Fighting Hunger in the Alberni Valley
What Is God Saying Through the Millennial Generation?
Indigenous Art Helps Officer Reclaim Identity
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
Territory to Unveil New Strategic Plan Forge Stronger Partnerships
Optimize Mission Impact
Strengthen Spiritual Health
Design for People
Canada and Bermuda on journey of transformation through Mobilize 2.0
July/August 2021 • Volume 16, Number 7/8
DEPARTMENTS 6 Frontlines 18 Global Focus
In Berlin Interview with Lt-Colonels David and Marsha Bowles
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22 Perspectives Worried Sick by Lt-Colonel Lynn Armstrong
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23 Inbox 26 Positive Reinforcements
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Can We Talk? by Major Rick Zelinsky
27 Millennial Voices A Place at the Table by Matt Delaney
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29 Cross Culture 30 People & Places 32 Salvation Stories
Yet I Will Praise by Amanda Williams
FEATURES COLUMNS 4 Editorial Lean on Me by Geoff Moulton
5 Onward Summer School by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd
28 Grace Notes Safe Spaces by Captain Laura Van Schaick
10 For Such a Time as This Messengers of Grace commissioned and sent to serve across the Canada and Bermuda Territory and beyond. by Pamela Richardson
14 Valley of Life The Salvation Army’s Alberni Valley Ministries addresses physical and spiritual hunger. by Kristin Ostensen
Cover illustration: nazarkru/iStock via Getty Images Plus
READ AND SHARE IT! Refugees Turn Corner
OUT OF THE PAST P.22
ARMY HELPS RABIN P.10
What’s in a Name?
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
16 Good Medicine
How the craft of beading is helping Captain Crystal Porter reclaim her Indigenous identity. Interview by Brandon Laird
20 Trending Kemptville’s gen-Z ministry model— by the youth, for the youth. by Kristin Ostensen
24 Strategy—The Road Map to Vision
issuu.com/salvationist Catch up on all the Salvation Army news and features on your tablet, desktop or smartphone
The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda to release new territorial strategic plan.
Diving Right In OLYMPIC DIVER STEELE JOHNSON IGNORED THE “WHAT IFS?” AND FOCUSED ON THE “WHY NOTS?” P.10
Salvationist July/August 2021 3
Lean on Me
he eyes of the world are on Tokyo this month for the 2020 Summer Olympics, postponed from last year, even as concerns about the pandemic persist. Many are looking to the Games to provide a measure of hope that things are getting better. In spite of the difficulties of the past year, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the way the human spirit continues to thrive. While the Olympics are often about physical strength and endurance, there are moments that transcend sport. My favourite such moment is the story of Derek Redmond, the British runner who competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Derek was at the peak of his athletic abilities, favoured to medal in the 400metre race. In the semi-final, however, tragedy struck as he passed the halfway mark. With a loud pop, Derek’s hamstring snapped. He fell to the ground, clutching his leg in pain as the crowd looked on in horror. Through sheer strength of will, Derek staggered to his feet and began hopping toward the finish line. Few could have predicted what happened next. Watching from the stands was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father. Not content to watch his son suffer, Jim raced down the aisle, waved off the security guards and burst on the track. As Derek strained forward with tears in his eyes, his father came alongside and held him up.
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
“You don’t have to do this,” Jim told his son. But Derek insisted on pressing on. “OK,” said Jim, “we started this thing together and now we’ll finish it together.” With his arm around his father, Derek advanced step by step. Just before the finish line, Jim let go and, with the cheering crowd of 65,000 on its feet, Derek crossed the finish line. In Faith & Friends this month, supplement to Salvationist, we feature an Olympian diver, Steele Johnson, who has experienced his own frightening injuries. He shares his story of faith and perseverance in the midst of adversity. Elsewhere in Salvationist, we unveil the next stage of the Mobilize 2.0 transformation project, setting the strategic direction for the territory (page 22). We also spotlight how the Army in the Alberni Valley, B.C., is battling food insecurity by serving thousands of meals since COVID-19 began (page 12). We travel to the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory to hear from Lt-Colonels David and Marsha Bowles, who are serving in Berlin (page 16). And Captain Crystal Porter shares her beading artwork, a hobby that has helped her reclaim her Indigenous roots (page 14). Who do you identify with in the Derek Redmond story? Maybe you’re feeling the strain and are struggling like Derek. Do you feel
Brandon Laird Senior Graphic Designer Rivonny Luchas 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.
4 July/August 2021 Salvationist
like the crowd in the stands, watching at a distance? Could we sometimes be the security guards, standing in the way? Or are you like the father, coming alongside others to offer support? Though we may face challenges in our personal Christian walk, and as a Salvation Army, we not only have the perseverance and determination to complete the race set out before us, we have a heavenly Father who can help get us to the finish line. GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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Summer School Putting what we’ve learned into practice. BY COMMISSIONERS FLOYD AND TRACEY TIDD
hildren excitedly count the days to summer holidays. Teachers welcome the break as well. Perhaps this has never been truer than at the end of this COVID-19 school year. But teachers also recognize the challenge to learning that a two-month summer break provides. Forbes magazine notes that children lose up to 40 percent of the gains they have made over the school year while on summer break. The “summer slide” or “summer learning loss,” reversing some of the progress students made over the year, is a well-known effect of the summer break. Over the course of this last year, we have all been learning new lessons throughout the pandemic months. And now we look to the summer with an anticipation of new hope and relief from the ravages of COVID, while still following
appropriate health guidelines. Could it be that we are at risk of a “summer slide” and losing the benefit of what we have learned during the pandemic period? Remember again the lessons learned. As Christians, we have been released from a Sunday-centric focus to pursue a fresh Christocentric approach to life and service. We have discovered again that God is present where we live and where our people live, and that God is actively at work and inviting us to join him there. We have learned to care for one another beyond the moments of gathered activities, intentionally connecting with one another as a shared gift and responsibility as a Christian community, rather than solely the duty of the officer/pastor. We have rediscovered our neighbourhoods and the people who are now a part of the orbit of our lives. The depth or shal-
lowness of our discipleship efforts have been revealed, causing a needed reflection and response. Over these summer months, let us not experience a “summer learning loss,” but revisit the lessons learned from this last year. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and service, not avoiding worshipping together, as some do, but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching (see Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV and The Message).
Commissioners Tracey and Floyd Tidd
Artist, Trinity Murphy-Dicker Happy ValleyGoose Bay, N.L.
Salvationist July/August 2021 5
A COVID Convocation Booth University College’s 2020 and 2021 graduating classes virtually step out into the world in a special online double ceremony. BY KEN RAMSTEAD “Booth University College has never given this rank until now,” said Dr. Boyce. “But today we recognize two recently retired professors who have made considerable contributions to Booth University College and to the lives of their many students.”
Dr. Donald Burke welcomes viewers to the virtual ceremony
n pre-COVID times, this past April 25 would have seen Knox United Church in Winnipeg filled with Booth University College graduates gathered for the 2021 Spring Convocation and Conferring of Degrees. But as with so much else around the world, this past year’s pandemic changed how Booth UC operates, with in-house gatherings out of the question. Nevertheless, it was still a day of celebration and festivities as a virtual convocation was held instead. The 2020 graduates were also celebrated, as there had not been the opportunity to prepare a virtual convocation last year. “This is a convocation unlike any other that we’ve held in the 39-year history of Booth University College,” explained Dr. Donald Burke, formerly interim president. “To the graduates, on behalf of everyone at Booth, I want to congratulate you for your success.” A Celebration of Excellence After the invocation of the ceremony by the chancellor of Booth UC, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, Dr. Michael Boyce, Booth UC vice-president academic and dean, bestowed the rare academic rank of professor emeritus and professor emerita to Dr. Roy Jeal and Bonnie Bryant, respectively, after years of service.
Class valedictorian Japhlet Lolo addresses his fellow graduates
6 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Changing the World “We made it!” declared class valedictorian Japhlet Lolo. “Today, we have achieved a great milestone that will leave an unwavering mark on our hearts. I would not have asked to be a part of any other class other than the graduands of 2021.” Lolo drew a comparison between his fellow students and a forest, made of unique trees, with different trunks, sizes and fruits. “Despite these differences, the trees form a beautiful forest site. “The graduating class of 2021 has co-existed together for the last four years, despite our differences,” he continued. “When we entered the doors of Booth University College, we came in with different lived experiences, different beliefs, from different ethnicities, some of us fresh from high school, some of us parents and mature students. Despite these variances, we co-existed and became a community and, for some, family as well.” In conclusion, Lolo quoted Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” “That is exactly what Booth University College has given us, an education for a better world. We might take different paths and aspirations in life, but as graduates of Booth University College, our goal is to be active contributors to society. Nothing can stop us from chasing our dreams and changing the world.” Goodness in Action After Brig.-Gen. Linda Colwell, the retiring chair of Booth UC’s Board of Trustees, provided the Scripture reading for the day, Dr. Burke introduced Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan, who was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree, the first person to receive such an honour in the history of Booth UC . The convocation and conferring of degrees followed, and a total of 162 students graduated with either a diploma, certificate or degree as they move beyond Booth UC to the next stage of their journey. Of special note was the awarding of the Chancellor’s Medal to Joshwill Tampai and the General’s Medal to Lieutenant Kassie Cain. “We pray that out of their lives would flow service, love and compassion in a world that desperately needs to see God’s goodness in action,” concluded Dr. Cynthia Sottie, associate professor of social work, in a prayer of dedication to the graduating classes. Commissioner Floyd Tidd commends Comr M. Christine MacMillan, who received an honorary doctor of laws during the ceremony
Weetamah Program Combats Food Insecurity
he Salvation Army’s Weetamah Corps in Winnipeg is helping families and individuals in need to access healthier foods through a partnership with Safeway grocery stores. Launched in April 2020, the Safeway Partnership Program was created to tackle the problem of food insecurity. Individuals and families who wish to take part in the program fill out a shopping list form, assisted by a Salvation Army staff member, with an allocated budget based on their family size. A family of three or fewer gets a $50 budget; families receive a further $25 for every two additional family members. “With the grocery list, we try to keep the items vague on purpose so that when the individual is shopping, they have the freedom to choose the food item that works for them,” says Benjamin McNeilly, community ministries co-ordinator. “For example, we have milk on the list, but do not specify which brand or type.” After they have completed their shopping list, program participants take it to a local Safeway and pick out the items themselves. They do not pay for anything unless they deviate from the items on the list or go over the established budget. In the first year of the program, 385 order forms were completed, indicating that The Salvation Army helped more than 1,000 individuals. “Since the introduction of the program, we have only heard amazing responses from the people on the receiving end, who said
they felt this type of food assistance was helpful,” says McNeilly. “We are providing something that other food banks are not, bringing humanity to a system where often humanity is lacking.”
Benjamin McNeilly makes a shopping list for the Safeway Partnership Program
National Advisory Board Welcomes New Chair
he Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board (NAB) has named a new chair, Paul Koreen. Currently partner/chief operating officer of KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.), Koreen has been a member of the NAB since 2018 and succeeds Jan Barton. How did you first get involved with The Salvation Army?
I have always had a strong awareness of The Salvation Army, as we had close friends growing up who were Salvationists. And I recall my dad’s story of learning to play the trumpet at a Salvation Army rec centre when he was a kid in Thunder Bay, Ont. I personally became involved with the Army 20 years ago when we at KCI had the privilege of directing the Army’s first major capital fundraising campaign in Toronto. It was a joy to help the Army engage with donors and volunteers to support the development of the then-new Harbour Light centre downtown. What projects have you been a part of during your time with the NAB?
In 2018-2019, I had the pleasure of leading our Funding-SWOT Task
Team. Our initial focus was on helping the Army be best positioned to maximize funding to support its work, but this team came to understand that the Army could benefit from an updated understanding of its strategy and areas of focus. This work helped serve as a catalyst for the Mobilize 2.0 strategic planning process currently underway.
toward action and positively impacting the lives of people in need across Canada, Bermuda and around the world that I love most about the Army. It is a pleasure to be involved!
What do you hope to achieve as chair?
I hope to continue us along the path we’re already firmly on—a group motivated by the great work of the Army, working in partnership with officers and staff on the Army’s key strategic and operational questions. I am particularly keen to help the Army optimize its work toward the intersection of where it has the greatest impact and the highest capabilities. What do you appreciate most about The Salvation Army?
When I first began working with the Army 20 years ago, there was a phrase we used that sums up the Army perfectly: “Sharing God’s love in practical ways.” It is this orientation
Paul Koreen, chair of the National Advisory Board, has been working with the Army for 20 years
Salvationist July/August 2021 7
Ajax Army Launches Hope on Wheels (Left) Holly Bain, outreach worker, welcomes guests to Hope on Wheels (Below) The Hope on Wheels van in action
he Salvation Army in Ajax, Ont., is now giving hope today on the go, thanks to a new program. Launched in April 2021, Hope on Wheels is a mobile unit that meets the needs of community members where they are. The program currently operates on Wednesday evenings, delivering food and essential supplies to people in downtown Ajax, with plans to expand to nearby communities Pickering and Uxbridge, Ont., in the near future. The project has been in the works for two years, since the Ajax Mayor’s Gala in May 2019. Prior to the event, Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier approached Captains Jason and Tammy Sabourin, corps officers, ask-
ing what The Salvation Army would do with funding to combat homelessness. Their proposal was a versatile response vehicle—Hope on Wheels. “The vehicle had to be multi-purpose, multi-use, so we get the best value for the dollar,” Captain Jason Sabourin explains. The Army’s proposal was accepted and they received a $50,000 grant from the Mayor’s Gala in 2019. More funding from various sources followed, totalling $100,000 in all. With a multi-purpose philosophy in mind, the Hope on Wheels vehicle is not only capable of serving food and drinks. It features collapsible shelves, which can be
used to turn the vehicle into a mobile food bank. It also has benches and a fold-down table with computer capabilities, so the vehicle can be used as an intake office or command post. Captain Sabourin sees it being used for everything from emergency disaster services to outdoor events. “We are pretty excited about the possibilities,” he says, “not only to help relieve the burdens people have, but also go deeper and build relationships. We’re going out there because God cares about people and they’re valuable regardless of the situation they find themselves in. It’s not just a matter of getting food to somebody—we’re taking a holistic approach.”
Territory Fundraises Over $150 million
he Canada and Bermuda Territory had a banner year for fundraising in 2020-2021, raising more than $150 million across Canada. In Bermuda, the Red Shield Appeal raised BD$1.9 million, more than double the amount raised the previous year. Donations in Canada increased in all categories and in every division. The Red Shield Appeal, which includes general donations toward Army programs and services, raised $58.6 million, surpassing $50 million for the first time in the territory’s history. The Army also received almost $44 million in legacy income, which includes gifts from the estates of donors. Supporters gave a further $42.8 million in specified gifts, which go to specific programs or ministries. That amount was up from $14 million in the previous year, in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This past year, we have seen an 8 July/August 2021 Salvationist
increase in needs because of the pandemic and the community has responded in an incredible way,” says Janet Park, chief development officer. “Our donors see that The Salvation Army is still working—we’ve got boots on the ground every day of the year—and we’re pivoting the way our services and programs happen so they can be done safely.” One of those specified donations came from the Rogers Foundation, which gave $10 million for COVID relief—the largest private donation in the territory’s history. Looking at the fundraising success of the Army in Bermuda, Park praises the efforts of the division’s volunteer advisory board, divisional leadership, ministry units and corps to show how the Army is making a difference in Bermuda. “They have worked really hard to share that story and Bermudians are responding—individuals, families and business partners,” Park notes.
