“I look back at my life and my experiences over the last 10 years and this is what God has been training me for all this time,” says Jacob (Jake) Moore, The Salvation Army’s director of community and family services in Kirkland Lake, Ont.
A Change is Coming
Moore worked as a police officer for 10 years, although he originally began his post-secondary education studying theology before transferring to police studies. As a child growing up in a low-income neighbourhood of Toronto, Moore wanted to become a police officer to help his community.
“Over the years working for the Ontario Provincial Police, I felt the call back to ministry, but I couldn’t find away out of my job; I needed to support my family,” Moore explains.
He continued to move forward in his career and began working in the major crimes section as a detective and later as a sergeant.
“I was feeling the call through times of transition, and I was praying on it,” he says. “I knew there was change coming, but I wasn’t sure how to step away.”
From Coffee Date to Interview
In early 2022, Moore was deployed to Ottawa during the trucker convoy protests, where he was swarmed by a large group of people.
“I wasn’t doing so well after that,” he says. “I was hurt from what happened to me and affected by the danger I was in. I was suffering from PTSD and had to work through that.”
Moore contacted Aux-Captain Robbie Donaldson, then director of community and family services, with whom he had worked while serving as a police officer. Moore asked if there were any positions available at The Salvation Army, not knowing that Aux-Captain Donaldson was preparing to be commissioned as a lieutenant and would soon leave his position in Kirkland Lake to become the corps officer at Temiskaming Community Church in New Liskeard, Ont.
“We had a coffee date that turned into a five-hour job interview,” smiles Moore, who started working for The Salvation Army in early July.
“What spoke to me the most about the Army is its kingdom focus,” he says. “This focus gets lost these days with so many distractions around us all the time. Everything competes for our attention. But the answer lies only in Christ and his ever-advancing kingdom.
“Because The Salvation Army is a part of that, there’s no longer anything holding us back. We’re not prevented from reaching people because they’re of a different group or political ideology. Instead, the Army meets people wherever they are, without discrimination.”
Excited for the Future
In Kirkland Lake, The Salvation Army runs a thrift store and food bank and there is an industrial kitchen where staff cook food for the meal program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. About 50 meals are prepared by the team each day, and clients can stay and eat or take the food to go. Some meals are also delivered to those who cannot travel outside their home.
“I cannot say enough about how exciting it is to be able to meet and connect with people in this ministry,” Moore says. “Real people, going through real struggles, pain and addiction who we can meet during a meal program or on the streets and in the alleys, providing for their immediate needs and then being able to speak of the hope of Jesus with them and pray for them. There’s truly no better thing.”
All of this makes The Salvation Army such a special organization to him, and it’s also what makes him thankful to be a part of it.
Moore loves his new position with the Army. “It’s a breath of fresh air being here, and it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. We’re very busy here, but I love the mission,” he says.
He adds that he feels God’s pull further into ministry and the possibility of becoming a chaplain or even an officer, and he is looking at furthering his education as well.
“How and where that will take place and when, I do not know,” Moore concludes. “I’m just excited to see what God has planned for the future.”
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