Christmas, a “Jesus is the Best Gift” wall hanging reminded everyone why we celebrate this season. This was an exciting and fun project. For the first year. Then the newness wore off and it became a chore to take down old decorations, pack them and put up the new items. Since Mom lacked storage space, I had to haul the boxes of each season’s decorations home to store in our basement. After four years of this routine, I wondered why I even started the beautify-Mom’s-space project in the first place. What began as a way to honour Mom and help her feel loved was now a chore. Did it really make a difference to her if she had a wreath on her door or not? Why was I knocking myself out so glittery hearts could fill the walls? Then I discovered why.
Worth Every Minute “You know those ladies who come from the church around the corner every week?” Mom said one Wednesday when I stopped by for lunch. “Well, yesterday they gave me a dollar!” “Really?” I said, leaning forward in my chair. “Why did they give you a dollar?” “They told me I won the door prize for the best fall decorations!” She laughed like a young girl, and her brown eyes crinkled at the corners when she grinned. It made my heart sing. I rejoiced with her over her “winnings” and forgot all about the chore of decorating her door and walls. My labour of love had brightened her day. Not only had God helped me honour her, others had honoured her, too. I knew I was doing the right thing. I even let her keep the dollar.
(left) Author of five books and hundreds of published articles, Jeanette Levellie and her husband make their home in Paris, Illinois. Jeanette’s hobbies include spoiling her three grandchildren, pampering her cats and inventing new ways to avoid housework. Find her splashes of hope and humour at www.jeanettelevellie.com.
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A Thick Frog on the Road? One letter can make all the difference, but no one needs a slice of dread.
Photo: Jacob Lund/stock.Adobe.com
by Phil Callaway
ew things make me laugh more than children. Here are some hilarious spelling errors they have made on tests and assignments. I am not making any of these up: • “There was a very thick frog on the road last night and it made a car crash.” Ah, yes, watch out for those very thick frogs. Sounds like that car had to be toad. OK, I apologize for the puns. I just can’t help myself.
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• A little girl wrote, “The best place to put pants is somewhere warm and damp, where they can live happily.” I think she meant plants. • “I didn’t get to sleep much all night because next door’s dog was baking.” That kid had a ruff night. A dog baking? Paws and think about it. Sounds like a dog’s breakfast to me. • One boy wrote, “I like to pick up sea smells on the beach and
keep them in my room.” What a difference one letter makes. • “Mr. Brown walked into the room and sat on his favourite choir.” I hope the child meant chair. • And the final Bad Spellers Hall of Fame sentence: “Every morning Dad has a slice of dread before he goes to work.”
Allow the arrival of worry to trigger an acknowledgment of your own inadequacy and your need to turn it over to God. All’s Well … Well, that one made me smile then stop and think a bit. Because this morning when I should have been eating bread, I got one letter wrong and picked up a slice of dread instead. Over family concerns. Decisions. A relationship that
needs mending. If you picked up a thick slice of dread lately, here’s something that’s helped me: Allow the arrival of worry to trigger an acknowledgment of your own inadequacy and your need to turn it over to God. There is no situation or circumstance that we face alone. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” He is with us. He cares. Matthew 6:8 says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” My wife sees my dread and sometimes jokes, “Why pray when you can worry?” If, like me, you find yourself worrying, talk to yourself this way: God is big enough to bring me through this, strong enough to carry this for me, and loving enough to cause all of it to work together for my good. According to Romans 8:28, it will be alright in the end; so if it’s not alright, it’s not the end. I hope that brings a smile to your face today. And watch out for that thick frog on the road. I don’t want you to croak.
(left) Phil Callaway’s Laugh Again radio program airs 700 times a week in Canada. Visit him at laughagain.org.
