African Ministry Makes New Connections
Territorial Survey Results Signal Hope for Growth
Trafficking Survivors Gain Economic Freedom
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
The Easter message is the most profound, true, life-giving, life-changing message we can ever hear… —GENERAL BRIAN PEDDLE
April 2020 • Volume 15, Number 4
DEPARTMENTS 5 Inbox 6 Frontlines 17 Ethically Speaking
What Did Jesus Really Look Like?
The Rich Heritage of the Mercy Seat
Commissioners Tidd Welcomed Across Territory
Should We Celebrate Christian Celebrity?
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
Temporary Work: Perils of the Gig Economy
What’s Behind the Army Salute?
Finding God in the Alleys of Downtown Winnipeg
7 Sacred Teachings in Indigenous Tradition
Maternal health, housing and education highlighted in newest Partners in Mission command
Uniquely Human by John McAlister
On the Air: Radio Show Celebrates 20 Years
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
eet Str ol Patr
es e serv k e nurs in bac s Bellevillginalized citie tent the mar and alleys
Youth share their vision for the Army ahead of Montreal congress
Pulse Check by Sharon Jones-Ryan
It’s not too late to join
18 Taking the Lead
CATCH UP ONLINE Did you know that you can find free back issues of Salvationist and Faith & Friends magazines at the issuu.com/salvationist website? Catch up on all the Salvation Army news and features on your tablet or desktop.
19 Fresh Ideas Get Cracking by Valerie Pavey
27 People & Places 30 Not Called? Back to Her Future by Ken Ramstead
10 Healed and Made Whole
The Old Rugged Cross by Geoff Moulton
9 Onward This Changes Everything by Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross brings peace, grace and deliverance for all. by General Brian Peddle
12 Territorial Survey Signals Optimistic Outlook Salvationists share where they believe God is leading The Salvation Army. by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd
I Speak for the Trees by Darryn Oldford
25 Grace Notes Red-Balloon Evangelism by Captain Laura Van Schaick
14 New Connections How a ministry among African newcomers is transforming York Community Church. by Kristin Ostensen
Also available on the Territorial Archives section of Salvationist.ca is a searchable record of every War Cry dating back to 1884. Visit salvationist.ca/archives-andmuseum. Cover illustration: allanswart/ iStock via Getty Images
READ AND SHARE IT! I Still Believe
LOVE AND LOSS P.25
Help for Angie
A SAFE PLACE P.10
ARMY HELPS P.12
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
20 Finding His Way Back As the story of Peter shows, we are not defined by our failures. by Colonel Lindsay Rowe
22 Financial Freedom
Who Is This Man?
JESUS HAS BEEN DEPICTED IN EVERY CULTURE AND CORNER OF THE EARTH. BUT WHO IS HE? P.16
Salvation Army develops program in partnership with Scotiabank to help human trafficking survivors gain economic independence. by Kristin Ostensen Salvationist April 2020 3
The Old Rugged Cross
ne Sunday on the way to church last year, our congregation got a shock. The six-metre wooden cross that graced the top of our church spire was lying in pieces on the ground. A combination of high winds and rot had conspired to damage the beams to the extent that they needed to be removed before they tumbled down. I should mention that this was St. Peter’s Lutheran Evangelical Church in Toronto, a space that The Salvation Army North Toronto Community Church is renting while our new church is being built. Our old building at Yonge and Eglinton, the bustling epicentre of Toronto’s uptown, was expropriated by the city three years ago to make way for a new light-rail transit subway line. Since St. Peter’s had become our temporary home, many felt the loss of the cross as though it was our own. St. Peter’s quickly marshalled a benefit con-
cert to raise funds to restore the cross to its former glory. As Easter is fast approaching, the challenge our church faced made me think of the “old rugged cross” on which our Lord was crucified. Do we still “cling to that cross,” as the hymn suggests? The central emblem of Christianity has for centuries instilled a sense of awe and humility, that God would take on human form and deign to suffer one of the worst fates for our sake. In this issue of Salvationist, General Brian Peddle notes in his Easter message (page 10) that Jesus “took on our weaknesses, infirmities and sorrows so that we don’t have to carry them…. A horribly painful moment brings us healing and a horrifically violent act brings us everlasting peace.” What a reversal! Also, Commissioner Floyd Tidd (page 9) emphasizes the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection—the empty
tomb upended the disciples’ expectations. It was the “nothing” they found that changed everything. Valerie Pavey shares a practical Easter activity for kids (page 19). Lastly, Colonel Lindsay Rowe examines how the failure of Peter did not mean defeat. Despite his repeated denials, Jesus still chose to build his church on the “Rock” (page 20). He can use us, too, in our human frailty. As we celebrate the miracle of Easter, may we continue to fix our eyes on the cross. GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Price Change For the past 14 years, we have not increased the price of our four territorial publications—Salvationist, Faith & Friends, Foi & Vie and Just for Kids. Unfortunately, with rising postage and production costs we are forced to increase the bulk rates of the magazines by $0.05 per copy starting this month. Individual subscriptions will stay the same price.
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 April 2020 Salvationist
Even at the new rate, Salvationist and our other publications are a tremendous value. The bulk price for Salvationist, which continues to include Faith & Friends, works out to less than $1.60 per copy. We are grateful to territorial headquarters, which subsidizes one third of the total cost of production. And we thank you for your ongoing partnership in the magazine ministry.
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.
Annual: Canada $30 (includes GST/ HST); U.S. $36; foreign $41. Available from: The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto ON M4H 1P4. Phone: 416-422-6119; fax: 416-422-6217; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquire by email for rates at email@example.com.
News, Events and Submissions Editorial lead time is seven weeks prior to an issue’s publication date. No responsibility is assumed to publish, preserve or return unsolicited material. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or Salvationist, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto ON M4H 1P4.
The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world. Salvationist informs readers about the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. salvationist.ca facebook.com/salvationistmagazine twitter.com/salvationist youtube.com/salvationistmagazine instagram.com/salvationistmagazine
A Tribute Thank you for the tribute to General Bramwell Tillsley (“General Bramwell H. Tillsley Promoted to Glory,” Salvationist.ca, November 3, 2019). As a young boy growing up without a father at North Toronto Citadel, General (then Captain) Tillsley always took time out for me and showed genuine interest in how I was doing, even playing ball hockey with his son, Mark, and me in the driveway. To me he was larger than life! Later in adulthood, his impact on me grew even more influential through his excellence in the pulpit as an expositor of God’s holy Word. I will forever remember hearing him say, “If Christ isn’t Lord of all, then he isn’t Lord at all!” Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter now into your rest. Reverend Norm Gardner
Life-and-Death Decisions Commissioner Floyd Tidd, thanks for sharing your letter with us (“Salvation Army Offers Input on Medical Assistance in Dying,” Salvationist.ca, January 23, 2020). I am definitely with you when you say that robust safeguards should be put in place to make sure an individual is not being pressured into making a life-and-death decision. When I think of individuals who have mental illnesses and relapse from time to time, the field just cannot be left wide open for them to make a rash judgment call and choose death over life because it seems easier. I am praying that the powers who are making the laws, rules and regulations weigh the pros and cons of what exactly is going to be written as law. Thank you for speaking on our behalf. Praying your views will make a difference. Doreen Payne
Sewing That Makes Sense Salvation Army club in Spryfield, N.S., supports people on the autism spectrum. BY HEATHER DEIGHAN
Photo: Krista Riendeau
fter visiting the sewing club at The Salvation Army’s Spryfield Community Church, N.S., a young autistic man made a suggestion that would have a large and lasting impact. “When I saw and touched the ‘fidget quilts’ the club was making for people living with Alzheimer’s,” he said, “I thought, Could these quilts be made for people on the autism spectrum?” Working in partnership with Autism Nova Scotia, the sewing club was inspired by his suggestion to create weighted sensory pads. These beautiful, multi-coloured and multi-purpose pads support relaxation and offer sensory and tactile stimulation. Individuals on the autism spectrum may find the pads comforting—they can be a support that helps with grounding or they can be used as a fidget tool on a long car ride, for example. The pads can also help improve manual dexterity issues as they include zippers, buttons, velcro and other features. “Autism Nova Scotia is thrilled to be involved with this meaningful project and to support the sewing club’s vision to make weighted sensory pads for individuals and families,” says Cynthia Carroll, executive director, Autism Nova Scotia. “We have nine regional chapters and resource centres, so these sensory pads will be accessible and available to autistic individuals throughout Nova Scotia.” So far, the club has created 38 sensory pads. Six were provided to local daycares, schools and individuals, helping to make them barrier-free in terms of cost and access. Some of the local libraries have sensory pads as part of their sensory toolkits available on loan. The estimated cost to create a weighted sensory pad is about $30 using low-cost and donated fabric and poly pellets provided by Autism Nova Scotia. Each pad takes a minimum of five hours to make. Eileen Watts is one of the sewing club members who are working diligently to create the sensory pads. “I didn’t realize the challenges individuals with autism and their families go through when navi-
From left, Elaine Frail, Carolyn Goyetche and Sheila Banks—members of Spryfield CC’s sewing club—show off weighted sensory pads created for people on the autism spectrum
gating spaces in the community, such as their classroom or workplace,” she says. “It’s rewarding to be a part of this great initiative that benefits so many.” Making the sensory pads is a team effort. Some of the members take the fabric home to test it in their washers and driers. Others team up to measure and cut out pieces. Some members sew the pockets that hold poly pellets for each pad, and others create panels with different textures and attachments. All of the pieces of the sensory pads are doublestitched and finished with heavy-duty thread to ensure high durability and quality. Today, the sewing club averages around 15 to 18 regular participants. As more people learn about the sensory pads project, the club hopes new members will come on board to help, and that other sewing groups and community members will get involved as well, whether through sewing or donating fabrics and materials. Sheila Banks, who started the sewing club 10 years ago, says, “We hope this initiative inspires others to come forward and offer their skills to create these much-needed sensory pads.”
Ongoing Outreach These sensory pads are not the sewing club’s only project. Over the years, the club has undertaken many initiatives, including: • shoe bags for children in elementary school • stuffed animals • colourful pillowcases for children at local hospitals and hospital hostels • curtains for Salvation Army camps and hostels • surgery dolls and gowns for children on surgical hospital units to understand surgical procedures • dresses for Salvation Army orphanages in Africa • lap blankets with fleece pockets for people living in nursing homes
14 October 2019 Salvationist
All Sewn Up The weighted sensory pads made by the sewing club at The Salvation Army’s Spryfield Communit y Church, N.S., are a fantastic idea (“Sewing That Makes Sense,” October 2019). I have one grandchild on the autism spectrum and a few others with sensory issues. As a very tactile person myself, I know these pads will help many, many people. Loretta Cameron
The Good Earth As a fifth-generation Salvationist who left the Army and became a minister in the United Church of Canada, I applaud your stance on creation and taking care of it (“Good for Greta,” Salvationist.ca, October 8, 2019). I’ve often felt that the worldwide Army makes a difference in so much of life. Here’s another important issue that has implications for the whole world. May there come a time again when God can say of creation, “It’s not only good, it’s very good.” May God bless us all as we work to bring creation back to its former glory. Dianne Hill
The Image of Jesus Interesting piece (“The Face of God,” January 2020). I have seen this particular portrait of Jesus before. I P don’t believe it really matters what colour you see Jesus as, or which part of Jesus’ personality resonates with you the most. My only issue with the article is the rather strange comment that it’s OK to see Jesus as black or Asian, but it’s a problem if you see him as white, essentially because of European colonization—thereby conflating personal interpretations of Jesus with earthly geopolitical issues, in particular the contemporary “progressive” narrative. Either we believe we should embrace an authentic version of Jesus, or we believe we should be able to make Jesus whatever works for us. To suggest we can make him whatever works for us as long as it’s not white is not logical and simply panders to the current woke mentality that our Jesus-relationship should rise above. VIEWPOINT
The Face of God Why Jesus’ race matters. BY DARRYN OLDFORD
A depiction of Jesus by Richard Neave, a British expert in forensic facial reconstruction
icture Jesus in your mind. What does he look like? Is he fat, thin or in between? Is he frowning? Smiling? Crying? Does he have long or short hair? Is his beard close-cropped or bushy? Now tell me, does he have lightbrown or blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin? That was the image of Jesus I’d seen for most of my life. From Sunday school illustrations, to paintings in church foyers, to actors portraying Jesus in films, Jesus was always a handsome and white—or, at best, slightly tanned—man. This version of Jesus, however, does not match reality. Isaiah 53:2, believed by many Christians to be a prophecy about the Messiah, states: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” This is echoed throughout the New Testament. Although Jesus’ appearance is never spelled out in vivid detail, his ability to blend into crowds would lead us to believe that he looked like a typical man of his day. As a Middle Eastern man who walked in the sun from village to village, he probably had dark brown skin. The Jesus we see in murals and paintings, white-skinned with flowing hair that would put any shampoo commercial to shame, is not the truth. So why do we show him this way? In most, but not all, places in the world, Christianity spread with colonization. In North America, influenced by Europe, that has meant representing Jesus through a predominantly white cultural and historical lens. By doing so, however, we chip away at the important
human side of Christ. It is a tenet of our faith that Jesus was fully God and fully man. Most of us have the God part figured out—we pray to him all the time—but Jesus as a man is harder to wrap our heads around. When his friend Lazarus died, he cried. When he saw the moneychangers in the temple, he got angry. When he wandered in the desert, he was hungry. Like us, Jesus saw the world, felt the ground beneath his feet, heard the birds sing, smelled the spices in the market and tasted food. Jesus was born in a particular time and place, within a particular ethnicity. This is the mystery and beauty of the Incarnation. He was the Word made flesh, and the flesh he chose was a Middle Eastern Jewish man. To deny Jesus his humanity is, in effect, to deny Christ himself. Unless we are willing to love Jesus as a brown-skinned Jewish man, can we really say we love him? This is not a call to haul every blondhaired, blue-eyed portrait of Jesus to the
dump. Some people take comfort in these paintings. I have seen images of Black Jesus in Kenya and Asian Jesus in South Korea, and they show us that he belongs to every culture. We must be careful, though, not to worship our own image. That is the textbook definition of idolatry. I must confess, however, that while I have no problem with Asian or Black Jesus (in fact, I have a Kenyan artist’s portrayal of the Last Supper hanging in my dining room), I find Caucasian Jesus problematic because of the historical baggage associated with colonization. European features were considered beautiful and people of colour were treated as inferior. Sadly, these messages continue to influence how many people of colour see themselves, in addition to perpetuating racism, which hurts society as a whole. It’s important to combat old colonial notions of what Christ looked like, to open the door further for those who aren’t white-skinned and blue-eyed. Portraying Jesus as Caucasian reinforces colonialism and can make him a symbol of oppression. If the only way you can serve Jesus is by seeing him as white-skinned, I suggest that your faith is not in God, but in the power that comes with cultural Christianity. Portraying Jesus as he actually looked may help break down explicit and implicit walls of racism in the global church, and work toward a true fellowship of all believers. After all, we all serve a Middle Eastern Saviour. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto.
