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Jun17FriCanada and Bermuda Territory welcomes 20 lieutenants and four captains. June 17, 2016
On June 25, the cadets of the Messengers of Light Session will be commissioned and ordained as Salvation Army officers, along with four auxiliary-captains. As they prepare for a new chapter in their ministry, these 24 Salvationists share their call to officership. Photos by Carson Samson.
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Watch Commissioning live online on June 25 at 7 p.m. EDT! Click here for details.
Cadet David Cole
My calling to officership started at a Salvation Army congress in Newfoundland and Labrador when I was 18. As the cadets were being ordained, I heard the words, “Someday that will be you.” I never felt like the call was time-sensitive. I knew that when the time was right, God would let me know and he did, 16 years later. My most meaningful placement was at the Houseblend ministry in Winnipeg. There I learned about the art of patience and simply spending time with people of all backgrounds and enjoying their company. Sometimes, the best ministries are outside corps buildings and programs.
Cadet Tabea Cole
Originally from Germany, I resisted answering God's call to officership because I did not have a partner to minister with. It was only after I committed myself completely to the call and accepted the possibility of doing training by myself that God provided me with a wonderful husband. As a cadet, I have found that being in social services has stretched me most and deepened my concern for the poor. I feel that God is calling me to show the love of Jesus, not just to the physically poor, but also to the poor in spirit. Appointed to Bremen Corps, Germany, Lithuania and Poland Territory.
Cadet Kath Walker
I came to the Army in my early 20s, when a neighbour invited me to church. A few weeks after my conversion, I clearly felt God calling me to be an officer. I got serious about my faith, which led me to attend the War College and later Trinity Western University. Before coming to CFOT, I worked with people facing homelessness and addiction issues. Having placements across the territory, it has been a gift to see how the Army lives out its mission in different cities, from the perspective of both corps and social ministry units. Appointed to Pembroke Community Church, Ont.
Cadet Kaitlin Adlam
I became aware of my calling to officership when I was a young child, but my journey here has taken me many places: Booth University College, Aboriginal Student Support, the University of Western Ontario, the Muslim Resource Centre and Eagles Nest. I have experienced life with amazing people from many different backgrounds. I have learned that God is not finished with me yet and there is still a journey he has intended for me. I am excited to see where he leads. Appointed to Brandon, Man.
Cadet Dwayne Goulding
I first felt the call to officership while at university, but I resisted for many years even as I became more involved with ministry in my local corps. Finally, while listening to a sermon by General John Gowans on obedience via the Internet, I surrendered to God's call upon my life. During my time at CFOT, my experience at the Winnipeg Booth Centre has reaffirmed that call to ministry. I have gained a greater appreciation for the “submerged souls” in our society and developed an affinity for their plight.
Cadet Susan Goulding
I grew up in The Salvation Army and was involved in all of the youth activities available to me. I felt God's call on my life in my early teen years. I knew I needed to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ and that I was called to do this in the Army. Jesus calls us to show love to the marginalized in our communities. It is in these situations that I am fully alive. Appointed to New World Island West (Summerford) – Circuit with Change Islands, N.L.
Cadet Curtis Metcalf
As the son of officers, I have been a part of The Sal-vation Army my entire life. My parents taught me how to love and serve God, and my desire to serve him in full-time ministry began with their teaching. The most important lesson I learned at training college is that it doesn't matter if we all have different theological perspectives or see life through different lenses as long as we agree on the big picture: God is a God who keeps his promises and Jesus Christ is Lord.
Cadet Erin Metcalf
Being at CFOT has given me the opportunity to travel to places and ministry units I never dreamed I would have the chance to see. And what I have learned over and over again is that I am blessed to be able to share the love of Jesus Christ in any context. CFOT has taught me that each new day brings with it the opportunity to seek God's face and that God faithfully equips those he has called. Appointed to Niagara Orchard Community Church, Niagara Falls, Ont.
Auxiliary-Captain Rob Hardy
I started my journey with the Lord in December 1994 when I went from jail to The Salvation Army's Turning Point program, and then to Toronto's Harbour Light program, which I completed in April 1995. In January 1995, I knelt at the altar and my life changed. From that point on I wanted to be a Salvation Army officer, and the Lord opened the door with the Army's auxiliary-captains program. After commissioning, I hope to continue to serve God as I have been. He knows me best, he knows my needs, and I trust he will show me clearly the direction he wants me to go.
Auxiliary-Captain Micheline Hardy
I came to The Salvation Army for the first time when my now-husband Rob invited me to a Sunday holiness meeting at Toronto's Harbour Light Corps in 1998. I have felt called to full-time ministry since I was eight. That call was renewed in 2008 when Rob and I discovered that the age limit for becoming an officer had been extended, opening a door I thought had closed. As I look back at my life, I see how God has been preparing me for where I am today. Appointed to Trenton Community Church, Ont. (Photo: Timothy Cheng)
Cadet Rhonda MacDonald
My husband had felt called to be an officer for years, but I did not feel that I was being called. He finally came to me one day and said it was time for him to answer the call, and I told him I would support him as a single spouse officer. It was only days after this full surrender on my part that I felt God calling me to officership as well. No one was more surprised than me, but it was clear that this was what God wanted for our lives.
Cadet Alexander MacDonald
My first winter assignment in Sydney, N.S., had a major impact on me. A young man came in late one night asking about God. Before he left, he received Christ as his Saviour and began his journey home to another city some distance away. The next day I learned this young man had been killed in a car accident only an hour later. The experience taught me a valuable lesson about the fragility of life, the fleetingness of time and the urgency of the gospel that will permeate my ministry. Appointed to Spryfield Community Church, Halifax.