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Tracy’s Breakthrough A Salvation Army program in British Columbia provides hope for the hopeless. by Linda Leigh
Photo: Courtesy of Jenn Thompson
Friendship and Connection Tracy (left) with Jenn Thompson, program co-ordinator for The Salvation Army’s Breakthrough program
racy arrived in Vernon, B.C., overwhelmed by hopelessness. She couldn’t see past her pain and just wanted it to stop. In her mind, suicide seemed to be the only way out. She needed people who cared about her. Little did she know that would be The Salvation Army. Struggling to Survive In 2015, Tracy left her marriage. “Living in an unhealthy relationship was difficult and I wanted to find happiness again,” says Tracy. She moved to Vernon, where
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family could support her while she sorted out her emotions. But after only three months, Tracy felt that living with family was causing too much stress and anxiety, so she removed herself from the situation. She didn’t know where she would go or what she would do, but she knew things had to change or suicide was inevitable. Tracy had no choice but to sell everything she owned from her previous three-bedroom home. And when Tracy could no longer afford car payments or buy food, she sold her vehicle to help her survive.
For the next seven months, Tracy lived out of a suitcase and stayed with other family and friends— wherever she could land for a while. Seeking Help “It was very depressing to not have a home or the support I so desperately
A Family “Women who attend the program are dealing with feelings of isolation and lack of support,” says Jenn Thompson, program co-ordinator. “We provide a safe environment where participants build relationships, learn life skills and improve their self-esteem.”
Tracy knew things had to change or suicide was inevitable. needed,” says Tracy. She then moved to Victoria for two years where she enrolled in self-help courses and received counselling. But the loneliness never went away. She moved back to Vernon to be with the grandchildren who’d always brightened her life. One day, Tracy walked into The Salvation Army, depressed, anxious and suicidal, seeking help. There, Tracy received counselling and was directed to housing-support services. Before long, she began to volunteer with the Army’s meal program and food bank. It was through volunteering that she learned of the Breakthrough program.
Breakthrough sessions include forgiveness, healthy boundaries and relationships, self-esteem and conflict resolution. Participants engage in activities such as art days, cooking and movie days. The goal is that women find a place of belonging, friendship and support. Today, Tracy is a cashier at a Salvation Army thrift store, helps with the organization of the store and interacts with clients. She has her own apartment and volunteers when she is able. “When I came to The Salvation Army, I felt connected,” says Tracy. “The Salvation Army is the family I never had, the one I always wished for.”
(left) Linda Leigh is manager of communications at The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters in Toronto.
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Saved to Serve VINCE CUSACK WAS AT HIS LOWEST WHEN HE ENCOUNTERED GOD AND THE SALVATION ARMY. by Ken Ramstead
ddiction consumed my whole life,” states Vince Cusack. “I’ve been locked up, homeless, suicidal, had withdrawals that almost killed me, overdosed numerous times and had to be revived with Narcan. I’ve been in numerous car accidents because I was high behind the wheel. I hurt my family and my friends and did things I never thought I would do.” Vince posted this on his Facebook page this past spring to celebrate another year of sobriety. “I had two options,” he went on to post. “Continue to self-destruct or surrender and admit I had a problem. “I chose freedom. I chose to believe in God!” 12 • MAY 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
Destructive Spiral Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Vince “grew up in a family that was dysfunctional.” At the age of five, his family moved to Arizona, where Vince spent his childhood and teen years. Unfortunately, his parents struggled with alcoholism. “At an early age, I started drinking with them and that carried over into school,” says Vince. “Whether I was at home or whether I was at school, I was using substances and abusing them.” By the time Vince reached high school, his life revolved around self-medicating, using drugs and alcohol, alone, with friends or with his parents. In his senior year, Vince
was expelled for possession and use of drugs. From the time he was 17, he had been in and out of jail for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and shoplifting. “All primarily so I could get funds to use,” says Vince. “I would use until I got into trouble, get arrested and the cycle would repeat.” Things did not improve when he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his parents. By then, he was addicted to heroin and “was doing all kinds of horrible things to get high.” Two Options It was at this point that the 22-yearold was arrested for forgery and identity theft. As this was his first
felony charge, Vince was told to find a drug rehab facility by the drug courts. “And that is what brought me to The Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) in Kansas City.” By this time, Vince was mentally, spiritually and physically bankrupt. He had even contemplated suicide in the months leading up to this. “I just was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” So when Vince was offered the opportunity to attend a drug rehabilitation facility for a sixmonth, faith-based program, it seemed to him like God’s way of saying, “This is where I’m going to change your life.”