24 January 2020 Salvationist
We tend to think that we created God in our own image and that is so wrong. Yes, Jesus was born into a Jewish culture and he himself was a Jew. He probably looked like most Middle Eastern men. Jews say that they are God’s chosen people and so they are, but I thank God that in his unconditional love he adopted someone like me. Josephine Nicolosi
“She means everything to me. She keeps me going,” says Marcia about her dog, Peaches
The animals go marching two-by-two at a pet-friendly shelter in Abbotsford, B.C. BY GISELLE RANDALL
n Abbotsford, B.C., The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope offers a place of shelter and safety, not only for people without a home, but also their animals. Since becoming a “pet-friendly” shelter in October 2014, they’ve welcomed dogs, cats, rabbits, birds—even a lizard and a tarantula. “We opened the door to pets because we found ourselves turning people away,” says Al Breitkreuz, program manager, shelter, outreach and family services. “For some people, a pet is an important part of their survival, something that keeps them going. They shouldn’t have to give that up so they can sleep indoors.” Mary (not her real name) is an elderly woman with the onset of dementia. “She’s had her Shih Tzu, Daisy, for 14 years. She needs this little dog,” says Breitkreuz. “If there was no petfriendly shelter available, where would she go?” Along with meeting an immediate need, the shelter provides access to vital resources for those in the midst of challenging circumstances. After identifying this barrier to service, shelter staff considered the practical questions involved in having animals in the building. Were there health and safety concerns? What about noise? Could they keep the shelter clean? “We came up with a policy to address these issues, and all pet owners are asked to sign a contract outlining their expectations and responsibilities,” he says. “Ultimately, the owner is accountable for the actions and behaviour of their pet.” The shelter allows two fur-bearing animals at one time. Owners are responsible to feed, walk and clean up after their pet, keep them under control at all times and be respectful of others in the community, as well as local bylaws. At night, pets sleep outside in a large kennel, with an insulated doghouse, donated by Petcetera. During the day, they can be inside with their owner, but must wear a leash— and possibly a muzzle—when in common areas. Pets aren’t permitted in the kitchen or dining room, unless they are service animals. “On one hand, pets are a bit of extra work, but on the other
Photo: Giselle Randall
hand, they also make our lives easier—it goes both ways,” says Breitkreuz. “Research suggests that the presence of pets in a shelter can bring equilibrium. When clients are sitting around in the evening, watching TV, and there’s a dog at their feet—that’s a beautiful thing. Everyone loves that.” On rare occasions, shelter staff have felt an animal was being mistreated and called the SPCA. “But for the most part, there’s such a positive, caring bond,” he says. Although having a pet can make it more difficult to find housing, this bond helps. “The responsibility that comes with owning and taking care of a pet provides so much balance in a person’s life,” he says. “It gives them the motivation to get housed. We’ve found that our housing rate is actually higher for people with pets than people without.” Breitkreuz recommends that other Salvation Army shelters consider becoming pet-friendly. “Our mission is to meet the needs of as many people as we possibly can, and for the most part, this entire project is working well,” he says. “There may be reasons why some shelters can’t, but if it’s just because you’re afraid of the mess, then you need to look into the benefits, because it’s worth it.”
“When clients are sitting around in the evening, watching TV, and there’s a dog at their feet—everyone loves that.”
December 2019 17
Two-by-Two I’m writing in response to the article about a pet-friendly shelter in Abbotsford, B.C. (“Noah’s Ark,” December 2019). I agree that this is a much-needed service, but I do wonder what happens if you encounter a person needing shelter with serious pet allergies or phobias. Is there another option for these people? Captain Charlotte Dean
The Mercy Seat This was a well-written and thoughtful article (“A Place of Prayer,” January 2020). I would love to see an article written about the meaning and use of the holiness table. L. Manley
A Place of Prayer
The rich heritage of the mercy seat in Salvation Army tradition. BY CAPTAIN JOSH HOWARD
he Salvation Army has a rich history, filled with a variety of traditions and symbols that were developed with much thought, prayer and strong scriptural foundations. In almost every corps and Army centre across the territory, one such symbol holds a central place: the mercy seat. Many know it as a place of prayer, commitment and change, but how many have considered the biblical, historical and present-day importance of the mercy seat? The term “mercy seat” holds a great deal of theological meaning. It is first found in Exodus 25, in a passage where God gives Moses instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle and the various items that would be within it, including the Ark of the Covenant: “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold … And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee” (Exodus 25:17, 21 KJV). In some modern translations, “mercy seat” is rendered “atonement cover,” because of the primary role the ark played on the Day of Atonement. In the following verses, the term is repeated several times to describe a meeting place with God. In Exodus 25:22, the Lord says to Moses, “And there I will
The mercy seat is a sacred meeting space with God. This simple piece of wood, engraved with the word “Redeemed,” is part of the mercy seat at Heritage Park Temple in Winnipeg, but its history goes back more than half a century
meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat.” In the Army, the term “mercy seat” and “altar” are often used interchangeably. Biblically, these two terms are different: the first a place to meet with God, and the second a place of sacrifice. When we consider the Army context, we can see how the mercy seat is a place of prayer, but also why we refer to it as an altar. As the song My All Is On the Altar (SASB 609) notes, there are times when we have to present our lives to God, as a consecrated offering. In the Old Testament, the altar played a crucial role for God’s people. Some altars were simple and spur of the moment, while others were intentionally constructed. One early scriptural example of an altar is found in Genesis 8. After the flood, Noah’s first instinct was to build an altar and worship God: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it” (Genesis 8:20). Other examples of altars include Samuel’s “stone of help,” named Ebenezer, in 1 Samuel 7, and Elijah’s fire-consumed altar in 1 Kings 18. From these and other passages comes the Army’s understanding of the mercy seat. The Salvation Army’s Handbook of Doctrine explains the importance
of the mercy seat in noting, “We call Salvationists worldwide to recognize the wide understanding of the mercy seat that God has given to the Army; to rejoice that Christ uses this means of grace to confirm his presence; and to ensure that its spiritual benefits are fully explored in every corps and Army centre.” It has been within this context and understanding that the mercy seat has come to be revered as a sacred meeting space with God in Army tradition. In his book The Mercy Seat Revisited, Major Nigel Bovey writes, “For Salvationists the world over, the mercy seat—whatever its physical appearance and composition—is an honoured and special place. It has no inherent power. It holds no magic or mystique. It is special only because of the sensitive nature of the business that is conducted there. Special always, magical never.” This is an important reminder. As the handbook and Major Bovey note, it is the gift of God’s grace that can be received, discovered and experienced at the mercy seat. Commissioner Phil Needham, author of Community in Mission, has shared, “I think the mercy seat should be utilized for any purpose involving prayer. I think it is quite useful for Salvationists to be invited to come together in prayer at the
22 January 2020 Salvationist
Salvationist April 2020 5
Sri Lanka Safe Water Project Complete
ommissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial leaders, were in Sri Lanka in February to celebrate the completion of the Safe Water and Livelihood Development Project (SWALD), a partnership between the Canada and Bermuda Territory and the Sri Lanka Territory. The five-year project, located in the Polonnaruwa District, directly benefits more than 25,000 people. Through the project: • 18 wells were established, providing clean water for 6,800 families; • more than 3,000 farmers received training and agricultural support;
tunity to hear from several beneficiaries. “We saw first hand the power of partnership, seeing community after community transformed as human needs were being met without discrimination and the love of Jesus was being shared,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd. The delegation also met with David McKinnon, high commissioner of Canada in Sri Lanka, to discuss The Salvation Army’s Sri Lanka-Canada partnership. “Our meeting with the high commissioner was a great opportunity to highlight our ministry in Sri Lanka,” says Lt-Colonel Murray. Following their visit to Sri Lanka, the Commissioner Floyd Tidd meets some young people at the Integrated Children’s Centre
• 135 vulnerable women and families received business skills and livelihood support; and • more than 10,000 women participated in a program for teenaged mothers. The completion of the SWALD project was marked by a success celebration in Polonnaruwa. Following the event, Commissioners Tidd, along with Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray, director of world missions, and Manjita Biswas, program director for overseas projects, conducted field visits and had the oppor-
Commissioner Tracey Tidd tests a well at the Safe Water and Livelihood Development Project
delegation travelled to the Bangladesh Command, which is featured in the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s 2020 Partners in Mission campaign. They attended a holiness meeting at the Mirpur Corps, met with officers and Salvationists at command headquarters and the local training college, and visited two Army facilities: the Integrated Children’s Centre, which provides education and accommodation for underprivileged children, and the Old Dhaka Project, where The Salvation Army supports sexually exploited and vulnerable women.
Ground-breaking for New Corps Building in Ajax hristmas came early for The Salvation Army in Ajax, Ont., as Salvation Army leaders, local politicians, Salvationists and friends gathered in December for the official ground-breaking for a new building. The Salvation Army Hope Community Church and Jerry Coughlan Community Services Centre—named after local housing developer, Jerry Coughlan, who generously donated $2 million to the project in 2015—will provide a completely integrated missional space to serve the Hope congregation and communities of Ajax, Pickering and Uxbridge, Ont. Construction will begin this spring with an estimated completion date of fall 2021. The new 20,000 square-foot two-storey building replaces the former corps/administration building and quarters. The increased space will allow for the expansion of current community support services, including client advocacy, employment assistance and emergency food, household provision programs and pastoral care, as well as the ability to host multiple worship gatherings. Overall, it will enable the Army to better assist vulnerable and marginalized families and individuals of all ages. 6 April 2020 Salvationist
Photo: Rory Cabral Photography
Breaking ground on the new Salvation Army building in Ajax, Ont. From left, Mjr Christopher Rideout, AC, Ont. CE Div; Greg McInnes, assistant executive director, CJS, Toronto; Cpt Jason Sabourin, CO, Hope CC; Jerry Coughlan; Mjr Isobel Wagner, learning development co-ordinator; Mjr Mark Wagner, corps ministries secretary; and Cpts Jodi and Mark Dunstan, DYSs, Ont. CE Div
Salvation Army Responds After N.L. Snowstorm
hen an historic blizzard hit Newfoundland and Labrador in January, many communities in the eastern part of the province were brought to a standstill. Residents of St. John’s experienced a record-breaking 76 centimetres of snow in a single day, along with wind gusts as high as 130 kilometres per hour. Several communities were forced to declare states of emergency. As the storm let up and recovery efforts began, The Salvation Army provided assistance to those in need. Throughout the state of emergency, Steven Hynes, divisional co-ordinator, emergency disaster services, Newfoundland and Labrador Division, was in regular contact with the St. John’s emergency manager and was actively engaged with the provincial emergency team. The Army was prepared to operate warming centres in St. John’s and provide food assistance as called upon; however, due to the state of emergency, the city did not move in that direction because conditions were unsafe. The Army operated a warming centre at Conception Bay South Corps, during power outages in that area. In partnership with the town of Conception Bay South, Majors Chris and Claudette Pilgrim, corps officers, mobilized a team of volunteers and, in no time, soup and coffee were prepared. In Mount Pearl, which received 93 centimetres of snow, the corps’ food bank opened as soon as circumstances permitted. Majors Morgan and Lisa Hillier, corps officers, along with food bank staff and volunteers, remained available throughout the emergency to help as many families as possible, reaching out
to vulnerable people and international students in the community to make sure everyone was taken care of. As soon as the City of St. John’s gave the green light to food bank operations, Captain Tony Brushett, executive director, New Hope Community Centre, and community and family services staff were up and running. Over the course of two days, the Army’s food bank met the needs of 200 families. When St. John’s announced it would be lifting the state of emergency, the Army held a community meal at the New Hope centre. “After a challenging week, there were many smiles and much appreciation from the 150 guests who enjoyed a hot meal and rich fellowship in a caring environment,” says Major Rene Loveless, divisional secretary for public relations and development, Newfoundland and Labrador Division.
A team at the warming centre at Conception Bay South Corps provides soup and coffee for those in need
D E L L E C AN
Salvationist April 2020 7
International Women’s Ministries Launches New Vision
n February 12, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, launched a new international vision for The Salvation Army’s women’s ministries during a livestreamed event at International Headquarters (IHQ ). “Women’s ministry is a strong force in The Salvation Army internationally,” noted Commissioner Peddle. “I want to challenge all women leaders to reimagine women’s ministries in their own context, to discover what new things we can be doing to speak into the challenges that women and girls are facing today. We have to stop doing what’s not working and start doing new things.” Commissioner Tracey Tidd, territorial president of women’s ministries, says, “This is more than just a one-time event; it’s a vision that helps us celebrate what God is doing and will do among women in the Army. It gives women in this territory and around the world the freedom to design unique programs that meet the needs of people in their communities and share the love of Jesus in creative ways.” The launch event featured many exciting initiatives, including: • a fresh logo and vision statement, developed in consultation with women from around the world; • a photo gallery of women in
ministry, unveiled in Café 101 in the IHQ lobby; • a new book of 24 Bible studies, Time to Be Holy, written by Salvationist women; and • new social media channels exclusively for international women’s ministries. Videos were shown to demonstrate some of the innovative programming that embodies the new vision. As the event concluded, Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries, remarked, “We have been involved in ministry to women for about 135 years. But any organization sometimes needs a shake-up. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle has heard the Lord speaking into her head and heart that it’s time for women’s ministries to be reimagined. There are women out there who are doing amazing things, and we are just saying, ‘We want more, we want better.’ ” Pick up the May issue of Salvationist for more details regarding the new international vision and its impact on women’s ministries in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
Commissioner Rosalie Peddle shows off the new logo for the Army’s international women’s ministries
New Vision Statement for International Women’s Ministries We envision women who are: • Transformed and empowered by the gospel to lead a Christlike life • Enriched mutually through local and global connections and support • Equipped to fulfil their potential through lifelong learning and development • Engaged in justice and action to positively impact the world
Yorkton Army Opens Revamped Food Bank
he Salvation Army in Yorkton, Sask., held a grand reopening for its food bank in February, with local Mayor Bob Maloney, town councillors and other community partners in attendance. In his words of welcome, Lieutenant Samuel Tim, corps officer, thanked God for providing the space for the food bank, highlighting the Army’s partnership with Parkland Community Church, which provides the physical location for the food bank. The new location will enable the Army to do more than just hand out food as there is also space to offer programs, the first of which will be a basic computer training course. The reopening event included a prayer of dedication from William Con, pastor of Parkland Community Church, and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, as well as tours of the food bank. The mayor and town councillors also had the opportunity to speak with some food bank clients who attended the ceremony. Following the grand reopening, the food bank received a visit from Scott Moe, premier of Saskatchewan, who expressed gratitude for the Army’s work: “Like so many community-based 8 April 2020 Salvationist
organizations across Saskatchewan, Yorkton’s Salvation Army is building stronger families and a stronger community.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opens the Army’s new food bank in Yorkton, Sask.
This Changes Everything Easter’s empty tomb means nothing will ever be the same.
