Salvationist + Faith & Friends October 2020

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Introducing the Territory’s Gender Equity Advocate

What Does Worship in a Pandemic Look Like?

Messengers of Reconciliation Welcomed in Virtual Ceremony


October 2020



Salvationists from a variety of backgrounds share personal stories and views on diversity

Give generously to the HOME MISSIONS FOCUS FUND during the month of October. Your offering will support ongoing mission initiatives, allow new ministries to begin, and enhance existing programs that are reaching people for Christ. All money for HOME MISSIONS raised in your division is collected by your divisional headquarters and distributed to selected ministry projects in your division!

October 2020 • Volume 15, Number 10

8 DEPARTMENTS 5 Inbox 6 Frontlines 20 Not Called? “Everything” by Ken Ramstead

25 Corps Values The Marvels of Ministry Interview with Majors David and Brenda Allen

26 People & Places 30 Salvation Stories The Virtue of Trust by Joanne Virtue


COLUMNS 4 Editorial Heroes of the Salvation War by Geoff Moulton

15 Onward

FEATURES 8 Messengers of Reconciliation Welcomed

A New Season by Commissioner Floyd Tidd

The Canada and Bermuda Territory recognizes new cadets and officers in training with a livestreamed service. by Pamela Richardson

22 Viewpoint In All Circumstances by Darryn Oldford

10 Wonderfully Made

23 Family Matters True Colours by Captain Bhreagh Rowe

24 Grace Notes

Reflections from Salvationists on God’s one human race. by Leigha Vegh with Lladaneyah Gale, Mulry Mondélice, Major Ed Chiu, Damian Azak and Captain Kim Chan

18 How Can I Keep From Singing?


READ AND SHARE IT! Mission to Costa Rica

16 Returning to Our Roots It’s time to address gender equity so that every individual can fully participate in the mission of God. by Captain Kristen Jackson-Dockeray

Be a CEO by Captain Laura Van Schaick

We serve as a hub for all THQ-related resources for the territory—from finance to women’s ministries to world missions. Take time today to visit to check out our latest sub-sites for leadership development, public affairs, Canadian Staff Band and Jackson’s Point Conference Centre.

Six ways to worship without congregational music. by Craig Lewis

19 Raising the Girl Child Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. by Kathy Nguyen


Trauma to Triumph


Standing Up to Racism


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



21 Already, Not Yet Beginning “The Work” as Salvation Army cadets. by Cadet Natalie Williams Salvationist  October 2020  3



Heroes of the Salvation War

akanda forever!” That’s the rallying cry of Black Panther, the first Black Marvel superhero, who led his fictional kingdom of Wakanda to prosperity and freedom. Black Panther was played by actor Chadwick Boseman, who recently passed away from colon cancer at age 43. Boseman also played Jackie Robinson, the baseball player who broke the colour barrier, and music legend James Brown. Accolades poured in from across North America—but the most touching were from children who posted social media photos of their Black Panther action figures in tribute to their hero. It reminds me that The Salvation Army also has Black, Indigenous and people of colour who have been instrumental in this salvation war. Recently on our Facebook channel, we featured a variety of #ArmyHeroes who have pioneered the work around the world: • Commissioner Narayana Muthiah was the first Indian officer to rise to the Army’s highest rank of commissioner. Born to high-caste Hindu parents in 1872, Muthiah was a zealous Hindu who hated Christians. When Salvationists came to his town, he and his friends pelted them with rocks. But the gospel message stirred his soul, eventually leading him to the mercy seat. He was cast out of Hinduism and had to forfeit all his property. Though he faced many challenges—including


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) Leigha Vegh Associate Editor and Staff Writer 4  October 2020  Salvationist

imprisonment for engaging in open-air work—he never wavered in his faith, becoming an example of steadfastness for Indian and nonIndian Salvationists alike. • Major Mbambo Matunjwa was a Zulu warrior turned Salvation Army officer. When Salvationist missionaries came to his village in South Africa in 1871, they preached the gospel and asked, “Are there any here who will give themselves today to this God who gave his only Son to die for us?” Matunjwa stood up and said, “I am willing.” No longer a Zulu warrior, he became a fighter for Christ. • Commissioner Gunpei Yamamuro was the first Salvation Army officer commissioned in Japan. Yamamuro was 23 and working as an assistant pastor when the Army came to Japan. After studying the Orders and Regulations for Soldiers, he decided to become a Salvationist. He held a variety of positions as an officer and, 30 years later, was appointed territorial commander. Commissioner Yamamuro was decorated by the Emperor of Japan for service to his country and received the Order of the Founder. In this issue of Salvationist, we share the lived experiences of diverse Salvationists across the Canada and Bermuda Territory (page 10). Many

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

have faced discrimination and difficulty, and yet they continue to be a shining light for Christ in our movement. Our International Positional Statement on Racism affirms that “all people are made in the image of God and are equal in value” and “the world is enriched by a diversity of cultures and ethnicities.” We still have room to grow when it comes to championing equity and inclusion; we must continue to listen and learn. With Christ’s help, we are building God’s diverse kingdom. As the chorus says, “There is room for all in the kingdom of God. Hallelujah!” GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


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


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


The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world. Salvationist informs readers about the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda.


parents are unable to do so. In each case, the caregiver may need supports, which hopefully the church can help fill.

Caution and Compassion Thanks for publishing this important and practical article (“Prevent the Spread,” August 7, 2020). Wearing a mask is lowering the risk of spreading the virus. It means we are thinking about others, as God’s Word teaches us. Hope we all do our part. Remember that this is just for now, not forever. Keep safe.

Lynne McDormand


Is it standing up to injustice or a mob mentality? BY ALEX STONEY

Nevertheless, She Persisted Laura, this is one of the most beautiful, brilliant and disturbing pieces I F have read in a long time (“Be Brave,” May 2020). First, you are a great writer. Second, you are clearly an amazing mom, who is leading by example, encouraging your daughter to be her bravest, strongest, most free self. Third, thank you for recognizing that even in 2020, girls and women will still struggle. Inspired by the movie The Help, my husband has a bedtime routine with our six-year-old daughter that ends with the words, “You are smart, you are strong, you are important,” followed by the words, “You are persistent!” Like you, he recognizes the importance of persistence and perseverance for all people, but especially for girls. GRACE NOTES

Be Brave

A letter to my daughter.

Cpt Laura Van Schaick dances with her daughter, Vanessa, at her sister's wedding in 2018

I know the statistics. According to Ellen Duffield, author of The Brave Way, by age six girls in the West have already been socialized to believe that boys have the potential to be smarter than girls. By age seven, many girls believe they are valued more for their looks than their character. I knew this was the norm. I just didn’t think it would ever apply to you. I’ve raised you to know that you are capable and strong. I’ve raised you as an equal to your brother, to know that you are both made in the image of God and deeply loved as his children. I’ve parented by example, emphasizing that your daddy and I are equals in the household and in life. I’ve preached and led and used my voice in your presence countless times. And still, you have become a statistic. You feel you are doing well “for a girl.” This is not OK. I want you to know that you are worth

just as much as any boy. That you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to, that you are smart and that your voice matters. I want you to know that what you say, how you act and the decisions you make are more important than how you look. I want you to be confident and bold. I don’t want failure to hold you back—we all fail sometimes—but rather for you to learn from your mistakes and to persevere. My dear girl, you live in a world of stereotypes and judgments, and I recognize that this comes at a cost. I want you to know that I am not living in ignorance anymore. I thought you were immune to becoming another statistic. You are not. But I want you to know it isn’t your fault. As your mother, and as a woman, I commit to encouraging you to be brave. I commit to reminding you every day that you are valuable and that you are enough. I commit to pushing you to take risks and to step outside of your comfort zone. I commit to complimenting you on more than your looks. I commit to modelling for you what it means to be brave in a world that is often still destructive for women and girls. On most Sunday mornings, as the worship team begins to play, you make your way to the platform and begin to dance. In these moments I see the free, confident, self-assured girl I know you to be. I see you embracing your identity as a beloved daughter of God, and it gives me such joy. My prayer for you is that you would continue to dance. Dance before the Lord in worship, and dance through life—not because no one is watching, but because someone is, and they might just be inspired by you. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer. Salvationist

May 2020


Dani Shaw

do we acknowledge wrongdoing and still demonstrate God’s love and grace? Here are a few things to remember as we navigate cancel culture:

We don’t know the whole story. It’s an elementary school lesson—you can’t form an accurate opinion of someone you don’t know very well. I’ve taught this to kindergarten classes. And yet it’s a major factor in cancel culture. Do we really know enough about somebody to form an opinion? Unless we have lived another person’s life, lived through their experiences, we can’t judge them for the choices they make. And is the offender even informed enough to understand what they are putting out there for everyone to see? Once you post something online, it’s there forever. You can try to delete it, but chances are that it can still be found online, somewhere. There are many things I said in my youth, and even within the last few years, that I wish I could take back because of my ignorance and lack of understanding. No one has the moral high ground.

We are all in need of forgiveness and grace. God created and knows all of

us, inside and out, and still chooses to love us, all the same. Even with all our shortcomings, God extends grace to us through the words, actions and sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Because we know what it is to be forgiven, we should forgive others. “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:8). We need to model the love of Jesus and befriend the cancelled as well as those who cancel others, to show all parties involved that they are valued. This will take courage—if we break away from the group to believe the best in someone and show grace, we risk being cancelled ourselves. But Christians are called to live out forgiveness culture, not cancel culture.

Cancel culture closes the door to

reconciliation. There is nothing wrong with holding people or organizations accountable for their words or actions, but cancel culture doesn’t do this. Instead, it condemns, equating the offender with their offence, without acknowledging their ability to change. It ends a narrative that has the potential to see growth in the offender and reconciliation with the injured party.

Adams’ comments were insulting and ignorant, but he should have the chance to reflect on his words without being “cancelled.” Otherwise, we could miss a significant part of the story. Conflict can only result in reconciliation if we stay open to talking. We need to leave the door open to redemption. As we navigate cancel culture, let’s be open and prepared to listen and live life with people who have views different from our own, remembering this: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). Let’s be prepared to love God’s people as he commanded us to do (see 1 John 4:7). Let’s do what we can to see God’s people as he sees them, as people who are worthy of love. It’s never OK to write someone off. Alex Stoney is the children and youth ministry co-ordinator, Upper Skeena Circuit with Gitsegukla, Hazelton and Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell), B.C., and a member of The Salvation Army’s social issues committee. Salvationist

July 2020


Gary Reilly

An excellent and timely article, Alex. Thank you for addressing this topic. #forgivenessculture Major Isobel Wagner

Fallen Hero The cult of celebrity, even in Christian circles, tends to continuously resurface. This recent disappointment, the news that Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, abused women (“Truth D Be Told,” June 2020), reminds me of the televangelist scandals of the 1980s, when many people felt their trust was betrayed. Good people can easily slip into a sense of entitlement or personal privilege when achieving success, overlooking the truth that we are all sinners only saved by God’s grace. When servants become celebrities of their own or others’ making, they enter a dangerous place, and we tend to forget that idols are not eternal. Eventually they all must fall. James Read is right: “Only God deserves worship.” The rest of us cannot handle it. So we give the glory to God, grace to one another and life moves on—hopefully with increased wisdom, discernment and compassion. TALKING IT OVER

Truth Be Told

Reckoning with the fall of a hero. BY JAMES READ AND AIMEE PATTERSON

Jean Vanier at his home in TroslyBreuil, France

Protesting Injustice Thank you, Darryn, for a thoughtful article (“Race, Gospel and Justice,” Race, Gospel and Justice August 2020). You have expressed ideas that definitely need to be more W Pandemic Privilege than just “pondered” in our day and in “S our place. The righting of injustice is part of the work of Christ-followers. For myself, a first act of justice is to listen to what is being said by those who are suffering the injustice, and not immediately to jump to explanations that exonerate us “oppressors.” (And asking myself: What am I meaning to say by putting “oppressors” in quotes?) As Jesus said in many contexts, “Let the one who has ears, hear.” GRACE NOTES


We need to stay home, but home is not a safe place for everyone. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK

tay home, stay safe.” My children quote this slogan by Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, like any other commercial jingle. Their home is a safe space and they have no reason to question this truth. While they are missing their friends, their isolation experience has been a positive one, as has mine. Porch photos, popular in the early days of the pandemic, portrayed households as safe havens in a world of COVID-19. And for many they are. For the most part, it’s been smooth sailing through the pandemic storm for me and my family. In fact, many aspects of this experience have been wonderful and full of familial bliss. I can work from home with a flexible schedule. I am educated, speak English and have access to a computer, so I can home-school my children with ease. I have a husband who is likewise available to assist around the house. We have craft supplies, board games and a large yard to keep ourselves occupied. We’ve bought bags of flour and sugar and put our cooking skills to the test—and I’ve gained 10 24 August 2020


pounds in the process! And while I know of people who have contracted COVID-19, and even some who have died, no one in my family has contracted the disease. I am incredibly privileged. I am painfully aware that this has not been everyone’s reality. I’ve heard it said that while we may all be facing the same storm, many are riding this out in vastly different boats—our homes. For some, those homes are not safe spaces. The United Nations Population Fund suggests that three months of quarantine will result in a 20 percent rise in intimate partner violence, resulting in at least 15 million cases of domestic violence worldwide, with most victims being women. Children are at risk as well. World Vision is reporting a 42 percent spike in physical, sexual and emotional violence against children in areas where they serve. And if you think this is only a concern in other parts of the world, think again. Many municipal jurisdictions in Canada are already reporting spikes in reports of family violence. Some families are struggling more than others with juggling childcare, lineups at

grocery stores, work and home-schooling due to single parent arrangements, job loss or other added stressors. In these homes there isn’t time or energy for family bonding over board games and baking cookies. Instead, home has become a place of stress rather than a place of refuge. Food bank usage has increased since the pandemic started as families whose children relied on school feeding programs are now experiencing hunger. For them, bare cupboards at home are a stark reminder of their financial need. Other homes are just too crowded to be safe. The outbreak at the Cargill meatpacking plant in Alberta stemmed primarily from a lack of physical distancing, not only in the workplace, but also in the home, where multiple immigrant families live together in a single dwelling. This problem is magnified in countries such as India and Haiti, where many people live in slum housing where quarantine and isolation are nearly impossible. For others, home is a lonesome place. This is especially true for those in longterm care facilities where residents have faced mental-health challenges and chronic isolation due to the pandemic. Virus outbreaks at care homes have also put a spotlight on deficiencies in funding and support for the elderly that originated long before the pandemic erupted. And what of those without a home? How do you isolate when you live in a shelter, couch surf or sleep on the street? Stay home and stay safe, if you can, but remember that not everyone is in as privileged a position. And they may never be, pandemic or not. That’s something we could all be a bit more mindful of. I’m thankful to be a part of The Salvation Army, which addresses these concerns head-on and reaches out helping hands to provide practical assistance and hope to those who may not count themselves among the privileged. Let’s all do our part to prayerfully consider how we can help bridge the gap between privilege and disadvantage as we pray, “God, may your kingdom come.” Captain Laura Van Schaick is the women’s ministries program and resource officer.

Illustration: di/

Cpts Laura and Stefan Van Schaick and their children, Vanessa and Shawn, during an impromptu physically distanced visit with a friend in April

Protest movements around the world are calling us to do better. BY DARRYN OLDFORD

e only grow to know ourselves through our relationships with others. It starts at birth, when we require not only food and warmth, but love from caregivers to survive. As we grow, we start to classify ourselves based on what we see around us and what we’re taught. “Your skin tone is like mine, so we’re the same ethnicity.” “Your skin tone is different, so you’re something else.” “You like playing sports? You’re an athlete.” “You also speak Klingon? We must be the coolest people here.” These categories of “like us” and “not like us” help everyone make sense of the world. In our desire to classify the world, however, history and culture have created artificial barriers between us and others that shouldn’t exist. Margaret Mead, the famous cultural anthropologist, was once asked when civilization began. You might have expected her to mention the discovery of walls, pottery shards or saddles, but instead, she said it was a broken—and healed—femur found at an archeological site. Animals do not have the time or resources to care for a wounded member of their social group; if an animal can’t hunt, it doesn’t eat. A broken femur takes a long time to mend, so a healed femur is evidence that a group continued to care for a wounded member. This act of loyalty shows when we moved from a collection of individuals to a society. Right now, the Black community in

North America is hurting. The gauntlet has been thrown down—what are we willing to do to fix things? These are not new struggles, although recent stories have highlighted specific horrifying incidents. The rallying cry of “Black lives matter” is a simple statement, but so many of my fellow white people choke on it. Some respond with “all lives matter” which, despite being true, is a slap in the face of those who are currently suffering.

