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Sep2WedA Salvation Army church in British Columbia gave Coral and her son a new home. September 2, 2015 by Ken Ramstead
To see Coral now, interacting with other worshippers at The Salvation Army's Kamloops Community Church in British Columbia, is to see a happy, fulfilled woman.
- Filed Under:
- Faith & Friends
She volunteers at the church's Friday Fun Night during the school year—where families can come together for supper and a movie with popcorn—and assists with the church's vacation Bible school during the summer.
“Jayden loves it,” she says of her five-year-old. “Before we moved here, we never did anything productive—nothing!
“Now, Sunday is our favourite day of the week. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else but at church.”
But two years ago, Coral was at a low point in her life.
“I was not in a good place,” Coral admits. “I was drinking and I felt lost. It was just me and my son, and I knew I wasn't providing a good life for my child. I also felt isolated, and the drinking only accentuated my spiritual isolation. I remember crying and praying to God, asking Him for guidance and change. I didn't know what to do or how to relieve the pain I felt.
“ 'Lord,' I prayed. 'Get me out of this. Come into my life.' ”
It was an honest prayer but, deep inside, Coral had just about given up hope.
It was then that Coral moved to Kamloops, B.C.
“I had no family there and it was far away from my home in Surrey, B.C., but I did what I needed to do.”
And, at first, the move seemed to work.
“I got my drinking under control,” Coral says.
Spiritually, though, she was adrift.
“I was more alone than I had ever been.”
Credit Where Credit's Due
As it happened, a Salvation Army church was just down the road from where she and her son had moved.
Coral had heard of The Salvation Army, but didn't know it was a church until she saw the building.
What prompted her to attend a church service?
“I still don't know how I summoned up the courage,” Coral replies. “Something just drew me there with Jayden one Sunday morning. I'd been looking for a church where I could grow my faith and, for some reason, it beckoned.”
The moment the two walked in, they were warmly greeted by the pastors, Captains Paul and Lisa Trickett, who gave Coral a copy of Faith & Friends to read later.
“I read it from cover to cover,” Coral smiles. “It helped get me up to speed on what the Army is, as well as all the good work they do.”
After that church service, Coral and her son became regulars. “I felt completely comfortable. The things that Captain Paul talked about in his
services were exactly what I needed to hear. My faith grew from week to week.”
As for Jayden, he flourished at the weekly Sunday school class, meeting new friends and learning about God.
Kamloops Community Church became a spiritual home for both of them.
“Our lives are blessed, and much more happy and fulfilled,” says Coral.
“It's people such as Coral who energize us as pastors,” says Captain Paul. “We've played a part but the credit goes to Coral. She is where she is now because of the work she has done on her own. Almost as soon as our youth co-ordinator, Crystal, put a Bible in Coral's hands, you could see a change in her.”
“This church was a game-changer for me,” Coral agrees. “God brought me to this church for a reason. It's exactly what I needed. It just fits.”