Photo: joshblake/iStock via Getty Images
BY COMMISSIONER FLOYD TIDD
hey thought everything had changed when they saw Jesus taken down from the cross, his bruised, broken and lifeless body laid in a tomb and sealed with a stone. All the hopes and dreams of the new kingdom he talked about now fading into the confusion and grief that accompanied the darkened sky over Calvary that Friday afternoon. Nothing would ever be the same again. No truer statement could ever be made. In the early hours of the third day, his followers went to the tomb where he was buried. They found nothing they expected. His body wasn’t there. The stone was rolled away, revealing an empty tomb. It was this moment of finding nothing that changed everything—and still changes everything today. The empty tomb stands as a witness to the power and promise-keeping faithfulness of God! Jesus told his disciples he would rise from the dead. The empty tomb validates every teaching and promise of Jesus. The power of God, even over death, was clearly demonstrated when they found the tomb empty. When they found nothing, the disciples realized that everything had truly changed. This empty tomb discovery was the beginning of a journey into a new and deepening understanding of Jesus, his teaching and mission. The lifechanging implications of finding nothing in that tomb would take days, weeks and
a lifetime to understand. Finding nothing they had anticipated changed everything in a moment and for eternity. Throughout the journey of life come those moments when we may find nothing we had expected. This is as true for followers of Jesus today as it was that first
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is available to his followers today through his Spirit.
Easter morning. When things seem to go in unexpected ways, how often we look for some normalcy in life and keep taking the next steps as best we can. Yet those moments can still come when what we thought would still be there, isn’t. We find nothing. Nothing, and sometimes no one! That first Easter, as Jesus was crucified and buried, his followers were trying to find a sense of normalcy in the midst of an unexpected turn of events. Not only was Jesus dead, even his body was gone. How alone they found themselves. Although Jesus wasn’t in the tomb, he
was with them in ways they didn’t anticipate. That was the greatest discovery. This Easter, Christians around the globe will once again take the journey from Calvary, remembering the sacrificial love of God as Jesus died upon a cross, to the Sunday morning celebration of his Resurrection. The stone that sealed the tomb had been rolled away not so Jesus could escape the grave, but so that his disciples would find nothing. Nothing would be as they had expected. In all our abundance, it is not until we find the “nothing” of the empty tomb that we truly experience that our heartfelt longing for deep change is possible. As we gaze into the truth of Easter, we are invited to embrace the deep change and transformation that finding the tomb empty offers. May we know afresh that every promise God has made, he is faithful to keep—the empty tomb is proof. “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures” (Psalm 119:89-90). Know afresh that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is available to his followers today through his Spirit (see Ephesians 1:19-20). Those who found the tomb empty, even before they could fully understand all that it meant, knew that others needed to know that finding “nothing” does change everything. They spread the word. The tomb is empty. There is nothing there. Jesus is alive! Let’s not wait until we have fully understood all that the empty tomb means—that will take a whole lifetime. There are others all around us waiting for the word of hope that change is possible, because the tomb is empty. Nothing still changes everything!
Commissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist April 2020 9
Healed and Made Whole Christ’s sacrifice on the cross brings peace, grace and deliverance for all. BY GENERAL BRIAN PEDDLE
10 April 2020 Salvationist
Surely he took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.—Isaiah 53:4-6 Berean Study Bible
he Easter message is the most profound, true, life-changing, life-giving message we can ever hear, respond to and participate in. In short, the Easter story is the culmination of God’s plan of salvation for the redemption and restoration of humanity. Such unconditional sacrificial love unleashes the mercy, grace and forgiveness of God. We should be experiencing boundless joy, caught up in awe and wonder, celebrating our new-found freedom and living in a new dynamic relationship with the Almighty. We see in these verses from Isaiah just what God has done for us in Jesus. In going to the cross, Jesus does something extremely positive, yet it involves him being subjected to pain, ridicule, brokenness and separation from the Father with whom he has shared a deep intimacy for all eternity. Jesus takes on everything that is negative, destructive and painful. This display of genuine, unconditional and sacrificial love is unparalleled in human history. Even as we read and consider what Jesus takes on himself, we sense a release, an unburdening and a freedom. Jesus takes on our infirmities and carries our sorrows. Yes, there is a glimpse of the humanity of Jesus here as the Word that “became flesh” (John 1:14)—fully human while fully divine—understands the frailty, weakness and imperfection on a personal level. Having said that, we need to recognize that there is much more going on. Jesus is doing more than identifying with us. He is taking on our weaknesses, infirmities and sorrows so
that we don’t have to carry them. Link that opening statement to Philippians 4:6-7 (“Do not be anxious about anything … ”) and 1 Peter 5:7 (“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”) to better understand what is offered to us in Jesus. Look again at what happens to Jesus—he is pierced, crushed, punished and wounded. Why would Jesus accept all of that? Why would God allow his only Son to endure all of that?
Jesus’ display of genuine, unconditional and sacrificial love is unparalleled in human history.
Another read of the verses from Isaiah illuminates what we receive through this sacrifice—peace and healing for ourselves. The punishment inflicted upon Jesus brings us peace. We experience healing because Jesus was wounded. It is almost beyond our understanding, but a horribly painful moment brings us healing and a horrifically violent act brings us everlasting peace. There is something of an unfair transaction going on that demonstrates the extravagance of God and his unmerited favour that we call grace. There is also something profoundly theological, sacrificial and covenantal taking place. The sacrificial code and practices we find in the Old Testament are there to atone for our sins and imperfections.
Here on the cross, the spotless Lamb of God pays the ultimate sacrifice once and for all, ushering us into a new dispensation of grace and deliverance. We have peace with God because of all that was accomplished by Jesus, and this peace is experienced by having faith in Jesus (see Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”). Yes, it’s that straightforward—we don’t have to complicate it! The Easter story doesn’t end with Calvary. Easter Sunday is about resurrection and new life. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are reminded that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” The old reality of being held captive by sin, of death being our final enemy, is gone! On Easter Sunday we rise to new life in Christ—that new life is eternal life, it encapsulates victory over sin and death, it includes our healing and wholeness, it is a life of deep peace (see Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you”). This Easter you can experience healing and wholeness in Christ. It’s why Jesus came to earth. It’s what God desires most for you. The Bible verses from Isaiah are brought to life through the song Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs. Visit youtube.com/ watch?v=3rbDrq7Wneo to hear it performed by Govan Songsters from the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland.
General Brian Peddle is the international leader of The Salvation Army.
Salvationist April 2020 11
Territorial Survey Signals Optimistic Outlook Salvationists share where they believe God is leading The Salvation Army. BY COMMISSIONERS FLOYD AND TRACEY TIDD
hen we started our leadership journey in the Canada and Bermuda Territory last year, we knew it was important to get our feet on the ground, not just under a desk. That’s why we travelled to 18 cities and met with hundreds of officers, employees, soldiers and volunteers. We had been away for just over six years and we wanted to catch up with the territory to see what God is doing in and through The Salvation Army. Even then, we couldn’t hear from everyone, so we launched a survey through Salvationist.ca. The survey consisted of five questions, including four short one-word answers and a single sentence reply. We were pleased that nearly 900 Salvationists completed the survey. We read through the responses and grouped the results into the top five most common themes under each question (see coloured notes). These themes echoed what we heard in our visits. 12 April 2020 Salvationist
Focus on the Future One theme that we are hearing consistently is a message of “hope,” including through our ministries of “giving” and “caring.” That’s come through in many ways: stories of people discovering hope in the toughest moments of life through our social and community-based ministries; as we met with new soldiers and officers who have been commissioned since we left the territory; the time we spent at the training college with cadets and at the Officership Information Weekend; exciting reports of corps engaging in community connections. Also emphasized was a focus on the future, captured in the word “growth.” People have faith for an Army that will grow. And there is confidence that God can do it! That might mean looking different than we do now, but our communities also look different than they did 20 or even 10 years ago. Growth means doing new things and letting go of things
that don’t connect with our mission. The Bible calls us to be “salt and light,” but those qualities only have value when we are connected to communities. The survey also identified some concerns, the greatest of which is leadership, specifically the declining number of officers and the challenge of recruiting committed local leadership in corps/congregations. Concerns were also expressed in two closely related areas: relevancy and change capability. We need to address this gap in order to effectively be a transforming influence in our communities. describes What one word my today? The Salvation Ar
Decaying / Tired Struggling Giving / Helping
Caring and Compassio
God’s Agenda Despite the challenges, there is optimism. We hear confidence in the ability to meet those needs through godly, hardworking, committed people, described in the survey as our greatest strength. The reputation of The Salvation Army is also strong, not just in raising funds but in our ability to give hope where it
is needed most. We want to emphasize that this is not our agenda, it is God’s agenda. We want to be aligning with God wherever he is at work in our communities. He invites us to partner with him.
What one word desc ribes your aspiration (hope ) for The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda?
Growth / Evangelism Mission and Vision
Faith Change Energized
Positive change also happens when we put our mission and values into practice. Values posted on the office or church wall mean nothing in and of themselves. Values must transform behaviour, and changed behaviour, in turn, transforms culture. 100 Days of Prayer We are grateful for the hundreds from across the territory who have been part of the 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture, praying every day up to Good Friday. We solicited 100 prayers of gratitude, petition and intercession from 100 ministry units across the terribest What one word th of ng re describes the st anada C in y m The Salvation Ar y? da to a and Bermud
People n Caring and Compassio Identity / Brand
ith Giving / Helping Fa
tory and paired them with 100 essential passages of Scripture. Toward the end of this journey, we are inviting people to share what God is impressing upon them as they’ve been praying for the Army and reading the “grand story” of God’s work of redemption. Therefore, on Day 75 we released a follow-up survey. Visit salvationist. ca/100days to add your input. Listen to the Spirit There is a hope in Christ that does not disappoint (see Romans 5:5). There is a hope rising within the movement for a fresh wave and work ahead. Growth is anticipated, and we need to prepare for that growth to happen. Growth means change—not all change is easy. But we are grateful for what we are sensing to be the strength of the partnership in the gospel (see Philippians 1:3-5) across this great Canada and Bermuda Territory.
What one word best describes the greatest hurdle fac ing The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda today?
Leadership Relevance People Resources
Apathy / Confusion
We need to listen to the stories and the Spirit—to understand where we are as a movement and where God is leading us—and how he wants to use The Salvation Army to transform the communities across this territory and beyond. To view the full results of the survey, including detailed comments, visit salvationist.ca/ territorialsurvey.
Selected Comments • Our slogan is “Giving Hope Today,” through the gospel of Jesus Christ and by providing for the needs of others. • We are struggling to remain relevant in a world that is constantly changing at a rapid pace. • We are challenged by a lack of new officers and an overall drop in church attendance. • The territory is changing, so we don’t have the option of stagnation. Change is scary, but God is guiding us through. • The public sees us as people who serve—that is our calling.
• If we cannot grow spiritually ourselves, then we cannot grow the kingdom. • We need to change if we want to grow. This may mean new and different programs or dispensing with old ones that no longer serve the needs of the community. • We need qualified, committed, capable people in key leadership positions for extended periods. • People are our greatest strength— they are what keep us going. • Our reputation as an honest and caring organization is strong.
• In order to grow, the Army needs to get back to its core values.
• We risk being stuck in the past when we hold too tightly to “the way things have always been done.”
• I would love to see the Army take off and inspire the younger generation to follow Christ.
• We need to innovate and not be afraid to make bold changes when required.
• When we reach out into our community to draw people in, statistical growth will follow.
• We have a good reputation with the public. We need to build on that strength.
Salvationist April 2020 13
New Connections How a ministry among African newcomers is transforming York Community Church. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
14 April 2020 Salvationist
Photos: Kristin Ostensen
elen’s heart skipped a beat when she saw the uniformed RCMP officers waiting for her just across the border. “This is not a legal way to come to Canada,” one of them boomed. “If you cross here, you will be arrested. Do you understand?” An eight-hour bus journey from New York City to Plattsburgh, N.Y., and another half-hour taxi ride had led her to this—the end of Roxham Road, the busiest unofficial border crossing point into Canada. There was no turning back now. Helen’s 10-day visitor’s visa to the United States was about to run out. Returning to Turkey, where her life was in danger, was not an option, nor was going home to her native Nigeria. Clutching her luggage and her two young children, she froze in the cold October air. “I just stood there, fixed,” recalls Helen, who was seven months pregnant at the time. “I didn’t know what to do.” As she hesitated, her three-year-old son took a leap of faith. “My son walked across the border and then my daughter joined him,” Helen says. She called them back, but they said, “Come, Mommy. Let’s go!” Crossing the border that day, Helen felt like Abraham. “He went into a strange land that God called him to, without knowing what was in store, but he went and the Bible says he found prosperity there,” she reflects. “Before I left Turkey, I prayed, ‘God, I don’t know what’s ahead of me, in whatever country I’m going to, but please just help me.’ ” That help was waiting for her in Toronto, just across the street from her new apartment, at York Community Church.
Miraculous Growth Helen and her children are some of the newest members at the York corps, which has seen extraordinary growth in the past year, thanks to an outreach ministry among African newcomers. While Sunday attendance once averaged around 65 people, the corps now welcomes more than 120 each week— with over 200 people attending a special thanksgiving service in December. “As a corps council, we had prayed that by the time we celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2021, we would have an increase in our congregation,” says Joan Ash, corps sergeant-major, with a smile. “We didn’t expect this explosion!” The idea for a specific ministry to African newcomers came out of the corps’ community and family services. “As more refugees started coming to our food bank, we kept hearing people saying that they were lonely, they didn’t feel connected,” says Major Donna Senter, community and family services officer.
African members of York CC lead worship at a celebration service in December
“We realized that they needed a place to get to know each other and thought, Why don’t we do something?” Major Donna and Major Royal Senter, corps officer, settled on the idea of holding an African dinner and praise evening, and invited as many people as they knew. That first event, held in January 2019, brought more than 60 people to the corps, including Syriah and her fiancé, Abbey. Originally from Uganda, Syriah was invited to the dinner by a Muslim friend who volunteered at the corps’ food bank. “I thought, Why not? I’m not busy,” she recalls. “The day I stepped into York Community Church, I felt at home. I knew God brought me here. The following Sunday, I came to church and I have never turned back.”