The needless and violent deaths of African-Americans must stop.

Saying “all lives matter” ignores widespread societal issues affecting the Black community and avoids the responsibility to change anything in a positive way. If it were left to these folks, the injured members of our society would starve, and we would no longer be a civilization. Injustice anywhere is offensive to God as he is sovereign over all. Human life is both sacred and priceless. This must be at the forefront of your mind when discussing the plight of Black men and women in our society. Regardless of your personal opinions about looting, rioting or protesting, we

must all agree that the needless and violent deaths of African-Americans must stop. It is also perfectly acceptable to focus on Black people, not everyone, because they are the ones whose lives are most at risk. Any attempts to stifle or ignore the pain and grief that Black people are feeling is to deny their humanity. Empathy means feeling pain alongside your neighbour, while justice is working toward a world where this pain no longer exists. Both are required for vibrant Christian faith. The best parts of each and every one of us are a reflection of the divine. By blurring the lines between “me” and “we,” we grow closer to who God is. Genesis 1:26 states, “Let us make mankind in our image” (emphasis mine). Even God, in all his splendour, is meant to be understood as part of a community. Similarly, Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” Institutional racism did not end with slavery. Progress has been made to improve the lives of Black individuals, but we are far away from the kind of just and equitable world God wants to call his kingdom on earth. We need to care for one another, to feel each other’s pain and to work toward justice. Otherwise, we expect our Black brothers and sisters to hobble around on a broken femur. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto. Salvationist

August 2020


r. James Read, director of The Salvation Army Ethics Centre in Winnipeg, and Dr. Aimee Patterson, a Christian ethics consultant at the Ethics Centre, reflect on recent, troubling news about Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live, work and grow together, celebrating the unique gift of each person.

Photo: Warren Pot

Photo: Kirsten Buyer Photography


Illustration: alashi/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

n May, Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams posted an expletivefilled rant on Instagram, blaming “bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making” people in China for the coronavirus outbreak—comments that many considered offensive and racist. Although Adams apologized the next day, saying he was referring to the cruelty of such markets and promoting veganism, #BryanAdamsIsCancelled was already trending on Twitter. If you are unfamiliar with the term, to be “cancelled” refers to the practice of boycotting or withdrawing support for public figures or organizations after they have said or done something objectionable. It could also be described as group shaming. For some, it’s a way to stand up against injustice. For others, it’s a mob mentality that causes fear and inhibits free speech. Chances are high that we have all been involved in “cancel culture” to some degree. Even if you’ve never participated in online shaming, you’ve probably seen someone else display outrage at another person’s misbehaviour, and may even have thought, “They deserve to be called out.” But as Christians, how

Eva Galvez

rom the moment I knew I was going to be a mommy, I have celebrated you. Over the six years of your life, I have watched you shine with confidence. At age one you learned to walk, and I celebrated each step you took in between diaper-padded falls. With determination you pulled yourself up each time. A failed attempt didn’t hold you back. By age two you were dressing yourself, and I celebrated your independence. You still have your own unique sense of fashion; with contrasting colours and princess dresses, yours is a style that is all you. At age three you asked to sing in church, and I celebrated your boldness. Accompanied by Daddy strumming on the guitar, you bravely sang Jesus Loves Me off-key in a room filled with adults, but an audience of One. You were four when we visited Disney World, where you wielded a light sabre and defeated Darth Vader. You exclaimed “I did it!” as you vibrated with adrenaline (and perhaps a bit of fear) and I celebrated your adventurous spirit. At age five you were the youngest to participate in your school’s talent show, and I celebrated your achievement. Now, at age six, I see leadership potential in you. I have seen you welcome newcomers while being a newcomer yourself. I have seen you speak up to teachers and stand up for the marginalized. I celebrate the brave way you use your voice and the way you care deeply for others. But a few weeks ago, you said something that broke my heart. You had been diligently working on a project. When you felt it was complete, you came over to share what you had accomplished, exclaiming with bright eyes, “It turned out pretty good, for a girl.” For a girl.

Culture Wars #Cancelled Thanks, Alex, for being a voice of I reason in an increasingly unreasonable world (“#Cancelled,” July 2020). However, “cancel culture” goes further than “cancelling” those who make objectionable statements—it also seeks to silence other opinions simply because a certain demographic disagrees with said opinion. For instance, the recent Goya foods incident, where merely thanking a certain politician became grounds for “cancel culture” to seek a boycott. Or the pro-traditional marriage view of Dan Cathy leading to protests and boycotts of Chick-fil-A.

Dear Jim, Jean Vanier. What can I say in the wake of learning that the founder of L’Arche engaged in sexually, emotionally and spiritually abusive relationships with at least six women? I’ve used Vanier’s words so many times. He could always get to the heart of what it means to love and be loved by people swept aside by society. My deepest concerns, however, lie not with the Vanier who spoke so eloquently about community and compassion. I’m sure the time will come when I use his words again.

I’m more troubled by the Vanier who lived out his message. He knew he wasn’t a saint; he admitted as much. Even so, he offered a potent example of a Christian life marked by obedience and liberation, one deeply embedded in relationship with “the least of these.” My deepest concerns address good, evil and trust. How can the person who used his power to advocate for disabled people be the same person who used his power to exploit and abuse women? And how can we trust people who seem to be trustworthy, knowing we are all capable of such betrayal? —Aimee Dear Aimee, I hear what you are saying. The Saturday morning when the story broke, I learned about it through a friend. My immediate reaction was, “Tell me it’s not true!” I was incredulous. It was so much at odds with what I knew of Jean Vanier. In my mind, he was not only someone

I looked up to as a fellow Canadian philosopher, but someone I admired for his gentle, self-effacing, almost saintly demeanour. When he delivered his Massey Lectures in 1998, he didn’t leave his humble home in Trosly-Breuil, France, for the bright lights, big crowds and gala celebrations he would have received in Toronto. It all seemed consistent with the message he preached. So, to learn that this same Vanier had sexually abused anyone, let alone six people, completely blew me away. It didn’t fit at all. Of course, I didn’t know him first-hand, so I wonder, had I been jumping to conclusions about Vanier’s character? Did he simply have good PR? Terry O’Reilly’s CBC radio show Under the Influence regularly reminds me how skillful some image-makers are. You ask how we can trust others. Good question. But right now, I question my own judgment. Am I too ready to trust? —Jim

18 June 2020 Salvationist

Major Daniel Roode

James Read


Sight Unseen The invisible infrastructure of caregivers in our health-care system. BY MAJOR GLENDA DAVIS


Photo: gradyreese/E+ via Getty Images

ndrea gets up at 5 a.m. every morning to help her father get ready for his day before she heads to work. Her sleep is often interrupted at night, as her father has been known to wander and sometimes fall. He is six feet tall and weighs more than 180 pounds. Lifting him is a challenge for Andrea and her mother, who is 82 years old and of slight build. Her father, who has Alzheimer’s and cancer, is on a waiting list for a long-term care bed. After finishing a full day at work, Andrea goes home to continue caring for her father, who has spent the day at a dayprogram or at home with his wife. They have access to some home care, but it is costly, and the time is limited. Andrea is not alone in her experience as a caregiver. Medical innovation and discovery have resulted in longer lifespans. As a result, families are taking on the role of caregivers. More than eight million Canadians care for a loved one at home who has a debilitating physical or cognitive condition. Of these caregivers, 6.1 million are employed, balancing their caregiving responsibilities with work and personal life, often including the care of

children as well. It has been called the sandwich generation, or the panini generation, because of the immense pressure placed on people. Canada has experienced a huge demographic shift. In Ontario alone, more than 36,000 people are waiting to move into long-term care homes. Unless more spaces are created, this number will continue to rise as baby boomers age. It is estimated that by 2035, there will be a need for 199,000 more beds across Canada. There are more than 10,000 centenarians in Canada, and this number is expected to climb to 78,300—the size of Victoria—by 2061. By 2026, a quarter of the Canadian population will be over 65 years old. As the number of baby boomers increase, so will our needs. Extended lifetimes also mean an increase in the need for medical care as we age. Family caregivers play a significant role in society as the invisible infrastructure of our health-care system. They fill many gaps and are often hidden health -care providers, sacrificing their own well-being, social lives and financial means to ensure their loved ones’ needs

are met. Some take a leave of absence from work, turn down job opportunities or leave their employment to care for their loved ones. Every year, there are 18 million lost workdays, and $1.3 billion dollars in lost productivity. Some two-income families manage on one income so that one person can stay home as a caregiver. Their actions, whether by choice or necessity, are motivated by love and honour for their family member. But who cares for the caregivers? This is an important role for the church to fill. Caregivers shouldn’t be on this journey alone. They need a support system around them to help them cope. They need respite from caregiving, reassurance, a listening ear, understanding, kindness, practical assistance and our prayers. The church can do that. We can care for the caregivers. The Bible says much about caring for others. In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10, we are reminded of the importance of being a good neighbour, especially to those who have fallen on tough times and need support. When Jesus asked, “ ‘Which of these three (the priest, the Levite or the Samaritan) do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise’ ” (Luke 10:3637). The words of Jesus are important for us to hear today—“Go and do likewise.” We seldom know all that is going on in someone’s life. As we interact with people at work, church or in our neighbourhoods, we see only a fraction of their story. They may be carrying an extraheavy load. Let’s be good neighbours, people who listen and extend mercy and grace. It has been said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This concept can be extended to other stages of life as well. It takes a village to care for each other throughout a lifetime. Major Glenda Davis is the social services secretary for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist

June 2020 27

Invisible Work I appreciated Major Glenda Davis’ article on the invisible infrastructure of caregivers (“Sight Unseen,” June 2020). Caregivers of elders are, indeed, overloaded in many cases. One thing to remember is that there are also single parents who are caring for multiple and/or special needs children who also need assistance. And sometimes elders are in the position of caring for grandchildren when the

Thank you for wrestling with such a difficult topic. As Christians we must continue to work out our salvation together and encourage each other along the difficult journey. I will continue to reflect on how “sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” Natalia DeBoer

To be considered for publication, letters to the editor must include your name and address, and a phone number or email address where you can be contacted. Letters may be edited for space and clarity, and may be published in any medium. Salvationist  October 2020  5


Quebec Division Sees COVID-19 Positives


uring the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quebec Division found ways to share positive opportunities. At the Salvation Army Light of Hope Family Church in Montreal, 15 corps members dedicated time weekly to help families in the community. They prepared food baskets and prayed together before delivering them. The youth leader prepared bulletins with an invitation to the corps and welcomed three new families as a result. They participated in daily devotionals, sermons and prayers, digitally. “I saw an awakening and an understanding that this is kingdom business at work: ‘One hand to God and the other to humanity,’ ” says Captain Aida Munoz-Perez, corps officer.

Members of Montreal Citadel prepare food boxes at family services

Cpt Aida Munoz-Perez (centre) and members of Light of Hope Family Church pack food baskets for families in the community

In Quebec City, Salvation Army food banks doubled the number of baskets distributed, from 140 to 300, during the pandemic. A local grocery store, Maxi Fleur de Lys, helped deliver as much food as possible at the cheapest price and organized a fundraising campaign. The number of volunteers also increased from a partnership with the Katmivik Quebec volunteer program, which introduced four new volunteers to help at The Salvation Army’s family assistance service four days a week. “COVID-19 has been devastating and will continue to be so for some time,” says Major Barbara Carey, the divisional integrated mission secretary in the Quebec Division, “but there are many lessons we can learn because of this experience, such as turning a terrible situation into new opportunities.” Montreal Citadel was also busier than ever during the pandemic. Several members of the corps volunteered regularly to keep the food bank running. They unloaded the truck, sorted food, sanitized the space and helped prepare food boxes. “Volunteers feel a sense of purpose in helping other people, and that feeling has intensified during the pandemic,” says Captain Colleen Gleadall, corps officer. Louise Fernandez, the director of immigration and refugee services for Montreal Citadel, got creative when her Stitch and Chat program was put on hold because of COVID-19. She called participants, half of whom are not corps members, every Tuesday to check in on them and pray with them. Other members of the corps gave anonymous donations to those in 6  October 2020  Salvationist

the community who had lost their jobs or were experiencing food insecurity. One member of Montreal Citadel, Camila Cormier, who is a student at Concordia University in Montreal, was laid off from her job at a hotel and had to switch to online studies during the pandemic. She used the openings in her schedule as an opportunity to give back to The Salvation Army’s Montreal Booth Centre, who needed people on-call, by springing into action to volunteer her extra time. Amongst the busyness of serving residents, attending meetings with public health officials and working co-operatively with other employees, she gained a greater understanding of the impact the virus was having on her community. “What struck me was that the Booth Centre was incredibly busy, even when things at home and in the city seemed to be at a halt,” she recalls. “After my four weeks at the Booth Centre, I know that God’s plan was in action.”

Camila Cormier delivers meals at the Montreal Booth Centre


Edmonton Pitches Innovative Camping Initiative


Cdt Jason Brinson, left, accepts a donation from a Yellowknife Co-op representative

Yellowknife Co-op Makes Generous Donation

he Salvation Army’s camping season may have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop the Edmonton Army from bringing the spirit of the season to backyards nearby. The historic moment, in which camp was cancelled for the first time in 120 years, left many families without a summer activity for their children. On the list of camps closed for the summer was The Salvation Army’s Pine Lake Camp in the Alberta and Northern Territories Division. That’s when the idea of campin-a-bag was pioneered to bring the joy of camping to families, right at home. “Children were disappointed when we had to tell families that camps would be closed for the season,” says Major Karen Hoeft, corps officer, Edmonton Crossroads Community Church. “Since April, we have been putting together activity bags and recently sent out our camp-in-a-bag to more than 110 children.” Major Hoeft and her team deliver activity bags to children and youth ages four months to 17 years every three weeks. The camp-in-a-bag includes craft activities, a pancake breakfast, pasta lunch and tuna with vegetables for dinner.


he Yellowknife Co-op, a locally owned network of retail co-operative associations across Western Canada, donated $10,000 and 160 food hampers to The Salvation Army’s Yellowknife Corps and Resource Centre in July. “We are grateful for their donation to support our efforts to serve those most vulnerable in our community and beyond,” says Cadet Jason Brinson, executive director. The Yellowknife Co-op, which owns and operates a series of food stores, gas stations, convenience stores and pharmacies, has assisted The Salvation Army with several initiatives in the past. One such initiative was the Stuff That Bus fundraiser and food drive, which provided hampers and cash donations. “The Yellowknife Co-op has always been very supportive of The Salvation Army, particularly with food drives during Thanksgiving and Christmas,” says Cadet Brinson.

Since April, Mjr Karen Hoeft and her team have delivered camp-in-a-bag to more than 110 children

Community Garden Supplies Fresh Food


he Salvation Army’s community garden and food bank in Brantford, Ont., is supplying low-income families with fresh food that could otherwise be out of their price range at the grocery store. The program provides access to nutritious food and includes cooking demonstrations and tips for clients to eat healthy on a budget. “When you are willing to educate and not just pass out food, people are anxious to learn,” says Nicole Bouw, community and family services worker. The food bank supports up to 250 people each month, and the on-site community garden offers fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, lettuce, kale, carrots,

onions and zucchini. “I can’t remember the last time I had a fresh salad,” says Alexander, one recipient of the produce.

The program is one of 10 in the city supported by Equal Grounds, which provides the seeds, plants and other tools needed for starting a garden.

Salvation Army workers tend to the community garden in Brantford, Ont.