That Was Then … (opposite page) Vince Cusack in his younger days. “I did things back then I never thought I would do” Proud Pastors (left) Vince with Majors Michael and Mary Thomas, The Salvation Army Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) pastors in Kansas City who helped Vince during his time there
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“ I just was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” VINCE CUSACK
“I Surrender” Vince took his new life one day at a time. The Salvation Army pastors and staff provided Vince with basic necessities that he’d stopped caring about. “Even seemingly minor things—a place to sleep, a roof over my head, food, clothing—were a blessing to me.” However, the ARC provided more than that. In the six months he was there, he met with Christian counsellors and attended chapel services twice a week. But he was also motivated by those around him. “I saw God transform others like me, facing prison time or homeless, coming in with nothing and leaving with the confidence to go and build themselves back up.” As well, Vince started to embrace the ministry and the mission of The Salvation Army. 14 • MAY 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
It was only a matter of time before Vince knelt at the chapel and told God, “I surrender.” “Something Bigger” At around this time, the ARC pastors suggested that Vince find a home church. The closest one was a kilometre and a half away at The Salvation Army’s Eastside Corps. He had already been to a Sunday service there thanks to the ARC, and attending services on a regular basis just galvanized his faith. “Every Sunday, the pastors made me feel welcome and were invested in my faith and my Christian walk, and they took the time to answer my questions.” Vince now knew that God had a purpose for his life, and he expressed an interest in becoming an official member of The Salvation Army. “I wanted to serve,” says Vince. “And everything I read about the Army’s doctrines and mission agreed with what was in my heart. The more
… This Is Now Vince today. “God continues to move mountains on my behalf”
I prayed about this to God, the more I realized that this is what He had in mind for me. “I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me.” Giving Hope Vince became an official member of The Salvation Army last year and threw himself into the life of the church. “I was leading Sunday school, I was involved in the worship services, I did the media, read Scripture, I took guys from the ARC to AA meetings every weekend,” says Vince. “I could see how God was using me.” “God, I can’t believe what You’re doing with my life,” he prayed one day. “It’s one of those times you hear
the still, small voice of God, and He said, ‘This is what I have for you.’ ” That day, Vince started the paperwork to become a Salvation Army pastor. He is doing a full-time internship at Wichita Citadel church in Kansas and he expects to go into training next year. “God’s used me in so many ways,” says Vince, “whether leading Sunday school, teaching a youth program, preaching or just being involved in the day-to-day activities of the church.” When asked to encapsulate his life, Vince replies, “God loves us all and nobody’s ever lost. I want my story to be heard because if one person can identify with where I’ve been and where I’m at, that will give them hope.” faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
AS DEBBY NELSON UNDERWENT BRAIN SURGERY, HER UNBORN CHILD’S LIFE HUNG IN THE BALANCE. by Ken Ramstead 16 • MAY 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
eal in the rating Room
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Photo: Carson Samson
Bond of Love Debby Nelson and her son, Hayden. “In Hayden’s story, we’ve seen God’s grace in an undeniable way,” she says
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“ Doctors will tell you that when you suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm, nine out of 10 people are dead in 10 minutes.” PAUL NELSON THE SUNDAY MORNING service on May 5, 2008, had just started at The Salvation Army’s Heritage Park Temple in Winnipeg when an announcement was made to the congregation. “Please pray for Debby Nelson, her husband, Paul, and their daughters as she undergoes brain surgery this morning. Her life is in God’s hands.” Many in the stunned congregation stayed after the service to pray for the family. Others waited in hushed suspense to hear the outcome. Left unspoken was the fact that Debby was pregnant—and that the operation was a dangerous one for both mother and child. Out of Nowhere Paul, a fifth-generation member of The Salvation Army, had met Debby, a fourth-generation Salvationist, on a blind date. They were married with two young daughters—Kassandra, 15, and Micaela, 12—when they found out that she was pregnant. “Hayden was a late-in-life surprise