Solomon presents a card and flowers from the church’s African members to Mjrs Donna and Royal Senter at a lunch following the African celebration service
A Sign from God After the success of the African dinner, York decided to hire a full-time evangelist and prayer intercessor, a refugee from Nigeria who was already attending the corps. Solomon is an electrical engineer by profession and was working for the Shell oil company when problems with a corrupt police force made it impossible for him to stay in his home country. Leaving his wife and five children behind, Solomon came to Canada in July 2018 and ended up staying at The Salvation Army’s Maxwell Meighen Centre in Toronto. After six weeks at the shelter, an employee helped Solomon secure housing near York Community Church. The first Sunday he attended, he was moved by what he saw and heard. “When Major Donna prayed, it was so spiritual, so touching,” he recalls. “When someone has the Holy Ghost, you can feel it. I thought, This church is good.” Yet after several Sundays, Solomon still felt unsettled. Ordained as a pastor in 1995, Solomon had been a bishop in Nigeria. “So it was my nature to always be speaking to people about Christ,” he explains. “But after coming to Canada, I had not been preaching for about two or three months. I felt that I was wasting.” He prayed and asked God to give him a sign that the Army was the right church for him to get involved in ministry. “The next Sunday, Major Royal walked up to me and said, ‘Solomon, can you do the
Bible reading for us today?’ ” Solomon recalls. “And that’s how my journey in the Salvation Army church started—God showed me plainly that he wants me to be here.” Solomon has been an employee at York since last May. “Mama D” Hiring Solomon was a turning point for the corps. “We made a conscious decision to be outward-focused,” says Major Royal. “Most churches hire positions that are inward-focused, and what’s happening? They’re shrinking. “Growth is something that God does, and we believe that he will send growth to any church that is prepared to receive it,” he adds. When it comes to his ministry at York, Solomon’s top priority is prayer. He leads a weekly prayer meeting at the corps, spends at least one hour in prayer at the church every day and conducts a prayer walk around the neighbourhood on Thursdays. He carries the Army flag while he walks, which often leads to opportunities for evangelism—his other top priority. Supporting the corps’ social ministries, Solomon spearheads a monthly support group for newcomers called New Connections, and attends the food bank on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, connecting with those who come in. That was how Solomon met Helen. Having exhausted the food supplies she brought with her from Turkey, Helen
summoned the courage to try York, having heard about the Army’s food bank program from the Red Cross. As she waited for her appointment, Solomon struck up a conversation with her and when he learned she was a Christian, invited her to church. “When it was my turn, they gave me a big box of food and I was like, wow!” Helen recalls. “The church was so generous. I’d never seen this kind of thing before in my life; back home, no church does that.” Before she left that day, Helen offered to start volunteering at the food bank. “I felt like, what else can I do than to be of service to this church that God has used to feed my family?” she says. Helen started attending Sunday services and kept volunteering until she gave birth in December. When the time came for the baby to the born, she knew exactly who to call: Major Donna, or “Mama D” as she calls her. “Mama D has been so wonderful,” Helen says. “When I was in the hospital, she was with my children, she came to see me, she organized the Africans to make me food. She has made this place a home away from home for me. She has been the mother that I never had in a strange land.” All Together For York Community Church, making the African newcomers feel welcome is far more than just the programs they offer; it’s a whole congregational effort. “If the people in the congregation weren’t loving and welcoming, it wouldn’t matter what we did,” says Major Donna. “It has to be all of us together loving people because that’s what people are looking for.” “Veteran” members such as Joan have embraced the newcomers. “I have gained Salvationist April 2020 15
(left) Helen and Mjr Donna share a moment after the dedication of Helen’s child, AmazingStar, at York CC (below) Syriah and Abbey, in the nursery at York CC, are faithful members and volunteers. “Every opportunity I get to serve, I do,” says Syriah
so many new friends,” she says. Seeing an opportunity to show hospitality, Joan has invited a number of the single women to her house during the holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving last October. “I thought I should invite them over because they’re here on their own and don’t have anywhere to go,” she explains. “We had such a great time—I invited them all back again for New Year’s and will do the same for Easter.” As the congregation grows and evolves, the church’s leaders are working diligently to ensure that the newcomers are well integrated. One of the ways they do this is through ministry opportunities. “When people say they want to get involved, we say, ‘What is your passion? What do you feel God is asking you to do?’ ” says Major Donna. Having opportunities to serve at York has been transformative for Syriah, who has been heavily involved in youth ministry, including Bible studies, Sunday school and nursery. This ministry has been particularly meaningful for Syriah, who had to leave her four children with a friend when she left Uganda for her safety. “Our separation is the hardest thing I’ve had to go through in life,” she says. “I realized at some point that the depression was taking me, unknowingly. “But in this place, I found medicine for my heart,” Syriah continues. “These people love you so much, you feel like the only thing you can do is pay it forward and love the next person.” Already enrolled as adherents, Syriah and Abbey are now taking classes to become senior soldiers. “We want to 16 April 2020 Salvationist
go all the way because we want to serve,” she explains. “That is our pledge to God.” Thanksgiving For most of York’s African members, life in Canada remains challenging. They’ve left their home countries marked by the violence that forced them to seek safety in a new country. They are separated from children, spouses and other loved ones. They live in shelters while struggling to find permanent accommodation and employment, despite having professional qualifications and work experience. And yet all of them are quick to express their immense gratitude for their new lives in Canada. “In October, we held an international dinner at the church, and some of us were talking about how God has been good to us,” shares Solomon. “Back home, we knew the death sentence that waited for us because of the threats, and now we have a peaceful life. Look at how Canada has taken care of us.” Out of that conversation came the idea to have a thanksgiving celebration at the corps. “We said, if God has favoured us and given us this, we have to say thanks to him collectively,” says Solomon. He suggested the idea to the Senters, who immediately supported it. The service, held on the last Sunday in December, was organized by the church’s African members, who led worship, shared testimonies and offered special musical performances. The service also featured the dedication of Helen’s baby and was followed by an African lunch—planned,
cooked and paid for by the Africans. “Even though many of them are living in shelters with no money, they didn’t want the church to pay for it,” Major Donna notes. Anthony was one of the new members who gave his testimony at the thanksgiving celebration. He faithfully attends Sunday services, volunteers at the food bank on Mondays, and participates in New Connections and men’s ministries. Anthony and his family live in north Scarborough, meaning they travel a long way to attend church, but they won’t consider going elsewhere. “I’ve not seen this kind of church all my life,” Anthony says. “The love here is something else. “Whenever I mention church to my daughters, they want to follow me,” he continues. “On Sundays they wake me up: ‘Daddy, let’s go to church!’ ” As the African ministry continues to grow, York is looking to get a shuttle bus, to pick up individuals and families like Anthony’s who struggle with transportation to church. The corps also hopes to run two day camps for children this summer—one at York and one at a shelter for refugees. “I’ve said that my target for York Community Church is 5,000 members,” smiles Solomon. “People say, how can it be? But with God all things are possible.”
Uniquely Human Embracing the gifts of neurodiversity.
Illustration: wildpixel/iStock via Getty Images Plus
BY JOHN McALISTER
ust before my son’s first birthday, we visited the Vatican Museums while on a family trip in the Mediterranean. While pushing his stroller along the corridors leading toward the Sistine Chapel, I watched his tiny hands flapping excitedly as he looked around at the vibrant art that surrounded us from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Filled with pride that my son seemed to be demonstrating an early appreciation for fine art and culture, I was taken aback when a woman approached me to share how she had always loved when her son had engaged in a similar stimming activity as a child. “Do you know much about autism?” she added. This was the first time I’d heard the word “stimming,” which refers to selfstimulating behaviour, such as the use of repetitive actions or sounds. Although I quickly dismissed her uninvited examination of my son, two years later he received a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), following concerns arising from speech delays, repetitive behaviours and limited social interaction with peers. So, the stranger’s quick diagnosis was correct; her approach, not so much. An estimated one in 66 children in Canada are diagnosed with ASD, encompassing a specific set of behavioural and
developmental challenges that affect their communication, social and play skills. The use of the word “spectrum” is important, as every person is unique and displays their own combination of characteristics. As Dr. Stephen Shore notes, “If you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism.” My initial response to my son’s diagnosis was to try and fix it. I researched what I could do to make him better, such as following an elimination diet that avoided grains and dairy. (This intervention didn’t last too long, as our family unabashedly embraces a gluten-enhanced lifestyle.) I also registered him for applied behavioural analysis (ABA), which is the most widely used therapy for autism. It is viewed by many psychologists as the best method to improve social interactions, teach new skills and minimize negative behaviours in autistic children. However, as I took my son to his ABA therapy sessions, I started to feel uncomfortable about some of the process, particularly with the way that he was being rewarded with treats, such as candies and stickers, whenever he mastered tasks and goals that seemed focused mostly on having him behave in a more “normal” fashion, rather than on helping him to explore his emotions or to grow
and develop as a person. As I looked into ABA further, I learned that some autistic adults view the experience of ABA quite harshly, even equating it to a form of abuse causing lasting emotional harm. While I do see the value that ABA can offer, especially in addressing some negative behaviours such as tendencies toward self-injury, I don’t think it should be used too readily to eliminate the ways that autistic children differ from neurotypical children. For example, my son often experiences sensory overload, which can lead him to start stimming, particularly by flapping his hands. Does this action cause harm to others? No. So, why would it be necessary to reinforce over and over again from an early age that the ways in which he processes things, expresses his feelings and naturally moves his body, are wrong? Why does society so quickly view autism as a problem or affliction to overcome? Every time that my son (without prompting from me) tells me that he’s sorry for waving his hands or for talking to himself (particularly when he’s practising having conversations with other children), I want to cry, because I know that someone, somewhere, has been telling him that what he’s doing, and who he is, is somehow wrong. Autism is not something to be cured or eliminated, but rather a neurological difference that needs to be better understood and appreciated, with all the beautiful strengths—and often painful weaknesses— that come with it. My son’s Grade 5 teacher does this well, such as when she matches him up with a more socially adept peer who, in turn, benefits from my son’s reading and memorization skills. I now realize that when my son was first diagnosed, I was the one who needed to be fixed and made better, not him. I was too quick to mourn the expectations and dreams I was holding on to for him, instead of seeing the gift in front of me that God had placed in my life to protect, nurture and learn from. While not sugar-coating the significant challenges that autistic people and their families face every day, I am striving to embrace neurodiversity, celebrating the value, significance and contributions of every person and the varying ways in which they view and process the world around them. John McAlister is a member of the social issues committee and attends North Toronto Community Church with his family. Salvationist April 2020 17
TAKING THE LEAD
Pulse Check Photo: Maksym Yemelyanov/stock.Adobe.com
Leaders who achieve results assess and evaluate. BY SHARON JONES-RYAN
o matter what role we play in our organization, we’re all working toward something. Goals, outcomes, ends, targets, objectives—they are all synonyms for results. As a leader, a significant responsibility is to ensure that the best conditions exist to achieve those results. The Canada and Bermuda Territory has adopted the LEADS Leadership Capability Framework as a strategic approach to leadership development (visit salvationist.ca/leads). In this article, we will explore the third capability domain: ACHIEVE RESULTS. Leaders who achieve results set direction; strategically align decisions with vision, values and evidence; take action to implement decisions; and assess and evaluate. All ministry units and departments have individual responsibilities and goals that collectively support the territory in working toward the fulfilment of our mission “to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.” The Salvation Army Ethics Centre has a very specific role in assessment and evaluation at territorial and divisional levels. One of their three departmental outcome statements is that “The Salvation Army and its constituents will achieve congruency between organizational values and practice.” How do we even begin to assess and evaluate values congruence in the Canada and Bermuda Territory? Emily MacFarlane, the Ethics Centre’s consultant for organizational and management ethics, explains: Measuring values integration can seem like a nebulous concept. It’s not easily data driven. We have, however, just completed our fifth territory-wide values survey. We began using this particular 18 April 2020 Salvationist
tool in 2014 and conduct a survey every two years. The survey asks participants to identify values that are important to them personally, values that they see present in their workplace, and the values that they believe are most important for The Salvation Army to be working at its best. The reports from this assessment provide rich data about what values drive our personnel and a snapshot of the culture that currently exists. We can see whether the language of our organizational core values rises to the surface, or whether different values are present in our current culture. Are those values supportive of our mission, building a healthy culture, or are they potentially limiting? And what do people see as integral to a healthy, high-functioning workplace—what is their desired culture? As we begin to examine the results from the 2020 values survey, we can compare and contrast divisional and territorial culture as expressed through a values lexicon. We can scan across the territory, as well as look at differences that may exist from survey results in previous years.
The Ethics Centre’s values survey provides both divisional and territorial leaders valuable information to support them in their responsibilities to achieve results. Understanding the values that emerge in both the current and desired culture can help them set direction and communicate clearly to their teams and stakeholders. The survey results provide
leaders with a snapshot in time as to the organizational climate in their division and the territory. This, in turn, can assist them in strategically aligning their decisions with values and evidence. It can allow them to build on existing strengths in their division or department and shape their direction-setting as they look to the future. The LEADS capability of “assess and evaluate” is one that requires ongoing intention. In practice, it sees leaders holding people accountable for performance standards, setting appropriate goals and using appropriate methods to measure organizational performance and mission achievement. Inherent in that are accurate data collection, good information systems, clear analysis and relevant reports. With data and information in hand, leaders can build on strengths, course-correct and adapt processes as needed. Strong assessment and evaluation practices are invaluable in working toward mission objectives—whether as an individual, team, ministry unit, division or territory. Sharon Jones-Ryan is a learning and development strategist at territorial headquarters.
A tiny thorn (a rose bush will work) or grapevine wreath. Jesus was arrested and taken away to be tried. The soldiers mocked and beat Jesus. They made a crown out of thorns and pushed it down on his head (see John 19:1-3). A cross made from popsicle or toothpick pieces. After his trial, Jesus was forced to carry a cross through Jerusalem to the place called the Skull, where criminals were put to death (see John 19:17). A nail. When they reached the place of the Skull, the soldiers nailed Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross. Jesus was crucified between two thieves (see John 19:18).
Photo: Matthew Osmond
Dice and a piece of cloth. As Jesus was dying on the cross, the soldiers were dividing up his clothes. His inner robe was special because it was woven and had no seams. The soldiers decided they didn’t want to tear the robe, so they rolled dice to decide who would win it (see John 19:23-24).
Get Cracking Sharing the good news of Easter with Resurrection eggs. BY VALERIE PAVEY
t always amazes me how quickly Easter decorations start to line the shelves after Christmas. But what do all those chocolate bunnies, baskets and eggs have to do with Easter? I’m not sure about the bunnies, but the egg has a long history as a symbol of new life—and Jesus’ death and Resurrection bring us new life. One creative way to tell young children the story of Easter is through “Resurrections eggs.” A trip to any dollar store will get you started. You’ll need a dozen toy eggs, in different colours or numbered from one to 12, an egg carton or basket and the symbols shared in the steps below. Let the child open an egg and take out the object as you tell each part of the story. A piece of palm branch. On Palm Sunday, Jesus came to Jerusalem to join the Passover celebrations. People were excited to see him, so they waved palm
branches and laid them on the road. As he entered the city, they shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (see Matthew 21:1-11). A cotton ball scented with perfume, or a perfume sample. Jesus visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary showed her love for Jesus by washing his feet with perfume as he ate in her home (see John 12:2-8). A cracker or crouton. Jesus gathered with his disciples in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover meal together. Jesus broke bread and shared it with them. This was his last meal with his disciples (see Matthew 26:26). A silver coin (nickel or dime). Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, met with the chief priests. He promised to give Jesus to them for 30 pieces of silver and led them to Jesus when he was praying in a garden (see Matthew 26:14-15, 47-50).
A piece of sponge. While Jesus was hanging on the cross, he told the soldiers he was thirsty. They dipped a sponge into vinegar and lifted it to his lips so he could drink it. After he drank it, he said, “It is finished,” then bowed his head and died (see John 19:28-30). Spices such as whole cloves or cinnamon sticks. Because the next day was a special Sabbath, the bodies needed to be removed from the crosses. Joseph from Arimathea asked for permission to take away Jesus’ body. With Nicodemus, they wrapped Jesus’ body in strips of linen and spices (see John 19:31-40). A rock. Jesus’ body was placed in a garden tomb near where the Crucifixion took place. The tomb was sealed with a stone (see John 19:41-42; Luke 23:52-54). Empty egg. On the first morning after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary (Jesus’ mother) and Salome went to the tomb. When they got there, they found the stone rolled away, and an angel in the tomb. He told them, “Jesus has risen. He is not here.” The women ran to tell Peter and the other disciples what they had found (see Matthew 28:2-7; John 20:1-10).