Salvationist  October 2020  7

Photos: Winnipeg—Cdt Amy Patrick; Toronto—Alexandria Gerard

Messengers of Reconciliation Welcomed The Canada and Bermuda Territory recognizes new cadets and officers in training with a livestreamed service. BY PAMELA RICHARDSON


n Sunday, September 20, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander, presided over a special livestreamed service to welcome 16 cadets from the Messengers of Reconciliation Session, one field-based tailored training (FBTT) cadet and two newly accepted auxiliary-captains. With ongoing travel and social-gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants came together virtually from the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg, territorial headquarters in Toronto and other ministry locations across Canada where the FBTT cadet and auxiliary-captains are serving. The service began in Toronto, with words of welcome from Colonel Edward Hill, chief secretary, who introduced the territorial commander. Colonel Shelley Hill, territorial secretary for women’s ministries, prayed God’s blessing on 8  October 2020  Salvationist

the meeting and those beginning their period of training to be officers in The Salvation Army. “Encourage their hearts,” she prayed, “as they encourage others through their service.” Attention then turned to Winnipeg, where the cadets marched into the CFOT chapel behind the sessional flag of the Messengers of Reconciliation, carried by Cadet Justin Russell. Later in the service, the flag was dedicated to God’s glory by the territorial commander. Making their way to the platform, the cadets paused in front of a large screen to salute Commissioner Tidd, who acknowledged them and the FBTT cadet and auxiliary-captains from their locations, via livestream from Toronto. Following the presentation of the cadets and officers in training by Major Jennifer Hale, secretary for candidates, Lt-Colonel Brian Armstrong, secretary

for personnel, shared words of encouragement with them. “You come to CFOT alone, and you come together,” he said. “You come alone in that each of you has responded to God’s call in your life. Together you will grow in fellowship with one another, you will care and support one another, and you will encourage one another on your journey.” In her testimony, Cadet Dunia Molinar Fehr shared how she came to The Salvation Army through the food bank at Yorkwoods Community Church in Toronto, where she started attending and working in the community and family services office. Over time, and with the encouragement of her corps officers, Cadet Fehr sensed the call of God on her life to serve as an officer. “During my prayer time, God reminded me to be faithful, humble and obedient,” she said, “and I realized that God was working in

(left) The Messengers of Reconciliation, the Messengers of Grace and staff from the College for Officer Training

my life, transforming me and preparing me for the days to come. He will never leave me alone.” Throughout the welcome service, pre-recorded testimonies from the cadets and officers in training were presented as they shared their hopes for officer training and Scripture verses that have been important to them as they prepared to come to the CFOT. In his message, Commissioner Tidd drew from the story of Jonah as he reflected on the mission that is now before the Messengers of Reconciliation, to share God’s love with the world. “It is to those who are alive in Christ that he gives the message of reconciliation,” he said, to be taken into the world in partnership with God as he reconciles the world to himself. “Go and proclaim the message God gives you.” Major Roxanne Jennings, director of personnel, brought the service to a close and pronounced the benediction.




1. Cdts Tim and Kerrin Fraser, with their children Jordan and Emily, salute the territorial commander via livestream 2. Cdts Kaitlin and Justin Russell with the Messengers of Reconciliation sessional flag 3. Commissioner Floyd Tidd preaches from God’s Word

Salvationist  October 2020  9

Wonderfully Made Reflections from Salvationists on God’s one human race. COMPILED BY LEIGHA VEGH


ou only need to look at the daily headlines to see the unrest and injustice that still plagues society when it comes to racism. But change is happening, and The Salvation Army is positioned to respond through its ministries and in the life of the church to stand against racism. Our International Positional Statement states that racism is incompatible with the Christian conviction that all people are made in the image of God and are equal in value. The Salvation Army believes the world is enriched by a diversity of cultures and

ethnicities. We are committed to fight against racism wherever it is encountered. For this issue of Salvationist, we reached out to racialized people across the territory to hear their insights and lived experiences with the goal of helping us become more sensitive and inclusive. We want to celebrate the human race in all of its expressions, acknowledging we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of God (see Psalm 139:14 and Genesis 1:27).



ike a beautiful garden that blossoms in the spring with flowers of different hues and fragrances, and the gentle welcome of a cool breeze, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. But, imagine being judged by the colour of your skin. Imagine being told to go back to your country. Imagine people thinking that you are uneducated, assuming you do not speak English or that you are poor because you look “different.” These are a few of the things that I have experienced as a young Black person. My name is Lladaneyah Gayle and I came to Canada from Jamaica in 2017 at the age of 10. As a youth, I experienced racism among my peers at school. I was asked if I was poor because I was born in a developing country. I was resented 10  October 2020  Salvationist

as a Black girl for my exceptional performance abilities. My hair was touched in amazement because it was not straight. I was asked why I did not “just brush it” or if it looked that way because I didn’t wash it. I was asked if I was fatherless because the perception is that Black children are from broken homes. I was always seen as the “different” girl. My school wasn’t very diverse and with that came added struggles. In the past, I had always loved and treated people the way I wanted to be treated. In Jamaica, a predominantly Black country, I had peers of different race, colour and status, and it never dawned on me that I was Black, or they were white, or of a different descent. Coming to Canada was my wake-up call to discrimination.

Lladaneyah Gayle is the co-founder of the Black Youth Empowerment program in the WindsorEssex community

Even as I was excluded, I tried to remain true to myself and exist in the best way I knew how. As the months went by, I felt challenged to be the best version of myself. I co-founded the Black Youth Empowerment program in the Windsor-Essex, Ont., community to raise awareness and help youth to overcome racism through experiential learning, capacity building and leadership development. The program was a seed grant with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, under the Youth Opportunities Fund.

I see myself as an ambassador for change, especially since I have lived experience as a Black person. I no longer want to be told that I am being too dramatic when I’m excluded because I’m Black. I belong. I am special. Through resilience and education, I have learned to use my challenges as a motivation to help myself and others excel. Last year, I attended The Salvation Army’s Newport Adventure Camp near Huntsville, Ont. Being at camp changed my life. I learned many life lessons and

met people who had a positive impact on me. My experience at camp affirmed the calling of God in my life. After returning home I made the commitment to God by being baptized at my local church. I am comforted that by my Godgiven abilities and talents, I will grow and bloom where I’m planted. I will continue to live my purpose to educate and bring awareness to help others excel so we all can shine bright with our different colours in God’s beautiful garden.



have been a member of Montreal Citadel since moving from Haiti to Montreal in 2010. I am also a member of the band, where I play trombone and, upon request, euphonium, teach five students, and sometimes sing in the choir. My wife and oldest daughter enjoy playing their timbrels, sometimes with the band. Montreal Citadel has always been an enjoyable place for us. The people there are like family. My major challenge has been learning English, since my first official language is French. The band helped me because I could practise with friends and fellow band members. I am fortunate in this respect. Others in the community have difficulty accessing services because of linguistic barriers and lack of information in their first language. I remember facing those challenges when I first came to Montreal. I had very few interactions with Englishspeaking people. Yet, being able to interact in the official languages is something we need in order to feel fully accepted in the integration process. This requires patience and courage. Even my daughter will say, “Hey, Dad, we have to work on your pronunciation!” But the rich diversity including languages in this country and within The Salvation Army has been very encouraging. My family has been blessed with our life in Canada. While we live in a challenging context exacerbated by COVID-19, we need to focus on the message that we are all created with the same human dignity.

We can’t change the colour of our skin, but we can change how we interact with people. We can change our mindset and help people feel accepted. We can continue offering opportunities for open dialogue and conversation in our community and the wider society, and networking opportunities for young people.

“While we live in a challenging context, exacerbated by COVID-19, we need to focus on the message that we are all made in the image of God, created with human dignity.” —Mulry Mondélice This message extends to the broader context of human rights in our society. People want to be valued and respected. This is about how we deal with people, how they participate in church activities, how they partake in decision-making processes and how they participate in governance at all levels. The church can lead by example, not just in the way we treat ethnic minorities, but also Indigenous people and those with disabilities. We must show them love, respect their

“The rich diversity in this country and within The Salvation Army has been very encouraging,” says Mulry Mondélice

dignity and continue to promote social justice not only through our actions but also partnership and advocacy at local, national and international levels. I hope this captivating feature in Salvationist, along with important steps taken by the International Social Justice Commission, encourages more senior and youth leaders to foster an open dialogue on anti-racism, diversity and the future of The Salvation Army in a challenging world. This would promote diverse cultural expressions and foster participation in a stronger faith-based organization. Salvationist  October 2020  11



was born in the Philippines and came to Canada with my family in 1967 when I was five years old. My father was Chinese and my mother Filipino. A British family sponsored us to live in Brampton, Ont., before we moved to Toronto’s Parkdale and the Junction neighbourhoods, and eventually settled in Mississauga, Ont. My two brothers and I had a normal upbringing. We went to school and had part-time jobs. The atmosphere we grew up in was very multicultural: a lot of Ukrainians and Italians, some British people, a few Black and Asian people. Growing up, I wasn’t a Christian, so my mind and heart weren’t focused on the church’s view of racism. I just saw humanity and figured we were all equal. We were the minorities, but there was a lot of diversity. I didn’t feel racism of any kind. Since then, my wife and children have pointed out that they have noticed racism directed towards me. I tend to not pay attention to this and instead, will make jokes to put people at ease right away. I tend to not notice racial insensitivities. It’s just my personality to always look at the sunny side of things. That changed when I moved to Richmond, B.C. From the start, people would look at me and say, “Oh, you’re one of them.” You’d hear the stereotypes about “awful Chinese drivers.” Many people were shocked to discover that my wife, Major Kathie Chiu, is a tall blonde Irish-British woman. There was a stigma towards Asian Canadians, and it was sad to feel this discrimination. My wife and I have been Salvation Army officers for 28 years, but I really started identifying with my culture when I first attended the church. When I took the Army’s soldiership class, I was very aware that the Army was founded in 19th-century England, a white colonial culture. I stood out as an Asian person, which wasn’t always a bad thing. It emphasized my culture and made it important, since at that time there were few Asian officers. My wife and I were asked if we would consider doing Chinese ministry when we were in our first appointment in Yorkton, Sask. We went to conversation classes at 12  October 2020  Salvationist

night to learn Cantonese and Kathie studied Mandarin. In the end, my wife spoke better Chinese than I did! We did Chinese ministry in Vancouver in 1994 for three years. We did feel more at home here as there were a few other mixed couples with mixed children and there were so many Chinese people there. A difficulty I did encounter was Chinese people who pointed out I wasn’t full Chinese and, because I am mixed, it made it more difficult to minister to them. It was also

“The key to combatting racism is action. That starts with good communication and reaching out.” —Major Ed Chiu difficult to get the white members of the corps to make accommodation for the new Chinese members we were reaching out to. It wasn’t something we defined as racism, just a lack of sensitivity or ignorance about Chinese culture and the needs of new Canadians. When we moved to Richmond in 2014, although it was a white corps, it had a Chinese ministry with people hired specifically

to do the Chinese ministry. I became a little more involved with it and we have tried to create more unity. However, it has not been easy. Now our congregation reflects the community, with about only 25 percent white people. Working with the Chinese community was challenging, but gratifying, because I felt that I was reaching my own people. The key to combatting racism is action. That starts with good communication and reaching out. The Army could still use more Chinese literature in Canada. I still have to call Hong Kong for materials and literature, and even their resources are limited. The most amazing experience of my officership was celebrating the Army’s 150th anniversary at the international Boundless Congress in England. It was amazing to see Salvationists representing more than 130 countries where The Salvation Army is present. It would be great to see some of that diversity make its way more into the Canada and Bermuda Territory. We could use more cultural representation, especially in leadership. At our core, my wife and I are just like everybody else. We are created in the image of God. We are no more or less special because of our cultural backgrounds. 1 Samuel 16:7 reads, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” May we learn to look at each other with the eyes of God.

Mjrs Ed and Kathie Chiu celebrate their son’s wedding



am a Salvationist who lives in the K’alii Aksim Lisims in northwestern British Columbia in the Nisga’a Nation. After signing the Nisga’a treaty, we’ve been in self-government for 20 years. With this agreement, we have an opportunity to better the way our people live. Rather than having to go through the Canadian provincial government, we now go through our own Nisga’a government. I watched my father and other leaders in our nation work for this treaty. Our Nisga’a teachings are clear about the responsibilities of leadership. Our cultural protocol supports and encourages our young people to be leaders. Yet, as a young man, I didn’t really see myself as a leader. I struggled as a teen and young adult to even be a follower. At times I acted as a Christian leader, but often it was simply for the benefit of others. I really had no idea and not a lot of motivation to step up and really follow Christ. I certainly was not envisioning myself speaking and encouraging others to follow and lead as well. I did have an incredible encounter with God as a young adult and his transforming power worked in my life. I was certainly identifying myself as a Christ-follower. Eventually I started working at The Salvation Army’s Camp Mountainview in Houston, B.C., but still did not consider myself a leader. While I could be loud and enthusiastic around friends and family, I didn’t feel seen. My position was very much behind the scenes and most times it felt like that was where I belonged. At the time, I lacked mentors to encourage me to seek what else God had in store for me. This is when God began to grow in my heart so he could speak through me. I began to feel like I wanted to be heard. I was trying to be heard. But again, it was difficult. It was a very tough place to be. God continued to speak to me. He continued to give me his words when I would share with friends and small groups. The desire to lead began to grow in my life. I thought often of my Nisga’a ancestors and the fight they have endured to be heard. Like them, my path to leadership was not an easy road. However, I began to trust God and his plan, and when other people didn’t

seem to acknowledge me or invest in me, I knew God was enough. Slowly but surely, I began to grow in strength and wisdom. I began to find my place in leadership within my nation and within The Salvation Army. Today, I am a unit leader in Gitwinksihlkw, and have been able to speak to many Indigenous communities and to the greater Salvation Army about my experience. I still have so much to learn about leading for Christ. I still believe that I am a better follower than a leader, but maybe this is part of my calling. I can teach others how to follow Christ. Today I desire to see more young leaders within my nation and the northern region of British Columbia. It has been 20 years since we signed the Nisga’a treaty, and yet somedays I still feel that I spend too much time educating people to see Indigenous people as human. Historically, we were painted as savages and more recently as people that need to be rescued and helped. But I find my identity in Christ. I know that only Christ has rescued me. He has given me

“I believe that there is much work God wants to do in my own life and my nation,” says Damian Azak (above, left), shown during congress and commissioning events in Vancouver in 2019

a voice and many opportunities to help other Indigenous people to focus on the richness and value of our cultures and to recover the history that was lost. These are interesting times. In 2020, many people have been leading positive change, whether it’s changing the discriminatory names of sports teams or raising their voices for justice. I believe the changes happening right now could lead to an even greater reconciliation and understanding. They can help us move forward if we are willing to walk gently with each other. Seeing the changes that are happening now, anything is possible. I also know and believe that there is much work God wants to do in my own life and my nation. No longer living under the thumb of the Indian Act has been a challenge for many Nisga’a people. Sometimes we can be like the Israelites wandering in the desert. They were no longer slaves in Egypt, but they were Salvationist  October 2020  13

Damian Azak

unable to embrace their freedom. Our people may still be in the desert mentally, but we’re in the promised land now. We must be open to the possibilities. Twenty years ago, our leaders signed historic documents that can continue to improve the people if we are willing to change. Jesus himself went to be with people and to change people. He ate with people society rejected. He saw them as humans and we, as Christians, must do the same. Reconciliation is possible. I’m looking

forward to more—I know it’s not the end. My people’s creation story aligns with a biblical view—my people were placed here by K’amligiihahlhaahl or what English-speakers call God. We were taught by God to take care of each other and to take care of creation. We may come from different cultures, but we all come from the same Creator. That Creator has a Son who came to teach us how to love each other. That’s a good place to start.

All Are Equal BY CAPTAIN KIM CHAN, DIVISIONAL SECRETARY FOR BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MARITIME DIVISION and that we are all equal regardless of colour, race or creed. We were raised to value diversity and accept everyone for who God made them to be. My own experience of being singled out reminds me of my responsibility to ensure that everyone within my sphere of influence is treated fairly.

A young Cpt Kim Chan with her parents


was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, and from an early age I was immersed in The Salvation Army. Growing up in a rural area of my home province, racism was a fact of life. As the child of an inter-racial marriage, I knew far too well the impact of being treated differently because I wasn’t like the other children. Fortunately, my parents instilled pride in my sister and me for who we are, and we embraced both our Chinese and Newfoundland heritages. I had to learn how to deal with the derogatory comments and the jokes about my family almost daily, but through those experiences I gained an appreciation for people from all walks of life. My sister and I were taught to believe that all people are created in the image of God 14  October 2020  Salvationist

“As Salvationists, we believe that we are all created in the likeness of God and it is in our differences that we find our greatest strengths.”

The music of Gowans and Larrson’s tune They Shall Come From the East echoed through the arena as we were reminded of all the nationalities and races that make up our great Army. As individuals walked into the arena in their native dress, it was an emotional moment. One of our greatest blessings is the people that make up our Army. I thank God for making us as individuals who look different, think differently and see the world in different ways. I am saddened that racism is still a fact of life in our world. It hasn’t always been easy to be discriminated against because of my heritage. But today, I can say that I am blessed to be who I am. We are all the same inside; let’s continue to treat one another with value.

—Captain Kim Chan If I could convey a message to the church and to The Salvation Army, it would be to value diversity and to embrace the learning that comes from our uniqueness. As Salvationists, we believe that we are all created in the likeness of God and it is in our differences that we find our greatest strengths. We are stronger when we can appreciate a wide range of experiences and the richness of walking with others in their journeys. One of the most moving moments for me as an officer was witnessing the gathering of the nations during the 2015 Boundless Congress in London, England.