In Halifax, volunteers deliver hot meals to guests staying at a Salvation Army pop-up shelter, opened in response to COVID-19 safety measures. The Salvation Army received more than $14 million in donations for COVID relief last year
“People give to The Salvation Army because they believe in the work of the Army and they know we are good stewards of the funds entrusted to our care,” she concludes. “Their generosity is so humbling.”
For Such a Time as This Messengers of Grace commissioned and sent to serve across the Canada and Bermuda Territory and beyond. BY PAMELA RICHARDSON
ollowing 22 months of intensive study and practical ministry experiences, 26 cadets in the Messengers of Grace Session were commissioned and ordained in June during a special online service led by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial leaders. With restrictions on social gatherings and travel still in effect due to the pandemic, the cadets and training college staff were divided into groups at four separate locations throughout Winnipeg—the College for Officer Training, Booth University College, Heritage Park Temple and Southlands Community Church—while Commissioners Tidd and Colonel Evie Diaz, chief secretary, joined them from territorial headquarters in Toronto. Also taking part in the online service were Colonels Hervé and Deborah Cachelin, territorial leaders in the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory. “This is a significant time in the life of our territory and in the lives of these 26 cadets as they prepare themselves for sacred service,” said Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander, as he and Commissioner Tracey Tidd, territorial president of women’s ministries, offered words of welcome. “Today is a celebration of their faith and obedience to God’s call [as] they carry forward the Army’s mission of seeing souls saved, growing disciples and serving suffering humanity.” 10 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Mjr Andrew Morgan commends the cadets to the territorial commander (above) From left, Lts Brent and Amber Wareham, Lts Mark and Kelsie Burford, and Lts John and Aimee Thomas share a moment outside Heritage Park Temple following their commissioning and ordination
Representatives from the Messengers of Grace Session gather at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg before they are commissioned. Front, from left, Cdts Lester and Almeta Ward, Cdts Marco Herrera Lopizic and April Barthau, and Cdt Tina Jatzkowski. Back, from left, Cdt Amy Patrick and Cdt Patrick Penton From left, Lts Anjie and Tony DaSilva, Lts Roger and Glenda Barrow, and Lts Beverly and John Burton come together at Booth University College
From left, Lts Jory and Rebecca Hewson, Lt David Hipperson, Lts Dion and Jenelle Durdle, and Lts Amanda and Jeremy Thompson gather at Southlands CC
Salvationist July/August 2021 11
Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd join the commissioning service from territorial headquarters in Toronto
(right) Colonel Evie Diaz addresses the cadets (far right) Cdts Tony and Anjie DaSilva are commissioned
Lt David Hipperson receives his first appointment
“To all those who are watching this service, regardless of where you are joining us from, we pray that you will experience the excitement of this moment and be in prayer for our territory’s newest officers 12 July/August 2021 Salvationist
as they finish one stage of the journey and begin the next,” said Commissioner Tracey Tidd. Commissioner Floyd Tidd took a moment to introduce and welcome Colonel Evie Diaz, new chief secretary, before she opened the service in prayer. Following the call to worship by Cadet Rebecca Hewson, Cadet Tony DaSilva and Cadet John Burton, Major Andrew Morgan, training principal, commended the cadets to the territorial commander. “These cadets have given evidence of growth in character and competence and have gained knowledge and skills needed to undertake responsibilities that will be theirs as officers in The Salvation Army,” he said. Showcasing the cultural diversity of the Messengers of Grace Session, the Officer’s
Covenant, which had been signed by each cadet earlier in the week, was presented in three languages—in Spanish by Cadet Marco Herrera Lopizic, in German by Cadet Tina Jatzkowski and in English by Cadet Lester Ward. “I have signed my covenant because I am in complete agreement with its contents,” said Cadet April Barthau as she shared what the Officer’s Covenant means to her. “I have left behind everything to follow the call that God has placed on my life. I do not uphold this covenant in my own strength but in the strength of the Lord.” The Messengers of Grace then recited the doctrines of The Salvation Army in their Affirmation of Faith. “We rejoice that God has called you, has equipped you and gifted you for sacred
Cdt Jory Hewson with the Messengers of Grace sessional flag
From left, Cdt Marco Herrera Lopizic, Cdt Tina Jatzkowski and Cdt Lester Ward recite the Officer’s Covenant
(far left) Cdts Roger and Glenda Barrow are commissioned in Winnipeg by Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd from Toronto (left) Lt Amy Patrick speaks on behalf of her session-mates
service,” said the territorial leaders as they stood together to ordain each cadet as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, commission them as an officer with the rank of lieutenant and share a portion of Scripture that had been selected for them by college staff. Recognition of the first appointments of the new officers, as well as the field-based tailored training cadets and summer assignments of the Messengers of Reconciliation Session, took place later in the service. It was a special moment for Cadet Tina Jatzkowski, a cadet from the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory who trained in Winnipeg, when her territorial leaders, Colonels Hervé and Deborah Cachelin, joined the online service to commission and ordain her as a Salvation Army officer.
Before recognizing the parents and spiritual mentors of the new officers who were admitted to the Fellowship of the Silver Star, Commissioner Tracey Tidd prayed for the new officers, asking that God would use them for his greater glory. “Father, give them passion and compassion to serve in your name, as you command, to make disciples.” Lieutenant Amy Patrick spoke on behalf of her session-mates, highlighting the story of Esther, whose bravery, surrender and trust in God allowed her to be used for his purposes “for such a time as this” (see Esther 4:14). “We are going into a world that does not necessarily want to receive the Word of God,” she said. “Our training—in all of its COVID glory—has begun to mould us as we enter into the work of the kingdom, as we receive and
embody his grace. We are Messengers of Grace, ready to take up our appointments, and by God’s grace, prove ourselves worthy officers of The Salvation Army for such a time as this.” In his message, Commissioner Floyd Tidd shared from John 1:1-18, drawing on the life and ministry of Jesus, who loved people unconditionally and who came to bring grace and truth to the world. Referring to the new officers as “living examples of God’s grace,” he told them they were not being sent to a place, but “to people who need you as God’s holy people moving into their neighbourhood, creating communities of grace.” Photos: Cpt Shawna Goulding (Southlands CC); Cdt Jessica Hoeft (Heritage Park Temple); Cdt Zachary Marshall (Booth University College); Symon Ptashnick (College for Officer Training)
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Valley of Life The Salvation Army’s Alberni Valley Ministries addresses physical and spiritual hunger. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN Robert Borrett delivers food on behalf of The Salvation Army’s Alberni Valley Ministries
pandemic hit and he suddenly found himself laid off. As a longtime member of the corps, Borrett had volunteered over the years when his work schedule allowed; now, he had an opportunity to put his professional skills to good use. “It all fell together,” he recalls. “They needed me at the same time as I needed them.” He immediately joined the effort, spending up to 20 hours volunteering with the Army each week.
he number of Canadians who are food insecure is on the rise, with one in eight households now reporting they do not have access to an adequate diet of healthy food due to financial constraints. It’s a situation Captains Michael and Susan Ramsay, who lead The Salvation Army’s Alberni Valley Ministries in Port Alberni, B.C., know all too well. In this small Vancouver Island town, hundreds of people do not know where their next meal is coming from—and the past year has only made things worse. “Food insecurity was already an issue in Port Alberni, and the pandemic has pushed people who were barely making it over the edge,” says Captain Michael Ramsay. Since March 2020, the Army has been combating this increase in food insecurity, developing a multifaceted program that touches people throughout the valley. The reach is as big as the need—as of May 31, the Army had fed and cared for people more than 155,000 times since the pandemic began. “I don’t think any of us could have predicted that amount of need,” says Captain Ramsay. “It was dramatic.” 14 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Rapid Response Prior to the pandemic, The Salvation Army had been operating the town’s only food bank, as well as the soup kitchen at the Bread of Life Centre. That put the Army in a good position to lead the charge in offering food assistance following the onset of COVID-19. In partnership with several other community agencies, such as Canadian Mental Health, the Army was able to quickly identify those who needed that support. “Between the soup kitchen and the food bank, we were feeding 300 families a week pre-pandemic,” notes Captain Ramsay. “At the height of our pandemic response, we were feeding more than 700 individuals a day.” The backbone of the Army’s early response was a food delivery service. “In those first weeks of the pandemic, when everything was completely locked down, nobody was going out, so we were doing deliveries straight to people’s homes,” Captain Ramsay says. “We had dozens of drivers doing deliveries throughout the valley every day.” Robert Borrett was one of those drivers. A trucker by trade, Borrett was working in Fort McMurray, Alta., when the
Seven Days a Week As restrictions have shifted since the pandemic began, and additional resources have become available, the Army has adjusted its ministries accordingly. One crucial addition to the Army’s food programs was a community response unit (CRU), which arrived in 2020.
“At the height of our pandemic response, we were feeding more than 700 individuals a day.” —Captain Michael Ramsay “Before the CRU, people who were homeless and housing insecure had to come to our doors to pick up food because they didn’t have a deliverable address,” Captain Ramsay notes. “With the CRU, we are able to take food to where they are.” The CRU travels to five different locations around town, serving approximately 200 people every time it goes out. For
Captain Ramsay, each shift on the CRU is a blessing. “I can’t tell you the number of times people have come with tears of joy, letting us know that they wouldn’t have been able to eat at all without The Salvation Army,” he shares. Until recently, the CRU was going out every day, but as the Army has finally been able to reopen its soup kitchen from Monday to Friday, it is now going out on weekends and some weeknights, ensuring there is food service seven days a week. While closed because of the pandemic, the soup kitchen underwent a massive renovation. “We were able to double the floor size, so even with social distancing, we can accommodate a large number of people,” Captain Ramsay explains. There are also plexiglass shields on tables to create additional barriers against the spread of COVID-19. For food insecure people who can’t get to the soup kitchen or a CRU location, the Army started a food cupboard program at three churches around town. “People can come and take what they need, or leave what they don’t need,” Captain Ramsay says. “We haven’t had to stock them much at all because the food is being supplied by the community.” The Army’s food bank services have also had a boost, thanks to a new truck. Last fall, Borrett was tasked with helping the Army find a large refrigerated truck, which would allow the Army to move more food than with its existing cube van. Borrett embraced the task gladly, finding a 10-tonne truck for just $60,000. “It was a spectacular deal,” he smiles. “We now have the largest truck on Vancouver Island, as far as food banks go.” At this time, Borrett is one of the only Army people qualified to drive the truck, moving food up and down the island as needed. “The main service organization
here in the valley is The Salvation Army,” he notes. “When people have needs and you can meet them—especially when nobody else is out there to do it—that’s meaningful for me.” Being the Gospel Borrett is not the only member of the corps to be involved in the church’s food ministry. While the church has not been able to meet normally for much of the pandemic due to gathering restrictions, Captain Ramsay found a clever workaround for worshippers: Sandwich Church. “We’d do an opening prayer, read Scripture and then make sandwiches that would go out on the food truck that afternoon,” explains Captain Ramsay. “It was such a blessing for people in the congregation to have a safe way to contribute and serve God.” As weather and COVID restrictions permit, the corps now meets outside for a short church service on Sundays before going inside to make the sandwiches. In these extraordinary times, Salvationists in Port Alberni are finding extraordinary ways to meet the commu-
For Cpt Michael Ramsay, each shift on the Army’s community response unit is a blessing
nity’s spiritual, as well as practical, needs. “The number of doors that’ve opened to share the gospel and be the gospel—it’s been amazing,” says Captain Ramsay. “Some people that I’ve prayed with during our food ministry have given their lives to the Lord, and now they’re volunteering, praying with people, handing out the groceries or serving at the soup kitchen.” Earlier this year, Captain Ramsay started a weekly Bible study for men who volunteer with driving. Borrett is a member of this tight-knit group, as is Brian Lane, who also takes part in Sandwich Church. “I don’t know much about the Bible and I like history, so it’s nice to go, be part of the discussion, read the Bible and pray,” he says. Providence Reflecting on the past year, Captain Ramsay acknowledges that this ministry would not be possible without the support of the Port Alberni community— volunteers, other service providers and NGOs, churches, businesses and the local government. “I am so thankful to our staff, volunteers and community partners,” he says. “You can really see God’s providential hand in the midst of the worst parts of the pandemic. It’s only through him that we were able to come together in this way and be used by him. God went before us and established the relationships that we could then build on to do this ministry.” Members of the corps in Port Alberni make sandwiches as part of “Sandwich Church”
Salvationist July/August 2021 15
Cpt Crystal Porter wears a medallion necklace she beaded using Mi’kmaq double curves, which represent balance within life
community, even beyond what we see, supporting and uplifting us. In Scripture, we read about the clouds of witnesses, and how they continue to help us on our journey. Beadwork has been a huge part of that for me, because it connects me with the ones who have gone before us and have journeyed with us. Reclaiming my Indigenous heritage through beadwork reminds me of that community beyond what we see in the here and now. How did you start beading?
Good Medicine How the craft of beading is helping Captain Crystal Porter reclaim her Indigenous identity.
n season 3 of the Salvationist Podcast, host Brandon Laird spoke with Captain Crystal Porter, assistant territorial Indigenous ministries consultant and divisional youth secretary, Prairie Division, about her journey to reclaim her Indigenous identity, and how the craft of beading has connected her to the land and to her Indigenous community.
journey to reclaim part of who I am. I think of it like peeling back the layers of an onion—because there was a lot of deep shame in our family about being Indigenous. So it has been a lot of selfawareness, a lot of connecting with community and even journeying with my own family in what it means for us to be Indigenous.
Tell us about the journey you’ve been on to reclaim your Indigenous heritage.
I understand that the craft of beading has been an important part of reclaiming your Indigenous identity. Can you tell us about that?
I remember it briefly coming up in conversation when I was growing up, but it wasn’t something our family focused on. And then I moved from Green’s Harbour, a small fishing village in Newfoundland and Labrador, to go to Booth University College in Winnipeg, and started attending Weetamah Corps. There were Indigenous people in the congregation, and I remember thinking, These people look like my grandma! Why do these people look like my grandma? I started asking questions within my family and discovered that my grandmother was Mi’kmaw. That was the beginning of my 16 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Beading has become a central part of who I am as an Indigenous person. When I first learned to bead, it was all about reconnecting to a part of myself that was lost. For a long time, struggling through my Indigenous identity, there wasn’t this connection point for me; I wasn’t part of a community. Learning to bead, and being able to do something that our ancestors couldn’t do, was huge for me. Learning the patterns and designs in beadwork just opened up this whole idea of connecting with ancestors who have gone before us, and realizing that there is this greater
Early in my journey to reclaim my culture, I attended a NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) symposium in Chicago. It’s an academic community with all these brilliant Indigenous theologians, and I was so nervous. There was a lady in the back beading, and the whole weekend I was just mesmerized by the work she was doing. Eventually, I got the courage to go up to her, and she said, “Do you want to try?” and pulled up a chair. She showed me a few of the stitches, and then passed it over. I was so afraid I was going to mess it up! But she was so encouraging. At the end of the weekend, she gave me a bead kit, and told me to reach out if I had any questions. She didn’t know me, but she was so giving and gracious with her teaching. How has beading given you a sense of community?
There’s a really cool network of beadwork artists on Instagram. We all follow each other. As we’re trying out new materials or working on different projects, people have been so willing to answer questions. Right now, I’m working on a collar for my graduation ceremony from NAIITS, where I completed a master of theological studies in Indigenous studies. I‘ve been focusing on Mi’kmaq artwork. For different nations of Indigenous people, artwork looks different—if you’re a Métis beadwork artist, the flowers are going to be completely different than if you’re Mi’kmaq. I’m working on these double curves, and it’s cool to be able to connect with other Mi’kmaq beadwork artists, and ask, “Is this the right way to do this? Is this the right stitch to use when you’re working on moose hide?” For so long, Indigenous ways of
knowing and doing things weren’t appreciated. To be able to help and support each other just opens up this beautiful community of people wanting to learn about and reclaim their culture, and keep beadwork alive for the generations to come. How is your craft connected to creation care?