Resurrection eggs are a great way to share the good news of Easter with children—that Jesus’ death and Resurrection bring us new life. How egg-citing! Valerie Pavey is the children’s ministry consultant at territorial headquarters. Salvationist April 2020 19
Finding His Way Back As the story of Peter shows, we are not defined by our failures. BY COLONEL LINDSAY ROWE
come from five generations of fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador. Maybe it’s because I grew up around boats and nets and the smell of salted cod drying in the summer sun, but next to Jesus, Peter is my favourite biblical character. I like to think of him as Peter the big fisherman. Pulling ropes, raising anchors and hauling boats tend to give your upper body quite a workout. When I read about his fishing exploits, I think of my fisherman dad, and that makes it especially meaningful. Peter started out in Capernaum, where he and his wife shared a house with his mother-in-law and his brother, Andrew. He and Andrew had their own boat and were in business with James and John, the sons of Zebedee. When Jesus first met Peter, he said, “You are Simon son of John,” and then, “From this time on you’ll be called Cephas,” which is Aramaic for Peter, which is Greek for rock (see John 1:42). Jesus called Peter the “Rock,” partly, I think, because he was as dense as a rock, and getting anything through his thick skull was a monumental challenge. And 20 April 2020 Salvationist
partly because he knew that once the truth finally got through, no one would be able to snatch it away—even if it meant his death, too. Maybe that’s why the name seems to have stuck with him the rest of his life: Peter the Rock.
When Peter was at his best, he was brilliant … But when Peter was at his worst, he was dismal. We all know people who make us wonder if it’s possible to change, if they’ll ever really get it. Peter must have been one of those people. We also know people who stay away from church because so many churchgoers just don’t seem to get it—we go through the motions, but don’t live any differently than others throughout the week. It turns people off and sends them
in the wrong direction. After Jesus’ death, for example, Peter says, “I’m going fishing, back to what I was before I met Jesus,” and a bunch of other disciples say, “Me, too.” Failure is never merely personal, is it? Peter knew his share of failure, both as a fisherman and as a fisher of men. But his story is not so much about failure as it is about not allowing failure to define who we are. The Rock When Peter was at his best, he was brilliant. Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he was, and they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” But Peter blurted out, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,” Jesus replied. “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church … I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:17-19). Peter is promoted from fisher of fish to fisher of men, and now to holder of the keys. But when Peter was at his worst, he was dismal. Jesus reprimanded him more
The Power of Forgiveness One of the lessons we learn from Peter is that coming back from failure doesn’t relegate you to the back pew of the church. Forgiveness opens a whole new world of possibilities, all the way up to the pulpit. In Acts 3, Peter preaches a sermon and 3,000 converts are recorded. What happened between his denial of Jesus in John 18 and this sermon in Acts 3? The cross, the empty tomb and an encounter with the risen Christ. John 21 tells the story of Peter’s return from failure. The disciples go out to fish at night and catch nothing. In the early morning hours, a person on the seashore calls out, “Friends, have you any fish?” “No,” they respond. Isn’t it embarrass-
ing when you can’t even do what you’re supposed to be good at? “Throw your net on the right side of the boat.” I’ve never asked him, but I often wonder what my dad would say if he’d just spent hours hauling a cod trap without seeing as much as tomcod, and some guy called out to him and said, “Throw it out from the other side of the boat.” The amazing thing is that these experienced fishermen did, and caught 153 fish. John is the first to recognize that the stranger on the beach is Jesus, but Peter is the one who jumps into the water and
response is cautious and perhaps not reflective of what’s in his heart—perhaps because of his fear of being challenged and having to defend his failure. But Peter knows that Jesus knows everything. He knows the depth of the love hidden deep in his heart, so he throws himself back on omniscience: “You know all things, Jesus, you know that I love you.” We may struggle to find the right words, but God knows the heart. He knows about our past failure, but he is much more interested in where we are going than where we have been.
swims to shore. Jesus has a charcoal fire going. Not unlike the one that Peter sat beside in the courtyard as he denied Jesus. They share breakfast together with Jesus as cook and waiter. Luke 22:31-32 shows us that when they had finished eating, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Has Jesus been expecting Peter? Has he been waiting for him to come to this moment, this place of victory over his previous failures? Conspicuous by its absence in the encounter of John 21 is any indication of Jesus reprimanding or chastising Peter. He doesn’t rub his nose in his failure. Instead, just as Peter had denied him three times, Jesus gives Peter three opportunities to renew his faith. On the third occasion, Peter’s
Failure Is Not Defeat Peter shows us that failure does not necessarily mean defeat. There is potential for success in the face of every failure, and those who claim to have never failed have probably also not risked very much. Failure is a painfully powerful word. But not as powerful as forgiveness. We are not defined by our failure. Peter is not remembered for his failure, but for his return from failure and his faithfulness going forward. The possibilities of grace are truly amazing! There is grace enough to bring you back as well. You can recover so well that your story, too, will become a powerful testimony and inspiration to others who may be struggling to find their way back from some crippling failure. You are forgiven. Welcome back.
directly than anyone else. When he said that his mission of saving the world wasn’t going to be easy and that he’d be tortured and killed in Jerusalem, Peter couldn’t take it. “This shall never happen to you,” and Jesus replied, “Get behind me, Satan” (see Matthew 16:23). Once when Jesus was talking about forgiveness, Peter asked, how many times are you supposed to forgive someone? Seven times, maybe? Jesus rebuked him and said 77 times would be a good start (see Matthew 18:21-22). At the Last Supper, when Jesus started to wash the disciples’ feet, Peter protested: “You shall never wash my feet!” When Jesus explained that it was part of being his disciple, Peter becomes more rash than rational: “Then, Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” (see John 13:5-11). On that same occasion, Jesus said he would be going soon, where no one could follow him. Peter didn’t understand what he meant or couldn’t face it. He answered, “Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus said the hardest thing Peter had ever heard him say. Listen, Peter. “Before the rooster crows, you will betray me three times” (see John 13:36-38). And that’s the way it happened. While the trial was going on, Peter sat in the high priest’s courtyard, warming himself by the fire. He was approached several times and asked if he was one of Jesus’ followers. His reply each time was that he didn’t know what they were talking about. The rooster crowed and Peter’s heart was broken (see John 18:15-26).
Colonel Lindsay Rowe is a retired Salvation Army officer. Salvationist April 2020 21
Financial Freedom Salvation Army develops program in partnership with Scotiabank to help human trafficking survivors gain economic independence. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
or most people, opening a bank account is as simple as going online or making an appointment at the nearest branch. But for a person without government identification or a permanent address, doing so may be impossible. That’s the situation many survivors face when they escape human trafficking. With a new financial access project, The Salvation Army hopes to change that. “There are some key barriers that make it difficult for survivors to re-engage in financial services, which puts them at risk for being trafficked again,” says Larissa Maxwell, director of anti-human trafficking programs for the British Columbia Division. “So when we look at ending modern slavery in Canada, the financial industry has a huge role to play.” Supporting Survivors Worldwide, more than 40 million men, women and children were trapped in modern slavery in 2016. Though some may think of it as an “over there” problem, Canada is not immune. According to Maxwell, the Army serves up to 700 survivors every year. “We’re the largest service provider in Canada, in terms of supporting survivors of human trafficking,” she notes. The Salvation Army offers both live-in and outreach-based programs supporting survivors to heal and take steps toward an extraordinary life after the experience of trafficking. The Army also provides education and training for key agencies such as law enforcement. The financial access project (FAP) is an initiative of the United Nations’ Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. The Salvation Army was approached to take part in the project because of its cross-country reach and expertise in the field. “The models that are used in our programs are considered some of the best practice in North America,” notes Maxwell. To develop the FAP for the Canadian context, the Army partnered with Scotiabank—an enthusiastic partner. “Scotiabank certainly doesn’t shy away 22 April 2020 Salvationist
From left, Joseph Mari, Larissa Maxwell and Stuart Davis represent The Salvation Army and Scotiabank at the launch of the blueprint of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking at the United Nations in New York
from opportunities to use its platform and its services to address human rights issues,” says Gilberto Cedolia, office of financial crimes risk management, Scotiabank. “This project is a great way to do that and to deliver on the commitments the bank set out in its human rights statement.” Taking Back Control After signing on to take part in the pilot project, Maxwell began by putting together a consultation group of more than 20 survivors. “We asked them questions like, ‘What would it look like for you to be included in financial services? What are the barriers? And what are your hopes and dreams?’ ” Maxwell explains.
Those consultations were revealing. “For example, they were embarrassed because they had debt or were on income assistance,” says Maxwell. “One survivor shared that she’d never learned how to use an ATM, so she was given a card but didn’t know how to withdraw money.” On the positive side, Maxwell was moved by the hopes and dreams they shared. “One survivor said that her biggest goal was to save for her children’s education—children she had lost custody of because she was trafficked,” Maxwell notes. “Many survivors shared that they want to feel pride in their financial abilities— they want to budget, to save up for a
car or a home, to not be dependent on credit cards,” she continues. “Survivors’ financial goals are similar to other people’s goals, except many of them face quite a few barriers to reach them.” That list of barriers can be long: when they escape their traffickers, survivors usually do not have proper ID or a permanent address to give a bank. They often have debts—typically racked up by their trafficker—and may have a criminal record. But the biggest barrier is often a lack of financial literacy. “Most survivors have had limited access to financial services, and that means their skill level is low,”
Scotiabank offered an overview of the fundamentals of banking—budgeting, savings, protection from fraud. Every survivor has a different background, so the onboarding was tailored to each individual.” Working together, the Army and Scotiabank also developed a traumasensitive guide for bank employees. With this guide, Scotiabank employees learned best practices for meeting with and accommodating survivors, ensuring specialized, private and ongoing support was offered to navigate these new systems and services. In September, Maxwell and Stuart Maxwell meets with a staff member at the Army’s Deborah’s Gate facility
not only excellent, but also incredibly inspirational,” says Maxwell. “We received a flood of requests to consult with American financial institutions to help them develop similar projects.” Shining Light During the pilot phase, four survivors participated in the FAP. “The survivors who went through the pilot told me it was the best experience they’d had with any institution—not just financial,” Maxwell shares. “It shows that when you customize processes properly—when you understand trauma and how to accommodate it—it can make a significant difference.” “This program is a shining light down a long dark tunnel for me,” says one survivor. “With the help of an advisor, I feel like the future is not so very dark for my children and me, that I can take back control of money and, with time, become financially stable without ever having to go back to the life I left behind. I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me and my children.”
“ We’re the largest service provider in Canada, in terms of supporting survivors of human trafficking.” Maxwell explains. “So there needs to be education and training before they can re-engage and take back control. When you have been exploited and treated as a commodity, it’s important to realign your relationship with money, where you have control over it, rather than it having control over you.” Best Practices Once barriers were identified, the Army worked with Scotiabank to begin eliminating some of them. For example, the bank was able to develop different methods that would allow survivors with ID constraints to open accounts. “We also provided financial literacy as part of the onboarding experience,” notes Cedolia. “Along with a guide to the new accounts that we were opening,
Davis, global head financial crimes risk management and group chief antimoney laundering officer, were invited to present on the pilot project to the UN in New York City, highlighting the unique benefits of the partnership between the Army and Scotiabank and how the project was already helping survivors. The model developed through the partnership is being used as an example around the world, and the UN has issued a challenge to other countries to join in the financial inclusion initiative. While there, Maxwell also gave a presentation on eradicating modern-day slavery at an event sponsored by Barclay’s with key industry leaders in the North American financial industry. “The feedback we received was that the way we approached the project was
Scotiabank is now moving to make the FAP a permanent initiative, rolling out this spring. “We’re confident that we have the foundation to turn the pilot into a sustainable program,” says Cedolia, “and we look forward to working with the Army to help us establish that.” Going forward, Maxwell’s goal is to make the program available to every survivor the Army supports, to set up a national referral system, and to bring all financial institutions across Canada on board. “For survivors to be able to stand on their own two feet financially—that is one of the strongest safeguards against trafficking, abuse and exploitation,” she concludes. “So let’s do this with excellence, giving them the very best we can.” Survivor input shared with permission utilizing ethical storytelling principles. Salvationist April 2020 23
I Speak for the Trees Deforestation is causing environmental havoc.
Illustration: VasjaKoman/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images
BY DARRYN OLDFORD
hate hiking. Hate is a strong word, I know, but it is accurate. Wellmeaning friends have invited me on hikes and, trying to be sociable, I have joined them. My primary problem is that I am incredibly clumsy. More than once I have tripped on nothing but air and taken a tumble while walking down the street. So if you ask me to climb up the side of a mountain, with no path or anything to grab on to, I will fall. And not just slip a little—I will face-plant into a thorny bush. I have fallen every single time I have gone hiking, often rolling down the hill I was attempting to scale. If I were a bit more graceful I would try out for the circus, but alas my tumbling is more horrifying than entertaining. My second issue with hiking is that it takes place in the wilderness. I firmly believe that air conditioning and indoor plumbing is God’s way of showing me that he loves me and wants me to be happy. Finally, I understand that it’s the journey, not the destination, that’s 24 April 2020 Salvationist
supposed to be the fun part. But on the rare occasion I have made it to the mountaintop, bruised, scratched and generally miserable, I look around only to see … more trees and hills. Exactly what I just spent the last hours of my life staring at as I huffed and puffed my way up. Don’t get me wrong—I love nature. When I travel, I go out of my way to see the natural and human-made wonders that location has to offer. But to get me to go through the brush, there needs to be a view for me to see. And when I get there, it better be worth seeing. You may be surprised, then, that despite my hatred of hiking, I am a big fan of trees. Canada boasts some of the most beautiful forests in the world, and the lumber industry has been important to Canada’s economy for centuries. Lumberjacks are Canadian icons. I, and most of my friends, know the song the Log Driver’s Waltz by heart. Protecting our trees and forests has never been more important—not only for national pride,
but for the world. Deforestation, through humans clearing land to raise cattle or crops, or through fires aggravated by climate change, is causing untold havoc to the environment. Many Christians, however, remain conspicuously silent on these issues. There is something insidious to the idea that “God is in control,” so we should leave everything in his hands. On its own, it’s true. God is in control and there are times when we must trust he will protect and provide for us. But at the same time, we can use this belief to justify our greed and laziness. Just because we believe God is in control does not mean we can continue destroying the planet until Jesus’ return. Climate change brought on by deforestation, fossil fuels and other human causes is causing death and destruction around the globe, disproportionately affecting the poor. We as Christians and Canadians have twice the duty to protect the environment, if only to mitigate the suffering of people. It is possible to believe God is in control and to take active steps to safeguard the world he has given us. God gave us a brain, hands, feet and lungs and expects us to use them. If you are able, consider donating to conservation efforts or volunteering your time planting trees. I may not be the world’s most avid hiker, but I will sing the virtues of clean air and lush forests until my dying day. One day, I won’t be the only one singing. “Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth” (1 Chronicles 16:33). Trees hold special significance in Christianity, from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, to the burning bush, to the cross. Scripture itself is described as a tree in Proverbs 3:18: “She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.” I am thankful to the forest for doing its job, but feel no desire to visit any time soon. For now, until they are a voice for themselves, I will continue to be a voice for the trees … at least from a distance. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto.