Cpt Kim Chan


A New Season Seeking transformation from the inside out, for the sake of “others” and for the kingdom.

Photo: Smileus/iStock via Getty Images Plus



fter six years in Australia, being home for the autumn season is a major highlight of our return to the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Of all the autumn months, October excites us the most. It includes turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie, but rest assured we’re not trying to compensate for six missed Thanksgiving dinners in one sitting! Beyond the Thanksgiving table, we have also missed the walks through the kaleidoscopic spread of autumn glow against the backdrop of greying skies. A brisk stroll through the neighbourhood, a walk through the local park or a weekend hike through the countryside once again fills our senses. It’s October, and the leaves are changing and falling to the ground. The iced cappuccino on a hot summer day has been replaced by a mug of warmed apple cider or hot chocolate. Instead of gathering at an outdoor campfire, we now sit beside a woodstove following an evening walk. Autumn change is in the air and somehow that seems good, even familiar and expected.

This year has been filled with unexpected change. A global pandemic created a new reality for us all and brought an unsettling change to the landscape in which we live and work. We have all faced unfamiliar and painful situations over the past months, but there have also been opportunities where we have seen some good. Reimagining the workplace, a fresh appreciation of the value of relationships, time recovered by the forced abandoning of hectic schedules, more quiet time spent in prayer and Bible reading, developing new and deeper relationships with family and neighbours, and rediscovering the richness of a family dinner. These are just some of the good things that are emerging these days. Change, even unexpected change, can bring new blessings into our lives. This autumn, the Canada and Bermuda Territory launched “Mobilize 2.0—Inspired for Mission, Positioned for Growth,” entering an intentional period of transformation for our movement. This transformation will seek to ensure that we are a mobilized Army, equipped with a vision-aligned strategy to deliver

the mission we believe God has given The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda for this decade. This transformation will lead to a consistent and shared commitment to understanding where and how we are called to deliver the mission holistically. We will review our current systems and processes to make sure they’re in line with this transformation—but this is not change for the sake of change. This is transformation from the inside out, for the sake of “others” and for the kingdom. There is an undeniable movement of God’s spirit across The Salvation Army as he raises up a vast army (see Ezekiel 37:10) for a fresh advance of his mission. This transformation season begins with an openness to the Spirit of God, inviting him to inspire and breathe a fresh wind into his Army. It is a season of Godinitiated change as it was for the Israelites when God, through the prophet Ezekiel, declared: “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 The Message). I invite all Salvationists across the territory to take a walk with me this fall, to enter this season of change and transformation with eyes wide open to see the hand of God touching the canvas of our world, our communities and our lives. Into a world where so many walk in darkness, we walk as those called by Jesus, “to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world” (Matthew 5:14 The Message). And right now, we, as a movement, will confidently declare the message of the transforming power of the gospel. With confidence and anticipation, we will walk together into this season of transformation. Guided by his word and Spirit, let us walk in love (see Ephesians 5:2), walk by faith (see 2 Corinthians 5:7) and walk with a hope that does not disappoint (see Romans 5:5).

Commissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist  October 2020  15

Returning to Our Roots It’s time to address gender equity so that every individual can fully participate in the mission of God. BY CAPTAIN KRISTEN JACKSON-DOCKERAY Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, giving me the opportunity to further explore the experience of gender within The Salvation Army as a gender equity advocate. “It is time to work together to identify and address systemic issues, so that every individual can develop to their fullest potential and serve to their greatest impact, regardless of gender,” as Commissioner Tracey wrote when announcing the creation of this new appointment.

Can you imagine this world-changing, powerful, God-sized vision with me?

Photo: Cpt Jason Dockeray

This role will seek to ensure that the leading principle of equality, which is foundational to our history, is realized in Canada and Bermuda. Specifically, the advocate for gender equity will ensure that all people, regardless of gender, are given the opportunity to fully participate in the mission to which God is calling us, both individually and corporately.


he Salvation Army is known for its rich history of gender equity. In fact, “one of the leading principles upon which the Army is based is the right of women to have the right to an equal share with men in the work of publishing salvation to the world … [women are] eligible for any office” (Orders and Regulations for Officers, 1895). We continue to espouse an egalitarian theology, and yet, the challenge of consistently acting in accordance with our history and proclaimed theology is increasingly evident. The importance of exploring gender 16  October 2020  Salvationist

equity can be highlighted by the inequitable appointment of women to senior leadership roles, particularly the lack of married women officers in positions classified as reserved appointments (such as divisional commander). Throughout my time in The Salvation Army, I have heard both men and women officers lament our lived organizational reality of inequality for women officers. Clearly, I was not the only one hearing from men and women about the experience of gender inequality in the Army. A few months ago, I received a phone call from our territorial leaders,

Women of Influence My priority in these first weeks is to listen with both intentionality and curiosity. It is my goal to hear from many different voices, including leaders and those who are serving on the front line, those with the lived experience of working within our organization and those who have been thinking about gender equity for a long time. If you are reading this, and you have a story to share (hint: you definitely have a story to share), I would love to speak with you. This is a new position for The Salvation Army in our territory. It is a needed position; one I am passionate about and was unknowingly being prepared for by God. The most important preparation I have had for this role are the many women who

influenced me as I grew up and began my leadership journey within The Salvation Army. Women who have loved me well, who have discipled me intentionally, who have celebrated with me and who are dreamers of incredible dreams. I have been a corps officer and a divisional youth secretary, all while surrounded by incredible women of influence, who have pushed me to consider what it means to be made in the image of Creator God. And not only to consider what it means to be an image-bearer, but how to live out the mission for which God has prepared me—not despite the fact that I am a woman, but because I have been perfectly made by God for his mission in the world. God has prepared me by surrounding me with people who have spoken into this journey in my life, and he has given me a vision of what a future of flourishing for The Salvation Army might look like. This vision can be found in our beginning, not just in the history of our denomination, but in the beginning of the story of humanity. In Genesis 1:27, we learn that we were created in the image

of God, both male and female. This is the hope of God. A radical hope that confronts the apathy and despair of our culture—both the culture of the world and the culture of the church. It is here, in Genesis, where we are reminded that women are not above or below men in any realm or position, but beside them. All are equal because God created us that way and because of our relationship with Christ. God-Sized Vision The Salvation Army must live this theology and reflect its truth. The Genesis narrative is an energizing vision of hope and possibility, where every officer, soldier and member is invited to take their place in the mission to which God is calling them. It is here that every person takes responsibility for gender equity as they experience the transformational power of the Spirit of God in their thinking. I imagine entirely new ways of being God’s people, of men and women using their God-given gifts to share the love of Jesus, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in their com-

munities. In this vision, The Salvation Army returns to its rootedness in gender equity, in which both men and women are utilized in the advancement of the kingdom of God. Our territorial leaders embrace this vision. “I want to see every individual developed to their fullest potential and to provide avenues of service to maximize the mission,” says Commissioner Tracey Tidd. I see The Salvation Army claiming its place in the big story of redemption, reconciliation and renewal that God is knitting together. Can you imagine this world-changing, powerful, God-sized vision with me? I really hope you can see it. If you can’t see it yet, that’s OK. But I invite you to pray against the temptation of despair and hopelessness and pray for a new vision from the God who is able to do more than we could ever dream, ask or imagine. Because this hope becoming reality is my expectation. Captain Kristen Jackson-Dockeray is the advocate for gender equity in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.

My life has completely changed. I have enough food to feed my children and I'm able to pay for their school fees. Joyce Phinifolo Farmer, Malawi

A gift guaranteed to make a world of difference.

Salvationist  October 2020  17

3. Create Musical Variety

Photo: doidam10/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Consider using instrumental selections more frequently. Instead of relegating piano, band or other special music to the offering time, integrate them as part of the service. Properly introducing each piece and displaying lyrics or visuals on your PowerPoint presentation are all ways that you can use hymns and worship songs in unique ways. 4. Get Creative

How Can I Keep From Singing? Six ways to worship without congregational music.



amed hymnwriter Robert Lowry wrote this well-known refrain: “No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?” In more recent times, Salvationist pop star Joy Webb sang, “I want to sing it, I want to shout it, I want to tell you all about it.” Singing is one of the ways we engage with the gospel message. It allows us to reaffirm and share our faith with one another. Unfortunately, in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, singing has been deemed a high-risk activity. Congregational singing may be absent from our corporate worship for the immediate future. While we hope it’s a short hiatus, for now, there are many meaningful alternatives to raising our voices in song together. It won’t be the same, but we can still awaken our spirits while allowing different expressions of worship to emerge. We can’t underestimate the importance of singing in our own homes. This is the one place where you can really let loose and have a sing-along within your family bubble. Even if you’re living alone, consider connecting with friends through live video to sing together. This is the time to use the Salvation Army song book as part of your daily 18  October 2020  Salvationist

devotions. In the 2015 edition, you’ll find that every song includes a Scripture reference. By singing the song, studying the lyrics and examining the Scripture reference, you can get personal with some of your favourite hymns. The best part? You don’t even need to be musical! With a quick internet search, you’ll likely find music videos and audio so that you can sing along. Our worship services may only have one person singing, but our worship’s effectiveness doesn’t have to decrease. Here are some suggestions for corps to help keep the music alive: 1. Reflect on the Meaning

Allow time for your congregation to reflect on the lyrics. How many times are we simply singing the words without pausing to think about their meaning? Make sure the leader explains how each song connects with the scriptural theme of the service. In doing so, you are providing a new point of connection for your congregation. 2. Sing Without Raising Your Voice

Encourage your congregation to participate in non-vocal ways. They can hum, clap their hands and tap their toes, or stand and sway to the rhythm. By helping your congregation engage all their senses, you’ll extend their appreciation for and connection with the service.

Now may be the right time to introduce new forms of artistic worship. Dance, creative movement, poetry, painting, sculpture and dramatic monologue all have a place in our worship. This is a tremendous opportunity for discovering the unused talents of members of your congregation. 5. One Voice in Faith

Singing is all about sharing our faith and actively worshipping together. Consider bringing back the testimony period. Allow people to use their singular voice to share what God has done in their life. 6. Musical Accompaniment

Use music to underscore times of prayer or Scripture reading. Piano accompaniment can help emphasize the message and interpretation of the passage, provided it is appropriately selected. The Salvation Army is uniquely equipped for music in worship, with competent musicians on every instrument from the accordion to the zither. For these musicians, now is the time to shine. Not just to make music, but to intentionally integrate our music with Scripture and teaching. Will it require better communication in planning and preparation, particularly among worship leaders and preachers? Perhaps, but really, this thoughtful integration of music and Scripture should always be part of service preparation. If it hasn’t been, now is the time for a reset. Much has been written about the decline of singing in churches. Perhaps this moment of pause is our time to reflect, reassess and renew our commitment to singing our faith. Singing hasn’t stopped. Music hasn’t disappeared. Take this time to make your singing personal, which in turn will make it more meaningful. When we all do sing in harmony once again, the sound of our worship will undoubtably be more powerful, fresh and new. Craig Lewis is the territorial secretary for music and gospel arts.

Lt-Col Brenda Murray, director of world missions, with students from The Salvation Army John Gowans Junior and Senior High School in Liberia

modation, regular, nutritious meals and a quality education. Today, Martha holds a master’s degree in social sciences and works for an NGO to empower underprivileged and physically disabled children. “I am so grateful to The Salvation Army,” she says. “They have always stood by my side.”

Raising the Girl Child Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. BY KATHY NGUYEN


hree years ago, 14-year-old Naomie could be found on the streets of Salala, a small town in Liberia, selling knick-knacks to earn money. “You will not go to school,” her stepmother said. “You’ll be earning money.” Her mother died five years earlier, and when her father remarried, Naomie’s education was halted. While her father was away for work, her stepmother forbade her to go to school, forcing her to make some income for the household through daily street vending. One day, a friend asked, “Have you ever heard of the Salvation Army John Gowans school?” Naomie visited the campus and told the staff her story, and that she wanted to go back to school. The Girl Child Around the world, 64 million girls are being forced to work—many of them entering the workforce by the age of nine. While there is a direct and proven correlation between education and the reduction of poverty, millions of girls aren’t receiving an education. Instead, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 and 2.5 million girls under 16 give birth in developing countries every year. For these reasons, the United Nations declared October 11 as International Day

of the Girl Child—a day to celebrate girls everywhere, while acknowledging the challenges they face every day. The Salvation Army recognizes the severe gender gaps around the world, which is why education for girls is a top priority in overseas projects—because of this, we have seen girls from all walks of life break barriers and take charge of their futures. Martha, Bangladesh In a small informal settlement in Gopalganj, Bangladesh, a girl named Martha grew up in a desperately impoverished household. Her father was a daily labourer and couldn’t afford for her to attend school. Like many families in this area, they were near destitute and often struggled to have food on the table. For many children living in such poverty, they are expected to enter the workforce to help sustain the family. At the age of nine, Martha was able to escape this common trajectory through The Salvation Army’s Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program. This program allowed her to attend the Integrated Children’s Centre, a boarding school for orphaned and vulnerable girls and visually impaired boys. Through sponsorship, her school fees were paid and she received free accom-

Elizabeth, Kenya In a village in Kenya, a little girl named Elizabeth was drawing near her time for marriage. Kenya has the 20th-highest number of child brides in the world—a practice sustained by tradition, gender inequality and poverty. Her father didn’t want Elizabeth to be married at such a young age, but the family was under intense financial pressure. For many families in the developing world, child marriage is seen as the only option to ease financial burdens. Despite his misgivings, marriage seemed like the only option at the time— until he found a local Salvation Army school. He told their story and Elizabeth became a recipient of sponsorship. With school fees paid for, she didn’t have to become a bride. Instead, she became a student. Today, Elizabeth is the principal for The Salvation Army Likoni School for the Blind, empowering children with albinism and visual impairments. Breaking the Cycle For decades, The Salvation Army has helped to uplift girls and amplify their voices. For many girls and successful women around the world, the Army has played an integral part in their journey. Education has given them the chance to break the cycle of poverty. With just a book and a pen, many of these girls grow up to empower others. Three years ago, Naomie was selling knick-knacks on the streets. Today, she is 17 years old and about to embark on her senior year of high school. Her story is only just beginning, but the future looks bright. Kathy Nguyen is the resource media co-ordinator in the world missions department. Salvationist  October 2020  19

NOT CALLED? Cpts Josh and Joyce Downer, who met at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg, with their children, from left, Trinity, Joel, Theo and Zoe

‘Joyce, I know it’s going to sound a little weird, but as Captain Tim was praying, I had this picture of you standing at the pulpit in an officer’s uniform.’ ” “Joyce smiled and looked at me strangely,” Daniels laughs now. “But God sees the beginning from the end.”

“Everything” That one word defines Captain Joyce Downer’s role as an officer in The Salvation Army. BY KEN RAMSTEAD


oyce Downer was certain that she wanted to be a Salvation Army officer, but to do that she would have to move from the town she loved and give up a career that she enjoyed. Matters came to a head one night as she cried out to God, “What do you want from me?” His one-word answer changed her life. Making a Better Community Downer’s home for most of her life was Goderich, Ont., on Lake Huron. “I was passionate about the place where I lived, and that was one of the reasons why I became a land-use planner,” she says. When Downer was in her mid-20s, her parents moved to the United Kingdom to care for her grandmother. Their temporary absence made her realize, “I was living out my faith through that of my parents.” Adrift, Downer wanted to attend church but wasn’t sure where to go. Her brother suggested The Salvation Army. As it happens, Downer had worked on an affordable housing project, and the Army was one of the partners. “At these meetings,” she says, “I was impressed with the Salvation Army representatives, Captains Tim and Krista Andrews.” This interaction was a spur to her attending Suncoast Citadel in Goderich. “The people I saw on Sundays were also 20  October 2020  Salvationist

Journey to Soldiership “At that point, I had no idea what an officer’s uniform was,” says Downer. But after a few more weeks of attending, she realized that officership didn’t seem outside the realm of possibility. “I was passionate about helping communities and this just felt like another way to do that,” she says, “but with the faith component added.” By Christmas 2008, Downer had become a soldier.

“I was impressed with how The Salvation Army was making the community I cared about better.” –Captain Joyce Downer

One Word Even though Downer was in uniform, she was conflicted. She was working toward her master’s degree and had a job she loved in a town she adored. An anxious Downer yelled out to God, “What do you want from me?” “Everything,” was the response she thought she heard. The Scripture that confirmed her calling was Matthew 16:25: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” In January 2009, Downer started the application process to enter the College for Officer Training and was commissioned as an officer in June 2011.