I draw inspiration from creation— from flowers, even the colours of the sky. It keeps you mindful to care for creation and the materials that you use in beadwork. Recently, I’ve started to be more intentional about using traditional materials, such as smoked moose hides, and supporting Indigenous communities by buying materials from Indigenous artists. Last summer, I had the most awesome experience—I received a porcupine from a camp staff member, who found it as roadkill on the way to the Army’s Beaver Creek Camp in Saskatchewan, and I’ve been incorporating the quills from the porcupine into my beadwork. Something I’ve learned is to give thanks, share and gift the things you have. When I was gifted this porcupine, I gave thanks, only took what I needed and then gave it back to creation. It makes you conscious of the materials that you’re using, but also how you live among creation. When I draw inspiration from flowers or the sky, I want to ensure that others will also be able to draw the same inspiration in years to come. It’s about taking care of creation right now, so that in the future, there will still be a place from which to draw inspiration.
Lately, I’ve been doing some birch bark and quill work. Some projects are art, some are gifts. I have my hand in all kinds of things.
colours come through prayers that I have for the people and good thoughts that I want them to have.
What inspires your work? Are there colours, elements or themes that you return to?
I have a T-shirt that says, “Beading is medicine,” and that has been true for me—beading has been good medicine. It has been healing. When I think about me as a child, trying to find a place to belong, it felt like there was always part of me that was missing. When I started to bead, I was welcomed and embraced into this community of Indigenous beadwork artists, where if you have a question, you can just ask and people are so willing to help. Every time I bead, I consciously realize the gift that the Creator has given me through my beadwork, that I’ve been able to reclaim my identity and find a place to belong, when I’ve always been searching for this place. Ultimately, that’s what I want. When somebody sees or wears my beadwork, I want them to realize the journey I was on to reclaim who I am.
When I’m out for a walk, I look at flowers or other colours, and I’ll see something that I wouldn’t necessarily have put together. That helps me experiment a little bit more with my colour choices. When I’m doing beadwork for other people, I usually ask what their favourite colour is. But I love it when they give me the freedom to experiment, to think about who the person is and what I identify with them. It helps me get to know the person more. When I bead for somebody, it isn’t just a material that I’m processing and sending to them. It’s something that I’ve taken time to concentrate on, to learn more about them. I pray for them as I’m beading. That’s something else that an elder taught me—when you’re beading for someone, you’re praying for them. You’re praying for circumstances happening in their life now, but also things that might happen later in their life. So, when they wear your beadwork, they’re wearing good thoughts and prayers that have been prayed for them. Sometimes colours come through the inspiration of creation, sometimes
What story does your work tell?
With contributions by Giselle Randall. This interview has been edited for space and clarity. All episodes of the Salvationist podcast are available at Salvationist.ca/ podcast.
What kinds of things do you make?
I’ve done a few different projects. I love creating jewelry, medallions and earrings. It’s really cool to know that somebody else is walking around wearing your art. The biggest project I’ve done so far is a beaded medallion of a Mi’kmaq creation story—it was probably the size of an extra-large dinner plate. One of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t bead when you’re frustrated or angry because it tightens the strings of your beadwork and it won’t lay flat properly. You are always supposed to bead with a good heart, a kind heart, because you’re beading for somebody else and they’re wearing your work.
“I beaded these earrings on traditional braintanned caribou hide,” says Cpt Porter. “The colours were inspired by a ribbon skirt— a traditional piece of clothing in Indigenous nations—gifted to me from a friend”
Salvationist July/August 2021 17
Lt-Cols David and Marsha Bowles in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, one of Germany’s best-known landmarks and a national symbol of peace and unity
How would you describe The Salvation Army in Germany? MB: Small. Diverse. DB: We have 38 corps, 62 active officers
and 741 soldiers, in a country of 83 million.
MB: The spiritual landscape is similar
In Berlin Salvation Army officers build community in the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory.
anadian Salvation Army officers Lt-Colonels David and Marsha Bowles serve as corps officers in Berlin. Features editor Giselle Randall spoke with them about returning to Germany after several years in Canada, and finding creative ways to meet community needs. Tell us about your journey to international service with The Salvation Army. Lt-Colonel David Bowles: After we were
commissioned in 1990, we spent seven years as corps officers in Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa. Session-mates of ours were serving in Russia, which may have sparked an interest when we next read the international service opportunities list. One opportunity was to open a corps in Germany and we made some inquiries. Although we missed that appointment, eventually we were sent to Germany to serve as corps officers in Solingen. We couldn’t speak a word of German when we arrived.
18 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Lt-Colonel Marsha Bowles: Learning the
language and understanding the cultural differences—how to greet people, the school system, shopping hours—were some of the big, necessary adjustments we faced. We had some funny moments. DB: In the early years, we would write
our sermons in English, have others translate them into German and then preach the words phonetically. One Sunday, I pronounced an “S” rather than an “SZ”—eszett in German, written as ß—so instead of speaking on the promises of God, I was preaching about the radiators of God and I was wondering why the congregation was laughing. MB: I made the same mistake in a
sermon—I thought I was saying that Jesus is the victor, the conqueror, but instead, I said he is the goat! But if you think about it, in the Old Testament they would take a goat and set it free in the wilderness (see Leviticus 16:2122), so technically, theologically, it worked!
to Canada, especially in Berlin, which is a melting pot of people from varying homelands, cultures and religious backgrounds. The two state churches are still very strong—52 percent of people are registered with either the Lutheran Church or the Catholic Church. The Salvation Army is an independent or free church and doesn’t receive any government funding. Germany is a rich country, but we are not a rich Salvation Army. DB: Although Germans are generous
when it comes to natural disasters or emergencies, there isn’t a culture of donating to institutions, partly because they pay high taxes and therefore feel certain things should be taken care of by the government. MB: For a smaller denomination, this
Salvation Army accomplishes a lot of good for the community with what we have—it’s very much, what can we do, what does our community need? There’s one corps located in a redlight district, and they run a program for the children of sex workers, to give them some fun and community. Here in Berlin, where we live now, there’s an arts ministry with an open-mic night on Friday evenings, led by a soldier. He’s a ballet dancer and is also starting some dance lessons for children. Another ministry in Berlin that has been going on for 30 years is a café where people can come and always get a warm meal and receive spiritual care. So every place is a little bit different, depending on the needs of the community and the creativity of the leaders. Tell us about your appointments. DB: We were corps officers in Solingen
and in Leipzig from 1997 to 2005, after
which I was appointed as territorial youth secretary—a post I held until 2014. MB: After we were transferred to
territorial headquarters, I had various appointments, including field secretary, training principal, secretary for spiritual life development and chief secretary. DB: When Marsha was chief secretary,
I became territorial secretary for adult and family ministries (usually known as women’s ministries) in September 2014. Then, after more than 19 years in Germany, we were transferred back to Canada in January 2017. MB: We weren’t expecting it, so initially
it came as a great shock. But we could see God’s hand in it, because it meant we were able to spend time with our parents, who are getting older, our siblings and other family, and to get reacquainted with old friends. I was appointed as the program secretary. DB: After several months serving as
return, but it was a difficult decision. We loved the people at Etobicoke Temple, and we enjoyed serving alongside them. But the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory is really struggling—there aren’t enough officers to keep corps open.
fresh vegetables or other donations. Usually, we would set up tables and benches and have a third person who sits and talks with people, but we can’t do that right now because of the pandemic.
DB: Even since we returned last
pandemic was already underway. We understand that our congregation was really trying to connect with families in the community through the Army’s daycare centre.
summer, corps have sadly been closed. MB: Our hearts said—wouldn’t it be
perfect if we could take Etobicoke Temple with us to Germany? Of course, that’s not possible. It’s easy to choose between a good thing and a bad thing, but sometimes God gives us a choice between two good things. So although there were tears, we said yes to the request. We had peace about it. It just felt right to be in Germany at this time. What are some of the most pressing social issues in Germany, and how has the pandemic affected your ministry? MB: Integration of newcomers is a big
assistant chief secretary for special events and assistant integrated mission secretary, I stepped in to cover a shortterm opening at Georgina Community Church in Jackson’s Point, Ont. In July 2018, we were transferred to Etobicoke Temple in Toronto as corps officers. A corps appointment has always been our first love.
DB: Germany has taken in more than a
MB: We’d been at Etobicoke for about a
Southwest, has a food truck that goes out three times a week. We serve coffee, soup and bread to people who need a hot meal. We also distribute
year and a half when we were asked if we would accept a corps appointment in Germany. It was our hope to eventually
million refugees since 2015. Loneliness seems to be an increasing issue. MB: In Europe, it’s easy to move people
from country to country, so human trafficking is a big issue. Other things are similar to Canada—homelessness and unemployment. DB: Our corps in Berlin, Berlin-
MB: When we arrived last July, the
DB: We’ve had lots of conversations
with the corps leadership about creative ways we could meet the needs of our neighbours. Berlin-Southwest Corps really wants to be a congregation that is deep in the Word first. MB: There’s lots of potential here, but
everything is on pause. Although a few seniors still attend meetings in person as we’re allowed, everything else has moved online. We have Bible studies, a women’s group, a men’s group and a drop-in coffee time just for people to chat and connect. We can see how God is blessing that—we’ve had seven new people come and be part of our ministry. What has God been teaching you recently? DB: Patience. One of the reasons we’re
corps officers is that we love being with people, and we can’t do that right now. It’s frustrating. Also, not worrying about what we can’t do. MB: I think what I’m learning is that
God is not limited by us having or meeting in a building. Just this past week, a young woman from Colombia sent me a message on WhatsApp asking if she could join our women’s group, because she’d seen it on our website. When we asked her how she connected with us, she said a pastor, not anyone connected to the Army, told her that when she came to Europe, she should look for The Salvation Army. For me, it was as if God was saying, I don’t need a building. I am God. That has been impactful for me.
Lt-Cols Marsha and David Bowles are the corps officers at Berlin-Southwest Corps in the Germany, Lithuania and Poland Tty
Salvationist July/August 2021 19
Trending Kemptville’s gen-Z ministry model—by the youth, for the youth. BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
hile her official title is children and youth co-ordinator at The Salvation Army’s Kemptville Church, Ont., it’s hard to pin down exactly what Emma Wong does. She does event planning, pastoral care and mentoring. She’s a photographer, designer and video editor, managing a popular Instagram account and a TikTok channel. At 22 years old, she is bursting with energy and ideas—not unlike the generation-Z youth she leads. Non-Traditional Wong has been leading the youth group at Kemptville since she graduated from high school four years ago. At the time, Kemptville Church, where her parents are corps leaders, was small, and the youth group consisted of Wong and her siblings, plus a few of their friends. Since then, the group has grown significantly and before the pandemic hit, youth events averaged around 20 to 25 attendees. The Kemptville youth group is not very traditional in its approach—what their ministry looks like changes from day to day, and week to week. “Gen Z is all about trends, so we try to keep up with them and utilize them,” says Wong. Events run the gamut from a skating and campfire night at the Wongs’ backyard rink, to a thrift store fashion show, to a “puppies in the park” gathering. “It’s not like a ‘come in, sit down, be quiet, this is what we’re going to do’ kind of thing,” Wong says. “It’s more like a party that the youth are bringing their friends to. “We keep the focus on Jesus, but we make sure that we’re doing it in ways so that when new kids come in, they can feel relaxed and are able to enjoy the environment.”
Emma Wong, children and youth co-ordinator at Kemptville Church, has kept the youth group going during the pandemic through Zoom meetings, outdoor events, care packages and other initiatives
20 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Youth-Driven While Wong is the group’s leader, a lot of the time, she’s not running the show. The youth are. “Emma will message us with ideas for things to do and ask for our opinions,” says Holly Ongaro, 14. “Or we can throw in a suggestion of our own if we have something fun in mind.
“I think it’s important that we get to share our opinions,” she adds. “I feel like I have a say in what we’re doing, and so I want to go there more.” Along with day-to-day input, the youth group team also asks the kids for their thoughts at the end of each year. “We ask them, what was your favourite youth event? What would you want to do again? What
do you absolutely not want to do again?” says Wong. “We have goals in terms of where we want our youth ministry to go and what we want them to learn, but a lot of our inspiration comes from chatting with them.” Many events, such as a photo shoot for the Army’s thrift store, draw on the existing skills and interests of the group. “We had some students come to the church who work for a modelling agency, so we asked them, ‘Would you guys ever want to model for the thrift store?’ and we also had some kids who were interested in photography,” says Wong. “It was super fun. The parents are happy because they get cute photos of their kids, and the thrift store gets nice photos for Instagram.” Content Creators For outreach, there’s no better tool than the youth group’s Instagram account, @youthgroupinsights. “It’s kind of like our portfolio piece,” says Wong. “When our youth invite their friends, they usually send them a post from the youth account, so they can actually see what it’s like.” Instagram was one of the reasons why Ongaro wanted to join the youth group. “I would see them posting pictures and I thought, That looks so fun,” says Ongaro. “It seemed different, so I wanted to go.” While Wong manages the account, many of the youth contribute content and are featured in the posts. “They see a picture of themselves on the page, and then they share it so their friends see it, too, and that’s how they get connected,” Wong says. But the account is not just for advertising the youth group—it’s an opportunity for the youth to be creative and have fun. Nikita Hopkins, 18, a member of the group who is also a co-op student at the church, contributes content for both Instagram
Nikita Hopkins is photographed in Canada Bermuda Youth merchandise by Wong
Braden Leeder, Sophie Wong and Holly Ongaro attend a Kemptville youth group bonfire night
and TikTok, a video-sharing social media platform. This past Valentine’s Day, she created a video about Christian pickup lines, which has been viewed more than 700 times. Her favourite one? “I just want you to know that I’m praying for you. No, like I’m praying for you,” she laughs. “We do a lot of funny videos,” says Wong, “but we also do little devotionals, something that people can take away and think about.” More recently, Hopkins did a short encouragement video. “We have been going through some tough times recently, and God has promised that he is always going to be with us, and be by our side,” she says. On a social media platform that can often be superficial, @youthgroupinsights doesn’t avoid serious issues. “We get a lot of engagement on the heavy topics—sexuality, dealing with divorce, mental health, and things like that,” says Wong. “Those posts have helped us a lot, too, to understand where our youth are at and what types of things they are engaging with, struggling with, or needing more help with.”