Red-Balloon Evangelism We are each called to preach the gospel. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK
once heard about a church that measured saved souls with red balloons. Every Sunday, if a person came to Christ through the church’s ministry or a member’s actions in the previous week, a red balloon would be filled with helium and tied to the corner of the platform. If more than one salvation had occurred, more than one balloon would be filled. One balloon for each soul saved. On the weeks that balloons were plentiful, there would be praise. On the weeks that balloons were absent, there would be prayer. The result was an extraordinary focus on evangelism and salvation, two topics that we should be thinking about as Christians. It’s probably not surprising that this red-balloon church was growing exponentially. The red balloons not only elicited an excitement about evangelism rarely seen in churches these days, but also created a sense of urgency when it comes to the salvation of those not identifying as Christian. And a sense of urgency is necessary if a church is to grow and flourish. Carey Nieuwhof, Christian blogger, podcast host and pastor at Connexus Church in Barrie, Ont., suggests that a sense of urgency can determine whether your church is positioned to succeed or fail. He writes, “If every Sunday is just another Sunday—and you don’t have a burning sense that lives and eternity hang in the balance—then you’ve lost the edge that all great churches, preachers and movements share.” Unfortunately, in many churches, every Sunday is just another Sunday. And perhaps that’s why many churches are in freefall. Jesus commanded his disciples in Mark 16:15 to “go into all the world and
In the red-balloon church ... everyone saw themselves as an evangelist.
preach the gospel to all creation.” And while not all of us are gifted evangelists, I believe that, like the first disciples, we are each called to preach the gospel in the hopes of seeing red balloons filled. But how do we do this? Qualification for evangelism is not based on natural ability, talent or position of influence. It doesn’t even hinge on how well we know the Bible. What is required is a love of Jesus, an indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a willingness to share the story of how he has changed our lives. Some might call this story a testimony. In the red-balloon church, it wasn’t the pastor who was responsible for each of the filled balloons. Instead, everyone saw themselves as an evangelist and were eager to see a filled balloon that would represent their spouse, co-worker or neighbour. There was a heart for
those who had not yet entered into a relationship with Jesus, and there was a willingness to develop relationships with people outside their Christian context, to live out their faith through compassion and to clearly proclaim the gospel if and when the opportunity arose. The truth of the transformation that occurs when Jesus becomes our Saviour was palpable, and they wanted those around them to experience it. While stressing a sense of urgency in the church, Nieuwhof reminds his readers that the way evangelism was done in past generations doesn’t necessarily work in our present context. Christian apologetics that carry a tone of arrogance, smugness or superiority will repel anyone under the age of 40, he suggests, and the timeline for someone to make a decision about Jesus is longer than it once was. With this in mind, we need to be prepared to go on a long journey with the people we are evangelizing, to love them, to embrace their questions and to share from our heart. At some point, it might be helpful to invite them to take the next step in trusting Jesus, but pushing for a conclusion too soon may result in the balloon popping before it’s even filled. If you do not feel a sense of urgency in your church or in your life, pray that God would open your eyes and your heart to those around you. Pray for them. Love them. Engage with them. Listen to them. And then, when the time is right, share your story of faith. You may just experience a red balloon of salvation being filled. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer. Salvationist April 2020 25
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PEOPLE & PLACES
GEORGINA, ONT.—Three senior soldiers are enrolled at Georgina CC. Front, from left, Bernice Archer, Lyle Archer and Madison Reid-Welford, senior soldiers; and Mjr Colleen Winter, CO. Back, from left, CSM Harold Reid and Ken Brash, colour sergeant.
MONTREAL—These are exciting days at Light of Hope Family Church as seven senior soldiers and five junior soldiers are enrolled. Front, from left, Cpt Indira Albert, DYS, Que. Div; Keith Tamayo, Marian Celeste Urbano, Josbely JeanCharles, Naileth Martine and Samuel David Mendez, junior soldiers; and Lt Aida Munoz-Perez, CO. Middle, from left, Francisco Martinez, Omar Tamayo, Francinet Valle, Maude Fournier, Alejandro Nieves, Irene Nieves and Yeisy Alcantara, senior soldiers; and Cpt Juan Chirinos, DYS, Que. Div. Back, from left, Cristobal Manuel Rivera, holding the flag, and Francisco Roberto Ramos.
TORONTO—Thanks to a special loan agreement between Salvation Army Archives and Meighen Retirement Residence, a print of a familiar painting of Jesus has been newly matted and framed for display at the residence. The picture is intended to show those who live, work and visit that Meighen is a Christian residence. Mjr Caroline Braddock (right), chaplain for Meighen Health Centre, shares a moment with residents as they admire the picture.
HAMILTON, ONT.—Hamilton Laotian Corps celebrates as a new bandmaster is commissioned and five senior soldiers and four junior soldiers are enrolled. Front, from left, Benjamin Inthaphone, Savannah Khotsamit, Allison Keosongseng and Marissa Pathoummady, junior soldiers. Back, from left, BM John Keosongseng; CS Sithonh Saenephommachanh; CSM Molee Vongchampa; Daniel Phanthaamath, Sarita Vongchampa, Stephanie Keosongseng, Rathtana Louanglath and Sengthavy Rutherford, senior soldiers; Cpts Keesom and Tina Phanthaamath, COs; and CT Bounsong Thongkham.
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OAKVILLE, ONT.—Lt-Col John Murray, secretary for communications, presents a certificate to National Recycling Operations staff recognizing the $360,942 raised in their stores across Canada for the 2019 Christmas kettle campaign, a 16 percent increase over the previous year. From left, Lt-Col Murray; Nancy Runhart, store manager, Milton, Ont.; Paul Millar, district manager; Michele Walker, director of retail operations; and Ted Troughton, managing director. Salvationist April 2020 27
PEOPLE & PLACES
TRIBUTES WINNIPEG—Harold Matthews was born in 1923 in Winnipeg. A third-generation Salvationist, Harold’s parents and grandparents came to Canada from London, England, under the auspices of the Salvation Army emigration office and settled in Winnipeg. He was a bandsman for 50 years and an integral part of the church at Winnipeg’s St. James Corps and later at Heritage Park Temple, where he served in various leadership roles. During the Second World War, Harold served as a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot in search and rescue and anti-submarine patrols in British Columbia, Scotland and Wales. Upon return to private life, he worked for the Manitoba Telephone System for 45 years. Harold is lovingly missed by his family and friends. ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Major Lorraine Abrahamse was promoted to glory at the age of 58 from active service as the divisional integrated mission secretary in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division. Lorraine lived a life of deep faith, dedicated to ministry through The Salvation Army and passionate about spreading the love of God. She entered the St. John’s College for Officer Training in 1979 as a member of the God’s Soldiers Session of cadets and was commissioned in 1981. Throughout her officership, Lorraine served as corps officer at numerous corps in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Ontario. She also ministered at territorial headquarters, the Toronto College for Officer Training, in National Recycling Operations and as a chaplain at the Glenbrook Lodge for Senior Citizens and Glenbrook Villa in St. John’s. Lorraine was predeceased by her husband, Brian; father, Albert; sisters-in-law Gwen Moores and Rosemary Wright; and parents-in-law Majors Karl and Myrtle Abrahamse. Left behind to cherish a lifetime of memories are her beloved son, Bryan (Hannah); mother, Pauline; siblings Barry, Danny (Shirley Ann) and Brenda; sister-in-law, Shirley; nieces and nephews; extended family and cherished friends.
GAZETTE TERRITORIAL Appointments: Mjrs Stan/Deborah Higdon, community ministries director/ community ministries officer, Community Resource Centre, Miramichi, N.B., Maritime Div (designation change); Mjr Fred Pond, Pathway CC, Paradise, N.L. Div
CALENDAR Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: Apr 9 Holy Week service, THQ; Apr 11 An Easter Celebration with the International Staff Songsters, Lyric Theatre (Meridian Arts Centre), Toronto; Apr 14 Toronto Grace Health Centre, Toronto; Apr 22 welcome breakfast, divisional social services conference, Abbotsford, B.C. Div; Apr 22-24 Better Together 2020, National Advisory Organizations Conference, Chicago; Apr 26 convocation, Booth University College; Apr 28 women’s ministries seminar, CFOT (Commissioner Tracey Tidd only) Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill: Apr 2-13 THQ staff mission trip, Mozambique Tty; Apr 22-24 Better Together 2020, National Advisory Organizations Conference, Chicago*; Apr 25, 27 board of trustees meeting, Booth University College*; Apr 26 convocation, Booth University College; Apr 28 women’s ministries seminar, CFOT**; Apr 28-29 divisional review, Ont. CE Div (*Colonel Edward Hill only; **Colonel Shelley Hill only) Canadian Staff Band: Apr 11 An Easter Celebration with the International Staff Songsters, Lyric Theatre (Meridian Arts Centre), Toronto Canadian Staff Songsters: Apr 11 An Easter Celebration with the International Staff Songsters, Lyric Theatre (Meridian Arts Centre), Toronto
28 April 2020 Salvationist
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Tamara Randlesome displays her Soldier’s Covenant with Lts Robert and Jennifer Henson, COs at Renew Church in West Kelowna, B.C.
“No matter where I moved, I’d always hung my junior soldier pledge on my wall because it was so important to me to follow the covenant that I made with Jesus when I was little,” she says. “I realized what God had been calling me to was right in front of me the whole time.”
Back to Her Future Tamara Randlesome was meant to be an officer-she just didn’t know it. BY KEN RAMSTEAD
or Tamara Randlesome, the road to officership lay in her past. “Our family attended another church that was closer to our home,” she recalls, “but my grandmother was a Salvation Army officer and my mother wanted to support her, so we attended both an Army church and a Pentecostal church. I was dedicated in The Salvation Army as a child and I was a junior soldier as well.” Surviving the Storm As Randlesome grew up, she went through a period when she questioned her faith. “What does faith look like for me,” she asked herself, “as opposed to the faith of my parents? I needed to find out for myself what it was all about, and who Jesus was for me.” Randlesome tried different churches but nothing felt right. “Even though I stopped attending church, I never stopped believing in God, I never stopped praying and I never stopped reading God’s Word.” When Randlesome’s family moved to Vernon, B.C., they started going to another Pentecostal church. The people were welcoming, and Randlesome was baptized in 2009. The family went through a difficult time when her brother, Jesse, was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2014. 30 April 2020 Salvationist
His death was hard on the family but even though they hurt and struggled, their foundation was rooted in Jesus and that was how they got through the storm. Front and Centre Nevertheless, Randlesome struggled. “Lord,” she prayed, “I don’t understand all of your ways and I don’t understand why things happen, but I do know you are God no matter the circumstances, and I need to share with the world what you have done for me.” After her brother’s death, Randlesome moved to Kelowna, B.C., where she found a job as a preschool teacher. She became involved in the life of her church and things were going well. But then God challenged Randlesome. In her dreams and in her times of prayer, God told her, “I want you to step away from your ministry, leave your friends behind and step into what I’m calling you to. Have faith, and trust.” Randlesome was so distressed that she went to her church elders and asked them for prayer and direction. More than one of them told her, “Tamara, I see you in a uniform. You’re leading an army and you are proclaiming God’s Word.” Randlesome realized that God was calling her back to her roots.
The Next Step In 2018, a Salvation Army church plant started up in West Kelowna, B.C., and she decided to check it out. “It felt like home, it felt right,” smiles Randlesome. “This is what I have been searching for my whole life,” she told Lieutenants Robert and Jennifer Henson, the corps officers. “I want to be a part of your corps and I want to see what God has for me.” No sooner had Randlesome become a part of the corps than a thought crossed her mind: What would it take to be an officer in The Salvation Army? She asked some old friends she respected and each one saw an army with her in uniform proclaiming the gospel— and the words “salvation” and “army.” When she asked a close friend, “What do you think of The Salvation Army?” the friend replied, “Why aren’t you an officer?” Finally, Randlesome asked her mother what she thought. “Why didn’t you think of this sooner?” she told her daughter. “Well, I don’t work on the same level as God,” Randlesome laughed. With that, she approached her corps officers and asked them to help her take the steps to become a soldier, and she became a senior soldier in January 2019. “I had hoped that the next step in the process would be speedy,” Randlesome says. “God, however, put the brakes on things for a year. But in that year, he was beyond faithful in confirming that it was meant to be.” In February, Randlesome was accepted to the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg and will start in September. “Everyone’s been telling me, ‘You were meant to be an officer, you just didn’t know it,’ ” says Randlesome. “I guess they were right!”
IF IT DOESN'T SIT RIGHT, STAND UP.
EDUCATION FOR A BETTER W ORLD
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I Still Believe
LOVE AND LOSS P.25
Help for Angie
A SAFE PLACE P.10
ARMY HELPS P.12
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
Need a Hand? Take a look at this hand. It’s the hand of a teacher, a healer, a saviour. It’s a gentle hand, calloused and a bit rough from working with wood perhaps, but a gentle hand nevertheless. But what sets it apart is the hole in it, made with thick nails and a heavy hammer. The hole was made in violence and hate, but was not received in kind. The hand isn’t balled up in a fist of
anger. Instead, it’s reaching out in forgiveness and love. To those who did this, who watched and jeered. To His followers and disciples, to the lost, the searching, those in need of hope. Reaching out to you. “ For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”—Mark 10:45
To learn more about Jesus’ promise, 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 4
BEYOND BORDERS 5 Hope Among the Ashes
When bushfires in Australia forced Lauren Martin to evacuate, she witnessed how The Salvation Army helped and healed. GOD IN MY LIFE 8 Just the Way We Are
Diane Stark saw Jesus’ Easter message through the eyes of her son.
SOMEONE CARES 10 A Safe Place
The Salvation Army helped Angie overcome her anxiety disorder.
“What’s Holding You Back?”
Addiction was destroying George Preston’s life, until an Army pastor posed a simple question.
Who Is This Man?
Jesus has been depicted in every culture and corner of the earth. But who is He?