Vision in the Pew Downer had been attending Suncoast Citadel for a number of weeks when she had a fateful encounter. Downer knew Helen Daniels slightly, as the mother of a friend of her brother. “I was sitting behind Joyce, her head bowed in prayer,” Daniels recalls. “Suddenly, I had a very clear vision of her in uniform. Should I tell her about my vision? I thought. Maybe she’ll think I’m crazy! Then, just as suddenly, I felt compelled to share it with her.” “At the end of the service,” explains Downer, “Helen turned to me and said,

All-In Seeing faith lived out was what brought Captain Downer back to the church and created a willingness to serve God fully. “For me, that looked like officership because I can’t do it halfway,” Captain Downer says. “Others can live out the work that God calls them to do where they are, but for me it needed to be an all-in.” This past summer, Captain Downer, her husband, Captain Joshua, and their four children moved to Burnaby, B.C., where they are now the divisional youth secretaries for the British Columbia Division. “Here, we will have the opportunity to engage with new people and minister in new places,” she concludes.

the people actively living out their faith throughout the week, like Captains Tim and Krista,” Downer says. “I was impressed with how the Army was making the community I cared about better.”

Cdts Natalie and Brian Williams with their children, Malcolm, Joshua and Cormick

Already, Not Yet Beginning “The Work” as Salvation Army cadets.



he first time I attended Bible college, we wrestled with the already/ not yet tension in Scripture, particularly as it applies to the fulfilment of messianic prophecies. On the one hand, the kingdom of God is already here, inaugurated by the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus. We have a Messiah who is real and present in our lives. But the kingdom is not yet fully here, and brokenness persists. This is the tension we all live in as followers of Jesus. It’s a useful paradigm as I attempt to make sense of my own brokenness and the largeness of God’s grace, while also working out what a changed life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, looks like. And it helps

A family hike last Thanksgiving, shortly after Officership Infomation Weekend

as I contemplate our new home for the next 22 months. We have arrived at The Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training in Winnipeg. We were sent off with the blessing of our spiritual family at Cascade Community Church in Abbotsford, B.C., not to mention countless officers who have affirmed our calling to what is reverently referred to as “The Work.” We drove across three provinces with another young family from British Columbia, who now live directly above us in the condos that serve as dormitories, and the kids have become fast friends. We are more than halfway unpacked. Our ’67 Econoline van is parked behind a barn an hour outside of the city, and we have been assigned a minivan. We officially hold the rank of “cadet.” We have arrived. Everything is real and present. All the things we had been looking forward to with such great anticipation are beginning to materialize. But the next season of work is just beginning. We’re sorting out what classes we’ll be taking and how they will frame our field experience. We’re still assigning dressers for the kids’ clothes, and I’m still trying to find my coffee grinder lid in the remaining boxes. We’re making dinner schedules and figuring out what Sabbath looks like in this season. We’re making space on the bookshelves and dropping uniforms off

at the tailor. I’m breaking in new shoes, trying to think of a way to keep track of my ever-changing email password, and I keep forgetting to order a keyboard for the pink iPad I intend to use for classes. That’s life, isn’t it? We arrive at the next thing, only to realize that we are still arriving. We are still a work in progress. I assumed the rank of “cadet” upon my arrival here, but it’s such an “already/not yet” title. The work that God is going to do in our family through our experience here is only beginning. Being a cadet is about learning and growing and becoming. It’s about diving into an experience designed to bring you face-to-face with what God is asking you to become. Good thing I’ve had lots of practice making peace with that tension. So, we will continue to work out our faith with fear and trembling, with confidence in the vast, unending grace we know we must lean on in the moments when we are overwhelmed, and all five members of our family have dissolved into tears and screams of frustration. We will lean on that grace when we are exhausted beyond belief, but the house isn’t unpacked yet and we feel like it should be. We will depend on that grace that covers all our sins as we muddle through the first month, no doubt finding that we come up against things that make us question whether or not we are up to the task of being “Cadet Natalie” and “Cadet Brian.” But we will also hold tightly to what God has spoken over us, what his Spirit has declared through his people and in our own hearts: that he has called us to this ministry, that this identity is ours. We will stumble forward without shame into the already/not yet kingdom. We will declare it with our Sabbath, with our voices, with our studies, with our writings, with our service. We will walk forward, confident in the power that we have been given for this task: a power that is so much greater than our own. Grace and power. What has already been accomplished, and what we must fight for. Already, not yet. You can follow Cadet Natalie’s journey at Cadet Natalie Williams is a member of the Messengers of Reconciliation Session. Salvationist  October 2020  21


In All Circumstances Giving thanks while facing hardship is a spiritual practice. BY DARRYN OLDFORD

doesn’t mean ignoring the bad; it means not ignoring the good. As someone who has battled depression and anxiety, I’ve learned a lot about resilience. Resilience doesn’t mean you don’t feel sad or fearful, but that you continue to do what needs to be done despite those feelings. It is a learned skill that only develops with time, practise and mindful awareness. The Bible is filled with stories of resilience, from the Jewish people leaving Egypt with Pharaoh’s army at their back, to Daniel continuing to pray regardless

Photo: fstop123/E+ via Getty Images

There is always something for which to be thankful ... It doesn’t mean ignoring the bad; it means not ignoring the good.


o say this year has been challenging is an understatement. There are, of course, the normal stressors of life. Bills need to be paid. Deadlines at work seem to pop out of nowhere. The polar ice caps continue to melt at an alarmingly high rate. All of this is stressful enough by itself, but now it is set against a backdrop of a global pandemic. I suspect 2020 will be known for years to come as the time when we collectively noticed our hair thinning from worry. Despite this, life continues, and we are expected to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s been hard to get into a thankful mindset when it seems the world is falling apart. Many of us, myself included, know people who have been sick or died from COVID-19. As social distancing and isolation have become the norm, a lot of people have lost their jobs and face eviction. In Toronto, as in many places, it is expected that you wear a mask while in indoor public spaces and enclosed common areas. Everywhere you look there are reminders that we are living during a pandemic. As Thanksgiving approaches, there is every likelihood that friends and family may not be able to get together to share a meal, especially if someone is medically 22  October 2020  Salvationist

vulnerable. In summary, the world is a pretty dark place right now. It isn’t unreasonable to have difficulty finding things for which to be thankful. If you find yourself consumed with worry or feelings of dread, to the point where it impacts your life and ability to function, please seek out counselling and other mental health resources in your community. Being grateful is not the same thing as being joyful, but both are needed to be thankful. To me, gratitude is the absence of something, while joy is the presence of something. For instance, I’m grateful when I can eat and not feel the pangs of hunger. I’m joyful when the food in front of me is a cinnamon bun with cream cheese frosting. I’m thankful when I’m offered a cinnamon bun when I’m hungry. Similarly, you may be grateful that you aren’t lonely because you have friends, joyful because these friends bring laughter and fun into your life and thankful that your friends bring levity into your life when things look dark. While it’s often easier to feel gratitude than joy in life, especially when times are hard, there is always something for which to be thankful if you look for it. It

of religious persecution, to Esther facing death and deciding to speak out for her people. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” While it’s easy to give thanks when life is going our way, giving thanks while facing hardship is a spiritual practice that takes work. We can give thanks for the smallest things we might not usually even notice. One practice I’ve found helpful is writing down one positive thing that happens to me every day. It could be something small, such as there was a storm and my power stayed on, or something big, like I got a promotion at work. Even on the worst days, there’s always something for which to be thankful if we look hard enough. At the same time, if you can’t find something to be thankful for during so much turmoil, give yourself some grace. This practice isn’t meant to make you feel worse, but rather to help you notice how God provides, regardless of circumstance. This Thanksgiving may be different, but try to take time to find things that deserve thanksgiving. Know that with every step of faith you take, through good times in life and bad, God is with you. That is well worth celebrating and giving thanks for. Darryn Oldford is a senior soldier in Toronto.


Make sure you talk to your kids about racial inequality. BY CAPTAIN BHREAGH ROWE


hen my oldest son was three or so, he had a Playmobil set that he just loved. It came with two police officers—one white and one Black. As parents, we never thought anything about it. We didn’t buy the toy with the intention of teaching him about different skin colours. He liked it and that was that. One day, Maverick lost one of the police officers and was upset. I asked which one was missing, and he described it in detail— black hair, a hat, sunglasses and a yellow belt—but he never once mentioned the skin colour. I was so proud. My son doesn’t see colour, I remember thinking and telling others. I was happy, and felt as though I’d done something right, since so much of what our kids grow up to believe comes from us as parents. Two years have passed, and I’ve learned just how damaging that pride can be. I’ve never talked about race with my kids. I’ve never told them about racism or injustices due to skin colour or culture. I thought I didn’t have to bring it up unless they asked, or I saw some sort of inappropriate behaviour. Why? Because my kids do not see skin colour and that’s enough, right? I was wrong. If we believe our children are colourblind, we ignore the patterns of racial inequality entrenched in our society. As a white mom, I watched my children play, carefree, while Black moms suffered anxiety about their sons growing into Black men in a culture that whitewashes its racial biases. As a white parent, I went to sleep every night knowing that I taught my boys to be respectful and love everyone, like Jesus, while I continued to participate, unknowingly, in advancing this inequality. Being prideful of my colour-blind children was wrong. So, what can we do?

our kids are living in a racially unjust society and can see that for themselves. If we try to raise them to be colour-blind, they won’t know how to talk about their experiences. Have the conversation. Talk about different skin colours. Ask if they have seen anyone treated unfairly. Encourage them to speak out against injustice. 2. We need to teach kids about their own identity. Because of this colour-

blind ideology, we forget that teaching kids about their racial identity is the right thing to do. No matter what colour our skin is, we are all made in the image and likeness of God. It’s OK to talk about our heritage, culture and tradition, I promise. In fact, both you and your kids will be better for it. It will help them learn and appreciate that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by an intentional Creator. Don’t miss out on this rich and meaningful lesson.

3. Step out of your own colourblindness as an adult. We need to learn

about the issues ourselves. Children can spot a fake a mile away; don’t let your uncomfortable conversations be ruined with a lack of knowledge. Recognize that we need to see colour and then listen and learn. Are you— either knowingly or unknowingly— teaching your kids to be racist simply because of your lack of knowledge?

In Canada, we sometimes sit back and shake our heads at what’s happening in the United States, thinking “it’s just not the same here.” Do your research. Read about the Indigenous residential schools or the Chinese head tax, to name just two. Then move past these limiting beliefs and acknowledge that we serve a brown-skinned Saviour, who humbled himself to death because of his love for the whosoever. Simply believing that statement to be true is not enough. We must also act justly. We must learn. We must acknowledge our faults and then step into the situation to “fight—fight to the very end.” Captain Bhreagh Rowe is the community ministries officer at St. Albert Church and Community Centre in Edmonton.

Photo: freshidea/

True Colours

1. We need to start getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations, no matter what age our children are.

One of the things my white privilege gives me is the luxury to avoid this conversation with my boys. However, Salvationist  October 2020  23

Illustration: VectorStory/iStock via Getty Images Plus


Be a CEO In a time of uncertainty, worry and fear, we could all use some encouragement. BY CAPTAIN LAURA VAN SCHAICK


n case you hadn’t noticed, there is a lot of negativity in our world today. Not all negativity is bad. Sometimes we need to sit in the discomfort, confront injustice and lament hardship for transformation to occur. But this doesn’t take away from the effect that negativity has on us. A 2007 study from a university in Slovakia discovered that seeing a list of negative words for a few seconds will make us feel anxious and depressed. The more these words are viewed, the more disruptive the response, affecting appetite, sleep and the ability to experience long-term happiness. A similar study in 1995 found that fear-provoking words, such as poverty, illness and death, stimulate the brain in negative ways and can affect its ability to make important decisions. This is the reality we have been living in for a long time. Whenever we turn on the news, scroll through our social media feeds or open our email, we are inundated with negativity and crisis. And because of it, each one of us is fighting a battle with negativity that slowly robs us of our ability to respond in meaningful ways to the hurt around us. 24  October 2020  Salvationist

In Living With God’s Courage, a Bible study based on Sarah Young’s bestselling book Jesus Calling, Karen Lee-Thorp points out that “those in the media make their money by getting our attention—and they get our attention by reporting news

Encouragement is not empty flattery, passing praise or common clichés. Rather, it is meant to instil courage into the heart of an individual.

that arouses negative emotions (especially fear and anger). Over time, this constant, fear-based bombardment eats away at our courage and makes us feel helpless in a seemingly out-of-control world. This, in turn, distracts us from the situations where we can make a real difference for the good!” And we all want to make a real difference for the good, right?

The key, then, is to remember that sometimes we just need a bit of support and help to feel and do better again. We need to balance the negativity that threatens to tear us down with positive words that bring life. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that words have the power to bring life or death. Words can build up or tear down, discourage or encourage. I suggest that what the world needs right now to combat the deluge of negativity and to spur us all toward courageous action is the enlisting of CEOs: chief encouragement officers. And we can all be CEOs. CEOs recognize that the words they speak are filled with power, and they aim to speak words of hope, encouragement and life to those around them. And just as negative words have a propensity for altering the brain’s ability to enact positive change in the world, positive words can propel the motivational centres of the brain into action. To encourage literally means to impart courage. Encouragement is not empty flattery, passing praise or common clichés. Rather, it is meant to instil courage into the heart of an individual. Great encouragement provides inspiration, perseverance, confidence and excitement. It can strengthen faith, propel performance and spur one on to good works. We can encourage ourselves through positive self-talk and the reading of Scripture. We can encourage others by sending an email, a card or a note, by celebrating achievements, by reminding others of God’s promises, by sending a gift or by offering public praise. These are just a few of the many ways to offer encouragement, and Hebrews 3:13 commands us to do this daily, “so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” While sin says we don’t measure up, won’t get the job done and that we are weak, encouragement reminds us that we are strong, beloved, worthy and capable. Everyone needs courage to take action for the good, whether it is standing up for what is right, going against what is popular or reaching out to those who might reject them. Consider how you might encourage someone today, and in doing so become a CEO—a chief encouragement officer—to those around you. Captain Laura Van Schaick is the divisional secretary for women’s ministries in the Ontario Division.


The Marvels of Ministry Majors David and Brenda Allen share their thoughts on the important role of the corps officer. Mjrs David and Brenda Allen are the corps officers at North York Temple


ommissioned in 1996, Majors David and Brenda Allen have served faithfully across the Canada and Bermuda Territory in a variety of corps settings, from rural communities to urban centres, from a church plant to corps rich in Army heritage. Prior to their current appointment as the corps officers of Toronto’s North York Temple, they served for five years at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg, with Major David Allen as principal and Major Brenda Allen as director of spiritual formation. News editor Pamela Richardson asked them to share their thoughts on the important role of the corps officer and some of their fondest memories of ministry. When did you recognize the call to officership? Major David Allen: God spoke into my soul

gently and consistently, beginning in my teen years, and I often marveled at the ministry of those who lived out their calling. As the years went on, I often heard God’s still small voice, identified in Sunday meetings and articulated by others who quietly encouraged.

Major Brenda Allen: While studying in the

field of education, I felt called to teach, but in a ministry setting outside of school walls. I sensed the Lord saying, “You can teach a child to read and write, but if you teach people to know about me, they will have everything they need for life’s journey.” During my last year of university, I met David, and God opened the doors that allowed us to walk in the direction of ministry in the Army as a couple. What has been your biggest joy in serving as a corps officer? DA: There have been many joys, most

notably leading people to the throne of God’s mercy. While I don’t consider myself an evangelist, I have been overwhelmed by the power of the gospel. Lives are hungry for the food that only God can offer in his Word. What has been your biggest challenge? BA: I am surprised by the number of

church members who say, “Are you sure I am good enough?” when asked to serve. People often think ministry

must be done by “professionals” or by those who display a capacity to serve. I think a focus on talent, rather than on spiritual gifting and reliance on God, has limited the development of the less-spoken-of gifts of the Spirit, such as discernment, words of knowledge and wisdom, certain faith, and healing. The Spirit of God has anointed and equipped all Christ-followers with essential gifts that are required by the church. I pray all will sense the urgency to use their gifts for the honour of God. How has the role of a corps officer changed? BA: The spread of the Army into

ministries that do not evolve from our congregations can burden corps officers. The resulting ministry can be strained and weakened, taxing officers mentally, spiritually and physically. Perhaps it is time to let go of the things that are not essential. This would require a big step of faith but allow the Spirit’s work to flourish in new ways. DA: While much investment has been

made to further officer training and education, our true success remains in our partnership with local corps leaders. Perhaps the development of user-friendly programs that are necessary for governance and best practices would allow our volunteer members to serve with ease.

