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Nov2WedTaline Polimeneas attended church last year to hear her daughter sing and she hasn't looked back November 2, 2011 by Julia Hosking
Today, no one would describe Taline Polimeneas from Toronto's Scarborough Citadel as anything but a friendly, helpful and encouraging woman who is passionate about God.
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Recalling her personality a year and a half ago, though, Polimeneas says, “I was miserable, selfish, greedy, mean and anxious. Everything was broken and I always felt empty inside. Since meeting Jesus, I'm much more calm, pleasant and peaceful. I have joy every morning when I wake up and it's beautiful.”
A Child's Heart
Polimeneas is married to Peter with two children, Chris, 14, and Cassandra, 10. It was the encouragement of her daughter last year that eventually led to Polimeneas' change of heart.
“Cassandra had been friends with Ruth Dolan from Scarborough Citadel since junior kindergarten,” explains Polimeneas. “In April 2010, Ruth invited her to Sunday school. I didn't believe in God, but for some reason, I let her go. I think because it was The Salvation Army. When I was young and in need, no social agency would help me except the Army, so I've respected them for a long time.”
Each week, Cassandra got herself up and waited at the door for Ruth and her parents. Upon returning home later that day, Cassandra shared with her mom about the wonderful Sunday school teachers and pastors. Repeatedly, Polimeneas declined invitations to go with her daughter, until Cassandra said she would be singing in church and requested her mom's attendance.
“On June 13, 2010, I went to church. When Captain Rob Kerr [corps officer] preached, I heard God talking to me and my soul felt warmed listening to the band play,” she recalls. “Every time I went to church on Sunday, I was blessed and felt good. Then, on Monday, I wouldn't anymore. So I'd go back again the next week.”
Polimeneas also started attending Bible classes that studied the books of Isaiah and Luke. Both taught her about God's love and showed her that she needed him. Then on September 21, 2010, Polimeneas' life changed.
“I said the sinner's prayer,” she says. “I left my house afterward and the first person I saw was Donna, Ruth's mom, in the school park. I asked, 'Is saying the prayer all I have to do to be a Christian?' She said, 'Yes,' and hugged me. I'll never forget that day. After I accepted Jesus into my heart, I started to feel good on Monday, Tuesday, the whole week through.”
Since the age of 12, Polimeneas struggled with depression and admits she was walking on the wrong path.
“I thought things would make me happy, but I was never satisfied. To everyone else, my family probably looked OK, but I was constantly fighting with them and didn't respect anybody,” recalls Polimeneas through tears. “Whenever I walked along the street, my head was down. I felt ashamed of my life and the things I was doing. I couldn't even look in the mirror.
“After I became a Christian, there was honestly a glow on my face. I could look back at myself in the mirror. I had wrestled with God for a long time and didn't know if I could give him all of me, but now I want to live for Jesus every day.”
Belief in Action
Two months after becoming a Christian, Polimeneas started volunteering in the corps' food bank. When staffing changes were made earlier this year, she was employed as a part-time family services worker.
“God opened the door for me to help in the food bank and I love it,” she smiles. “I enjoy working with people and seeing how God provides. The people and children are so grateful and it is an amazing blessing for me.”
In June, only one year since starting to attend church, Polimeneas took the next step in her walk with God and was enrolled as a soldier, along with six others from Scarborough Citadel.
“My husband and kids are seeing the changes God has made in my life,” continues Polimeneas. “They're seeing the good that Jesus is bringing to our home. I argue less and my depression is gone. I thank God for what he has done. I'm not perfect and never will be, but every day I'm trying harder because that's what God and my family deserve.”