we had been told by doctors would never happen,” smiles Paul. “My wife and I were thrilled at the new arrival and always thought God had a sense of humour.” But this joy was shattered just five months into the pregnancy. Thirty minutes after the couple had retired for the night on May 4, Debby sat straight up in bed. “I feel like a knife just went through the back of my neck,” she cried out. The pain was searing. What Debby was going through was a ruptured brain aneurysm. “It came out of nowhere. There were no symptoms,” Paul says. “Doctors will tell you that when you suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm, nine out of 10 people are dead in 10 minutes.” The couple immediately went to the hospital. Fortunately, Debby hadn’t taken any headache medication. “Basically,” explains Paul, “they’re blood thinners and Debby would probably have bled out if she had taken them.” faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
Family Fun Hayden Nelson (centre) is surrounded by (from left) his parents Debby and Paul, and his sisters, Micaela and Kassandra
Grace Hospital personnel quickly diagnosed her but the facility wasn’t equipped for neurosurgery, so she was transported with a critical care team to Winnipeg Health Science Centre and its neurosurgery department. The five-hour surgery occurred on the Sunday morning. Under the Knife “I remember it like ...” Paul starts. “... yesterday,” Debby finishes. “The surgery may have happened to me but I was sedated, and Paul had to live it out in real time,” Debby continues. “Hospital staff were asking him whether I had a will and what my health plan consisted of, and he had to deal with a host of 20 • MAY 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
other distracting questions. As well, he had our two young daughters, frantic with worry, to contend with.” There was also the question of whether their unborn baby would survive the brain surgery Debby had to undergo. A full obstetrics team was on alert in the operating theatre next door in case things went awry. Fortunately, Debby came through the surgery with flying colours, but the doctors had no idea which “Debby” would regain consciousness. “The aneurysm had taken place in the memory cortex of Debby’s brain,” explains Paul. “For all the doctors knew, she was going to come out of sedation with full amnesia
God’s Grace Hayden is now a precocious 11-yearold who is into science, robotics and coding, but there are a number of people at Heritage Park who still refer to Hayden as their “miracle child.” “He’s a very smart little guy who loves reading Faith & Friends when he should be paying attention to the Sunday service,” smiles his father, Paul. “It’s not just that he reads them and tosses them aside,” Paul continues. “He keeps a lot of the issues
and we often have conversations about the stories in them. Just recently, he brought up an article he had read in the magazine about the homeless in our midst.” Paul and Debby have had many discussions over the years about what took place and they’ve come to the conclusion that what happened really wasn’t about them, but about God’s grace. “Hayden’s understanding, comprehension and empathy are remarkable for a boy his age,” Paul says. “Debby and I think he is meant for great things, but who knows what God’s plans are for Hayden’s life?”
Photos: Carson Samson
and with no idea who anyone was. “Throughout the ordeal, the support from our Salvation Army church congregation was incredible,” Paul states. “Not just on the prayer side of things—I know people prayed for us throughout the morning’s operation—but on the practical side, too. Take food, for example. We had so many meals delivered to the house, to the point where we almost had more than we could eat!” Family, friends and hospital staff were on tenterhooks as Debby regained consciousness, but when Paul was finally allowed in to see his wife, she was sitting up and smiling as if nothing had ever happened. She recognized all of her loved ones, and within 18 months, she was back at work. Best of all, Hayden suffered no side effects from his mother’s operation.
Avid Reader Eleven-year-old Hayden has read every issue of Faith & Friends from cover to cover since 2016 faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
Photos: Courtesy Nickelodeon Movies
A Snail’s Pace
IN THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN, OUR HERO SEARCHES FOR HIS CHILDHOOD FRIEND. by Ken Ramstead
• His best friend, Patrick Star, lives under a rock, and is two doors down.
• SpongeBob’s neighbour, Squidward Tentacles, is the cashier at the restaurant.
But SpongeBob’s pride and joy is Gary the Snail. They’ve been constant companions since the youngsters met one summer at Kamp Koral. Life is grand.
love my life!” proclaims SpongeBob SquarePants, who lives in a pineapple under the sea in a town called Bikini Bottom. As portrayed in the long-running animated series and two movies, SpongeBob also loves his job as a fry cook at a restaurant called the Krusty Krab, run by a cantankerous red crab named—you guessed it—Mr. Krabs. He also loves his friends:
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• Sandy Cheeks is a squirrel from Texas who inhabits an air-filled glass dome and wears a diving suit to breathe underwater.