Salvationist  October 2020  25



What is one thing you learned while serving at the training college? DA: I have a richer perspective on

the breadth of ministry expressions across the territory. While we hold to common theology and philosophy, there is no single approach that fits all settings. We must be attentive to the culture of the communities in which we serve. BA: I was reminded that a little

encouragement goes a long way, not only in ministry settings but as it relates to officer colleagues. The officer role comes with many challenges and I am grateful that the Lord extends me the opportunity to be a source of his encouragement to others, whether through a kind word or a note of support.

TORONTO—During an online service, Yorkminster Citadel enrols five senior soldiers and one adherent in a physically distanced ceremony. From left, Mjr Pauline Gruer-Caulfield, CO; Emmanuel Olutokun; Abisola Olutokun; Jemmy Agosu; Irene Petersen-Gray, who led the preparation classes virtually with her husband,

Bob Gray, seen holding the flag; M.E.; Claudia Luna; and Ricardo Aguilar. “I am excited about this new level of service as a soldier in The Salvation Army,” says Abisola Olutokun. “I pray for wisdom, unlimited grace and mercy to serve according to the will of the Father.”

BELLEVILLE, ONT.—Belleville Citadel celebrates the enrolment of seven senior soldiers, one adherent and six junior soldiers and the reinstatement of one senior soldier during an outdoor physically distanced service. (Above) Front, from left, Mary Ellen Scott, Barbara Caterer and Bethany DeMarsh, senior soldiers. Middle, from left, Ann-Margaret Rideout, reinstated as a senior soldier;

Andy and Joanne Virtue, and Ted Lessels, senior soldiers. Back, from left, Donald Ward, adherent; Mjr Catherine Brown-Ratcliffe, CO; CSM Gerry Leavitt; Richard Smith, senior soldier; and Mjr Wil Brown-Ratcliffe, CO. (Below) The newly enrolled junior soldiers stand with JSS Carmen Knapp and Brad Rideout, holding the flag.

What is your fondest memory of ministry? DA: I am grateful for the times spent

training and equipping future leaders, such as when I taught theology and lectured at the College for Officer Training and led holiness conferences for cadets in Zimbabwe. BA: While serving as corps officers

in Campbell River, B.C., as a church we planned and carried out an evangelistic community event in a local park. Many came together to dream about God’s vision for the day and our corps people knew they were all part of telling the good news story of Jesus. What advice would you give to newly commissioned officers? DA: Ensure that each day you covet

time with the Lord in your “study” before entering your “office.” Remain faithful. Do your best and let God do the rest. BA: I would remind new officers that

while the “urgent” things of the day are important, it has been the voice of God that has sustained me during the most difficult moments of ministry. Dwelling in the presence of Jesus and in his Word bring freedom and joy.

26  October 2020  Salvationist


TRIBUTES ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—A lifelong Salvationist, Emma Isobel Brown passed peacefully away at the age of 88 at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home. As a soldier of St. John’s Temple during her long life, Emma participated in many corps activities, including corps cadets, girl guides and songsters, in which she sang for nearly 40 years. Emma earned a bachelor of arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a diploma in library science from the University of Toronto. She subsequently worked as a librarian at Memorial for 20 years. Emma was a woman of deep faith and was known as a Salvationist to everyone she worked with, as well as to many of the other residents of her final home. She will be fondly remembered by brother, Allan (Vivian); sister, Ada (Gordon) Moyles; sister-in-law, Barbara (Chesley) Brown; and many other relatives and friends. WHITE ROCK, B.C.—Major Rayfield Boutcher was born in St. John’s, N.L., in 1937, to Salvation Army officer parents and grew up in several towns throughout Newfoundland. He met and married Gloria (Osmond) in St. John’s before moving to Toronto. Together with their four children, they entered the College for Officer Training in Toronto as part of the Victorious Session and were commissioned in 1971. Following one corps appointment in Grande Prairie, Alta., Ray and Gloria served in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, with Ray’s ministry focusing in hospital administration and long-term care. Ray and Gloria retired from their final appointment at Victoria Sunset Lodge in October 2002 and settled in the White Rock area. Ray will be remembered for his devotion to his Lord, a love for playing the piano and organ, and contributing to worship in corps life with that gift. Ray was a longtime Rotarian and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Predeceased by his parents, Brigadiers Arthur and Mabel Boutcher, Ray is remembered and honoured by his wife of 62 years, Gloria; children Major Glenda (Ian) McKenzie, Beverley (Robert) Foreman, Major Darlene (Andrew) Morgan and Dr. Paul (Lynne) Boutcher; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. COBOURG, ONT.—Bernard Maxwell Gray was promoted to glory at the age of 93, just weeks before his 75th wedding anniversary with his devoted wife and life partner, Kate (Kitty). His parents, Arthur and Edith Gray, joined The Salvation Army with their seven children, Art, Dorothy, Fred, Reg, Wallace, George and Bernard, in the hardscrabble years of the Great Depression. Bernie and four of his brothers owned and operated several locations of Gray’s Hardware in Toronto, East York and Scarborough. A Salvation Army bandsman for more than 70 years, Bernie enthusiastically helped organize Red Shield campaigns and kettle drives and played in Army bands at Toronto’s Riverdale Corps and Scarborough Citadel with other members of his close-knit family, in Clearwater, Florida, and in Bracebridge and Georgina, Ont. He also played with the Army’s Heritage Band in Ontario and the United Kingdom. A man of strong faith and abiding gratitude, Bernie was the cherished father of Carol Gray, Dianne Gray-Thompson (Tom Thompson), Kathleen Gray and David Gray (Elaine).


2019 Accredited Ministry Units Bethany Hope Centre (ONT) With Distinction

Boundless Vancouver (BC) With Commendation

Buchanan Lodge (BC) With Distinction

Moncton CJS and Greenfield House (MAR) Comox Valley Community Church (BC) With Distinction

Community Services Calgary (ABNT) With Commendation

Crossroads Residential Services (PRA) With Distinction

Glenbrook Lodge (NL) With Commendation

Lakeview Manor (MAR) With Commendation

London Village (ONT) With Commendation

Meighen Health Centre (ONT) With Commendation

Prince George Community Services (BC) With Commendation

Sunset Lodge (BC)

With Commendation

Toronto Housing and Homeless Supports (ONT) With Distinction

Vancouver Harbour Light (BC) With Distinction

Victoria ARC (BC) Waterston Centre (PRA) With Commendation

William Booth Special Care Home (PRA) With Distinction

Windsor Community Services (ONT) With Distinction

Winnipeg Centre of Hope (PRA) With Commendation

The Territorial Social Services Department celebrates these ministry units for meeting and exceeding organizational standards of mission delivery



INTERNATIONAL Appointments: Dec 1—Lt-Cols David/Elsa Oalang, TC/TPWM, The Philippines Tty, with rank of col; Lt-Cols Rodolfo/Josalie Salcedo, CS/TSWM, The Philippines Tty

Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd: Oct 3-4 Officership Information Weekend (virtual); Oct 7 National Advisory Board executive council meeting (virtual)*; Oct 8 Territorial Executive Conference (virtual); Oct 13 U.S.A. Commissioners’ Conference (virtual); Oct 15 official opening of Ches Penny Centre, St. John’s, N.L. (pending travel restrictions); Oct 29 EFC President’s Day (virtual)* (*Commissioner Floyd Tidd only) Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill: Oct 3-4 Officership Information Weekend (virtual); Oct 16-17 Booth UC board of trustees meeting (virtual)**; Oct 25-26 In-Sunday and lecture, CFOT (virtual) (**Colonel Edward Hill only)

TERRITORIAL Appointment: Mjr Michael LeBlanc, assistant director, The Salvation Army Archives Canada and Bermuda Tty, THQ Promoted to glory: Mjr Dolores Fame, Jul 20; Mjr Winnifred Burt, Aug 5

Salvationist  October 2020  27


Accepted for Training Messengers of Reconciliation (2020-2022) College for Officer Training, Winnipeg Janelle Colbourne Chatham-Kent Ministries, Ontario Division After truly surrendering my life to God and his will for my life, he revealed his plan of officership. I am thankful for the people who have supported me and walked with me to this point in my life. The Lord is faithful, and I look forward to seeing how God will continue to work in my life as I start my journey as an officer. Kerrin Fraser Powell River, British Columbia Division I have felt called to ministry from a young age. While I didn’t always attend The Salvation Army, I married into an Army family. Tim and I started going to Grande Prairie Community Church, Alta., and I was enrolled as a senior soldier. When we moved home to Powell River, B.C., we attended the corps there, and I am grateful for our family, friends and corps officers who have walked alongside, guided and supported us to where we are today. Officership is a call to more than who you are as a Christian. It is an opportunity to serve the lost and hurting, and to share the love of Jesus in the communities where we are appointed. Tim Fraser Powell River, British Columbia Division Becoming an officer has been a call on my life for quite some time, but it was during our time in Grande Prairie, Alta., that Majors Daniel and Glenda Roode, then our corps officers, challenged us to consider officership. When my wife, Kerrin, and I went to an Officership Information Weekend in 2014, God clearly told me, “Not yet.” I felt as if I was waiting for a green light so I could follow his path, but God knew that it wasn’t time and that we were needed back home in British Columbia. A year later, Kerrin’s father passed away and we understood why we had needed to wait. It’s now five years later, and it’s time. The light is green, and I am ready and willing to start this journey. Jessica Hoeft Trail, British Columbia Division God has been calling me to officership in various ways throughout my life, but I was opposed to this prospect. Over time and through various people and opportunities, the Lord broke down the barriers I had erected in my defiance and opened my heart to see his Spirit leading me. I commit fully to the calling of God to be his hands and feet in the world and to bring his grace and love into the lives I will have the pleasure of journeying alongside as an officer.

28  October 2020  Salvationist

Nathanael Hoeft Trail, British Columbia Division I discovered my call to officership while spending my teens and early adulthood in Winnipeg, where the College for Officer Training is located. This helped me grow in my understanding of what it means to be an officer and how desperately they are needed. I also saw that those coming into the CFOT were normal people and not superheroes. In staying connected with them through the years, I have seen that God uses those called to him to do amazing things. To me, officership is a vocational calling to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (see Michah 6:8). Julia Marshall Halifax Citadel Community Church, Maritime Division Officership is a privilege that not all are able to pursue. I am blessed to have the opportunity to pursue full-time ministry and I thank God for his provision. Several officers have poured into my life since childhood and I am grateful for the example of Christ’s love they have shown me. I continue to carry the influence of my grandmother, Major Ruby Gullage, in all ministry I do. Zachary Marshall Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg, Prairie Division When I first accepted the gift of salvation, I felt a call to officership. Years later, I understood that the Holy Spirit was nudging me closer to the reality of what it means to live in full surrender to the will of God. Being a Salvation Army officer means that I am tasked with extending the kingdom of God here on earth and charged to clothe the naked, feed the poor and be a voice for the voiceless. Dunia Molinar Fehr Yorkwoods Community Church, Toronto, Ontario Division My time at the College for Officer Training will give me the academic preparation I need to be an officer. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what has always been my desire, to serve God and others using the gifts and skills he has given me. The Salvation Army has plenty of doors that God can open to accomplish his plans. Being an officer means surrendering my life to God to spread the gospel and make disciples as he commanded.


Pamela Poirier Cascade Community Church, Abbotsford, British Columbia Division I love The Salvation Army and expect that by going to the College for Officer Training I will learn how to effectively engage in the mission of God. I’m entering officership for the purpose of serving and reaching the least and the lost. Tamara Randlesome Renew Church, West Kelowna, British Columbia Division My call to officership has been a journey of God using different people and seasons in my life to reveal what has always been there. It was after a time of utter brokenness when God started to call me out of my comfort zone and into the call he has placed on my life. With God leading, he used my corps, my family and the prayer room at my former church to bring his will to light. Joshua Rideout Park Street Citadel, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador Division I see the College for Officer Training as a community of intelligent and empowered people who love Jesus and who will encourage and teach me to effectively share the gospel message. Officership is a unique calling that provides the privilege of embodying the church in practical ways to restore hope and justice, and to ultimately build the kingdom of God on earth. Matthew Rideout Pathway Community Church, Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador Division God has worked through many people and situations to help me hear his call on my life to be an officer. What helped make it very clear was when I attended a leadership conference in the then Ontario Great Lakes Division. The divisional youth secretary, without speaking a word, gave me an application for an Officership Information Weekend. One week after the leadership conference, I attended a youth event during which the guest officer, who had also spoken at the leadership conference, said specifically that more than 30 people in attendance would become officers. The call for me was clear. I knew what God was saying. Justin Russell Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg, Prairie Division Ever since the age of 12, I have felt God calling me to serve him as a Salvation Army officer. There have been many people who have helped me along my journey and inspired me in a significant way, including my parents, my former corps officers in Fredericton and Winnipeg, and former divisional youth secretaries. Scotian Glen Camp, in the Maritime Division, is where my relationship with Christ really grew and took shape into where I am today.

Kaitlin Russell Heritage Park Temple, Winnipeg, Prairie Division I am a first-generation Salvationist who joined The Salvation Army at the age of 13. Before going to university, I had an experience that was comparable to Jacob wrestling with God. I sensed God telling me that I should consider officership, but I did not understand what that meant, so I fought against it. I remember my parents dropping me off at Booth University College in Winnipeg, a whole province away from my home in Orillia, Ont., and I wondered why I had chosen to move there. I quickly learned that officers trained in Winnipeg and realized I was in that city for more than a degree. Within weeks, I had a significant God experience at a worship night hosted by the college, and I knew that God was calling me to officership. Brian Williams Cascade Community Church, Abbotsford, British Columbia Division When I was a contrary teenager at Cedarbrae Community Church in Toronto, my corps officer at the time, Lt-Colonel Boyde Goulding, said I was “sure to be an officer one day.” I worked at Jackson’s Point Camp in Ontario for seven summers because I believed in the ministry there, but ignored the voice inside telling me that I was being called to vocational ministry. I pursued a career in the trades, but I was miserable and asked God, “Why can’t I just work at camp for the rest of my life?” He answered that my calling was to win souls for the kingdom, not weld conveyor belts together. I took a leap of faith into full-time ministry and God helped me to practise obedience again and again until I was ready to admit that Lt-Colonel Goulding had been right. Natalie Williams Cascade Community Church, Abbotsford, British Columbia Division I first experienced God’s call to vocational ministry when I was 14 years old. Shortly after that, I was introduced to The Salvation Army when I worked at Jackson’s Point Camp. Those three summers were deeply formative for me. Even though I was affiliated with different churches and organizations, I continued to carry the values I had picked up working with The Salvation Army as I went to Bible college, became a pastor, then worked with urban missions and Christian camping organizations for 10 years. When my husband began to acknowledge and explore his own calling to ministry, we sensed that God was calling us “back home” to join the work that God is doing in and through The Salvation Army.

Accepted for Field-Based Tailored Training Brian DeBoer Cornerstone Community Church, Mississauga, Ontario Division In seminary, I learned a lot of theology and theory for ministry—head stuff. I hope to continue learning through field-based tailored training to be able to serve God even more deeply—with my heart. I joined The Salvation Army because it prioritizes what I feel is the heart of God’s mission: saving souls, reaching the poor, and holiness. Officership will help connect my passion for the gathered body of Christ with a sense of relevance by being the hands of Jesus. Salvationist  October 2020  29


Photos: Kimberly MacDonald

I searched for the Bible that my grandmother had given me when I was young and desperately started to read it. I knew I couldn’t do life on my own anymore—I needed a Saviour to lift me out of the pit of hopelessness and despair. After a week of heartfelt prayer, I was convicted of my sin. I’d been fooling myself into believing I was a good person. I called out to Jesus to save me and felt an immediate sense of peace. A huge weight was off my shoulders. I knew that whatever came my way, I was safe in my Father’s arms. After I gave my life to Christ, everything

changed. What a relief it was as a parent— now with five children—to rest, knowing God was in charge. I didn’t need to be in constant control, all I had to do was be faithful and trust in Jesus.

