My name is Tamara Robinson, and I am the family services co-ordinator and outreach worker for The Salvation Army in Williams Lake, B.C. My mother is a 10th-generation Salvationist and serves as the corps sergeant-major and treasurer in Williams Lake. My father and brother also attend. As I reflect on my life, there is no doubt that The Salvation Army has played a huge role in shaping who I have become.

I often hear people talk about the “big moment” when they first asked Jesus into their heart. I can't recall one moment—I grew up listening to Bible stories and always knew that Jesus loved me, died for me and that only through him will I have eternal life.

The Army has given me wonderful opportunities, everything from being junior soldier of the year, to travelling across Canada in the “World Famous” timbrel brigade, to a mission trip to South Africa. But I didn't understand the true power of Christ until I was healed of intestinal polyps when I was 10 years old.

Surgery is scary for anyone, but at 10, I was terrified! After nearly a year of excruciating pain, I was told I needed to have a portion of my small intestine removed. Major Stephen Court and Major Danielle Strickland were our corps officers at the time, then fresh out of training college. They started a prayer chain for me.

The day before my surgery, I had another X-ray. The surgeon gave us the results with a puzzled look on his face—the polyps were gone. I told him that Jesus healed me. It was then I truly understood and believed in Christ's power. I never experienced such pain again.
I didn't understand the true power of Christ until I was healed

Throughout my adolescent years, I volunteered countless hours with Army kids' programs, social services and community functions. Once out of high school, I decided to take a break to explore my career options and worked at a local retail company. My employers were a wonderful couple who have supported me for the past 10 years.

In 2009, I married my high-school sweetheart, Derek. During this time, I started to live for myself and not for Christ. While I attended church every Sunday, was still involved and still believed with great conviction, my light wasn't shining brightly. But Christ was with me, drawing me closer.

Within the last 10 years, my family suffered the loss of both of my grandmothers, an aunt and an uncle. My father was spared from two separate brain aneurisms over a span of five years, giving us more time to spend with him.

Although I plan my life meticulously, there are times when I know that I am completely lost without Christ's mercy. This is when I cry out the loudest, admitting I am powerless, and ask him to carry the burden for me. When I pray, he answers—even though it might not be the answer I was praying for. But he is always faithful.

With support from my family and employers, I enrolled in university in 2013 to pursue my passion for social services. For my final practicum, I felt the pull to come back to the Army and work with people. After graduating, I got a job with Canadian Mental Health, but felt that the Army was where I needed to be. I applied for my current position and love every day of my job. Being at the Army gives me the opportunity to share the love, grace and promise of Christ.

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