Mission Focused The Kemptville youth group may look different from other ministries, but it’s all in the service of a greater mission: helping the kids build relationships with God and each other. With gen Z, who are often skeptical or agnostic about religion, that means reintroducing them to God. “A lot of them come in with preconceived ideas of who God is, and what churches and The Salvation Army are, so we have to break it down with them,” says Wong. “We talk about having a relationship with God, and that it’s not all about the dos and don’ts. Just connect with God, and he’ll straighten you out later. “It’s not so much pressure on the kids to make a commitment,” she continues. “It’s a gradual relationship and decision for them.” “I feel closer to God when I’m there because I can connect with God through singing,” says Ongaro. “I feel like I can get really loud because there’s other people around who are singing, too, and it feels good.” Hopkins actually lives in Ottawa, where she attends the Army’s Barrhaven Church, but makes the 30-45 minute journey to Kemptville as often as she can, for the spiritual and social connection. “Most of my friends don’t have a connection with Christianity, so seeing a bunch of people who have the same beliefs as you is refreshing,” says Hopkins. “The whole community is awesome in Kemptville.” Ongaro agrees. “Everybody’s so nice— they’re not going to exclude you, they’re not going to push you away,” she says. “It’s always been really important to us to have a strong community,” says Wong. “This should be a place where everyone’s family, everyone knows each other and loves each other.” Salvationist July/August 2021 21
Illustration: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Worried Sick Grief and anxiety in the wake of loss. BY LT-COLONEL LYNN ARMSTRONG
e are well into the third wave of the global pandemic, and many parts of the country are again in lockdown. Death tolls are swelling, and our hospitals and medical staff are stretched to their limit. With each wave of the pandemic comes further waves of loss and grief. Loss of jobs and businesses. Loss of shelter and the ability to provide for one’s family. Loss of physical nearness and connection with family, friends and work colleagues. Loss of health. Loss of life. The layers of accompanying grief are real and varied. Talking about and acknowledging the emotional journey so many are experiencing is critical, and this includes the normalizing of grief and anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion commonly experienced with grief, yet often overlooked. In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis wrote, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” Anxiety is often experienced with loss as we are thrust into an unfamiliar and vulnerable space. Our everyday life is turned upside down, leaving us disoriented and bereft. As we are faced with the reality of our mortality and life’s raw unpredictability, anxiety and fear can swell in strong, unexpected waves. Grief-related anxiety symptoms can take the form of panic attacks, hypervigilance, insomnia, irritability and restlessness, 22 July/August 2021 Salvationist
rumination, racing thoughts, excessive worry or uncontrollable tears. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, with mind, body and soul intrinsically woven together such that our anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms—irregular heartbeat, chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, etc. We can become fearful that there is something physically wrong, but these symptoms are alleviated when deeper psychological issues are addressed, and the mind and soul are eased. At its core, anxiety is fear of something, whether real or imagined. It stems from thoughts of what may happen, or that may never occur at all. The intensity of emotions that come with grief, such as overwhelming sadness or anger, can heighten one’s sense of fear and anxiety. All of these are just that—emotions. They will not last forever. We move in and out of them, spending time with one, releasing another, as we work ourselves to a place of “acceptance,” a new normal. One does not “get over” the loss; rather, we learn to live with our loss, making new meaning and purpose. Many cultures around the globe face and embrace death, intentionally making space for grief with mourning rituals, community support and time. The western world has a more unsympathetic grief culture of “buck up and move on.” With inadequate sup-
As we are faced with the reality of our mortality and life’s raw unpredictability, anxiety and fear can swell in strong, unexpected waves. Another facet of healing is making amends. Elisabeth KüblerRoss, the psychiatrist who developed the theory of the five stages of grief, said: “Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.” Holding onto guilt can cause immense pain that can bring on anxiety. Holding onto unnecessary guilt is one of the common roadblocks to processing grief. Working through feelings of guilt can help lead to a place of peace and alleviate anxiety. This includes recognizing that feelings of guilt are a common experience after losing someone. It’s important to examine your feelings and identify what is false guilt. Is the voice of conscience delivering an accurate message? Use an exercise to apologize or say the goodbye you didn’t get to say, for example, through a letter. Visualize your loved one forgiving you. Find someone to talk to about your feelings of guilt. Above all take it to the Lord, the One in whose comfort and forgiveness we can rest, who spoke to Isaiah the words: “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). We have a Saviour, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (see Isaiah 53:3), one on whom we can cast our anxiety (see 1 Peter 5:7); whose comfort when we are anxious lightens our soul (see Psalm 94:19 The Voice). We serve a God who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We belong to a community, the body of Christ, called to bear one another’s burdens (see Galatians 6:2), to be kind and compassionate to one another (see Ephesians 4:32), to be sympathetic and to love one another (see 1 Peter 3:8). Lt-Colonel Lynn Armstrong is the territorial secretary for mission.
Major Rhonda Harmon
Parenting in Faith Don’t outsource your kids’ spiritual education. BY CAPTAIN BHREAGH ROWE
Illustration: Prixel Creative/Lightstock.com
homes are not receiving anything remotely close to the spiritual training they need for lasting faith. We need to raise our kids with a faith that prepares them for the challenges they will face. Think with me for a second— if you were setting out to climb Mount Everest, you wouldn’t show up at the base of the mountain having done a few jumping jacks and hope for the best. This is what most of us are doing as Christian parents—the spiritual equivalent of a few jumping jacks. We have little idea of what our kids will face and are not doing what is specifically needed to prepare them. Simply taking them to church on Sunday is not enough. We have to stop winging our parenting and start getting into shape to prepare our kids for what’s ahead.
remember the day I realized I had no idea what I was doing as a parent—May 11, 2015, when my first son was born. I thought I was prepared. As a nurse working in labour and delivery and the neonatal intensive care unit, I had been around hundreds of babies. I knew how to feed, swaddle and soothe them. I knew all the cues and developmental phases. I knew the signs for a variety of ailments. I knew all about postpartum care. And yet I knew nothing. When they placed that slippery babe in my arms for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was truly in for. At that moment, all my knowledge and training meant nothing when it came to raising my child. A wave of fear and stress and “What did we just do?” washed over me: Now what? My perfectly decorated nursery and app to track his feeds and sleep schedule were only going to take me so far. Now came the hard part. Now I had to raise a little human—a little human that I hoped would be a passionate Jesus follower. They didn’t teach me that in nursing school. Many of us have no idea how to raise
kids who will grow up to be committed and sold-out Jesus followers, because—if we are honest with ourselves—many of us are not committed and sold-out Jesus followers. Barna Group research found that 61 percent of kids who were involved in church as recently as their teenage years become spiritually disengaged by their 20s—not actively praying, reading the Bible or attending church. Many people have tried to develop strategies to “get them back” to church, but can I offer my humble and completely unfounded opinion? A lack of true spiritual training in the home has resulted in a featherweight faith—a faith that is being easily blown away by attacks from the secular culture. Although many of our parents and guardians made sincere attempts at spiritual education, we were not prepared for what the world was going to throw at us. Another Barna study indicated that fewer than one in 10 Christian households are reading the Bible together during a typical week, and out of 11,000 teenagers, only 12 percent have regular conversations with their parents about faith. Which means that most kids growing up in Christian
Fewer than one in 10 Christian households are reading the Bible together.
We need to have conversations about God, about truth and worldviews, about Jesus and the Bible. We need to not be afraid to have the tough conversations because we, ourselves, have dug deep into his Word and are able to defend our faith with truth and gospel. We need to spiritually equip ourselves so that we can spiritually equip our kids. It’s our job—no one else’s. Don’t outsource it but embrace this momentous task as the most important thing you will do in your whole life. Don’t let this Easter pass by without your children knowing exactly what we are celebrating. That dusty Bible sitting on your shelf contains all the wisdom you need to raise up a passionate and committed Jesus follower. Captain Bhreagh Rowe is the community ministries officer at St. Albert Church and Community Centre in Edmonton.
26 April 2021 Salvationist
Embracing Others I commend the author for the wisdom shared and the challenge to all Salvationists to truly ask where anyone Whosoever who is considered somehow “other” I can still find meaningful space and “immersion” within our services and activities (“Whosoever,” April 2021). As I reread the Acts 8 encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, I was reminded of another encounter in Scripture when Jesus spent time with the Samaritan woman at the well (see John 4) and absolutely obliterates such barriers as race, gender, culture and religious norms to accept her into his presence and offer life-altering words and love. I humbly ask, why is it that we keep putting up barriers when Jesus was so quick to tear them down? Is it pride because we have had success in our past and we want to keep things the way they have always been? Is it fear because we have no idea what our congregations might look like if we welcome the “other”? Is it selfishness because we don’t want our own comforts disrupted? Maybe it is confusion because we don’t fully understand what the Scriptures say. What I do know is that Jesus was quick to embrace anyone who came humbly seeking, regardless of lifestyle, gender, hurts, habits and hang-ups. As a Salvationist, I want to be known as someone who would do the same. If we are to move forward as a denomination, I pray that we will hear the direction from the Holy Spirit to remember that every person we encounter is made in the image of God. May we cease to ascribe dehumanizing qualities to them, and instead offer embrace. MILLENNIAL VOICES
Illustration: sv_sunny/iStock via Getty Images Plus
port and not enough time and space to process our loss, grief can become repressed. We know the significance of a supportive community in such times. Scripture reminds us that “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25). The healing of grief anxiety can be aided by telling the story of loss—when grief is “witnessed” it reinforces that the loss(es) mattered. We externalize the loss and make meaning of it (see Luke 24:13-14). The story leading to the death and the death itself may be told multiple times, with brush strokes of the story becoming broader as time moves out from the loss. Storytelling outlets may include joining a grief group or online grief forum; writing about the loss; acknowledging anniversaries or holiday gatherings; finding a safe friend or family member who will listen; engaging your corps officer or spiritual care provider. A registered Christian therapist may also be of value. Our journey of lament gives language to the experience and helps to make sense of the pain and uncertainty of grief.
Next Steps I appreciated Captain Bhreagh Rowe’s article on parenting (“Parenting in Faith,” April 2021). Now that you have shared the stats and laid the challenge, what are some practical tools we can use to accomplish this task? Is there a resource to use for those “tough conversations”? How do I “dig deep” and “spiritually equip” my kiddos?
What can we learn from the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch? BY BEN RICHE
n Acts 8, the Apostle Philip encountered an Ethiopian eunuch who was studying the prophet Isaiah but didn’t know how the prophecies were fulfilled. After Philip shared the good news about Jesus, the pair came to an oasis, and the eunuch asked the all-important question: “What prevents me from being baptized?” Philip, obliging him (the default male pronoun assigned in Scripture), answered by implication: nothing. Would this person get the same answer if he encountered the gospel in one of our churches? Sure, he might be welcomed at the door, to a pew, even to the mercy seat. He might still accept Jesus as his personal Saviour. But where could the eunuch go from there? Although we don’t practise water baptism, the question remains: Would he be able to immerse himself in the life of our corps? Would he be invited to play a meaningful role in the future of the church? In outreach? In worship? In leadership? In some places, the answer to some of those questions might be no, which makes me wonder, What prevents full immersion in our church? Time and Talents Growing up, I couldn’t figure out why some of our most talented, creative youth lost interest in our corps’ programming,
while I had the time of my life. The answer I got from a leader frustrated me so much that I knew it was true: “There’s nothing here for them.” One of the easiest ways to increase our program engagement is to diversify the programming itself. In the recent territorial survey for young adults, many expressed gratitude for youth music ministries as foundational to their spiritual lives—mine included. One respondent envisioned a church where “EVERYONE can participate,” including “less-skilled musicians.” Where are the programs for them? How much kingdom-potential slipped through the gaps we left open because we were focused on programs instead of people? When kids showcased their difference, did we lament or accept that difference and immerse them in new ways? Just as I Am A couple of years ago, our senior band did a community engagement with other groups around the city. A tuba player asked if I was with the St. John’s Temple Band. I said yes. He told me that in high school, all he wanted was the chance to play in our band. I asked why he hadn’t. “A leader told me the young people’s band was the end of the road if I didn’t become a senior soldier, so I figured I
should just quit while I was ahead,” he replied. The programs he enjoyed were not meant to nourish him and his soul, but to nourish other programs. I know what you’re thinking: that’s not what they’re intended to do! But on the individual level, it’s what they have done, and it’s what they are doing. My home corps just made the decision to welcome band members and songsters regardless of soldiership, so I asked new musicians what it meant to have that barrier removed: “Being welcomed with such encouragement and open arms made me feel closer to God, and a very strong connection to my church family.” “It makes me feel as though my church is meeting me where I am, and that I don’t have to be any specific thing to be worthy of their acceptance.” “As someone with a lifelong church involvement outside the Army, especially in the music of worship, and as someone not quite at the point of joining as a soldier, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the songsters and lend my voice to the public worship of God.” Another set of responses in our survey suggested we consider the “othering” impact of the Salvation Army uniform, and its function as a prerequisite for a certain level of involvement.
Whosoever Will May Come Overwhelmingly, the young adults of this territory want to belong to a church that is inclusive and accepting of whosoever comes seeking God’s grace. We want a church where everybody belongs, has a voice and plays an authentic role in the body of Christ. This includes people of different ethnicities, people who are not soldiers and those of different genders and sexual orientation. Everybody. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch sets the scriptural standard for the radical acceptance of all people into full immersion in the church, the body of Christ. Let’s keep listening and learning on this journey, with humility and love. Are we ready to become a church that meets this standard, that hears the all-important question and is ready to honestly respond: Nothing is keeping you from full immersion in our church. Ben Riche attends St. John’s Temple in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division. Salvationist
April 2021 25
Captain Sheldon Bungay
Equal to the Task Gender Equity and Pastoral Care I’m writing in response to an inter- G view with Dr. Kimberley Mullins, chair of The Salvation Army’s new gender equity task force (“Equal to the Task,” May 2021). I believe in equality between genders for employment or other types of opportunities. But can there be gender equity when it comes to carrying out pastoral care for both men and women? Can a male officer truly pastor a female person in an equitable manner the same as a female officer? I feel that there is a difference between gender equality with regard to opportunities versus gender equality in carrying out our tasks as pastors. Dr. Kimberley Mullins on challenging assumptions and creating opportunities for women.
ender equity is a key part of our Christian worldview, and yet there remains a persistent gap in The Salvation Army and society at large when it comes to opportunities for women. Editor-in-chief Geoff Moulton spoke with Dr. Kimberley Mullins about her role as chair of The Salvation Army’s new gender equity task force. Dr. Mullins has a PhD in leadership and group dynamics and is currently completing an M.Sc. in business psychology. She has taught on gender in politics and society at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and on culture and gender at University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom. For most of her career she has worked to advance inclusion, learning and organizational development in large organizations, including the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil. Tell us about your connection to The Salvation Army.
There are so many things I love about the Army. I wasn’t raised in it, but I learned more about it when I attended church services with my husband’s mom during our visits. I was drawn to the active nature of its mission. The Salvation Army challenges us to live our faith through service, holding us accountable to be God’s representatives in the world. This has always resonated with me. I also love the fellowship and community, which are central to my experience as part of the church family at The Salvation Army Glenmore Temple in Calgary. What is the mandate of the new task force?
The gender equity task force was established to support the Army’s efforts to create fair and equitable opportunities for both women and men to share their talents in the service of God. The task force brings together Salvation Army officers, employees, soldiers and adherents with relevant expertise to review areas of concern, particularly for women officers, and offer meaningful recommendations for change. We work closely with Captain Kristen Jackson-Dockeray, advocate for
gender equity, who will lead the effort to implement those changes.
Our co-founder, Catherine Booth, always fought for women’s rights. What happened?
The Salvation Army was founded on a mission to serve those who were marginalized and excluded from other religious organizations of the time. Inclusion should be a central component to the work of the church, and I am proud to support that effort. While we’ve seen advances for gender inclusion in many areas of contemporary society, by almost all meaningful measures women have not achieved full equity. This is also true for The Salvation Army. If we don’t carefully examine ourselves and seek to improve, we not only fail to uphold Catherine Booth’s vision of women’s role in ministry but also prevent many capable individuals from giving their full gifts to God’s service. What are some ways that women are overlooked or discriminated against?
Every individual’s experience is different. Some women don’t feel overlooked, but many others describe discrimination in varied ways and to different degrees. Sometimes it’s explicit, as when some women are actively discouraged or harassed for accepting work in maledominated professions. A lot of discrimination comes from unintentional or unconscious biases we have about male and female preferences, abilities or responsibilities. Without realizing it, we make unfair judgments based on stereotypes about how women are “supposed” to behave. For example, some female officers have shared that individuals refer to their husbands as “Captain” or “Major,” but only refer to them by their first names. In other cases, it is assumed that women like cooking or wouldn’t want to handle financial matters. Although no offense was intended, it made those women feel like their skills were overlooked. These small examples lead to big outcomes when multiplied by all the experiences women have in society and in the Army.