The Virtue of Trust From fear to faith on the journey of parenting. BY JOANNE VIRTUE


grew up in a loving home, with

wonderful parents and an older brother and sister, in the suburbs of Toronto. God wasn’t really part of our lives. We attended church at Christmas a few times, my grandmother was a Christian and I heard a Bible message at a weekly afterschool program, but that was about it. During university, I wanted to become a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing, so I applied to work at the Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf in Parry Sound, Ont., to improve my sign language skills. One of the questions on the application form was, “Are you a Christian?” Even though I had no real understanding of who Jesus was or why he died, I didn’t hesitate to check “yes.” I thought I was a good person. At camp, I met Andy, and we got married

and settled in Acton, Ont. After our first son was born, I wanted to meet other moms with young children, so I started going to a Baby Song program at The Salvation Army’s Georgetown Community Church. Shortly after, I made my first Christian friend, and she has been such a blessing in my life.

A few weeks after our second son was born, we moved to Belleville, Ont., for Andy to start a new job. With a newborn, 30  October 2020  Salvationist

a two-year-old and a house that needed major renovations, I was exhausted and overwhelmed. We didn’t know anyone, and I soon found myself sinking. I became extremely anxious, obsessed with keeping my two boys safe. Toxic plastic in sippy cups, lead paint on toys, choking hazards—even drinking water safety kept me up at night. We lived out in the country and had a well. What was in our water? I didn’t know. I had it tested and retested. Fear took hold of my life. Then I began to worry that I wasn’t the wife Andy deserved, causing me to spiral even further. I realized that if something ever happened to my children or to my marriage, I would have nothing left—they were everything to me. This was no way to live. I needed help. Andy and I had been attending church

in Belleville—for the kids, not for us—but I started to listen to those sermons. I also joined a home-school mom group where I met more Christian families, who were profoundly different. There was an honesty and a kindness in these people, these Christians, that I just couldn’t figure out. I watched them, and their children, closely, for quite a while. God was showing me who he was through them.

In the fall of 2018, I emailed The Salvation Army’s Belleville Citadel to see if they had a youth band. My sons play piano and enjoy music, so I thought it would be fun for them to learn brass instruments. The best part is that they would be playing worship music. The bandmaster welcomed us into the group immediately and we have been participating ever since. We started by playing with the youth band for three services a year, while still attending our other church. However, after being involved in a few services, we knew we belonged at The Salvation Army. They treated us like family and were so genuine and loving that we knew this is where we belonged. It just made sense to become soldiers. I’m so thankful for a loving Father who accepted me as his child and gave me the gift of faith to trust him. I lived most of my life in fear and uncertainty and now I know there’s another way, even in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s to live in freedom.

“After I gave my life to Christ, everything changed. What a relief it was as a parent—now with five children—to rest, knowing God was in charge,” says Joanne Virtue, with her husband, Andy

What Do All of These Officers Have In Common?

They All Graduated with a Degree from Booth University College

Preparing the Army to give hope today and tomorrow Class of Booth UC, page 1 of many...


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Mission to Costa Rica


Trauma to Triumph


Standing Up to Racism


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



ONE SMALL SEED It’s hard to believe but this gigantic pumpkin came from a seed no larger than your fingernail. How did it get to be so large? Plenty of sunlight, abundant rain, fertile soil and essential nutrients. It’s the same with our faith. The Bible says that belief begins like a seed. For a relationship with God to grow and mature, it requires worship, prayer and time spent with others who believe.

Out of one small seed can come a life of possibilities. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”—Colossians 2:6-7

To learn more about growing in faith and God’s promises, visit our website, contact us at The Salvation Army Editorial Department, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto ON M4H 1P4 or visit your nearest Salvation Army church.

October 2020



COMMON GROUND 5 “Best Breakfast, Quarantined”

Even in the midst of COVID-19, laughter is still the best medicine. BEYOND BORDERS 8 “Put Us Where You Need Us”

Kirstin Dolby’s Salvation Army mission trip to Costa Rica was an experience that will stay with her forever. BETWEEN THE LINES 10 Pocket Change

Fictional Salvation Army captain saves souls in new book series. FEATURES

14 Mission to Costa Rica


Trauma to Triumph


Standing Up to Racism


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






The Sins of the Past

In Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff must come to terms with her past. Can the Avenger do so?

A Week With Major Ann

Major Jim Mercer’s time at a Salvation Army long-term care facility changed his life.

The Play Date

When it came to race relations in her town, Diane Stark’s mother was determined to right a wrong. SOMEONE CARES 26 From Trauma to Triumph

The Salvation Army helped Kate escape a family legacy of alcohol and drugs. Cover photo: Glenn van Gulik

LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin

Sudoku, Quick Quiz, Word Search. NIFTY THRIFTY


31 No Sweat(er)!

A few hand stitches and you’ve got yourself a fall-inspired craft.  I  OCTOBER 2020




Profiles in Courage


orking with Major Jim Mercer on the cover story for this month’s Faith & Friends was a revelation to me. Over the course of these past few pandemic months, I’ve read of doctors, nurses and personal support workers who have ministered to those suffering from COVID-19. What makes them do it day after day after day? I have often wondered. So I asked Major Jim why he volunteered to serve for a week at a Salvation Army long-term care facility in the midst of the pandemic. “I was naturally worried and my family was concerned, but I couldn’t give the Army any reason not to go,” he replied. “I was healthy and I was doing the ministry I was trained to do.” For me, that is the definition of courage. Diane Stark’s mother showed a similar quiet courage. When Diane was young, some newly arrived neighbours were the target of racist slogans spray painted on their front lawn. Diane’s mother did not hesitate. She gathered Diane and her sister and did something about it. Read what she did on page 22. Elsewhere in this issue of Faith & Friends, you’ll see our take on the new Black Widow movie, discover how a young woman liberated herself from a family legacy of alcohol and drugs with the help of The Salvation Army, and learn how, in the midst of COVID-19, laughter can still be the best medicine.

Ken Ramstead

4 • OCTOBER 2020  I

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






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,, Email Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131



“Best Breakfast, Quarantined” Even in the midst of COVID-19, laughter is still the best medicine.


by Jeanette Levellie

Illustrations: Dennis Jones

rom shocking sayings to shaggy hair, confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more than one case of cabin fever. It also gave us a few reasons to chuckle. The following stories show the truth in the saying: “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Layers of Plenty During the first week of working from home in late March, my writing partner, Beth, requested six onions as part of an online grocery order. When she picked up her food at the market, Beth noticed one box was very heavy. Inside, she found the largest six onions in history. “They were the size of grapefruits,” she says. “One of the grocery-order fillers must have felt generous that day!” After several months of eating recipes containing onions, Beth’s family have decided to grow their own next spring.

Seeing Things When my friend, Jennie, brought home a meal from a fast-food café, her son, Mike, stared at the saying on the side of his cup.

“Oh, man,” he said. “Even the ads on the cups mention quarantines!” Jennie glanced at the cup and read: “Best Breakfast, Guaranteed.” Mike had mistaken it for: “Best Breakfast, Quarantined.”  I  OCTOBER 2020




Embracing the Present For several years, my single-mom daughter, Marie, has shared a bedroom with her youngest, Grace. One day in late May, Grace stood two metres across the room from Marie, holding her arms wide and jiggling her fingers. “Here’s a socially correct hug, Mom,” she said. “At least she was paying attention to the rules,” Marie laughed. Silly Chipmunks When my husband, Kevin, rescued a chipmunk from being cornered by our cat, he told our grandson, Daniel, that the chipmunk looked familiar. Kevin explained that sometimes after he set the little critters free, they often turned around and came back into the path of danger. “You know you’ve been cooped up too long when you recognize the chipmunks,” Daniel said. Talking to the Animals Nathan, the young son of my friend, Diane, told his mother he’d seen a wasp in the backyard. “I had to explain social distancing to him, Mom, so he wouldn’t sting me.” It worked! That wasp kept its distance. Perhaps Nathan will be the next Dr. Doolittle!

6 • OCTOBER 2020  I

“You know you’ve been cooped up too long when you recognize the chipmunks.” DANIEL “He’s Batman!” Ernest Batman, the elderly father of a friend, always wears a Batman face-covering when he goes out in public. Kids at the local market swarm around him, telling him how much they like his mask. One day, a clerk who’s known Ernest for decades told the youngsters, “His mask isn’t fake. That man really is Batman!”

promise, Kevin argued, “We’ll have new bodies then, so why bother?” “Honey,” I replied, “the Bible doesn’t say anything about new hair. Won’t you be embarrassed to meet Jesus with a snazzy new body and shaggy hair?” Later that day, Kevin appeared, sporting a handsome haircut. “I just thought you’d want to know that it’s official: Jesus can come back now,” he said. My answer to that? I took my cue from the Book of Revelation. “Come today, Lord Jesus!” I shouted.

Shaggy and Shouting for Jesus After 73 straight days of staying home, when hairstylists were first open, I asked Kevin if he planned to get his hair cut before Jesus came back to earth. Referring to the Bible  I  OCTOBER 2020




“Put Us Where You Need Us” Our Salvation Army mission trip to Costa Rica was an experience that will stay with us forever.


by Kirstin Dolby

s the youth ministry director for The Salvation Army’s Comox Valley Ministries in British Columbia for the past four years, I've always been an advocate of mission trips. They were a part of my upbringing, and I've wanted the youth I work with to venture beyond their own borders, too, to experience other cultures and have them reflect on their faith in relation to that.

This sparked the idea for our church to launch a mission trip of our own, so I started getting the paperwork in motion. Our young team decided on Costa Rica. It took two years of planning and fundraising, but eight of us—four adults and four youth—headed by Captain Michelle Elsasser, finally arrived in Costa Rica in early March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Present at the Creation The mission team poses by the finished play area. Seated, from left, Isaias Dolby, Kirstin Dolby, Captain Michelle Elsasser, Eric Lucas, Avery Daugherty and Janna Elsasser. Standing, from left, Kevin Daugherty and Brandi Lucas

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Hectic Itinerary Our days were very long and gruelling. Most of the work we did was with two Army daycare centres in Costa Rica. We assisted the teachers, doing everything from helping in the classrooms and at naptime to playing with the kids at recess. One of the fun projects we got to do was create a new outdoor play area for the children that had been on the director’s to-do list for months. Another project we participated in was a feeding program in San Jose, where we helped prepare and hand out meals to some of the people experiencing homelessness there. We were also privileged to attend two Salvation Army church services in Concepción and San Jose, where we shared our own stories. A Forever Experience Our young team members thrived there. Being exposed to kids their own age, leaving the comforts of home and stepping into a culture that does not have the same comforts and luxuries they are used to and, most importantly, seeing the joy Costa Rican youth have in their day-to-day life, challenged the assumptions of their own faith. It was heartwarming to see the kids chat non-stop on the van ride back to our quarters about all they had accomplished in spite of language barriers, where they used the skills

they had to such great effect. This was an experience that will stay with them—and me—forever. Next Year in Costa Rica? Some might wonder whether mission trips are worth the preparation and fundraising. It’s easy enough to say, “Just send the money.” But what this experience showed me was that while Costa Rican Salvation Army members care passionately and are hard-working, there are not enough of them. For two weeks, we were able to give the staff there breaks they would not have had, to do the things they needed to do but normally could not. Tasks such as creating an office space for their visiting psychologist by clearing out a storage area might have seemed demeaning, and the Salvation Army daycare director was embarrassed to ask us if we could do this. “Put us where you need us,” we replied. Those moments were the reason we went, as well as for the connections that were made. You can’t get that by just sending a cheque. When we were at the airport preparing to embark on our flight home, we were asked if we could come back next year. I don’t know if that will be possible due to the pandemic, but now that we’ve built up these relationships and our youth have seen what can be done, my hope is that we will return, and soon.  I  OCTOBER 2020




Pocket Change Fictional Salvation Army captain saves souls in new book series. by Jeanette Levellie


hen award-winning author Marsha Hubler set out to write a teen series, she thought she was writing to change young people’s lives. Instead, her own life changed in the process. Tornado or Open Door? In her Tommi Pockets trilogy, Marsha features a Salvation Army captain as the protagonist. With her no-nonsense yet loving approach, Captain Arlene “Ar” Masters helps broken, hurting teens find meaning for their lives at her Salvation Army counselling centre. The novels, set in Ashland, Pennsylvania, during the 1950s, appeal to grown-ups as well as teens. “Adults love the books because of all the nos-

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talgia,” says Marsha. Tommi Pockets, published last year, introduces Tommi, a 13-year-old pool shark who has one goal in life—to be the first female champion pool player. But girls are not welcome in pool rooms, so Tommi disguises herself as a boy to play a male-only sport. When she takes part in a gang rumble and is arrested, the judge sentences her to counselling sessions with Captain Arlene, a Salvation Army pastor. She shows Tommi the unconditional love of Jesus, teaches her about life in the real lane, not the fast one, and encourages her gift for billiards. The second novel, Runner Shoots His Best Game, released in August, has Tommi’s fellow pool expert, Runner, caught stealing. Captain Arlene

tackles the challenge to help Runner out of his mess. Will he receive her help or go back to his old ways? The third volume of the trilogy, Double Trouble at Post 71, will feature Tommi and Runner, now both Christians. When a set of delinquent twins show up at Captain Arlene’s counselling centre, Tommi and Runner think the kids have too many problems for even God to fix. But Captain Arlene refuses to say “impossible” and asks the teens to mentor the twins. What follows is a tornado of disaster. Or could it be an open door for Fieldwork  To ensure the highest accuracy in her writing, Marsha Hubler (left) spent many hours interviewing Salvation Army Captain Jessica Duperree

growth? Readers will have to wait for the answers until late summer of 2021, the projected release date for the final volume. Why the Army? Marsha, who grew up in Ashland, chose a Salvation Army captain as her protagonist due to her parents. “My mom and dad always supported The Salvation Army,” she says. “I grew up hearing, ‘When you want to give, that’s the organization you give to, because they make sure it goes to help people.’ ” Marsha has supported the Army all her life. “I’ve always felt they deserved it because of their biblical stand and for the wise use of the funds they  I  OCTOBER 2020

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“I grew up hearing, ‘When you want to give, that’s the organization you give to, because The Salvation Army makes sure it goes to help people.’ ”  MARSHA HUBLER receive.” She admires The Salvation Army and its concern for the welfare of those in need. Many hours of research went into the writing of the Tommi Pockets series. Marsha studied the type of uniforms worn by The Salvation Army in the ’50s and the history of the Army during that time. She also interviewed Captain Jessica Duperree, who is posted to the Salvation Army church in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. “Captain Jessica told me that the church’s major ministry is, ‘Feeding physical needs and spiritual souls.’ ” says Marsha. “Captain Jessica and her husband, Captain Scott, hold youth services every week and mentor kids who need a friend, similar to how Captain Arlene mentors Tommi and Runner.” A Past to Remember “People ask me if Tommi’s character is based on my own past,” says Marsha. “I always say no, but Tommi is a compilation of the 12 teens— many troubled—whom my husband and I fostered through the years.” The author seemed destined to help

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marginalized kids. For more than 14 years, she served as a teacher and principal. Following that career, Marsha worked as a teacher/counsellor at a treatment centre for conduct-disordered youth. But she patterned Captain Arlene after her own mother, a strong woman of faith who “kept our family together,” says Marsha. “She lived her Christian beliefs and prayed for my unsaved, pool-shooting, drinking dad for 37 years. When he was 70, he finally gave his heart to God. I owe everything I am to my mother.” But Marsha also owes her skill as a billiards expert to her dad. When she was 10, her father bought a used Brunswick pool table—one of the world’s finest—and restored it. He then taught the young girl to shoot pool. “My dad could’ve gone professional if he’d wanted to,” Marsha states. She still owns the antique Brunswick and often shoots pool with friends. I Am What I Am Marsha wrote this unique trilogy to help introduce young people to God

Behind the Eight Ball Marsha owes her skill as a billiards expert to her father

and to see their lives change for the better. In the process, her own life has changed. Shortly before Tommi Pockets was released, the author heard God’s voice in her heart, telling her to give away 500 copies of the book. She took a deep breath and then agreed. “I’ll do that, Lord, if you provide the postage.” To date, Marsha has given away 274 copies of Tommi to Salvation Army churches across North America, as

well as to other organizations who work with youth. “God has already provided all I need to buy and ship the remaining 226 books,” she says. “By stepping out in faith and agreeing to give away books, I’ve really increased my trust in God’s faithfulness.” Marsha’s favourite Bible verse attests to that fact: “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

(left) Author of five books and hundreds of published articles, Jeanette Levellie and her husband make their home in Paris, Illinois. Jeanette’s hobbies include spoiling her three grandchildren, pampering her cats and inventing new ways to avoid housework. Find her splashes of hope and humour at  I  OCTOBER 2020

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The Sins of the Past



n the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, is one of the Avengers, a respected voice for reason, a redoubtable ally and a fearsome foe. Adept at espionage and an expert martial artist, she is an invaluable force for good and an important part of SHIELD, Earth’s counter-terrorism agency. But it wasn’t always so. Before she joined her friends Hawkeye, Captain America and Iron Man, Black Widow was one of their deadliest enemies, responsible for countless acts of evil. “Before I worked for SHIELD,” she says, “I made a name for myself. I have a very specific skill set. I didn’t care who I used it for, or on. I got on SHIELD’s radar in a bad way.” In Black Widow, which opens in theatres next month, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) finds herself alone after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Forced to con14 • OCTOBER 2020  I

front a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past, she’s being pursued by forces that will stop at nothing to bring her down. Founding Father Natasha must deal with her history as Black Widow and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. “I’ve got red on my ledger,” she says. “I’d like to wipe it out.” The Apostle Paul would be able to relate. More than any other person except Jesus, Paul is responsible for starting Christianity. It is estimated that he travelled more than 15,000 kilometres from one end of the Roman Empire to the other in order to spread the good news about Jesus. During that 30-year journey, he was shipwrecked three times, suffered numerous beatings, was publicly stoned and was imprisoned more than five times.