When all seemed dark, Sylvester Stallone’s faith helped him go the distance. FAITH BUILDERS 25 I Still Believe
In this new movie, a couple discover a faith worth living and dying for. LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin
Sudoku, Quick Quiz, Word Search. NIFTY THRIFTY 31 Egg-cellent Fun
Make your Easter extra special with a thrifted basket. faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
FROM THE EDITOR
Do You Know Him?
esearching I Still Believe, the new movie about Christian musician and megastar Jeremy Camp, was more than an assignment for Jeanette Levellie. It built her own faith. “Reading and listening to interviews about how Jeremy struggled through loss, never shoving his pain under the rug but obeying God (writing songs and worshipping the Lord) in the midst of his pain, helped me see how all of us—famous or unknown—are in the same boat,” Jeanette says. “Sometimes when things go terribly wrong in my life,” Jeanette continues, “it’s tempting to think that God is punishing me for past sins. Then I look at Jeremy and his wife, Melissa. They put their trust—and their future—so fully in God’s hands that they believed He could use even the most horrible experience as a way to draw others to Him.” Jeanette needs this reminder when she goes through dark times. “God isn’t mad at me,” she says. “God is walking through it with me. That encourages me to stay faithful to Him and hope for a brighter future.” Read Jeanette’s review of I Still Believe on page 25. Easter is in April this year and our cover story is particularly apt. As the cover shows, we all have an idea of what Jesus looks like, but who was He, really? Writer Ingrid Barratt attempts to peel back the layers by showing that “the ability of Jesus to transcend culture, and yet fit within every culture, shows us that God really is with us.” Ingrid’s story is on page 16. 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
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Giselle Randall STAFF WRITER Scripture Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from New International Version Contact Us P. (416) 467-3188, F. (416) 422-6217 Websites faithandfriends.ca, salvationist.ca, salvationarmy.ca Email 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
Finding Hope Among the Ashes When bushfires in Australia forced me to evacuate, I saw how The Salvation Army helped and healed. by Lauren Martin
God's Love in Action Salvation Army Emergency Services teams put their lives (and sleep) on hold
As a writer for The Salvation Army in Australia, Lauren Martin has spent many years reporting on the work that the organization does during emergencies and disasters. She’s visited fire-staging areas and evacuation centres and interviewed Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) crews feeding emergency services personnel and members of the public affected by floods, fires and other catastrophes. She writes with ease and confidence about how
Salvation Army personnel serve in times of crisis. But when she was personally impacted by the bushfire crisis on the South Coast of New South Wales, her awe and respect for the Salvation Army members who serve in these situations grew exponentially.
n New Year’s Eve, my two children and I were staying at my parents’ home in the Batemans Bay region of New South
faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
We saw water bombers intensify their efforts, the sky turned red ... and then black. Black as night. Wales. I woke in the early hours of the morning to the sound of howling winds and sticks and tree branches hitting the roof. A quick look at the New South Wales Rural Fire Service “Fires Near Me” app revealed a huge increase in fire activity that had pushed the blaze across the highway at Mogo to the south. Immediately, images of houses owned by friends in that area sprang to mind and a knot of dread began to form in the base of my stomach. Things escalated quickly. The sound of the fire and the highpitched whistle of the wind was unnerving. Sirens—lots of sirens— in every direction. Water-bombing aircraft and the constant calling and beeping of every mobile phone and device in the house. We decided to leave for a safer location. Four Simple Words Apart from the noise, the mental chatter was also deafening. Thoughts twitching every which way, as erratic as the wind on a fireground. What do I need to pack? I wonder how so-and-so is doing. How much food will we need to
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take? Gosh, those sirens sound close. Should we take bedding, or will we be back? The noise seemed intolerable, but the silence that followed was more unnerving. The wind stopped, then started to shift and do funny things. We saw a column of smoke charge across the Clyde River, like a wave. Phones were no longer going off. The streets became deserted, except for fire trucks with lights and sirens blaring. The sky started turning a strange colour. We saw water bombers intensify their efforts, the sky turned red ... and then black. Black as night. My kids were scared. What seemed like hours lasted only minutes and the sky began to clear again. Later that morning, convinced of my family’s safety, I got in my car and drove to the Batemans Bay evacuation centre to offer my assistance as a Salvation Army volunteer. The centre was overflowing with tension and heartache but, above all, goodwill. Ambulance personnel treated people, the Red Cross and government agencies were hard at work and the SAES volunteers
were serving lunch. With four simple words—“I’m here to help”—I was soon given a task. Help in the Darkest Hours I unloaded boxes of water and buttered bread, and listened to people’s stories of how the day had unfolded for them. Over the following two days, I watched the seasoned veterans of the SAES arrange meals and provide help for hundreds of people in a centre that at one stage had no power. I was overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of what the Army people juggle in such testing circumstances. And they do it with smiles, compassion and grace.
The community support kept rolling in. Different churches united in the relief efforts. Individuals and businesses emptied their freezers and donated meat. Chefs offered assistance and, at one stage, a man was handing out free ice cream to all the kids. The journalist in me took photos. I posted to Facebook and received numerous comments of support. But I’m just a bit-player in this scenario—the real heroes are the SAES teams that have been hard at it for months now, putting their lives (and sleep) on hold to support people in their darkest hours. Reprinted from Warcry (Australia), January 25, 2020
Help From Above A waterbomber helicopter helps smother the advancing flames
faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
GOD IN MY LIFE
Just the Way We Are I saw Jesus’ Easter message through the eyes of my son. by Diane Stark
Deal or No Deal? Diane Stark wasn’t buying what her son, Nathan, was selling
om, can you help me make an eBay account?” my 10-year-old son, Nathan, asked. “Why do you want to get on eBay?” “I want to sell some of the toys I’ve outgrown.” I went into his room so he could show me the items he wanted to sell, but I quickly realized his plan was not a viable one. “Honey, this isn’t going to work,” I said. “These toys would cost more to ship than anyone is going to pay for them.” “Mom, this stuff is really valuable. It’s worth a lot of money.”
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“Nate, something is only worth as much as you can get someone to pay for it. I don’t think people are going to pay a lot for your used stuffed animals and puzzles.” Mirror, Mirror His shoulders slumped. “I’m so dumb. Why did I think this was a good idea?” “Nathan, you’re not dumb. I don’t want to hear you say that again.” “Why?” “Because the way we talk to ourselves is important. If we always tell ourselves we’re dumb, we start to believe it, and that impacts how we
feel about ourselves.” “But, Mom, yesterday when you forgot your keys, I heard you say, ‘Ugh, I’m such an airhead.’ Doesn’t that mean you think you’re dumb?” “I shouldn’t have said that.” “And a few days ago, I heard you say the word ‘fat’ when you looked in the mirror.”
wonderful, and He wouldn’t want us to talk to ourselves in a bad way.” “How do you know how God sees you?” “Remember what I said before about something only being worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it? Think about how much God paid for us.”
“If we always tell ourselves we’re dumb, we start to believe it, and that impacts how we feel about ourselves.” DIANE STARK Through His Eyes I sat down on the bed and patted the spot next to me. “I think we both need to work on how we talk to ourselves,” I said. “How do we do that?” “A good rule is not to say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. I would never tell someone else that they are fat or dumb, so I shouldn’t say that to myself, either. It’s a bad habit, and I need to break it to be a better example for you.” Nathan nodded. “I think it’s easy to think bad things about ourselves though.” “I agree. Maybe we need to see ourselves the way God sees us. He created us and He loves us so much. He doesn’t think we’re dumb.” “Does He think we’re fat?” I chuckled. “No, He thinks we’re
“He paid everything. He sent Jesus so we could go to heaven.” I nodded. “We have that much value in God’s eyes. He wanted to save us from our sin so badly that He was willing to sacrifice His Son for us. We’re worth that much to God.” “He must love us a lot.” “He does, and He doesn’t want us to feel bad about ourselves. If we can see ourselves through His eyes, we’ll treat ourselves more kindly.” Nathan was quiet for a minute. “So instead of not saying anything to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to someone else, let’s not say anything to ourselves that God wouldn’t say to us.” I nodded again. “I like that, Bud. Let’s talk to ourselves the way God would.” “Because He loves us just the way we are.”
faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
A Safe Place The Salvation Army helped Angie overcome her anxiety disorder. by Linda Leigh
hen Angie’s husband left her for her best friend, she moved out and shut herself away from society for 12 years. “I couldn’t handle the hurt and devastation from my marriage breakup,” she says. “My home was the only place I felt safe until I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army.” “How Are You Doing?” For years, Angie suffered with ago-
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raphobia, an anxiety disorder that usually begins with a stressful event. As time passes, the extreme fear of being in public confines the person to their home, and they can’t live a normal life. “I felt unsafe and had panic attacks in any type of crowd,” says Angie. “I only left my house once a month to get groceries. Friends ran errands for me and my medications were delivered. I couldn’t do my job as a personal support worker. I’d hit
“ My home was the only place I felt safe until I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army.” ANGIE rock bottom.” Bills and lack of food became a constant stress for Angie. One day, she ventured across the street to The Salvation Army’s Manna Café in Gananoque, Ont., for a meal. The café is a bistro-style environment that allows the hungry to dine with dignity. “When I walked through the doors I was in a small space, surrounded by lots of people,” says Angie. “Sweat poured off my brow and tears trickled down my cheek. My heart was racing and I was breathless. I can’t do this, I thought. I turned to leave when a voice said, ‘How are you doing?’ ” A New Self-Confidence The voice belonged to Dave Harvey, executive director of the café. “I told Dave I was OK, but panicky,” Angie recalls. “You are in a safe place,” Dave
replied. “That meant everything to me,” she says. Angie continued to receive daily lunches at the café. After a month had passed, she was asked if she’d be interested in volunteering, serving tea, coffee and meals. “I wanted to volunteer but was embarrassed by my tattered clothes, worn boots and rotting teeth,” says Angie. “The Salvation Army provided me with clothes and shoes and helped me get my teeth fixed. I went from being broken and hopeless to feeling self-confident, safe and energized. “Finding, going to and volunteering at the café changed everything for me. When I get fully better I’m going to work in the Army’s family services. I have a soft spot for struggling people.” Reprinted from The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda Annual Report 2018-19
(left) Linda Leigh is manager of communications at The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters in Toronto.
faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
“ What’s Holding You Back?” ALCOHOL AND GAMBLING WERE DESTROYING GEORGE PRESTON’S LIFE, UNTIL A SALVATION ARMY PASTOR POSED A SIMPLE QUESTION. by Diane Stark
eorge Preston and his wife, Robina, walked into the casino they visited all too often. They’d already agreed to only gamble a certain amount of money and then leave. But like most visits, after the predetermined amount was gone, George wanted to keep gambling, convinced he’d win back 12 • APRIL 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
everything he’d lost and more with just one last spin. However hard he tried, George couldn’t seem to stop gambling. And he feared it was going to cost him everything he cared about. Down a Dangerous Path George was born in Trinity,
Bonavista Bay, N.L. As a child, he attended church with his mother, but he didn’t enjoy it. “I never got into church as a young person,” he remembers. “I didn’t think it was important.” After high school, George got a job at the local fish plants in Marystown and Fortune, N.L. But as an adult, George decided to move to Toronto with his uncle. “We had almost no money to pay for travel,” he recalls. “The Salvation Army helped us along the way with food and a place to stay. Even then, I
stupid things back then.” While George’s drinking was a problem, his gambling was an even bigger one. “The casinos were like a magnet to me,” he says. “I had no willpower when it came to gambling.” Every time George and Robina went to the casinos, they saw the same people. “Those people were trapped, just like I was,” he says. “I don’t believe they actually wanted to be there, but they had no control over it. Gambling is a powerful addiction.”
“ I often drank so much that I didn’t remember what I’d done the next day. I did a lot of stupid things back then.” GEORGE PRESTON was grateful to them.” Now in Ontario, George became a truck driver. In 1971, he married Robina, and the couple had two sons. George thought he was living the good life but, in reality, he’d started down a dangerous path. Agent of Change “I started drinking on the weekends,” he says. “I often drank so much that I didn’t remember what I’d done the next day. I did a lot of
At the time, George didn’t realize how much his addictions affected his wife. Robina loved and supported him, but neither she nor George were happy. Many times, Robina suggested they start attending church, but George wasn’t interested in doing that. In 1978, George’s mother was critically ill with cancer, so he returned to Newfoundland and Labrador. “It was heartbreaking to see her like that,” he says. “She’d lost so much weight. She was only 55, faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
but I knew she was dying.” During that last visit before her passing, George’s mother reminded him that having a relationship with God was important. She told George that she prayed for him regularly, wanted him to make things right with God and begged him to return to church. “But I just couldn’t make that promise to her,” George says. “I
ina to attend church at The Salvation Army in Glencairn, Ont. Desperate for a change, they decided to go. “It was a small congregation, but I really liked it there,” George says. “People at the church knew about my problems, and they were kind and helpful. The pastors shared their faith, but they never pressured me to change. At the church, I saw other men who I knew had
“ I was fighting it, but I knew I needed to commit my life to God.” GEORGE PRESTON
was so far from God at that time. I was more concerned with what my friends thought of me. I wasn’t ready to give up my bad habits and go to church.” George bought his own truck, which helped curb his drinking. “I was on the road a lot, so I couldn’t drink as often,” he says. The longer George stayed in his gambling addiction, the worse his situation grew. “We never went bankrupt or anything, but my visits to the casino definitely made our finances more difficult,” he says. “I needed to make a change.” Life-Changing Question Then a friend invited him and Rob14 • APRIL 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
had drinking problems in the past, but they were clean now. I wanted that, too.” One Sunday morning in 2009, the pastor asked a life-changing question during his sermon: “What’s holding you back?” “I was fighting it, but I knew I needed to commit my life to God,” George says. He and Robina had been attending church for about a year, and they knew it was time. George and Robina knelt at the front of the church that morning. George immediately felt freer. “I was forgiven and, with God’s help, I quit drinking. The gambling had a stronger hold on me, but I’m happy
Photos: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/stock.Adobe.com
to say that I’ve been free of that addiction for 10 years now.” Letting God In In 2017, George and Robina made the decision to move back to Newfoundland and Labrador, and settled in Conception Bay South. Some of their relatives attended services at the Salvation Army church there and invited them to go. “We felt comfortable right away,” George says. “Everyone knows everyone else. Our church family is right there to help us if we need them. We love it.” Robina attends the home league, a fellowship for women, and George
enjoys the men’s fellowship group. George is grateful for the life he has now. “If I hadn’t stopped drinking and gambling, I think Robina and I probably would’ve separated,” he reflects. “But now, we spend time together, having fun. We go on long drives and enjoy the beauty God created. And I don’t spend money on alcohol and gambling. We’re so much happier.” George’s desire is to help others escape their addictions, as he has. “Gambling is a sickness, but God will help you overcome it,” George believes. “You just have to let Him into your life.”