While there are more women than men in the Canadian workforce, there are relatively few in senior leadership roles. Board chairs of Fortune 500 companies are more likely to be men named John than they are to a woman. This has nothing to do with women’s competencies or ambitions. Women leaders can have very positive impacts on financial stability and employee experiences in large organizations. Yet, compared to their male peers, women are still not considered for leadership roles, are scrutinized for their appearance and leadership style, and are held to different standards for their performance and behaviour. This is also true in the Army, where we have many women officers but few senior women leaders. We have work to do at all levels to improve equity. How can Salvationists champion equity?
We all have a role to play. First, try challenging your own thinking. We can make a lot of incorrect assumptions about others. Instead of assuming someone would like to do something, for example, ask yourself why you think that. Did they indicate an interest? Or are you assuming based on a stereotype? Everyone wants to be seen as an individual and have their unique skills and interests respected. Pausing to reflect on our assumptions is the first step to offering that. The next step is to support others to do the same.
“Inclusion should be a central component to the work of the church,” says Dr. Kimberley Mullins, “and I am proud to support that effort”
Lieutenant John Burton
Salvationist July/August 2021 23
Forge Stronger Partnerships
Optimize Mission Impact
Strengthen Spiritual Health
Design for People
The Road Map to Vision The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda to release new territorial strategic plan.
Illustration: nazarkru/iStock via Getty Images Plus
magine you have fallen into a deep sleep and when you wake up, the year is 2030. Over the last decade, much has changed in our Army. Our vision, launched in 2020, has been achieved. We have become innovative partners. Our people are mobilized to share hope. Wherever there is hardship, our Army is there. We are actively building communities that are just. And those communities know the love of Jesus. As a result, people are energized and our Army is strong. The news is cause for celebration. But you ask yourself: How did we get here? The “how” of our vision is strategy. Since November 2020, the Mobilize 2.0 program has facilitated the development of a new territorial strategic plan, hosting workshops and holding focus groups, all in a collaborative effort to seek a united direction for our movement that is aligned with our vision and inspired by God. 24 July/August 2021 Salvationist
Our territorial mission reminds us of why we exist. Our territorial vision looks forward, showing us where we are heading. Our territorial values demonstrate what we look like when we show up in the world. The purpose of our territorial strategy is to guide us toward our vision; it tells us how we will get there.
Journey of Transformation The Canada and Bermuda Territory is on a journey of transformation. Through initiatives such as 100 Days of Unceasing Prayer and Shared Scripture, Together in Vision and Learning the Vision, we have engaged in dialogue around what it means to stand up as a vast army (see Ezekiel 37:10). Based on focus group input from internal and external stakeholders, workshop discussions with Salvation Army leadership and a consideration of the existing seven strategic priorities, we began developing a territorial strategy in late 2020 that would align with our territorial vision—a strategic plan that would provide a road map for our success. Our territorial strategy will include four strategic pillars, each with several strategic objectives. Under each strategic objective will be actionable strategic initiatives that bring the pillars to life.
Any strategy should be a living, breathing thing, reviewed regularly to ensure that we are on track. Our territorial strategy will run until March 2025, when the next major iteration will be developed. Before then, though, many of the strategic initiatives will be complete, and others will be added when needed. The four pillars of our new territorial strategy will focus on: Strengthen Spiritual Health—by intentionally looking at what we can do to ensure that our ministries and communities are places of spiritual vibrancy. Optimize Mission Impact—by better understanding how and where we can have the most impact. Design for People—by creating people-centred processes and ensuring that we are a place driven by Christian love that enables us to be a strong, sustainable, growing movement. Forge Stronger Partnerships—by building on and harnessing the strength of our internal and external partnerships.
These areas of focus will guide our ministry in Canada and Bermuda in the coming years. Our territorial strategy should stretch us to envision our Army at its best—living our vision and fulfilling our mission. It needs to promote consistent messaging and guide our actions. More than that, our strategy will challenge teams and individuals to think about how they can live and lead our vision forward. Collaborative Effort Beginning in September 2020, the Territorial Executive Committee, comprised of a group of representative Salvation Army leaders, began discussing how our Army would achieve its vision. In February and March 2021, 12 focus groups comprised of internal and external stakeholders were engaged to contribute to the development of strategy. This included contributing their thoughts on the opportunities before us and the challenges we are facing, then reviewing and providing feedback on the draft territorial strategy, on what might be missing and what resonated with them. The conversa-
tions were highly engaging, rigorous and candid, and provided further input to the draft. This helped strengthen a final version of the territorial strategy, which was approved by the Governing Council of The Salvation Army in May. With officers, corps leaders, employees in social services, area commanders, territorial and divisional staff, external partners and friends of The Salvation Army contributing to and speaking into the development of our territorial strategy, it was truly a collaborative effort.
commander. “I am appreciative of the contributions of all who were involved in the development of our strategic plan and all who will help drive it forward. Most of all, I am inspired by God who continues to direct our Army, making a way for all to know and share the love of Jesus.” There will be a lot to unpack within each of the strategic pillars. Following its release in the summer months, you can expect a further breakdown of our territorial strategy, beginning in the
“It is exciting to be preparing for the launch of a strategy that will guide us in the realization of our vision.” —Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Asked to reflect on her contributions to the strategy development process, Major Lee-Ann van Duinen, corps officer at Guelph Citadel, Ont., says: “One word summarizes my experience: hope. Hope that the things that need to be changed will change, hope that builds into our communities in a purposeful and dignified manner and hope that a fresh approach to ministry will deepen our ability to partner with God in bringing reconciliation and redemption to earth, a place he profoundly values and loves.” Living the Vision Our strategic plan is more than a list of priorities; it will set a course of action for our movement. It is inherently collaborative, as it was made by those connected to our Army, for those connected to our Army. If our territorial vision is the end goal, the strategy will make clear the focus of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, inviting all who live out the mission to take part. “It is exciting to be preparing for the launch of a strategy that will guide us in the realization of our vision,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial
September issue of Salvationist, as we dig deeper into each of the four strategic pillars and consider what this means for our movement in Canada and Bermuda. While different parts of the strategy will impact parts of our movement differently, it will help all those working in our ministries to better understand what part they can play and how they might contribute to the implementation of our strategy wherever they are, by strengthening our spiritual health, optimizing our mission impact, being people-focused and building innovative partnerships. The futuristic, I-just-woke-up-in2030 lens also begs us to ask, “What new possibilities did we see? What opportunities did we seize? What barriers did we overcome?” These are all questions of strategy. Asking them is how we landed on our strategy. Using our strategy as a road map is how we will see our vision come to life. Keep in touch with Mobilize 2.0 through the monthly Rally Call newsletter as our territorial transformation journey continues to unfold. Learn more at mobilize2.ca. Salvationist July/August 2021 25
Can We Talk? What is God saying to The Salvation Army through the millennial generation? BY MAJOR RICK ZELINSKY
Photo: Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus
s I was growing up in The Salvation Army, one discipleship activity made an impression on me. We were to get to know a senior in the congregation and listen to their advice for a young Christian. I drew the name of a gentleman who, in my teenage opinion, was cantankerous, even critical, about the teens in our church. In hindsight, he probably thought he drew the short straw with my name, too. But after spending an hour with him, I was surprised to discover how much he cared about the well-being of the youth in our church, and my perception took a 180-degree turn. It was the beginning of weekly check-ins, and it started with a conversation. Over the past ten months, we have heard from more than 550 young adults—millennials and older generation Zs—about their preferred future in The Salvation Army. From the beginning, I became keenly aware of the many myths people hold about them. There’s no shortage of memes characterizing them as lazy, selfish, uncommitted, even spiritually shallow. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. I met people from all over the territory who love Jesus, seek justice and hope for a church where everyone can find a place to belong, regardless of who they are. I met leaders who are looking for an 26 July/August 2021 Salvationist
opportunity to lead and want to offer their voices to The Salvation Army in hopes of stemming the tide as this generation leaves the church at alarming rates. We listened, and many felt heard, so where do we go from here? The working group, made up of millennial leaders in this territory, recommended we begin a conversation with territorial and divisional leaders and, maybe more importantly, with local churches. Although this generation was vocal about the impact some of our Army traditions have had on their experience at the local level, it was clear they didn’t believe there was any intent to drive them out. I believe one of the problems is that people don’t know what they don’t know. Instead of everyone feeling like they have drawn the short straw, it is time for a conversation, whether in person or virtually, to talk about the experience of this generation when it comes to The Salvation Army. I’m not naive enough to think that one conversation will solve everything, but it is a good place to start. If we’re listening, we will have to make choices about how the Army will move forward, and the steps we will take to get there. Territorial leadership is considering these next steps, and Major Stephen Wiseman, who takes up the role of millennial project officer on July 2, will begin
implementing the recommendations we heard from the voices of the generation we so desperately hope to reach and retain. In the coming weeks and months, you may see invitations on social media to join millennial leaders in a discipline called “3 Practice Circles.” This is a platform for listening to each other in a way that fosters curiosity and respect, where participants commit to remaining in the room despite our differences. The purpose is to connect on issues that are important to our world and to discover the perspectives of others. Lt-Colonel David Kelly, an officer in the U.S.A. Eastern Territory, encourages us to consider the future in our approach. “It is about needing to adopt a less defensive posture toward these young leaders with their ideas and passions and listen carefully, not just to what they are saying, but to what God might be saying through them.” The Salvation Army was born as William and Catherine Booth spoke to a church that had left the poor of East London outside their doors. When the church didn’t listen, the Booths left to begin our movement, a place of welcome and belonging, regardless of social status. It’s time for us to listen again to the voices calling us back to a place where our communities can belong. Consider inviting your millennial and gen-Z leaders into a conversation or accepting their invitation to sit down and talk. It is amazing what a simple conversation can start as we listen to what God may be saying to The Salvation Army through them. Major Rick Zelinsky, former millennial project officer, takes up a new appointment as associate director of public affairs on July 2.
A Place at the Table We need to embrace, endorse and engage the millennial generation through effective mentoring.
n a season when millennials—the generation born between 1981 and 1996—are leaving the church in droves, we need to start asking honest questions about why. Although the answers might point a finger back at us, they might also lead us toward co-operative solutions as we engage these creative and incredible young adults. As a gen-Xer who has worked in youth ministry for almost 25 years, I would like to share my opinion on the kind of mentorship that can give today’s generation a legitimate voice in the church. In a 2019 Forbes magazine article, contributor Marguerita Cheng wrote, “Millennials comprise the most ethnically diverse generation. This cohort is openminded … connected through the use of mobile apps and social media websites … They develop friendships with people across all races, ethnicities and genders. They are not shy about supporting diversity and inclusion at all levels of life.” This quote reflects many of my experiences with millennials. I believe that their passion for “inclusion,” fuelled by the desire to develop deep relationships between diverse groups of people, often regardless of personal conviction or lifestyle alignment, is one of this generation’s inherent strengths. Though this passion for inclusion could create some potentially awkward conversations around our
BY MATT DELANEY core beliefs and convictions about truth, this mindset could lead toward more productive, healthier conversations and more balanced relationships. Walter Wright, author of Mentoring: The Promise of Relational Leadership, defines mentoring as an “intentional, exclusive, voluntary relationship between two people—a teaching/learning connection between two persons, in which both persons work to nurture the relationship and contribute to the connection.” The heart and soul of effective mentoring is rooted in healthy relationships where both parties share equally valued input, leading to an equally shared outcome. Good mentoring is hard work. But it is this sort of mentoring that fosters a legitimate voice at the table of discussion and decision-making. What do I mean by a “legitimate voice”? An equal place at the table within our church leadership structures, one where their creativity is not only heard but embraced, endorsed and engaged. There is nothing worse than being invited to speak about something we are passionate about only to have our opinions ignored. We have probably all experienced this in a conversation or relationship, when we have the impression of being an equal contributor, with a unique and valuable perspective, only to discover that our contributions didn’t matter as
much as we thought. Experiences like that can cause us to lose interest in maintaining the relationship or conversation. So how do we embody this style of mentoring and give millennials a legitimate voice in our churches? I believe that we begin this process through meaningful dialogue, fostered by trust and equal engagement concerning who we are becoming as churches, and how our unique identities as disciples are formed individually and in co-operation with others. I believe that if we desire to be successful as mentors and implement changes that include millennials, then we need to raise up, empower and release them as the hands and feet of our church programs and core leadership structures, offering collaborative mentoring relationships along the way. To use a biblical parallel to illustrate the importance of the voices and input of the millennial generation, consider that Jesus and his followers were essentially the same age as millennials when they changed the world. Jesus raised up young leaders and thinkers to establish the basic building blocks of our first churches, and believers today are the beneficiaries. Are we brave enough to do something similar in our practices and leadership methods as mentors? I wonder what might happen if we followed Jesus’ example and implemented this pattern in how we mentor millennials today, giving them a legitimate voice in our churches. The reality remains that many of the best and brightest young thinkers have already left our churches and will continue to leave if we do nothing. May we resist the fear that comes with change. May we not be satisfied with a narrow worldview, from a singular generational perspective. May we have faith to embrace, endorse and engage this incredible generation in the decisionmaking process and leadership structures that make our churches what they are today. Matt Delaney is the youth pastor and outreach worker at The Salvation Army’s Northridge Community Church in Aurora, Ont. Salvationist July/August 2021 27
Safe Spaces Making room for brave conversations. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK
Illustration: Balint Radu/stock.Adobe.com
rainbow sticker in a business window. A “safe zone” sign on a classroom door. A home-plate shaped marker on an office desk. A meme on a Facebook feed. It seems everywhere you look these days, people and places are self-identifying as a “safe space” where marginalized people can feel welcomed and accepted in an often-intolerant world. A term that can trace its origin to the women’s movement in the 1960s, a safe space is a label given to any setting where a person can feel confident that they won’t be judged, criticized or harassed, where they can be accepted fully as they are in a supportive, respectful environment. And while this is a lovely concept, I wonder if such a space can truly exist, or whether we should even be imposing such labels on ourselves and others. Now, before you label me a pessimist, let me explain. No matter how universally accepting 28 July/August 2021 Salvationist
we want to be, the reality is that each of us has been born into a certain family, a certain socio-economic reality, a certain culture, in a certain location and at a certain time in history, and this all frames our worldview. We each see the world from a particular place, looking in a particular direction, and this causes us to perceive the world just a little bit differently than anyone else. And this unique view inherently comes with bias. I would love to label myself a “safe space,” but I know, as a white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender person, my blind spots are many and that eventually I will screw up and hurt somebody, regardless of how hospitable and well-meaning and progressive I seek to be. And while I’m putting in the hard work of reading diverse voices, listening to opposing opinions and learning about viewpoints different from my own, I know that unlearning that which makes me potentially damaging to others will be a lifelong endeavour. I can’t just
declare myself safe and promise I won’t ever cause harm. Because the truth is I might unwittingly do just that. As I wrestled with these thoughts, I happened upon an article entitled, “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces,” by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens. Their article questions the degree to which “safety” is even an appropriate or reasonable expectation for any honest dialogue about social justice with diverse groups. Reasoning that safety brings with it the assumption of comfort, Arao and Clemens suggest “shifting away from the concept of safety and emphasizing the importance of bravery instead,” as they advocate for the creation of brave spaces to foster respectful but challenging dialogue. Brave spaces are those that welcome risk-taking, difficulty and controversy, while providing an opportunity for respectful sharing and listening to diverse individuals. Everyone takes risks by participating fully and truthfully, though Arao and Clemens acknowledge that these risks may differ substantially from person to person. In such settings, there is a shared vulnerability and mutuality; one person does the work in listening without agenda, while the other opens themself and walks into the space created to share their story or opinion. I think Jesus modelled brave spaces well during his earthly ministry. Jesus offered hospitality in a way that welcomed people different from himself. He dined with tax collectors and zealots, conversed with Samaritans and prostitutes and engaged with diverse people in a way that was both intimate and yet challenging. I don’t think anyone would call Jesus comfortable or safe as he challenged the religious, economic and moral norms of the day, and yet, by extending hospitality in the way he did, he set an example for all of us to make space for brave conversations. I may not call myself safe, but I can be brave as I commit to owning my biases and learning from others. I know I will stumble along the way—I already have countless times—and I am thankful for the grace extended to me by those who have walked into brave spaces with me and who will continue to model bravery by speaking truth into my life. Maybe, by choosing to share their story with me, they’re even considering me “safe.” Captain Laura Van Schaick is the divisional secretary for women’s ministries in the Ontario Division.