In the process, Paul founded churches, converted unbelievers, and 13 of the New Testament’s 27 books claim him as a writer.

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Fateful Encounter But it wasn’t always so. Paul, or Saul, to use his Hebrew name, was once an intolerant traditionalist who persecuted the followers of the crucified Jesus. “I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today,” he told a crowd of Jews in Jerusalem. “I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as

prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished” (Acts 22:3-5). It was on the road to Damascus that Saul was hit by a light so intense that he was blinded and fell to the ground in agony (see Acts 22:7-10). A voice asked him, “Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?” “Who are you?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus of Nazareth,” the voice replied, “whom you are persecuting.” “What shall I do, Lord?” Saul asked. “Get up and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.” That encounter changed Paul forever. His sight eventually restored, he went on to become the greatest missionary of all time. Who We Are Like Natasha, Paul had to make peace with his past if he was to make anything out of his future. For Paul, his conversion had given him an entirely new outlook on life and religion. It had made him a different person. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). For Natasha, alone and isolated, it also comes down to something within herself. “At some point, we all have to choose,” she says. “To be what the world wants you to be. Or to be who you are.” That’s something we all must heed.  I  OCTOBER 2020

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Photo: Caroline Franks


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A Week With Major Ann MY SEVEN DAYS ASSISTING IN A SALVATION ARMY LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY DURING COVID-19 CHANGED MY LIFE. by Major Jim Mercer THE CALL CAME LATE ONE Friday evening this past spring from Salvation Army public-relations director Glenn van Gulik. Salvation Army long-term care facilities were dealing as best they could with the COVID-19 crisis, but the hard-working staff needed assistance. “Is there any way you can help?” Glenn asked. (left) Sacred Trust "I will never regard my calling as simply preaching on Sunday anymore," says Major Jim Mercer  I  OCTOBER 2020

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Christmas Duty Major Jim standing at a Salvation Army kettle last year with Both Chuol Gakah, a new Canadian from South Sudan. The Salvation Army's Barrhaven Church sponsored him and his family and helped them settle in their new home

He gave me a couple hours to think it over, but I didn’t really need that long. My wife and I had seen the news and read the headlines, but this was different. Now I was being asked to care for people, some with COVID-19. I was on the road the next morning. Reporting for Duty While I had visited nursing homes 18 • OCTOBER 2020  I

many times over the course of my 18 years as a Salvation Army pastor, this would be different. My experience had been purely in a church setting and I had never worked in long-term care. Arriving at the facility, a dozen of us Salvation Army pastors who had volunteered to serve spent the morning in an intensive training session. We were taught how to put on our gear, including our masks and gloves, correctly, and to discard

As a pastor, I had seen a lot and I thought I was tough, but this was different.  MAJOR JIM MERCER

them for fresh garb each time we left a room. Almost immediately, my fellow Salvation Army pastor, Lieutenant Ian Robinson, and I were assigned to the fourth floor of the facility.

those people deteriorate, and we witnessed a number of people who passed away during that time. That was very hard for me. As a pastor, I had seen a lot and I thought I was tough, but this was different.

Hard Week We were expected to be ready for work by eight o’clock in the morning, and we would leave at around seven in the evening, so we averaged 12-hour days over the week we were deployed there. We’d meet up with staff, support them and learn from them, and deliver meals to the residents, helping to feed them and give them water, coffee and tea. The facility was short-handed, and the staff were appreciative that we were there to offer support. Going from room to room, we’d encounter people at different levels of need. Some could sit up and feed themselves while others weren’t very responsive. Over the week, we saw some of

Major Ann In the days I was at the facility, I spent a fair amount of time with a retired Salvation Army officer, Major Ann Murray. The staff always referred to her as “Major Ann” and treated her with dignity, as they did all the patients. My time with her was precious. I have never met anyone who appreciated a cup of cold water as she did. She had stopped eating days before, but she was alert and looked everyone in the eye. Each time I gave her a drink, her response was, “Aww, that was good. Thank you.” She was courteous with everyone she encountered. There was one morning in particular that was very emotional for me. Major Ann was in some  I  OCTOBER 2020

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fort and asked for a nurse. Then she said, “Don’t leave me.” I responded with, “I won’t leave you, Major Ann.” I then prayed with her, quoting Psalm 23 as well. It was amazing to hear her echoing my words with, “Amen, amen, thank you, Jesus.” As the nurse came in to help, she turned to me with a thank you and said, “You should be very proud of what you are doing.” Her words of affirmation were a divine moment for me. Mixed Emotions The journey from room to room was physically and emotionally tiring for us, but we saw it as a privilege to serve.

In the Eye of the Storm Major Jim speaking with a group of volunteer workers in Dunrobin, Ont., near Ottawa, as The Salvation Army responded to a tornado in 2018

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These patients were not permitted to see anyone from the outside, so we became their family. We’d point to pictures on the wall and ask: “Is that you playing piano there?” They would nod their head and I’d respond, “Wow, you obviously love music!” Or I’d ask them the names of their children. It wasn’t a conversation in the normal sense as most could only nod and smile or say one or two words. But they were moving interludes for all that. As I left for the last time that Sunday, I intentionally went around to every room to tell them that this was my last shift. “You’re leaving?” some said. “What are we going to do now?” “The Salvation Army is going to

Food Dash Major Jim and Captain Jeff Arkell deliver food in Ottawa this spring during COVID-19

send in more people,” I’d answer. “You don’t need to worry.” I walked out of the facility with mixed emotions. Part of me wanted to stay, although I knew I had family at home, and ministry I needed to get back to. However, I knew other Salvation Army pastors would take my place. A Ministry of Presence No other experience I’ve had compares to that week. It changed my life. I will never regard my calling as simply preaching on Sunday morning anymore. I’m humbled

by the fact that I was called and I responded. The faces and the names of the residents I served, along with the amazing staff on the fourth floor, will forever be etched on my mind, especially Major Ann. It is often said in The Salvation Army that we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus on earth. My fellow Army pastors and I actually lived that out that week. We were a ministry of presence for those we looked after and for their families who depended on us, individually and as an organization. I didn’t take that trust for granted, and I never will.

(left) Major Jim Mercer is the pastor at The Salvation Army’s Barrhaven Church in Ottawa.  I  OCTOBER 2020

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Photo: sturti/ E+ via Getty Images Plus



The Play Date


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he summer before I started Grade 1, I walked into the living room and saw my mother watching the midday news on TV. I was only six, but I’d never seen that look on her face before. She looked incredibly sad, but angry at the same time. Before I could ask any questions, she said, “Get your shoes on. We’re going to visit some people.”

“Please Come In” Within minutes, Mom, my fouryear-old sister, Mandy, and I were in the car. We’d only driven a short distance when Mom pulled into the driveway of a house we’d never been to before. I saw that the front of their house and the grass were covered in spray paint, as though someone had written messages on it. I couldn’t read the words, but Mom’s face looked even madder than before. We followed Mom to the front door. When she knocked, someone yelled, “Go away. Please. Just leave us alone.” “I saw on the news what people did to your house,” Mom said, her voice cracking. “I’m here to say that I’m sorry this happened to you. I live around the corner, and I wanted to welcome you to town. And tell you that I’m sorry for the ignorance of others.” The door opened slowly. A Black woman stood there, a little boy in her arms and another standing next to her. The boys looked about the same ages as Mandy and me. “I had to come over,” Mom said. t“I hate that people did this to you.” The woman smiled and opened the door wider. “Please come in.” Games and Cookies We went inside and the lady introduced herself and her sons. Mom did the same. “Do you girls want to go play?” the lady asked Mandy and  I  OCTOBER 2020

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While race has become a complicated issue, it’s not how God intended it to be.  DIANE STARK me. “Not all of the boys’ toys are unpacked, but I’m sure you all can find something.” We looked at Mom and she nodded. The two boys led us into a bedroom filled with moving boxes. “This is our room in our new house,” the older one said. “Those boxes have toys in them.” We looked through the boxes. Mandy and I were unimpressed by their Star Wars figures and other “boy stuff.” “We’ve got games, too,” he said. The four of us played Candyland and Cootie, two of my favourites. After we’d all won at least once, the younger boy asked if we were hungry. “My mom will give us a snack,” he said. We headed for the kitchen, where Mom was sitting at the table with a glass of soda. She seemed happier and more relaxed now. The boys’ mom smiled and asked if we liked cookies. She poured us each a glass of milk to go with our snack. After we ate, we played hide-andseek. Too soon, Mom told us it was time to go home. She hugged the 24 • OCTOBER 2020  I

lady good-bye and promised to look for her at PTA meetings once school started in the fall. “Just Be Nice” When we got in the car, Mom asked if we’d had fun. “Yeah, they were different from us, but it was fun.” “Different how?” I laughed. “They were boys, Mom. We didn’t like their toys, so we just played board games, so everyone had fun.” “I’m glad you had fun. Those boys will be going to your school next year and you need to be friendly with them, no matter what anyone else says.” “I have other friends who are boys, Mom. No one will say anything.” Mom started to speak, but she seemed to change her mind. “Just be nice to them, OK?” My sister and I attended school with those boys up until graduation. They were the only Black children at our school. They were both wellliked and I never heard anyone be unkind to them. We were always friendly with one another, but we never spoke of that first play date.

day was our genders. And how easily that difference could be overcome by the simple compromise of playing board games instead of Star Wars. It makes me wish that our differences could be bridged so easily today. While race has become a complicated issue, it’s not how God intended it to be. He created all of us. We are all made in His image. And He gave us all two rules: Love Him and love each other. It might not fix everything, but loving people is always a great place to start.

Photo: comptine/

Two Rules I was in Grade 5 when I figured out why we’d actually gone to their house that day. We were studying the Civil Rights movement in school. I saw a picture of two drinking fountains with signs above them. I was infuriated that people used to treat others that way. My heart broke when I remembered the spray-painted house. I realized that people were still treating others that way. Looking back on that play date now, it makes me smile to think that the only difference I noticed that  I  OCTOBER 2020

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From Trauma to Triumph The Salvation Army helped Kate escape a family legacy of alcohol and drugs. by Michelle Boileau

Bridging the Divide  “The Salvation Army helped me find my way,” says Kate, here with her daughter


ate’s childhood and early years were filled with trauma and significant challenges: a family with a history of addiction and a mother, a crack addict, who left when Kate was 12. Addiction was a family legacy that took its toll when Kate spent her early adult years partying and abusing alcohol and drugs. “I was angry and had a bad attitude,” says Kate. “I lived in and out of transition homes and used alcohol and cocaine as coping mechanisms. When I had my daughter, I didn’t want her to endure what I did as a

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child, so I moved us away from it all.” By 19, Kate was a single parent, living on social assistance, hungry and desperate. She left her hometown and moved to Prince George, B.C., to be near an aunt who helped steer her in the right direction. “It was difficult for me to ask for help, fearing I would be judged by my mother’s reputation,” says Kate. “Then, one day, I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army’s food bank looking for help for myself and my daughter. I quickly learned their services were for everyone.”

Patience and Diversity Fast forward to today, and Kate is a happy full-time student, works multiple part-time jobs and has established a support network for her and her daughter. When it came to completing volunteer hours for college, she could think of only one place she wanted to be—The Salvation Army’s food bank, an organization and cause close to her heart.

“The Salvation Army helped me find my way,” continues Kate. “I always wanted a good life, but it was hard to see anything positive from my childhood. After I graduate, I plan to pay it forward and be a social worker.” Life is challenging and stressful, yet Kate is staying grounded, positive and, most importantly, sober. She is a firm believer that

“I lived in and out of transition homes and used alcohol and cocaine as coping mechanisms.” KATE After seeing the work the Army does from both sides of the spectrum—client and volunteer— Kate no longer feels the stigma of asking for help. “The services they offer are for everyone. Years ago, I was embarrassed to ask for their help. No one needs to be.

finding her spiritual self protected her from poor choices. She is living a positive and healthy life and enjoys spending quality time with her daughter. “The Salvation Army showed me patience and diversity,” says Kate. “That message pushed me closer to recovery, and I am OK now.”

(left) Michelle Boileau is the communications and marketing manager at The Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Burnaby, B.C.  I  OCTOBER 2020

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Eating Healthy With Erin APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS TIME 35 mins  MAKES 12 servings  SERVE WITH butter and jam

Recipe photos: Erin Stanley

Dry Mix:

250 ml (1 cup) quick oats, blended fine 250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour 15 ml (3 tsp) baking powder 150 ml (2/3 cup) brown sugar 10 ml (2 tsp) cinnamon Apple Filling:

250 ml (1 cup) apples, diced 5 ml (1 tsp) butter 2 ml (½ tsp) cinnamon 2 ml (½ tsp) brown sugar Wet Mix:

2 small eggs 2 ml (½ tsp) vanilla 60 ml (¼ cup) melted coconut oil 250 ml (1 cup) milk

1. Preheat oven to 205 C (400 F) and line a muffin tin. 2. Mix dry ingredients and set aside. 3. Fry diced apples in a pan over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. Combine with remaining filling ingredients. 4. Mix wet ingredients together in separate bowl. 5. Add wet mix to the dry and combine well. Fold in the apple filling. 6. Fill muffin tin almost to the top and sprinkle on a little oatmeal and brown sugar. 7. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Use a toothpick to prick a muffin and see that it comes out clean.

MORNING ENERGY JUICE TIME 5 mins  MAKES 2 servings  SERVE WITH eggs and toast

250 ml (1 cup) fresh beets 500 ml (2 cups) oranges, diced 30 mm (¼ in.) fresh ginger 60 ml (¼ cup) fresh carrot 2 ml (½ tsp) fresh turmeric (optional) 500 ml (2 cups) filtered water

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1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. (Optional to leave pulp in or strain if desired.)



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QUICK QUIZ 1. What is Canada’s largest national park? 2. What are baby sharks called? 3. What NBA team does Canadian Jamal Murray play for?




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Quick Quiz Answers: 1. Wood Buffalo National Park (44,807 sq. km); 2. pups; 3. the Denver Nuggets. 2



















































































No Sweat(er)! A few hand stitches and you’ve got yourself a fall-inspired craft. Here’s a super-simple DIY: upcycling a thrifted wool sweater into a small pumpkin for your autumn décor. Supplies Needed: sweater, scissors, needle and thread, scrap fabric or other material for stuffing, leather cord, green felt (optional). Step 1  Head to your local Salvation Army thrift store and find a wool sweater. Depending on your décor, go with an orange, grey or off-white one. Next, felt the sweater by washing it in hot water. Step 2  Cut one of the sleeves off. This will make the pumpkin and stem. Step 3  Turn the sleeve inside out. Knot one of the ends, then turn it outside in. Step 4  Fill the sleeve three-quarters full with the stuffing. Stitch the top closed. Step 5  Now you’re ready to create the curves of your pumpkin. Start with a stitch at the top, then stitch the bottom and pull the thread for the bumps in your pumpkin. Do this six to eight times and pull the thread tight. Adjust the vertical thread as needed, and knot the threads.

Step 6  Wrap the stem using a leather cord. Tie it at the top, then trim the remaining wool. Next, you can hide the ends of the cord in the top of the stem. Finally, use felt or an upcycled wool sweater for the leaves. And you’re done! You can make one more pumpkin using the other sleeve. 1






(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 The Salvation Army continues to provide its essential services to the vulnerable, but to ensure the safety of clients and staff, some thrift stores remain temporarily closed due to COVID-19.  I  OCTOBER 2020

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