The Search Begins But one day, SpongeBob arrives to an empty home, no Gary to be found. A panicked SpongeBob canvasses all of his friends, but Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Patrick and Sandy haven’t seen Gary. There’s only one conclusion: Gary’s been “snail-napped.” “Let’s go find him,” says Patrick. “I smell a road trip!” SpongeBob declares.
ing. SpongeBob and Patrick can drive Squidward crazy, whether they’re camping out in the backyard or playing with a big empty box. But deep down, he loves the little guys. SpongeBob and his friends may not know it, but they are acting out biblical precepts. Friends love friends all the time (see Proverbs 17:17), they’re often more loyal than family (18:24) and can make one another better (27:17).
“ I smell a road trip!” SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS
But SpongeBob finds he won’t be doing this by himself. Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Patrick and Sandy are coming along. “Friends don’t let friends go on dangerous quests alone,” says Patrick. The trail leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the “lost city” of Atlantic City. The duo vow to stay focused, but are tempted by the array of delicious treats offered there. As they navigate delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship. Testament of Friendship As the gang in Bikini Bottom knows, friendships can be frustrat-
And by searching for Gary, which may turn out to be a dangerous mission, they are demonstrating sacrificial love. In that respect, the truest friend is Jesus. As He told His disciples: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father, I have made known to you” (John 15:12-15). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was His truest testament of friendship. By searching for Gary at whatever cost, SpongeBob and the gang are doing the same. faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
NOW & THEN
Photo: Madison Diane Photography
Jeff Bethke The bestselling author, broadcaster and influencer still loves Jesus, and is addicted to grace. In 2012, Jeff Bethke became a YouTube sensation with his “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” video (left). Faith & Friends profiled the “Viral Visionary” in the September 2012 issue (top right), just as Jeff was on the cusp of worldwide fame. Profiled in Time as well as other major publications, Jeff is now married
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Married With Children (left) Alyssa and Jeff Bethke with their children, Lucy, Kinsley and Kannon
with three children but is still “just a nobody trying to tell everybody about a Somebody.” Here, he shares how he finds a balance not only with his job but also his relationships with his wife, family and God. Why do you think that first video went viral?
It was eight years ago now, but that was an accidental viral video. My friends and I were just doing it for fun, but it gave us this opportunity to do what we want. It’s been fun the last eight years to see how it’s taken shape. You and your wife, Alyssa, have created a brand together. What is it that you do exactly?
There are a million different things that we do, but the thing I like to say is we work for the Internet. Another way I put it is we like to make people think about Jesus in fresh and unique ways in our cultural moment. We’ve created a podcast, written books, participated in speaking engagements—just about anything, really. It plays out in a bunch of different ways and sometimes it includes Alyssa and sometimes not.
“A successful life is all about a relationship with Jesus,” says Jeff Bethke
How Jeff Bethke’s “Why I Hate Religion” became a YouTube sensation by Jayne Thurber-Smith
n his wildly popular YouTube videos, Jeff Bethke has a delivery as powerful as any stand-up comedian but with a much more serious message. He has all the “in your face” confidence of a rapper but none of the sleaze or profanity. Instead, the only four-letter word he favours is “love.”
As Jeff talks, he looks straight at the camera, without pretence, as if he has the best secret in the world he wants to share with you. And he does. The equation is simple: Jesus > Religion. “A successful life is all about a relationship with Jesus, not rules,” Jeff states.
Time interview, his theology may not be “airtight,” but his intent in writing “Why I Hate Religion” was “to help people get the blurriness out of their eyes so that they could see Jesus for who He really is.” Jeff has produced and written other inspiring yet controversial videos, the second of which, entitled “Sexual Healing,” is the antithesis of Marvin “Follow the King” And people are listening. His YouTube Gaye’s suggestive song from the ’80s. presentation “Why I Hate Religion, In the video, Jeff counsels: But Love Jesus” had six million views You don’t have sex with a body, three days after its release this past January. By June, the number was you have sex with a soul. more than 20 million. Along with the Dudes, think twice before you praise, the video has garnered cridesire her just ’cause she’s hot, tiques from pastors and columnists, ’Cause the truth is your body makes which Jeff weathers with disarming a promise whether you do or not. modesty. As he mentioned in a recent Jesus loves and accepts us 20
friends September 2012
Photo: © Alyssa Fenton
12-07-23 8:46 AM
Since you both work together most of the time, what are some of the hardest parts of that? And the best parts?