IN THE NEWS Facebook Tests “Prayers” Feature
L Focusing on Jesus in a Distracted World REVIEW BY LT-COLONEL MORRIS VINCENT
or too long Christian leaders have equated high-quality leadership with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Congregations searching for pastors look for the person who can balance budgets and raise money, has expertise in theology, is strong in administration and, above all, can “perform” well on the platform. As Diane Langberg writes in Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, “Leadership is thus reduced to a never-ending treadmill of acquiring more and better skills and achieving impressive results.” In Jesus Centered, Dr. Steve Brown takes us on a different journey. While not discounting the value of having certain skills, Brown brings us back to the basics of ministry engagement. “Choosing to follow Jesus is the starting point for becoming Jesus-centered,” he writes. As I read those words, I found myself saying, “I knew that!” and yet the reminder served to reignite the desire. Brown’s subtitle, “Focusing on Jesus in a Distracted World,” indicates where he’s going with the book. As he notes, “Our world is filled with distractions … but they won’t transform your life.” To be Jesus-centred, Brown writes, “we must abide in Jesus. How do we abide? By realizing our utter dependency on him.” Being Jesus-centred means developing a biblical mindset that translates into Christlike behaviours, attitudes and priorities. It means responding to situations as Jesus did because our hearts are set on him. It means establishing rhythms that keep us restored spiritually, physically and relationally. It means “resisting temptation and choosing to pursue holiness,” Brown writes. Brown’s book is filled with recommendations and practical steps to help readers become Jesus-centred. This change in focus will affect how you live, how you lead and how you impact the world for Jesus in both good and challenging circumstances. As Brown notes, “When we fix our eyes on Jesus during the difficult times, we are emboldened by his presence. We are encouraged by his example, we are empowered by his strength.” Jesus Centered will bring us back to the basics of intentionally grounding ourselves in Jesus. The book gives us a sacred template for our life and ministry. “The true key to being different, living different and leading different is Jesus,” Brown writes. I found this book to be an inspiring read that can enhance our journey to become more Jesus-centred. Lt-Colonel Morris Vincent is the chief secretary of the Caribbean Territory.
ikes, shares and … prayers? In the spring, some Facebook users in the United States were surprised to discover a new feature on their accounts: prayer posts. This feature allows members of groups to ask for and respond to prayer requests. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the social media platform is currently testing this new feature. “Our mission to give people the power to build community extends to the world’s largest community; the faith community,” Nona Jones, head of Global Faith Partnerships at Facebook, told Religion News Service. Facebook decided to develop the feature after observing the various ways users are connecting in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. To use the feature, group administrators must first opt in. Once a prayer request is posted, other group members can choose a reaction, leave a comment or click a “pray” button letting the original poster know they have prayed.
Sexism in Church Affects Women’s Health
eligious involvement is often associated with positive outcomes such as increased longevity and better overall health outcomes. But a new study from the American Sociological Association has found that sexism in religious institutions can actually limit such health benefits for women. “We found that women experience a health benefit from religious participation—relative to non-participants—only when they attend religious institutions that are gender inclusive and allow women to hold meaningful leadership roles within the congregation,” says Patricia Homan, assistant professor of sociology at Florida State University and co-author of the study. “Women who attend sexist congregations have the same health as those who do not attend religious services at all, and have worse health than women who attend inclusive churches,” Homan continues. “These results suggest that the health benefits of religious participation do not extend to groups that are systematically excluded from power and status within their religious institutions.” Salvationist July/August 2021 29
PEOPLE & PLACES
OTTAWA—Four new senior soldiers proudly display their Soldier’s Covenant as they are enrolled at Ottawa Citadel. From left, Lucette Lemvo; Laden Lemvo; Cpts Jeff and Graciela Arkell, then COs; Michael van Gulik; and Fiona Pearce. OTTAWA—These are exciting days at Ottawa Citadel as four people are welcomed as adherents. From left, Queen and Emanuel Olasehinwa; Cpts Jeff and Graciela Arkell, then COs; and Ximena and Mariana Bustos Velasco. HARRY’S HARBOUR, N.L.— Pat Kirby receives a certificate of appreciation marking 25 years of faithful service as the corps sergeant-major at Harry’s Harbour Corps, and she shows no sign of stopping! Celebrating with her are, from left, Mjr Gerald Lacey, ministry unit leader, and Mjrs Joshua and Pauline Randell, COs, Springdale Corps, N.L.
SAINT JOHN, N.B.—Mjr Orest Goyak (left) and Mjr Tracy Goyak (right), COs, welcome new adherents Mary Doiron, with her grandchildren, Khloe, Jack and Ryan, and Robert and Elizabeth England, with their children, Elianna and Calem, to the corps family at Hope CC.
TORONTO—Yorkminster Citadel celebrates as five young people take a step of faith by four of them being enrolled as senior soldiers and one as an adherent by Mjr Pauline Gruer-Caulfield, then CO. As part of the enrolment ceremony, each young person shared their testimony and reflected on their spiritual journey. “The best thing about being a follower of Jesus is you are never alone. The Holy Spirit is always by your side through every problem.”—Jessica Carter, senior soldier
“I want to take this step of faith because I don’t want the things I did in the past to haunt my mind again. I want to be free. Today marks a new beginning in my life.”—Joseph Banjo, adherent 30 July/August 2021 Salvationist
“I became aware of God’s love when I was five or six because I realized that Jesus gave his life for all of us. I gave my life to him soon after.”—Caitlin Colley, senior soldier
“The greatest things about becoming a follower of Christ are the gifts of salvation, forgiveness, freedom and his blessings, but the ability to have a relationship with God is the most important.” —Amy Usme, senior soldier
“I want to become a senior soldier so I can have a better understanding of God and to help people in need.” —Nifemi Toluhi, senior soldier
PEOPLE & PLACES
2020 Accredited Ministry Units Cuthbert House and MacMillan Youth Centre (ONT) With Distinction
Montreal Booth Centre (QC) Accredited
WHITBY, ONT.—Residents of the Court at Pringle Creek retirement community were happy to receive some Easter surprises from The Salvation Army in Whitby. Armed with a variety of cheerful plush rabbits, ducks and lambs supplied by the Army, Lu Pimentel (left), engage life co-ordinator at Pringle Creek, and Kelly Hubley, bus driver for the retirement community, make their way through the facility to spread some joy and happiness. “Our residents were overjoyed with the kindness of The Salvation Army to do this for them,” says Pimentel. “As we made our deliveries to every room, our hearts were so full to see the reactions of our residents, including tears.” Inset photo, Betty and Joe Olinyk happily receive their Easter gifts. SPRINGHILL, N.S.—Springhill CC exceeded its fundraising goal for Partners in Mission this year thanks to Terrie Cuco and a quilt she made that was used as a chart for recording donations. The blocks of the quilt featured Bible verses and inspirational messages that were covered by paper and revealed one at a time as increments of $100 were raised. The quilt was then sold in a silent auction and the proceeds added to the corps’ fundraising effort, bringing the total to $2,802.50 for Partners in Mission.
The Territorial Social Mission Department celebrates these ministry units for meeting and exceeding organizational standards of mission delivery
TRIBUTE TORONTO—Promoted to glory in her 95th year, Mrs. Major Evelyn Amos was born in 1926 in Brantford, Ont., where she spent her early years and married Edward Amos in 1949. Evelyn and Edward entered the Courageous Session at the College for Officer Training in Toronto and were commissioned in 1958. They served as corps officers in Toronto, Listowel, North Bay, Brockville and Orillia, Ont., Truro, N.S., and Brandon, Man. They were public relations officers in Winnipeg and then administrators for Matson Lodge in Victoria, A.R. Goudie Home in Kitchener, Ont., Meighen Residence in Toronto, and Sunset Lodge in Calgary, where they retired in 1989. Evelyn and Edward moved to Hamilton, Ont., where they shared their musical talents at Hamilton Temple, now Meadowlands Corps, and she served as chaplain to the Golden Agers program. Evelyn was a gifted musician, vocalist and accomplished pianist who brought joy to others through her music and ministry. Evelyn was predeceased by her husband, Edward; sister, Major Margaret Foster, and brother, Ronald Noakes. Missing her are sisters Pat Lunn (Robert) and Ruth Hotchkiss (Lee); children Eleanor Knight (Stephen), Gloria Ryan (John), Richard Amos (Stephanie) and Ronald Amos; 15 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
OFFICER RETIREMENTS Majors Frank and Rita Pittman retire July 1 following 37 years of faithful service as officers. Prior to entering the training college, Frank was the corps leader in Long Island, N.L., and Rita was an elementary school teacher. Commissioned in 1984 in the Servants of God Session, they served 23 years in corps appointments throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, including at Corner Brook Temple from where they retire, and New Brunswick. They spent four years as divisional youth leaders in the then Newfoundland and Labrador West Division, six years as area commander (Frank) and divisional secretary for women’s ministries and divisional secretary for retired officers (Rita) in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division, and four years as divisional leaders in Bermuda. The Pittmans embraced every ministry opportunity as a gift from God and counted it a privilege to serve alongside so many wonderful people. A delight of their lives was their son, Michael, who was tragically taken from them in 2017. They say this was the darkest experience of their lives, but God’s strength and the support of family and friends continue to carry them. “We pray that retirement will bring days of healing and new strength,” they say, “and look forward to allowing God to use us for years to come.”
GAZETTE TERRITORIAL Appointments: Jul 2—Mjr Lorraine Hart, executive assistant to the chief secretary and the territorial commander, THQ; Aux-Lt Tharwat Eskander, Erin Mills Corps, Mississauga, Ont. Div; Jan 2, 2022—Aux-Lt Mirna Dirani, Erin Mills Corps, Mississauga, Ont. Div Retirements: Jul 1—Mjrs Janice/Rocky Bishop, Mjr Lloyd George, Mjrs Elaine/Stephen Hibbs, Mjrs David/Malba Holliday, Mjrs Beverly/David Ivany, Mjrs Frank/Rita Pittman, Mjr Sandra Ross, Mjrs Denise/Ray Saunders, Mjr Stephen Sears, Mjr Gail Winsor; Aug 1—Mjrs Andy/Sonia Albert, Mjr Sandra Hosken, Mjrs Bill/Velma Preston Promoted to glory: Mjr Catherine McInnes, Apr 27; Mjr Edwin (Ted) Kimmins, May 5; May 14 Comr Wesley Harris; May 16 Mjr Mary Janes; May 24 Cpt Robert Ford
CALENDAR Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: Aug 16 Ontario Camping Ministries Soul Leadership Team, JPCC; Aug 20-22 A Celebration of Culture: Stories of the Land (virtual) Salvationist July/August 2021 31
Yet I Will Praise I endured childhood abuse and a painful divorce, but God stayed close to me. BY AMANDA WILLIAMS
often ponder, as I’m driving to work in the morning, that so many people are going about their day without knowing who Jesus is. As I see people, I think, Do they know you, Lord? I’ve been wired this way—to think of others in light of eternity—since I was a young girl. It’s a blessing and a burden. As Christians, I think we are called to carry a burden for the salvation of others. I believe our most important job while living on earth is to spread the gospel and bring others to Christ. An Early Conversion I thank my sister, Major April McNeilly, for first bringing me to church at the age of five. When I was growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, attending and being involved in the lively Glovertown Corps was a big part of my life. I played in the corps band, sang with the singing company (later songsters) and enjoyed many Friday night youth group activities. These experiences and the people who gave their time made a big impact on my young Christian life.
that God used worship music to stay close to me, because he also wired me with a love of singing. April shared one song in particular that spoke to me powerfully, Yet I Will Praise, performed by Melissa Boraski, and I still listen to it often. The Lord also drew close to me through prayer. When I was a young girl, I enjoyed having conversational prayers with Jesus. These prayers gave me so much comfort when I was dealing with the abuse. During my mid 20s and 30s, I prayed gut-wrenching prayers, even when I wasn’t living a Christian life, and I believe that God heard those prayers. He met me right where I was—utterly broken and devastated. I have often thought that if it were not for the grace of God, my life would be so different today. I believe that the Lord never left me for a moment. At one of my lowest points during my first marriage, I realized I had had enough. I remember kneeling at the foot of my son’s bed
and begging the Lord for forgiveness. I remember how peaceful I felt after that prayer. Rededicating My Life to Christ Now I am remarried to a wonderful man who shares my faith and love for God. I have rededicated my life to serving Jesus, and I am actively involved in the Deer Lake Corps, N.L. I feel God’s love each day, even during the difficult days. I know that challenges lie ahead, but I have a peace that can’t be explained by worldly wisdom. It’s a supernatural peace flowing directly from the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for what the precious blood of Jesus has done for me. My prayer is that I continue to grow closer to him, and that I can be a positive influence in the lives of others, wherever the Lord directs my steps. I pray daily for Holy Spirit-inspired courage to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
A Major Life Choice I faithfully attended church throughout my childhood and teen years. Sadly though, once I left high school and attended college, I neglected my faith after meeting the man I would go on to marry. I know now that it’s vital for a Christian to date someone who shares the same values and especially the same faith. But at the time, when I was just 18, I didn’t realize choosing a life partner could set the direction for my life. The Goodness of God Even through some difficult circumstances, the Lord was still close to me. I endured childhood abuse, fell away from the Lord for many years and much later went through a painful divorce. God demonstrated his goodness and his love for me through worship music, as I listened to meaningful songs over and over. I believe 32 July/August 2021 Salvationist
“I have often thought that if it were not for the grace of God, my life would be so different today,” says Amanda Williams
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Refugees Turn Corner
OUT OF THE PAST P.22
ARMY HELPS RABIN P.10
What’s in a Name?
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
Diving Right In OLYMPIC DIVER STEELE JOHNSON IGNORED THE “WHAT IFS?” AND FOCUSED ON THE “WHY NOTS?” P.10
On Your Mark … “My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” —The Apostle Paul (Acts 20:24)
This month, the focus of the world is on the Olympic Games being held in Japan. Thousands of athletes from around the world are going for the gold, silver and bronze. Records will be shattered and spectacular sporting deeds will become part of Olympic legend. Going for the gold is all well and good, but even the most sought-after trophies eventually tarnish and gather dust. God’s love, however, is fresh and forever. When you stumble out of the starting gate, knowing God is there will help keep you in the running.
If you want to find out more about God’s promises, visit our website faithandfriends.ca, contact us at The Salvation Army Editorial Department, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, Ont., M4H 1P4 or visit your nearest Salvation Army church.
VOLUME 24 NUMBER 7/8
5 Roger & Me
Or, what happened when the atheist met the Christian. SOMEONE CARES
8 When Life Gives
You Lemons … … you change the world, as Raelyn and her family demonstrate. COMMON GROUND
10 Refugees Turn Corner
OUT OF THE PAST P.22
ARMY HELPS RABIN P.10
10 Looking Beyond His Disability
Salvation Army helps Rabin Betkhoodoo create the business of his dreams.
What’s in a Name?
Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
Diving Right In OLYMPIC DIVER STEELE JOHNSON IGNORED THE “WHAT IFS?” AND FOCUSED ON THE “WHY NOTS?” P.10
In Space Jam: A New Legacy, the Looney Tunes gang go all out to save LeBron James’ son.
Diving Right In
Olympic diver Steele Johnson ignored the “what ifs?” and focused on the “why nots?”
Out of the Past
Couple turn the corner on their refugee lives.
GOD IN MY LIFE 24 Calvary
A little girl’s name reminded Jeanette Levellie of God’s enormous love and power. LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin
Sudoku, Quick Quiz.
NIFTY THRIFTY 30 Tea Time
Repurposing tea towels into one-of-a-kind wall art. faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
FROM THE EDITOR
“You Can Do This!” “
wish I had one-tenth of Olympic diver Steele Johnson’s grit,” declares writer Jayne Thurber-Smith. “He is so inspirational!” “Rehab takes a lot of mental strength—you feel it every time you jump or even walk,” Steele says about powering through a foot injury, “but I have the choice to let that pain be too much and not give 100 percent—which I won’t do.” Through this assignment, Jayne gained new insights into the athleticism, bravery and sheer mental toughness required for diving. “I also appreciated the fact that Steele will often use his own name in his self-talk,” she says. “This is a trick I’ve been learning in my weekly tennis match against my son, Craig, in order to get my own complete attention, just like my mom did when I was five years old. Under my breath, I say, ‘Jayne!’ first, then I say, ‘You can do this’ or ‘Focus!’ or give myself whatever coaching and encouragement I need at the time.” As of press time, Jayne had not yet disclosed her win-loss record against her son. Steele Johnson’s story is on page 16. What’s in a name? A lot, when yours is “Calvary.” See why on page 26. Elsewhere in this special double summer issue of Faith & Friends, Phil Callaway tells us whether all dogs do go to heaven, and you will find out how one couple are drawing on their experiences as refugees to help The Salvation Army assist newcomers to Canada.
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Mission Statement To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith.
Faith & Friends is published monthly by: The Salvation Army 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto Ontario, M4H 1P4 International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4P 4EP, England William and Catherine Booth FOUNDERS
Brian Peddle, GENERAL Commissioner Floyd Tidd TERRITORIAL COMMANDER
Lt-Colonel John P. Murray SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS Geoff Moulton, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ken Ramstead, EDITOR
Brandon Laird SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Hannah Saley DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Pamela Richardson, COPY EDITOR, PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR
Ada Leung CIRCULATION CO-ORDINATOR
Kristin Ostensen STAFF WRITER, PROOFREADER
Giselle Randall STAFF WRITER Scripture Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from New International Version Contact Us P. (416) 467-3188, F. (416) 422-6217 Websites faithandfriends.ca, salvationist.ca, salvationarmy.ca Email email@example.com Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 firstname.lastname@example.org All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131
Roger & Me Or, what happened when the atheist met the Christian. by Phil Callaway
ne Sunday, our pastor was talking about the Rapture of the church, when many believe Jesus will return to gather His faithful saints and whisk them skyward. Forgive me, but my mind got to wandering: How many in our church would go?
On my left was Ed, 85 years old. Ed lives his faith, tells others about it and sings loud worship songs, calling them “wonderful.” Without a doubt, he’s going up. He’ll blow the roof off the place! But there are some unlikely candidates; I won’t name them. The preacher says a trumpet will sound
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first. Will that allow people to grab hold of people such as Ed in hopes they can hitch a ride? An Exchange of Notes Then I got to thinking: If the Rapture happens while we’re in church, who will take care of our Maltese Shih Ttzu that was discounted at a pet
Hi Phil, I sense a degree of enthusiasm that I could literally cut with a knife. Sorry, we cover your pet rescue contract for 10 years. So I recommend you flush those fish and save money. Roger also told me that he has written a book about Christians, and that I should check it out online.
Christians are like manure: We do pretty well when we’re spread out, but when you pile us together too long, whooie! PHIL CALLAWAY store because its teeth are crooked? What will happen to my dog? I asked a dog-loving friend about this. He mentioned that some atheists have a website, claiming that in the event of the Rapture, they will graciously take care of my dog—for a price. How cool is that? I found them. And wrote them a note: Dear atheist friends! My Maltese Shih Tzu is 10. Does your lifetime guarantee last for the life of my pet or for my earthly life? Additional pets are $15 each, I see. Would this apply to goldfish or would you consider a group price for a bowl of them? Thanks! Roger replied with good humour.
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So I responded with another note: Congrats on the book. I’ve written some myself. I’m a follower of Jesus but not always a big fan of what I see in some of our churches. Christians are like manure: We do pretty well when we’re spread out, but when you pile us together too long, whooie! All the best to you and yours! I received the nicest note in response; we exchanged books and now keep in touch. A Beautiful Friendship One day, Roger admitted to me, “I’ve met some horrible Christians and some wonderful ones. There are more like you than there are like them. Next time you’re on the coast,
I’m taking you out for lobster.” Roger calls himself an antitheist and loves to send me examples of Christians who have messed up. I tell him he doesn’t need to look far. Those who name the name of Jesus don’t always follow Him. But much of what we see depends on what we’re looking for. I’d love to tell you that Roger has done an about-face, but God is writing his story, not me. Roger is just a guy Jesus loves. Yes, he’s angry, but he’s thoughtful and intelligent. His eternal destiny is not my responsibility. Loving him is. GAP Perhaps you have a Roger in your life. Five things can make all the difference: Be Real. You don’t have to be all smiles, no problems. All answers, no questions. In fact, it’s OK to say, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” Be yourself. Be real.
Be Prepared. Care about the answers. And don’t be afraid to dig for them. And tell your story. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Be Loving. Whoever said it was right: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show genuine interest in their world. Be Funny. Go ahead and laugh. I haven’t met one skeptic who said, “Those Christians just laugh too much. I don’t want to join them.” Others need to see our joy. And if you’re not funny, buy one of my books and plagiarize freely. Be Prayerful. God changes lives. Never stop praying to the God of hope. And the next time you see a GAP T-shirt coming, remember what it stands for: God Answers Prayer.
(left) Phil Callaway’s Laugh Again radio program airs 700 times a week in Canada. Visit him at laughagain.org.
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When Life Gives You Lemons … … you change the world, as Raelyn and her family demonstrate. by Ellwood Shreve
Raelyn Drew, 11 (back, right), and her brother, Johnathan, seven, drop another large donation of food to the Salvation Army community and family services location in Chatham, Ont. Manager Allie Matthews (back left) says this is one of several donations the Drew family has made
family conversation about helping homeless people inspired a Chatham, Ont., girl to become a champion for the impoverished, helping collect food and money donations for The Salvation Army—and a pandemic wasn’t going to stop her. A Big Heart Eleven-year-old Raelyn Drew, along with help from her parents, Jen and Randy, and little brother, Johnathan,
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seven, has been making annual donations since 2017. When Raelyn was six, she innocently asked during a conversation about helping the impoverished if the family could give all of their money to the homeless. When Jen suggested they could perhaps do something else to help, Raelyn came up with the idea to have a lemonade stand to collect donations. That first lemonade stand in 2017 raised $300 and collected 10 boxes
of food. In 2018, her stand raised $900 and gathered four boxes of food. Another lemonade stand that year raised $200 for The Salvation Army’s annual toy drive, earning Raelyn an honorary induction into the Chatham-Kent Harley Owners’ Group for her big heart.
services office in Chatham for its food bank program. The donation included food and money collected from pickup and drop-off locations in Chatham, Blenheim and Wallaceburg, Ont. When asked about the source of the donations, Raelyn shyly replies, “From people.”
“It was amazing to see the younger generation want to step up and help the community.” ALLIE MATTHEWS “From People” In 2019, Raelyn was curious how much food the more than $700 raised at the lemonade stand that year would buy, so the family teamed up with Real Canadian Superstore to deliver five full shopping carts of food to The Salvation Army. When COVID-19 hit last year, Raelyn and her family knew they couldn’t do the lemonade stand due to pandemic restrictions, so they put out a call for help and organized a drop-off and pickup food drive, collecting $425 and 20 bags of food. Raelyn’s uncle, Scott Burke of Lally Kia, got the auto dealership involved, raising another $340. This past May, the family donated a vanload of food, as well as $250 in grocery store gift cards, to the Salvation Army community and family
Helping Out Overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, the Drew family adopted the motto: “When life gives you lemons, you change the world.” Raelyn never imagined five years later that she’d still be collecting food and money for The Salvation Army. But she likes doing it because “it’s helping people and it’s fun.” “It was amazing to see the younger generation want to step up and help the community,” observes Allie Matthews, manager of the Salvation Army community and family services office. She adds that as many people are experiencing their own time of need right now, Raelyn is continuing to help out any way she can. Reprinted from Chatham Daily News, April 30, 2021
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Looking Beyond His Disability Salvation Army helps Rabin Betkhoodoo create the business of his dreams. by Linda Leigh
ever allow your disabilities or weaknesses to prevent you from achieving your goals,” says 45-year-old Rabin Betkhoodoo. “You have to look beyond your challenges to succeed in whatever you put your mind to.” Born in Iran in 1976 and part of the Assyrian community, Rabin was diagnosed at birth with spastic quad cerebral palsy—the inability to control his legs, arms and body. Unable to speak, he eventually learned to communicate by using his toe to type on a computer. Today, with help from The Salvation Army, he is pursuing his ultimate goal—to use his graphic design skills in a small business of his own. Early Life Challenges Rabin’s inability to use his facial muscles and the core of his body meant he was unable to communicate with others. “I couldn’t speak—even to my own family. Those were difficult times,”
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Smiling Through “I always receive encouragement from the staff at The Salvation Army,” says Rabin Betkhoodoo
says Rabin. It was the inspiration he received by watching the bravery of his parents that encouraged Rabin to never give up. “Resources to accommodate my physical challenges were unavailable in Iran,” says Rabin. “My father left his job and moved our family to
Turkey, with the expectation that we would go to the United States, where medical help would be more readily available for me.” Unable to immigrate to the United States, they remained in Turkey for two years. When they heard that Canada was open to the process, they moved forward with applications.
later, he was introduced to a “touch talk” computer. Before long, he was learning English and grammar. Rabin had always hoped that his condition could be cured through surgery. He wanted to walk and talk on his own. But doctors said that wouldn’t be possible. “I was extremely upset,” says
“I couldn’t speak—even to my own family. Those were difficult times.” RABIN BETKHOODOO “To get an exit visa, I had to prove to health authorities that I was capable of counting and thinking for myself,” says Rabin. “At the hospital, I beat my father at dominoes five times! “Our papers were approved.” New Ways of Communicating When they arrived in Hamilton, Ont., Rabin, his mother, father and sister didn’t understand English. His mother accompanied the 13-year-old to elementary school on his first day. “My mother instructed me to move my head up and down, indicating yes or no,” says Rabin. “We had no idea what people were saying.” The next day, therapists visited Rabin at school. He showed the team and his teacher that he could type using his right toe. A few months
Rabin. “The thought of never being able to walk or speak my language, Assyrian, was unbearable.” Rabin spent one year in elementary school before high school; therefore, his English was limited. Fortunately, the “touch talk” had a dictionary that allowed him to compose whole sentences. Later, when he was introduced to a new speech-generating device, he could use his toe to verbally express whatever he typed on the keyboard. “I wrote emails, stories and essays,” says Rabin. “I chatted with friends and played games on the internet.” Achieving Lifelong Goals At age 20, Rabin graduated from high school. He furthered his education at community college with a certificate in business applications
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“I have made new friends and I’ve improved my spelling, reading and writing skills.” RABIN
for Microsoft Windows. “I am extremely proud of my accomplishments and am confident that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to,” he says. Rabin eventually went to PATH Employment Services for help with his career goals. Meanwhile, he became proficient in designing business cards, party invitations, flyers, posters and calendars. In 2016, he was introduced to The Salvation Army, and he enrolled in programs at its Lawson Ministries in Hamilton, which provides support and social inclusion to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
“I always receive encouragement from the staff at The Salvation Army,” says Rabin. “I participate in their digital arts program and, through weekly conversations, assistance and interactions, I have made new friends and I’ve improved my spelling, reading and writing skills.” Staff at The Salvation Army ask Rabin to create cards for holidays and flyers for events. And they help him share and upload his work. “Thanks to parents who proved that giving up wasn’t an option and The Salvation Army’s willingness to come alongside me, I am well on my way to creating a business of my own. And it feels great!”
(left) Linda Leigh is national manager of communications at The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters in Toronto.
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Photos: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Welcome to the Serververse In his quest to save his son, LeBron James turns into an animated version of himself. What gives?
Full-Court Press IN A NEW MOVIE, LEBRON JAMES AND THE LOONEY TUNES GANG GO ALL OUT TO SAVE THE BASKETBALL GREAT’S SON. by Diane Stark
pace Jam: A New Legacy, in theatres and on streaming platforms this July, is a liveaction animated sports comedy. A sequel to the original Space Jam starring Michael Jordan, the film combines live action, traditional hand-drawn 2D animation and 3D computer-generated effects. As NBA star LeBron James
discusses summer plans with his young son, Dom (Cedric Joe), he just assumes that his son will follow in his footsteps and go to basketball camp. But Dom wants to attend computer camp and dreams of becoming a video-game developer. When LeBron insists that his son has potential on the court, Dom replies, “It’s not what I want, Dad. You never let me do faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
What’s Up, Doc? (right) LeBron and Bugs Bunny get their first view of the opposing Goon Squad
what I want to do. You never let me just ... do me.” When a CGI humanoid named Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) notices Dom’s computer skills and realizes who his famous father is, he tricks Dom into the Serververse, a virtual space he controls. When LeBron goes to rescue his son, he too gets sucked into the Serververse. Once there, Al-G Rhythm tells him the only way to get Dom back is to win a basketball game against the Goon Squad, a team of powered-up avatars of professional basketball stars. Worse still, LeBron’s teammates are Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Lola Bunny and the rest of the notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes. Can Lebron, Bugs and the Looney 14 • JULY/AUGUST 2021 I faithandfriends.ca
Tunes beat the Goon Squad and save Dom? And even if they can, how will LeBron ever be able to form a true bond with his son without basketball at the centre of their relationship? Falling Short? When Dom takes off to do his own thing and ends up in trouble, LeBron does everything in his power to save him. That’s what good fathers do. Every one of us has been in a similar situation. When God created us, He gave us free will, or the ability to make our own decisions. In other words, God allows us to “do us,” even though our choices often get us into trouble. When we find ourselves in need of rescue, God is always there to help us, even when our own bad
decisions led us to where we ended up. He helps us even when we’ve made the same mistake over and over again. He rescues us even when we should know better. It’s never too late to call out to God for help. Ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, humankind has been in need of rescue. Each of us is born into sin and that sin separates us from God. Romans 3:23 says that everyone has sinned and we all fall short of God’s standard. Sweet Offer But like the good Father He is, God didn’t want to see His children suffer. He stopped at nothing to rescue us from our sin. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to earth to die on a cross and pay the price for our bad decisions. All we have to do is accept the sacrifice Jesus made. The second
half of Romans 6:23 says, “the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (New Living Translation). It’s an amazing offer. We can trade our sin and shame for eternal life. All we have to do is accept God’s gift. To make the offer even sweeter, God doesn’t need us to fit a certain mould or follow in someone else’s footsteps in order to gain His acceptance. He created each of us as a unique being and He loves us just as we are. He wants nothing more than to build a close relationship with us. God offers us forgiveness and eternal life, and all He requires in return is that we believe in Him. He loves us that much. Mission: Impossible? (below) Can LeBron and Lola Bunny whip this ragtag team into shape for the big game?
faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
Diving Right In OLYMPIC DIVER STEELE JOHNSON IGNORED THE “WHAT IFS?” AND FOCUSED ON THE “WHY NOTS?” by Jayne Thurber-Smith
“EVERYONE HAS MOMENTS in their lives when unexpected things occur. It’s the unexpected happening to us, whether by choice or chance, that can shape who we are if we let it,” says Steele Johnson as he displays his silver medal in synchronized diving from the 2016 Summer Olympics. The unexpected occurrence to which he refers was a horrific accident he experienced at the age of 12 in 2009. While attempting a relatively new dive, a reverse 3½ somersault off the 10-metre platform, Steele hit his head on the 16 • JULY/AUGUST 2021 I faithandfriends.ca
Steele and Silver Steele Johnson showing off his Olympic medal at the Liberty University convocation that he spoke at in 2018
Photos: Courtesy of Steele Johnson
faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
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Taking a Dive Steele with David Boudia at the Summer Olympics in 2016
Steele hit his head on the concrete platform. Unconscious, he was rushed to the emergency room where they pieced his head back together with 33 staples. concrete platform in the first rotation. Unconscious, he was rushed to the emergency room where they pieced his head back together with 33 staples. Learning Experience Since the accident, Steele has gone on to complete that dive hundreds of times. “That injury could have negatively shaped who I was for the rest of my life,” he reflects. “I could have decided not to be a diver, and not had any trust in myself to do what I could do or in anyone else to lead me where I needed to go. But because I didn’t let that moment stop me, I was able to continue to pursue and achieve my dream.” Sharing his comeback story gave Steele confidence going into his first Olympic competition. The dive that almost took him out of diving ended up being one of his best dives at trials.