Cadet Kam Robinson
I didn't grow up in a Christian home and had never gone to church. It was a miracle that I came to accept Jesus and surrender to his will. God led me to the Salvation Army corps across the street from my home where I immediately felt his love and acceptance. As my life was being transformed, God revealed that officership was the path for me. As an officer, I am most looking forward to serving others and witnessing God transform lives, as he did mine.
Cadet Ian Robinson
Through a variety of experiences at CFOT, God has helped me develop confidence in the abilities he has given me. Whatever may come, I know that God has called and equipped me for what is ahead. My hope is that wherever I get appointed, God will prepare not only our hearts, but also the hearts of our congregation. I hope that God will create out of that a community of strong believers, working together to further his kingdom. Appointed to Bracebridge Community Church, Ont.
Auxiliary-Captain Angelica Correa
In my appointment, I work with immigrants and refugees so, for me, the world looks very big and diverse. Sometimes, following Jesus' call to make disciples of all nations looks like an impossible task. But through the Army, I have the opportunity to meet people from many different religions and ethnicities. It is a humbling experience, seeing that we are not that different from one another and we can live in harmony. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to share the gospel with people from all around the world. I am blessed.
Auxiliary-Captain Fabio Correa
A man came to me recently for an appointment. When I asked him how I could help, he said, “I do not know. I am Syrian, I just got here with my wife and two children and somebody told me you could help me.” We talked for a while—he needed to talk and tell someone his frustrations. I cried with him, hugged him and listened to him. He needed many material things, and so I gave him food, vouchers and toys for his children. But what he needed most was to be heard and loved. As I enter the next stage in my ministry, I want to grow in humility, compassion and love for God and my neighbours. Appointed to Yorkminster Citadel, Toronto. (Photo: Timothy Cheng)
Cadet Tinisha Reid
While at CFOT, I had the opportunity to bring the Word to the youth of the Maritime Division at their “Be Different” youth retreat at Scotian Glen Camp. This was very meaningful for me because youth ministry has always been close to my heart. To have the opportunity to speak to 100 youth and leaders about God's love and why we should be different in this world is something I will always hold dear.
Cadet Stefan Reid
One of my most meaningful placements was in London, Ont., with Captains Jon and Tracy Savage at Westminster Park. It opened my eyes to what integrated mission is truly about. The people of that church reach out to the community in a way I have never seen before. I will cherish what I learned there for all of my officership. Appointed to Vernon, B.C.
Cadet Brad Webster
When I was on summer assignment, I had the opportunity to walk alongside a child as they gave their life to Christ. It was one of those moments where God confirmed my calling and I realized that it was not about me but all about God working through me. I will never forget that experience. As an officer, I look forward to putting into practice everything I have learned at CFOT.
Cadet Wavie Webster
I was raised in a Christian family and felt the call to become a Salvation Army officer at a young age. When I reflect on what I've learned at training college, I think of the Sunday-school chorus: “He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.” God is always changing me and I am learning more and more every day to be still and to listen to his voice. Appointed to Leamington, Ont.
Cadet Cathy Esdaille
In my placements, I have been blessed to be a part of Winnipeg's Weetamah Corps and its Friday-night café. It has given me the opportunity to serve hot meals, engage guests in conversation and show them the love of Christ. In all of my winter and summer assignments, I have met wonderful Christian people who have encouraged me and helped me grow. I know that through the challenges of ministry ahead, God will be with me all the way.
Cadet Alfred Esdaille
I attended the Army as a child, but by the time I was old enough to make my own decisions, I left to experience life on life's terms. Yet while I was away from church, there was always something missing from my life. After returning, I attended an officership information weekend at CFOT, and by the time the weekend was over, I realized that God was calling me. Being a commissioned officer is a great responsibility—one that I will honour and take very seriously. Appointed to North Vancouver, B.C.
Cadet Keith Hopkins
I was introduced to God and The Salvation Army as a child through my grandparents and parents, and knew from an early age that I was called to officership. But like Jonah, I turned away from God and went my own way. After I finally surrendered to him, I experienced a peace and joy like never before. As an officer, it is my prayer that my family and I will be obedient to God, and will love and walk alongside the people he has called us to serve.
Cadet Violet Hopkins
During my summer placement in Chatham, Ont., I had the opportunity to shadow a caseworker. The client was a young girl who was full of hurt and had tried to take her own life several times. My heart ached for her as I listened to her story. I wanted to share with her the hope that we have in Christ, a hope she could have, too. Looking forward to our first appointment, I pray that we will do what God has called us to do: “Save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity.” Appointed to Ocean Crest Community Church, Campbell River, B.C.
This month, our faith community celebrates those who have responded to God's call to spiritual leadership—a calling that is essential to the life of the Christian church and the mission of The Salvation Army. In the first Book of Timothy, pastoral leadership is referred to as “a noble task” and “an honoured profession,” as well as “a hard work” (see 1 Timothy 3:1). As fellow believers, we thank the Lord for their obedience, acknowledging the joys and challenges that await them.
The College for Officer Training (CFOT) staff commend the Messengers of Light for their commitment and endurance. For many, training has meant a return to formal studies. For others, training has coincided with raising a family. We celebrate with each cadet their completion, affirming the noble task and vocation that lies ahead.
As training principal, it is my honour to commend these individuals to our territorial commander. Over the past two years, the cadets at CFOT have engaged in a challenging training and education program, which brings with it a great reward. This season of training has given them a firm foundation to build on as they enter into their first appointments as commissioned officers.
Major David Allen