Even though we’ve gotten pretty good at this, one of the hardest things is when you work with your spouse, you have to set boundaries, separating those moments together into separate categories. Is this a work moment? Is this a marriage moment? Is this a family moment? Is this a kid moment? Is this a date moment? It’s one of the harder aspects, but it’s a gift, too. The best part is that you grow so much closer together simply by pure math. The more time you spend together, the closer you grow. It’s the amount of time, which is really enjoyable and special.
faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
NOW & THEN
“ Struggle is real. Doubt is real. All these things are a normal part of the faith process.” JEFF BETHKE
Do you have any tips or advice for people who are in similar situations?
Set boundaries and commit to times that you dedicate to work and times that you dedicate to date nights. We have something called a “business meeting.” On Sunday nights, we spend 30 minutes going through all the logistics it takes to run a family, a marriage and a business. We discuss our schedules for the upcoming week and we plan it all together. And then we have a date night, that’s separate from that, and absolutely no work talk is allowed. We rarely even talk about the kids that much; we use that time to connect our hearts on a deeper level. A lot of times, it happens that a date night can turn into a logistical meeting. And that’s when it gets convoluted and confusing.
26 • MAY 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
When do you find time for yourselves as individuals?
We are both morning people in the sense that we both spend the first two to three hours of the day alone. We don’t see each other. We don’t talk. And that’s big for us. Some influencers choose not to be open about their faith online because they’re afraid of the backlash. Do you feel this way?
The influencer industry paints this picture of perfection. The thing is, I think people want authenticity. And usually, faith lends itself to you being vulnerable and honest, which is what people relate to. Do you have any advice for anyone struggling with their relationship with God?
Just make sure you’re not trying to figure it out or do it alone. Struggle is real. Doubt is real. All these things are a normal part of the faith process, but make sure that you’re leaning into the Lord and community and Scripture and surrounding yourself with boundaries and barriers that keep you on a focused path, so you don’t fall off a cliff, you know, metaphorically. Make sure that you’re around people who know you for who you truly are. Reprinted from The War Cry (U.S.), February 2020
GOD IN MY LIFE
Serving Bloor Central’s community meals allowed Kevin to focus on others rather than his own struggles. When Kevin was discharged, he was unemployed and had no money. Seeking assistance, the hospital referred him to a Salvation Army food bank. For Kevin, The Salvation Army was a familiar place. “I’ve been to jail many times in the past, and The Salvation Army had always been there for me. I knew that this time would be no different.”
than his own struggles. Through the power of volunteering, Kevin no longer felt trapped in addiction; rather, he was connecting and building relationships with people in the community. He began to feel a new sense of purpose, make new friends and develop job skills. “Volunteering at Bloor Central is something that is dear to me,” Kevin says, tears filling his eyes. “But more than that, the power of God transformed my life, and made me the person I am today. Bloor Central rejoices in that, and I am grateful.”
BETWEEN THE LINES
Good Book Turned Bad? Correcting misconceptions about the Bible. by Andrew Stone
writing, but it would have been full of grammatical errors. You never find the grammatical errors in the translations, though—it’s always tidied up.” Encountering God In an attempt to rectify such misconceptions, Nick has written The Badly Behaved Bible. “The aim of the book is to come to the Bible and see what it actually is as a text,” he states. “We have to remember that it’s an ancient text, and its writers didn’t have the same categories of writing that we do. We go to it expecting the history parts to be our type of history. But the writers had no concept of writing history as we have.” Nick makes his point by highlighting the first book of the Bible, Genesis, which has an account of God making the world in six days— something at odds with the scientific evidence of today. “It doesn’t matter to me whether
or not everything in Genesis actually happened,” he disarmingly admits. “Genesis is not a scientific treatise, so expecting it to be is wrong. “The first two chapters of Genesis contain two different accounts of creation. The people who put Genesis together didn’t see any problem with including two accounts. So I don’t see that they were ever trying to deliver an absolute statement on how the earth was created. “I see in Genesis primal stories about what it is to be human. Genesis tells us that human beings are made in the image of God. Now, that’s a massive statement, because it means that every human being is precious and unique. “Genesis also talks about a God who has personal relationships— that’s a constant of the Bible in whatever part we’re reading, and I believe the Bible is a place where we can encounter God and begin a relationship with Him.”