“I told myself, ‘No, you can’t back down from any of your dives right now, because you didn’t back down seven years ago. If you had, you wouldn’t be diving at all!’ ” he says. “So why not put 100 percent into what I’m doing? I’ve already been through potentially the worst accident of my entire life. If that didn’t stop me, then what makes me think any dive can stop me now? I don’t think God created that accident, but I do know He really blessed it. It became a learning experience that I gained a lot from.” Driving Force To those who would question why bad things like that happen to good people like him, Steele comments that we all live in a fallen world where sad situations take place. “But at the end of the day, we have to trust what the Bible says, that God is good and He is Lord,” he says. “He has our best interests in mind. faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
He doesn’t cause our pain, but He can bring us out of it. He gives us the opportunity to lean on Him no matter what.” Steele feels that he is a much better diver because of that crash into the concrete platform. It was the driving force to make him want to be better and work toward his Olympic dream. “I knew that all of this might have been taken from me in a moment,” Steele says. “The fact that it wasn’t made me strive for greatness day after day. It inspired me to be the person God has created me to be, since He gave me the ability to dive.” So Steele ignored the “what ifs?” and focused on the “why nots?” He teamed up with David Boudia, and 20 • JULY/AUGUST 2021 I faithandfriends.ca
the pair made it to a diving platform in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016. As the world watched, they recited Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Then, in perfect symmetry, they executed a back 2½ somersault with 2½ twists in the men’s 10-metre synchronized diving competition, winning the silver medal. On to Tokyo Besides helping him medal in Rio, David also helped him increase his faith, along with Steele’s coach, Adam Soldati. Steele had grown up in church but had valued it mostly
True Love In 2017, Steele married his longtime girlfriend, Hilary Nussbaum
for its social aspect. “David and Adam shared with me that going to church isn’t the most important thing, following God is,” says Steele. “When I was younger, when I prayed, I would focus on hoping God would give me what I wanted. Now, I actively seek and trust Him.” Steele learned that actively pursuing God alone, in the quiet and unseen, was all he really needed. “I understand without a doubt that He is enough for me, even if I never once went to the Olympics or even married my wife, Hilary,” says Steele. “All these are variables in life and, whether they happened or not,
I can be joyful because I am seen, known, loved by God.” He is now preparing for Tokyo 2021. With a wisdom beyond his 25 years, Steele knows that even if he doesn’t get what he thinks he wants, God will give him what’s best. “When I started my Olympic journey, I used to think it was all I ever wanted,” he comments. “But you eventually find out the joy you’re searching for is not in medals. Your identity can’t just be found in being an Olympic diver, because that lasts only a few weeks every four years. We are designed to rest in the presence of God. That’s where our joy comes from.”
A Man and His Dog Steele with Aspen faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
Out of the Past
COUPLE TURN THE CORNER ON THEIR REFUGEE LIVES. by Darryl Whitecross and Colleen Flanagan
ohn and Corina Ardelean know what it is like to depend on others for help. Both are from refugee families of the 1989 Romanian Revolution. Struggle to Eat Corina’s parents were forced to leave her and two of her sisters behind 22 • JULY/AUGUST 2021 I faithandfriends.ca
with their grandparents when they fled to Canada, after having spent time in a refugee camp in the thenneighbouring country of Yugoslavia, with the aim of making a better life for the family. Corina’s father was in the Romanian Army and was found to be a Christian, which was illegal.
Samson and Corina Corina Ardelean with her “buddy,” Samson the delivery van. Corina enjoys driving the vehicle to deliver groceries and other household items to needy families in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area of British Columbia
It was another two years before Corina and her siblings saw their parents again, having followed them to Vancouver in 1991 when she was eight years old. John’s older sister escaped from Romania in 1988 with her husband and sponsored the rest of the family—including John, his parents and siblings—in 1992. Corina says that when they arrived in Canada, their families depended on the local food bank. They could barely wait for the next hamper delivery, not knowing what they were going to eat.
Samson and Delilah It was their past that shaped the people they have become. They are now feeding and helping people who are struggling to put food on the table and make ends meet. Corina, who still dreams of one day being a trauma nurse, is employed by The Salvation Army’s Ridge Meadows Ministries in British Columbia, about 50 kilometres west of Vancouver. She began her role in October last year as a Salvation Army community and family services advocate assistant. She works five days a week faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
“People that we help are extraordinary people. They just find themselves in a situation they don’t want to be in.” CORINA ARDELEAN as part of the team that runs Sonia’s Cradle, a ministry that provides clothing, food and other assistance to the needy in the community. She’s also a listening ear in the “tender moments” when “raw emotions” are shared by the clients. “It’s so much more than just the food,” she says. Corina says it’s a blessing to be part of Sonia’s Cradle as she can relate to the people assisted through the initiative. She enjoys getting out into the community for donation pickups, driving her “buddy,” Samson, the centre’s “huge” delivery truck. (They have a smaller one named Delilah!) “Launch a Ministry” Ridge Meadows Ministries executive director Mark Stewart says the ministry assists about 60 families a month and runs a bag lunch program serving schools in the area. For Corina, it’s a balance of work, ministry and family. Her role with the Army coincided with a ministry she and John, a self-employed timber flooring specialist, launched a 24 • JULY/AUGUST 2021 I faithandfriends.ca
few months before called City Serve, which is run through a church in Maple Ridge. City Serve delivers a range of goods and community services each week—not only food—to those in need. Corina says they knew they wanted to help people in whatever community they called home. Seven years ago, they sold their home in Coquitlam, B.C., and moved to nearby Maple Ridge because they felt a calling to do missionary work. About five years ago, they began working as local missionaries in Surrey, B.C., where they attended a Romanian church. Just over two years ago, they started a bread night at a church in Maple Ridge. On Tuesdays, they would pick up end-of-the-day bread from a local bakery and take it to the church, where they would divide it up for distribution. After completing a leadership course, they decided to turn their bread night into something more. Corina says a component of the sixweek course was that, at the end, the challenge was to “launch a ministry.” That’s how their latest venture began.
Preserving Dignity Over the past several months, the Ardeleans have done weekly deliveries of groceries to about 30 needy families, including to Sudanese refugees. That mission is run from a renovated room at the church in Maple Ridge, which she and John do after knock-off time at Sonia’s Cradle. On Wednesday mornings, they help Syrian refugees attached to a Middle Eastern Friendship Centre, also delivering food hampers, then, in the afternoon, turn the room at their church into a grocery store and
allow clients, one at a time, to enter, to choose their goods. In addition to groceries, Corina and John hand out gift certificates for other stores and services— whatever they can get their hands on. Because of their past, the Ardeleans are able to help in a non-judgmental way while preserving the dignity of those they assist. “People that we help are extraordinary people,” Corina says. “They just find themselves in a situation they don’t want to be in.” Reprinted from Others, February 2021
Dedicated Duo John and Corina, who have three teenage children, know firsthand the struggles of not having enough food to put on the table faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
GOD IN MY LIFE
Calvary A little girl’s name reminded me of God’s enormous love and power.
by Jeanette Levellie
ill I live to see Jean come back to You, God? Or is it too late for her
to change?” I’d prayed, wept and reminded Jesus of my family member’s troubles for years. I’d done my best to live a good life in front of her. Talked about Jesus. Prayed with her. But in the last year, she’d become more deeply entrenched in confusion and rebellion than ever. Was I wasting my time praying? Was it too late for
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me to hope that Jesus would change her heart? The Epitome of Love Those discouraging thoughts attacked my mind as my husband, Kevin, and I went out to breakfast the week before Christmas. As we entered the restaurant, the aromas of frying bacon, pancakes and freshly perked coffee welcomed us. I tried to close my mind to worry. As we opened the door, a tiny girl
nearly ran into us. “Excuse me!” she said with a bright smile, holding her mother’s hand. I turned to Kevin. “Wow, a little kid who knows manners. That’s impressive!” After we ordered, I noticed the little girl and her mother slip into the booth across the aisle from us. The mother was attentive and kind, calling her daughter “Sweetie” and “Honey” as she helped her assemble a craft project. She allowed the child to help put some of the pieces together, gently guiding her wee hands, patient in every instruction. She was the epitome of a loving, considerate mother. Happy Tears After viewing the two interact for a half an hour, I couldn’t contain my admiration any longer. I stepped into the aisle and, keeping a safe distance, told the lady, “You are the best mother ever!” Her hazel eyes sparkled clear and bright. She grinned as she said, “Oh, thank you.” “May I ask your daughter’s name?” “Calvary.” I imagine my smile filled the room. Calvary was the name of the site outside of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified that has come to symbolize His everlasting love.
“What a wonderful name!” The mother nodded. “When we were expecting her three years ago, we found God. He helped my husband and me get clean from years of drug abuse. I know a lot of people’s prayers were answered when we decided to follow Jesus. I wanted to name our baby something to remind us every day that Calvary is the reason we’re free.” “Wow,” was all I could say, soft and low. “I’m so happy for you. And I know God is proud of you, too.” I could barely hold back happy tears. The Power of Change She thanked me again, bundled up her little reminder of the power and love of Jesus, and breezed out of the restaurant. I looked across the table at Kevin. “Did you hear that?” He grinned. “Isn’t that phenomenal?” My heart grabbed hold of the huge slice of hope this mother and her daughter had given me. Jesus does change lives. No one is too far gone for Him to restore. My prayers are not in vain. Before I went to sleep that night, I thanked the Lord for sending me that reminder of His faithfulness. “I will never give up on Jean, God, I promise. If Calvary can change longtime drug addicts into loving parents, Calvary can change Jean.”
faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
Eating Healthy With Erin CHIPOTLE CRISPY CHICKEN BURGERS
Recipe photos: Erin Stanley
TIME 35 min MAKES 4 servings SERVE WITH fries
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 egg 15 ml (1 tbsp) water 180 ml (¾ cup) bread crumbs or panko 5 ml (1 tsp) smoked paprika 5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder 2 ml (½ tsp) salt 2 ml (½ tsp) black pepper 10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil 125 ml (½ cup) flour 4 hamburger buns 60 ml (4 tbsp) chipotle mayo (recipe below) Lettuce and tomato to garnish
1. Roll out chicken breasts to flatten. 2. Whisk egg with water and set aside in a bowl. 3. Mix bread crumbs (or panko) and spices together in small bowl and set aside. 4. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F) and line baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. 5. Dip each chicken breast in flour on each side, followed by egg wash, then in bread crumbs. 6. Bake chicken for 10 minutes, flip and cook for another 10 minutes, then flip again for 10 minutes more, for a total of 30 minutes. 7. Assemble burgers with chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato.
CHIPOTLE MAYO AND FRIES TIME 25 min MAKES 4 servings SERVE WITH burgers CHIPOTLE MAYO:
125 ml (½ cup) mayonnaise 125 ml (½ cup) low-fat sour cream 15-20 ml (3-4 tsp) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 5 ml (1 tsp) lime juice SWEET POTATO FRIES:
3 large sweet potatoes 15 ml (1 tbsp) corn starch 22 ml (1½ tbsp) vegetable oil 5 ml (1 tsp) smoked paprika Salt and pepper to taste
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1. Blend all chipotle mayo ingredients together. 2. Slice sweet potatoes into fries and place in a bowl. 3. Add cornstarch. 4. Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F) and line baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with vegetable oil. 5. Bake sweet potatoes for 15-17 minutes until golden.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 × 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
4 9 6
7 5 9 4 1 6 8
1 9 4
1 4 2 7 8 5 6 3 9
5 9 3 6 4 2 8 1 7
2 5 9 4 6 1 7 8 3
7 8 1 9 5 3 4 2 6
4 3 6 8 2 7 5 9 1
HEAVEN’S LOVE THRIFT SHOP by Kevin Frank
Quick Quiz Answers: 1. Barack Obama; 2. Grey’s Anatomy; 3. 1,000.
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PHIL CALLAWAY PRAYED FOR “HELP” THAT HIS SON AND DAUGHTER-INLAW WOULD FIND A BABY TO ADOPT. P.16
A Mentor’s Advice
“DON’T QUIT” P.26
Finding a Father
I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G
If the Shoe Fits ...
HELPING THE ARMY P.10 AN OPEN DOOR P.12
1. What former U.S. president wrote a memoir entitled A Promised Land? 2. What TV series is partly named for a classic medical cookbook? 3. How many millions is a billion?
faithandfriends.ca I JULY/AUGUST 2021
Tea Time Repurposing tea towels into one-of-a-kind wall art.
found these vintage unicornthemed Irish tea towels years ago at my local Salvation Army thrift store, and I’ve been wanting to upcycle them for ages. Now, these wall hangings are adored features in my living room.
Step 1 Drop by your local Salvation Army thrift store to source a funky second-hand tea towel. Wash and iron it.
Supplies Needed: thrifted tea towel, four 0.6-metre (24-inch) pieces of wood moulding (two pieces for the top, two for the bottom), wood stain or paint, four 25-millimetre (one-inch) screws (dependent on the thickness of the wood moulding), four wing nuts, double-sided tape, jute or cord, hardware for hanging your wall art.
Step 2 Visit your local hardware store to source the wood and hardware for your hanger, as well as the screws and wing nuts. There are many ways to make your hanger. You can glue the pieces together or wrap them with cord. I chose this option so I could take my hanger apart in case I wanted to replace the tea towels or use them for another DIY.
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sure it’s lined up correctly. Insert the screws in the holes and attach the wing nuts to tighten the wood moulding together. Tighten them enough to make sure your tea towel stays in place. Do the same for the other edge of your tea towel.
Step 3 Sand and stain or paint the wood moulding.
Step 6 Now that your tea towel has a frame, add a hanger along the top using the jute or cord and hardware of your choosing. You can also wrap the jute or cord around each end of the wood moulding.
Step 4 Drill two holes in each piece of moulding, 50 millimetres (two inches) from the ends. This will leave room for the tea towel to fit between the holes. Step 5 Place doublesided tape on the inside of one of the pieces of moulding in between the holes. Place the edge of the tea towel on top of the tape, making
Step 7 Hang your tea towel and enjoy your newest piece of wall art.
(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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