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Oct12ThuSoldiers Lionel and Lynne Cann have gone above and beyond at Bermuda’s North Street Citadel. October 12, 2017 by Ken Ramstead
I’ve held every position someone can hold without being an officer,” smiles Lionel Cann of Bermuda. “Cub scout and boy scout leader, Sunday school teacher, community care ministries, band and songsters, corps treasurer, corps administrator. I was even the emergency services co-ordinator for the Bermuda Division. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
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Lynne, Lionel’s wife, has her own stellar record of service.
“Now retired, I was the secretary and co-ordinator of community care ministries at North Street Citadel. In that capacity, I was responsible for organizing volunteers to administer community visitation and care within the hospital as well as general community support. I held that post for 25 years but I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not donned the uniform of a soldier. God put me where I needed to be.”
Fulfilling a Need
Lionel discovered The Salvation Army through his involvement with the boy scouts when he was a teen, and he became a soldier a year later.
“I heard the call; it was as simple as that,” he says. “I can’t explain why, exactly. I just know that this call had come and I responded to it.”
Through Lionel’s soldiership, God brought out a part of him he didn’t know existed. “The Salvation Army met my social and spiritual needs at the time, and being a soldier gave me the strength to become the person I feel that God needed me to be.”
As a soldier, Lionel was afforded opportunities that existed nowhere else. “I was able to join the band, and travel and train as a soldier. The opportunities within the Army were—and are—phenomenal, and fulfil my needs even today.”
“Lionel goes far beyond the call of duty—ministry at its best,” says Major Frank Pittman, divisional commander in Bermuda.
“Who I Am”
Like her husband, Lynne also discovered The Salvation Army at a young age, and whereas Lionel came to the Army via the scouts, with Lynne, it was the Salvation Army girl guides.
“There was something missing in my life,” she says, “and I did not feel I knew the Lord in the way that I wanted to. But I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.”
At first, her mother refused to allow her to join The Salvation Army as they belonged to another denomination, though she could participate in their church-related activities.
When Lynne turned 18, her mother relented. “I was her only daughter and she wanted me to be mature enough to make such an important decision on my own,” she says.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not donned the uniform of a soldier.”Wearing the uniform was just a natural part of her joining The Salvation Army. “It’s only by the grace of God that I am where I am today. I know where I’ve come from and I know who I am.”
“Lionel and Lynne are great examples of soldiership because they truly have servant hearts,” says Major Dena Hepditch, their corps officer at North Street Citadel. “They love people, and it shows in their lifestyle.”
For more than 15 years, the Canns were active in the division’s street ministry, which distributes food to those in need.
“The Canns are passionate about their faith and service,” says Major Pittman, “and have a deep compassion for the homeless.”
This past summer, Lionel transitioned to volunteer work at the corps. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” he says.
“The Canns are positive and encouraging people, and radiate Jesus to those they come in contact with,” Major Hepditch says. “They are more than willing to do whatever is requested or required of them to reach out in his name. Our Army would be blessed to have more soldiers like them.”