Genesis of an Idea
Thank you for the article/book review in which Salvation Army officer Major Andrew Stone implies that one needn’t consider the Genesis creation account as literal (“Good Book Turned Bad?” February 2020). It’s encouraging that this can be said publicly! I think more young people need to know that older members of The Salvation Army don’t all believe that God created the world in six of our days, but that we accept known science. As someone has said, “Science is man trying to figure out how God does it.”—Heather Allington
A big thank you to you and your team for All in His Head including this article on postconcussion syndrome (PCS) in the latest Faith & Friends (“All in His Head,” March 2020). I can relate in so many ways, but especially to the words quoted from Philippians 4:6 at the end of the article: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Photo: June Li
God bless you, Kevin R (“Volunteering to Recovery,” January 2020). My own story is similar. My drinking ended after a devastating physical and mental breakdown. The Salvation Army stood by me and never gave up on me, even on days I had given up on myself. Five and a half sober years later, I am now an official member of The Salvation Army, in AA, have my family back and I’m working full time. At the time, I could not understand why it had to be me, but I now know God sent me my breakdown to give me the breakthrough I needed. God has done for you and me what we could not do for ourselves. Saved to Serve: “The power of God transformed my life,” says Kevin
Volunteering to Recovery
A simple question changed the course of Kevin’s life. by June Li
ecovering from addiction is a long journey, and Kevin should know. “When I first came to Bloor Central, I was in terrible shape,” he says. “But that was six years ago. Today, I am sober and it is all because of this place.” And all it took was a question.
26 • JANUARY 2020
Familiar Refuge After years of battling a drug addiction, Kevin ended up in the hospital for nearly three months as he recovered from heart surgery. “I was addicted to IV drugs and, unfortunately, I had a fungal infection that affected my heart because I was using dirty needles,” Kevin explains.
Life Changer For four months, Kevin visited an Army food bank to help him make ends meet. Hopeful to make a positive change in his life, he began going to Alcoholics Anonymous and became physically and mentally stronger. One day, he ran into Major Douglas Hammond, the pastor at the Army’s Bloor Central Corps (church) in Toronto. “Major Douglas asked if I wanted to volunteer at their community meal program,” he says. From that day, this simple question changed the course of Kevin’s life. Volunteering helped Kevin escape addiction and stay sober. By serving Bloor Central’s community meals, he was able to focus on others rather
Bell-Ringer A happy Kevin takes a turn at a Salvation Army kettle over the holidays
faithandfriends.ca I JANUARY 2020
uthor Nick Page has a surprising opinion on what is arguably the best known book in the world. “We’ve been told wrong things about the Bible,” he says. “We’ve been misinformed. “For example,” he continues, “sometimes we’re given the impression that God wrote every word in it, but the Bible is the writing of many people across thousands of years. “Some other Christians treat the Bible like it is God and end up worshipping it. But the Bible isn’t God—it was written and created by men.” Bible by Committee Another problem Nick identifies is that people do not always realize that
8 • FEBRUARY 2020
the Bible is a collection of writings. “Because it is bound together, some people think the Bible is one book,” he explains. “The fact is, it wasn’t bound together until about 350 AD. Before then, some of it would have been on scrolls and some on codices, early forms of books. “In a sense, we need to unbind it. Then we would have more awareness that these are different books written by different authors. “As well as being bound together, it is also translated by committees, which flattens all the voices so that it sounds like it has one author. “For example, the final book of the Bible, Revelation, was written in extremely bad Greek, by someone for whom Greek was their second language. It’s a very important piece of
Making Sense of Scripture “Genesis is not a scientific treatise,” says Nick Page, “so expecting it to be is wrong”
faithandfriends.ca I FEBRUARY 2020
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.