(left) Diane Stark is a wife, mother of five and freelance writer from rural Indiana. She loves to write about the important things in life: her family and her faith. faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
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Who Is This Man? JESUS HAS BEEN DEPICTED IN EVERY CULTURE AND CORNER OF THE EARTH. BUT WHO IS HE? by Ingrid Barratt
JESUS IS THE MOST depicted person who ever lived. We all know what He looked like—the long hair, beard, tall slender frame. So when Richard Neave, a medical artist and forensic anthropologist, created a realistic depiction of what Jesus may have looked like, the results were shocking: Jesus seemed to resemble a New York City taxi driver. Jesus’ facial features were gleaned from first-century Jewish skulls and other archaeological data. Neave reasoned that Jesus would have been about five and a half feet tall. His lifestyle would have made Him
muscular but slight. According to cultural data, His black, curly hair would have been short, and His beard closely cropped. All depictions of Jesus are imaginative, of course. The way we’ve depicted Jesus over the ages says a lot more about us than it says about Him. The fact that biblical accounts are stubbornly silent about what Jesus actually looked like is God’s first clue to us: He does not judge by human standards. In Jesus, He was about to turn all our expectations about power, success and even divinity inside out. faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
How different are we to those firstcentury followers who wanted a king of power? We try to fit Jesus into our self-built values of consumerism, wealth, power and success. Knowing the Unknowable Depictions of Jesus often show Him calm and emotionless, above the fray—the “Prozac Jesus,” as author Philip Yancey calls him. But this is not the Jesus we find in the Bible. In fact, it’s surprising to discover how much Jesus was a people person. Jesus seemed to build rapport almost instantly. He was easily moved by others. He was generous with His compliments: “Your faith has healed you!” He declared, deflecting credit away from Himself. But He also got angry and impatient. “Are you still so dull?” an exasperated Jesus snapped at the disciples—which, quite frankly, doesn’t seem very “Christian.” He cried openly and relished public displays of affection. He was an incredibly vulnerable man: Would you ever ask your friend straight up, “Do you love me?” Well, Jesus did! He was not play acting at being human. Jesus felt things fully, He lived life deeply. 18 • APRIL 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
In Jesus, the impenetrable distance between heaven and earth collapsed into nothing. Through Jesus, God is saying: “Here I am. I am with you.” Because of Jesus, we can know the unknowable. We see the invisible God. The Architect It’s important we understand Jesus as a fully-fledged Jew, because there is no doubt that His followers believed He would be the Jewish king—the Messiah who had been prophesied. It was only a matter of time before an army would rise up to overturn the Roman Empire. Then, just as Jesus was reaching the height of His fame and popularity, He presented His manifesto. This time He spoke plainly, not in parables. The people were expecting a declaration of war. Instead, they got one of meekness: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). Quite frankly, it was confusing.
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Weird. Offensive, even. “They were looking for a builder to construct the sort of home they thought they wanted, but Jesus was the architect, coming with a new plan that would give them everything they needed, but within quite a new framework,” says Tom Wright in Simply Jesus.
Jesus was revealed as the longedfor king—the Messiah. But not in any way we would recognize. He would not rule in time and space, but through an unseen kingdom. He did not overcome with power, He infiltrated us with love. He did not stake out His greatness, He subverted us with grace. These truths
The ability of Jesus to transcend culture, and yet fit within every culture, shows us that God really is with us. Many complex influences collided to culminate in Jesus’ death. The Romans were determined to stamp out any threat to their rule. But Jesus also failed to meet the Jewish expectations of the Messiah—so they concluded He must be an imposter. He was crucified as a traitor to Rome and blasphemer before God. But the Bible claims the impossible—that Jesus very thoroughly, very bodily, came back to life again. Wright makes the point that this story was as strange then as it is today—it had never happened before; it has never happened since. “The stories don’t fit. They seem to be about a person who is equally at home ‘on earth’ and ‘in heaven.’ And that is, in fact, exactly what they are.” 20 • APRIL 2020 I faithandfriends.ca
continue to upend us today. How different are we to those first-century followers who wanted a king of power? We try to fit Jesus into our self-built values of consumerism, wealth, power and success. And Jesus is still refusing to enter that building. He is still insisting on being the architect of a whole new way. For All People There is a joke that the greatest miracle Jesus ever performed was being a white man in first-century Israel. As the dominant culture became European, images of Jesus became blue-eyed and pale-skinned. Yet every culture in the world has appropriated Jesus for themselves. Artists have portrayed Jesus as
black, as Asian, with dreadlocks, and with Celtic red hair. There is even an image of Jesus as a woman— and why not? Why shouldn’t I, as a woman, be able to relate to Jesus through my feminine identity? The ability of Jesus to transcend culture, and yet fit within every culture, shows us that God really is with us. The idea that Jesus can be “my best friend” is often mocked. But, actually, isn’t that the miracle of Easter? The divide between us and God was shattered. We can know God, and even call Him friend. God and humanity were never meant to be separate. In Jesus, we were brought back into intimate relationship with each other. Jesus Is Everything But that was just the beginning. The reverberations of Jesus’ life and death and life again, can be felt through the cosmos. Wright argues that the Bible sees heaven and earth not as separate, but as interlocking and connecting. During His lifetime, Jesus’ constant refrain was, “The kingdom of heaven is near!” In truth, it’s so
close, we can almost touch it! When Jesus taught us to pray, He said: “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” He showed us heaven— through His miracles, His healing, His compassion and grace. The defining moment in history, when Jesus rose from the dead, was the beginning of a whole new creation that is still revealing itself today. Within three decades of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, Paul—who had been an orthodox Jew until he discovered Jesus—described how “God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything ... who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:22-23). This vision of Jesus is not just as a personal Saviour, although that is important. It goes further. He brings salvation to the universe— He is restoring the whole world to its original and perfect creation. Whenever we act according to the kingdom of Jesus—when we bring healing, love, grace and peace—we become active participants in this new creation. Who is Jesus? He is everything. Reprinted from Others (Australia), April 2019
(left) Ingrid Barratt was the editor of the War Cry (New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory). faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
WHEN ALL SEEMED DARK, SYLVESTER STALLONE’S FAITH HELPED HIM GO THE DISTANCE.
Illustration: Dennis Jones
by Phil Callaway
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’m not a big fan of boxing, or any sport that requires two contestants to beat the stuffing out of each other. Oh wait. I like hockey, so forget that. Boxers are seldom known for their humility. After delivering a knock-out punch, Mike Tyson said, “It’s ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm.”
underdog. A troubled kid, he was expelled from school and spent time in foster homes. Moving to New York City to pursue an acting career, he scored only minor roles. He slept at a bus station, stayed at a flophouse, later joking that it had “hot and cold running roaches.” But when he watched the Ali/Wepner match, Sylvester Stallone had an
“ After 12 years of a downward spiral, I realized I had to get back to basics and take things out of my own hands and put them in God’s hands.” SYLVESTER STALLONE “There’s not a man alive who can whup me,” said the great Muhammad Ali. “I’m too fast. I’m too smart. I’m too pretty. I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.” But in his prime, Ali faced a relatively unknown boxer named Chuck Wepner. Nobody thought Wepner would last two rounds. But he took the world by surprise by knocking the champ down in the ninth round. Ali got back up and won the fight, but Wepner did the unthinkable, lasting 15 rounds against the greatest boxer in the world. Fateful Call A young man watched that match and was inspired. He, too, was an
idea. Back in his apartment, he began writing. In just three days, a finished script sat on his desk, the story of a down-and-out boxer without a chance, Rocky Balboa. Stallone sent his script to producers. Nobody wanted it. To complicate things, his wife was pregnant and they had $107 in the bank. Unable to feed his dog, Butkus, Stallone sold him for $40. Then came the call. Butkus, Come Home “We’ll give you $125,000 for the Rocky script.” Stallone was ecstatic. But Rocky was his story. He couldn’t just sell it and walk away. “Let me play the lead role in the film,” he said, “and faithandfriends.ca I APRIL 2020
you’ve got yourself a deal.” “No,” they said. A big-name actor would play the part. The producers offered him $250,000, then $360,000—a small fortune in the 1970s. When Stallone held his ground, they finally agreed, but gave him a small slice of their original offer. When they did, Stallone tracked down the man who purchased his dog and bought Butkus back for $15,000. Going the Distance Rocky went into production on a shoestring budget, using handheld cameras, and family and friends in the cast—including Stallone’s dog, Butkus. Rocky grossed $200 million, won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, became one of the most beloved underdog stories of our time and launched one of the most successful sports movie franchises ever. But “Sly” Stallone’s personal life was a rocky road. “I was raised in a Christian home,” he said. “Then I was presented with temptation, lost my way and made a lot of bad choices. After 12 years of a downward spiral, I realized it had to
stop. I had to get back to basics and take things out of my own hands and put them in God’s hands.” Following the release of the latest Rocky film, he said, “This is a story of faith, integrity and victory. Jesus is the inspiration for anyone to go the distance.” Sticking With It Few things inspire us more than an underdog story. Think of Moses, Esther and Joseph. When the prophet Samuel came looking for Israel’s next king, David the shepherd boy was overlooked by his father. But David was God’s choice to lead the people. And, of course, there’s Jesus, who became a man to deliver death the ultimate knock-out punch and reconcile us to God. Have you been knocked down? Think of those who have faced overwhelming odds with courage, persistence and faith. Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Let’s be a little more like a postage stamp. And stick with it until we reach our destination.
(left) Phil Callaway’s Laugh Again radio program airs 700 times a week in Canada. Visit him at laughagain.org.
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Photos: Courtesy of Lionsgate
Duet The story of Jeremy Camp (KJ Apa) and Melissa Lynn Henning (Britt Robertson) is a remarkable journey of love and loss
I Still Believe When the love of two young people is tested by a terminal illness, they discover a faith worth living and dying for. by Jeanette Levellie
rammy-nominated Christian megastar Jeremy Camp has 32 No. 1 singles, sold more five million albums and won five GMA Dove awards. In spite of this sparkling list of honours, Jeremy’s early career was marked by a time of anguish. I Still Believe, in theatres now, gives us a glimpse into some of that anguish, as well as his journey of love, heartbreak and redemption.
Worth It The movie opens as Jeremy, played by KJ Apa (Riverdale, A Dog’s Purpose), asks the audience at a concert to pray for his fiancée, Melissa (Britt Robertson, The Space Between Us). As Melissa chokes back tears, Jeremy tells the crowd that they’ve recently received some hard news— Melissa has ovarian cancer. In an interview with Way Nation, Jeremy recalled the first time he
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met Melissa, at a Bible study where he was leading worship songs. “I looked over while we were singing and there she was, lifting up her hands with abandon, worshipping Jesus,” he said. Jeremy was immediately attracted to Melissa’s devotion to Jesus. They began dating but shortly afterward, Melissa broke up with him. “I was devastated,” Jeremy continued. “I thought she was the one.”
Doctors inform the couple that the cancer has spread throughout Melissa’s body. She has only months, maybe weeks, to live. A few weeks later, Jeremy received a call from a friend that Melissa was in the hospital with cancer. When he walked into her room, he wondered why, instead of having a pity party, she was smiling. “Jeremy,” she told him, “I’ve been thinking: if I were to die from this cancer and even one person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, it will all be worth it.” God’s Faithfulness As the movie portrays, the couple decide to marry, in spite of bleak pre-
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dictions for their future together and misgivings on the part of Jeremy’s mother (Shania Twain) and father (Gary Sinise). After a storybook wedding and honeymoon, doctors inform them that the cancer has spread throughout Melissa’s body. She has only months, maybe weeks, to live. The following days are a mix of painful medical treatments, worshipping God, laughter and tears. Through it all, the couple makes the most of their time together. Melissa died on February 5, 2001, four months after their wedding. She was 21. After his wife’s death, Jeremy experienced a dark period of questioning God. He told Way Nation, “I had moments of feeling angry, of thinking, I can’t do this, Lord. But then you get to the point where you say, ‘Where else am I going to turn? He’s my only source of hope.’ ” Jeremy admitted it wasn’t easy: “A lot of anger. A lot of grieving. A lot of confusion. But God was there every single step. And I think that is the beauty of His faithfulness. He’s the only source of hope in life. He never said we won’t go through trials. He said He’ll be with us in the trials.” The movie ends with Jeremy on stage singing I Still Believe, a song he wrote two weeks after Melissa died. “I didn’t feel like singing or playing music, but after a few times of arguing with the Lord, I picked my guitar up and all I
Did You Know? The real-life Jeremy Camp is an ordained minister
could sing was I Still Believe.” In an interview with CBN, Jeremy said, “I have seen story after story of God using this whole thing to show His faithfulness to encourage people. That blows my mind, realizing that Melissa made that statement, that if even one person accepts Christ, it will be worth it. I hear thousands and thousands of stories. When I get distracted, when I lose sight of what is going on, God will say, ‘Look at how many thousands!’ ” Hope for Tomorrow Just as Jeremy said, believers in Jesus Christ aren’t immune to tragedy. Some deal with sickness. Others struggle with relationship issues. Many grieve the death of a loved one. During these times of suffering, God doesn’t expect us to simply “tough it out” alone. His Spirit comforts, encourages and helps us cling to the hope of a better tomorrow, and a bright forever.
I Still Believe says it well: Scattered words and empty thoughts Seem to pour from my heart I’ve never felt so torn before Seems I don’t know where to start But it’s now that I feel Your grace falls like rain From every fingertip, washing away my pain I still believe in Your faithfulness I still believe in Your truth I still believe in Your holy Word Even when I don’t see, I still believe Jesus said it best when He told His followers, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We never walk through the pain alone. Jesus is for us, with us and in us every step of the way. Faith in Him is the only kind of faith worth living—and dying—for.
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Eating Healthy With Erin FRESH HERB FALAFEL TIME 35-40 min MAKES 3 servings SERVE WITH tzatziki
250 ml (1 cup) chickpeas, canned 60 ml (¼ cup) red onion 45 ml (3 tbsp) fresh dill 45 ml (3 tbsp) fresh parsley 2 ml (½ tsp) paprika 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice 5 ml (1 tsp) cumin 2 garlic cloves 75 ml (5 tbsp) flour 5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 3 pitas 125 ml (½ cup) diced tomato 125 ml (½ cup) diced cucumber 125 ml (½ cup) lettuce 60 ml (¼ cup) olives 60 ml (¼ cup) crumbled feta
1. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). 2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Pat dry. 3. Mash chickpeas, onion, dill, parsley, paprika, lemon juice, cumin and garlic together until blended. 4. Sprinkle in flour and baking powder and mix until absorbed. 5. Pour olive oil onto baking sheet. Take out 30 ml (2 tbsp) at a time of falafel mixture and make a ball. Space 50 mm (2 in.) apart and bake for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes so that each side becomes golden. 6. Assemble in pita with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, olives and tzatziki.
Recipe photos: Erin Stanley
TIME 5 min MAKES 3-4 servings SERVE WITH falafel
175 ml (¾ cup) Greek yogurt 250 ml (1 cup) cucumber 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon 1 garlic clove 15 ml (3 tsp) fresh dill 5 ml (1 tsp) fresh parsley salt and pepper to taste
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1. Grate cucumber and salt lightly to help drain. Pat dry. 2. Mix cucumber and remaining ingredients together.
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HEAVEN’S LOVE THRIFT SHOP by Kevin Frank
Answers on next page.
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Egg-cellent Fun Make your Easter extra special with a thrifted basket. Easter baskets are a lovely way to celebrate the holiday. This simple DIY will turn a boring basket into a super-sweet carrier for all your goodies. Supplies Needed: Wicker basket, paper or felt flowers, pliers, jute and Easter items. Step 1 Buy a wicker basket from your local Salvation Army thrift store. Step 2 Separate your flower bunches into individual flowers. Pliers will make the job go easier and faster, but scissors can also be used. Step 3 Add the flowers to the sides of your basket handle one at a time. Use the spaces in the wicker to pull your flowers through and bend the wire to help keep them in place. Step 4 Wrap jute around the handle, covering the flower ends, and then knot off. Step 5 Add grass, eggs, chocolate and stuffed animals and your Easter basket is ready to go!
(left) Denise Corcoran (aka Thrifty By Design) is an author, upcycler, community builder and workshop facilitator based in North Vancouver. She shares her enthusiasm for crafting and upcycling by facilitating “Crafternoons” throughout Vancouver. She is also a creative expert for The Salvation Army’s thrift stores. Find a thrift store near you at thriftstore.ca.
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