Three Lives, Intertwined
Canadians Across the Pond Majors Shona and Keith Pike are Salvation Army pastors currently stationed at International Headquarters in London, England
I recall the day that John Pike Transplanted Love donated his kidney to his brother, Keith, and how grateful we all were in The Salvation Army Student Fellowship at Memorial University of Newfoundland that the transplant was successful (“Transplanted Love,” February 2020). I’m thrilled that Keith’s wife, Shona, was able to donate this second kidney. It seems that the recovery time was much shorter this time, probably due to improvements in medical technology and techniques, but certainly through God’s grace as well. Bless you both! KEITH AND SHONA PIKE ALWAYS TOOK THE “IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH” PART OF THEIR MARRIAGE VOWS SERIOUSLY, BUT NEVER MORE SO THAN WHEN KEITH NEEDED A NEW KIDNEY.
Photo: Courtesy of National Recycling Operations
by Ken Ramstead
16 • FEBRUARY 2020
faithandfriends.ca I FEBRUARY 2020
dream to a waking nightmare. It began when he tried to chase down a routine pop-up in a game against the Cincinnati Reds.
THIRD-BASEMAN COREY KOSKIE THOUGHT NO ONE UNDERSTOOD HIS BATTLE WITH POSTCONCUSSION SYNDROME. BUT SOMEONE DID. by Jayne Thurber-Smith
22 • MARCH 2020
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
—Karen Hollman Allington Have a comment on any articles you have read? WRITE to us at Faith & Friends, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4H 1P4. EMAIL us at faithandfriends@ can.salvationarmy.org or POST your comments at www.faithandfriends.ca.
faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
Eating Healthy With Erin SPANAKOPITA
Recipe photo: Erin Stanley
TIME 80 min MAKES 6 servings SERVE WITH tzatziki
454 g (16 oz.) frozen phyllo pastry 105 ml (7 tbsp) olive oil 375 g (12 oz.) fresh spinach 250 ml (1 cup) yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, diced 125 ml (½ cup) fresh parsley 60 ml (¼ cup) fresh dill 1 ml (¼ tsp) salt 1 ml (¼ tsp) black pepper 2 eggs 250 ml (1 cup) crumbled feta 125 ml (½ cup) cottage cheese or ricotta cheese 15 ml (1 tbsp) melted butter
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1. Allow frozen phyllo pastry to defrost at room temperature and then place a damp cloth on it to keep moisture in. 2. Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F). 3. Brush a 22 x 33 cm (9 x 13 in.) baking dish lightly with olive oil. 4. Heat 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil over medium heat. Sauté spinach, onion, garlic, parsley and dill until spinach is limp, and onion and garlic are soft. Add salt and pepper. 5. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, drain excess oil from spinach mixture and place in bowl. 6. Whip 2 eggs in bowl, then add spinach mixture. Add feta, and cottage or ricotta cheese. 7. Carefully spread sheet of phyllo pastry out and brush with olive oil. Make 8-9 layers. 8. Spread spinach mixture evenly. 9. Top with sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with olive oil. Make 8-9 layers. 10. Lightly brush top with melted butter. 11. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes. Remove once top is golden. 12. Cut and serve immediately.
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Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
Who Is This Man?
JESUS HAS BEEN DEPICTED IN EVERY CULTURE AND CORNER OF THE EARTH. BUT WHO IS HE? P.16
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Thrifting Like a Pro How to make the most of your next thrift store visit.
High-quality items at discounted prices. Eco-friendly fashion. Supporting local programs for people in need. What’s not to love about shopping at The Salvation Army’s thrift stores? Here’s how to make your next visit the best one yet. Plan Your Visit Make a list of the specific pieces you are looking for. Browsing online for outfits that reflect your personal style can provide a quick reference guide while shopping.
Look for Natural Materials Natural fibres look best in the long run, even if they come with a higher price tag. Look for cotton, linen and leather, and try to avoid items made from polyester, nylon or pleather, which can wear out quicker. Don’t Just Buy—Donate! Audit your wardrobe before you go and donate anything that you haven’t worn in the past four months. Not only will this free up space in your closet but it will give your items a second chance at life.
(left) May Strutt is an avid thrifter with more than a decade of shopping experience in thrift stores across Canada. She is also a communications and engagement specialist with The Salvation Army’s thrift stores. Find a thrift store near you at thriftstore.ca.
faithandfriends.ca I MAY 2020
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