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Jun27TueNew lieutenants equipped and mobilized to share the gospel. June 27, 2017
On July 1, the cadets of the Joyful Intercessors Session will be commissioned and ordained as Salvation Army officers. As they prepare for a new chapter in their ministry, these 19 Salvationists share their journey to officership.
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Cadet Cathy Allen
The most important thing I learned at CFOT is that I am not too old to be an officer! I have learned to wait and rest in God, to have faith that I can do anything with God because he has gone before me and planned my future. Most importantly, I have learned that God is continually moulding and forming me into who he wants me to be. My hope for our first appointment is that we will have many opportunities to develop new relationships and build the kingdom for God’s glory.
Cadet Scott Allen
God had been calling me to officership for years, but I was not listening. Fortunately, he didn’t let go of me, and through various people in my life, books I read and a mission trip, God’s calling became clear and I responded. At CFOT, I learned that I cannot do this in my strength alone, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. In our first appointment, my hope is to embrace the community with the love of Jesus, serve the people and love our congregation wholeheartedly.
Cadet Geoff Butt
On our summer assignment in Moncton, N.B., we saw integrated mission at its finest, particularly at Greenfield House, The Salvation Army’s corrections residence. The clients were treated with kindness as they were beginning to reintegrate into society, and the corps’ involvement was restorative, caring for both the minds and souls of these men. The most important thing I learned at CFOT was how to build trusting relationships that are genuine and Christ-focused. As a new lieutenant, I look forward to getting back to the mission field and preaching the gospel for all to hear.
Cadet Dawn Butt
My calling to officership came when I was 16, and although the journey took longer than I expected, it happened when God saw that the timing was right. One of my most memorable experiences as a cadet was connecting with people in Moncton, N.B. The Army runs a breakfast program for adults, and it was a privilege to have meaningful conversations with those who came in and hear their life stories. You can’t always judge someone from their appearance—we learn that as children but sometimes forget as adults.
Cadet Chad Cole
I am a third-generation officer from a family that is heavily involved in ministry, yet I never thought that I would become an officer—I had other plans. But God showed me that there is nothing more rewarding than serving him, and I needed to do my part in his kingdom. At CFOT, I realized how much I don’t know! The courses broadened my vision and challenged concepts I held. I am now able to explore the Bible in ways I never could before. I can’t wait to serve God in full-time ministry.
Cadet Lisa Cole
My husband and I had the opportunity to go to Labrador City, N.L., for our first winter assignment. The corps officers, Lieutenants Norman and Crystal Porter, were a fantastic example of a young couple in officership. They encouraged us to ask them questions and they gave us great advice. Our second winter assignment took us to Germany, which was an amazing experience. We learned how The Salvation Army operates in another country, and how God’s love truly transcends language and cultural barriers.
Cadet Connie Cristall
I believe that God was calling me to full-time ministry long before I acknowledged him. I had been working with hard-to-house individuals in downtown Edmonton for a number of years as a non-believer when I felt that these people needed more than just housing and food; they needed hope. It was not until I moved to Kelowna, B.C., with my husband a few years later that I came to know Christ. I attended seminary and became the pastor of a church in Kelowna, but my heart was always with those beyond the church’s walls. I left that church and started working at The Salvation Army. Immediately I felt that I had finally found the place I was meant to be. My passions, ministry philosophy and calling completely lined up with the Army, and I knew that God wanted me to be an officer.
Cadet Jennifer Henson
From a young age I was captured by God’s deep love and grew up watching my parents share his love and practical help with others. This inspired me to spend my life experiencing and sharing God’s love as well. The most memorable part of my CFOT experience was all the people I met and learned from. From inmates to my sessionmates, from congregants to community members, I have seen the beautifully creative work of God in his people. We love the journey that God is taking us on and can hardly wait to begin our first appointment.
Cadet Robert Henson
My most meaningful placement was at the Ethics Centre in Winnipeg. Through Jim Read, Aimee Patterson, Sharon Jones-Ryan and the individuals who make up the social issues committee, I was inspired to work for justice and equality in our world by living my life as a committed follower of Christ. In particular, I am tremendously thankful for the introduction to Indigenous people, their beliefs and culture. I hope that I will continue to serve as an ally alongside my Indigenous neighbours so that healing can take place and we can work together to become the treaty people we were meant to be.
Cadet Daniel Kelly
I always had an idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, and becoming an officer wasn’t on my radar. God placed that calling on my heart a few times and I kept dismissing it, until he gave me a vision of myself preaching on a platform. That led me to CFOT, where my life has been transformed. Through many placements as a cadet, I have come to understand that God has called me to love people and make his kingdom known in every place I go.
Cadet Courtney Kelly
I first felt called to officership around the age of 10. That calling was confirmed when I was 16 during the Raised Up World Youth Conference in Sweden, and then reaffirmed during an evening service at my home corps in Triton, N.L. It is incredible where God can lead you if you let him. I’ve learned that when you are obedient to God, he pours out his blessings on you. As new officers, we look forward to diving into the community, meeting needs and spreading the love of Jesus.
Cadet Donna Ludlow
God spoke to me at a young age and I knew without a doubt that he was calling me to full-time ministry as an officer. I am grateful for what I have learned at each of my placements. The greatest blessing has been to see God’s love at work in each place. During the last two years of training, God has reminded me over and over again of his faithfulness. He has carried me through, giving me the right things at the right time. I feel honoured to be called to serve God, alongside my family, as an officer.
Cadet Joseph Ludlow
At CFOT, I learned the importance of community. To be surrounded by people with whom you can share your accomplishments and failures has been a great blessing. One of the most memorable experiences I had during training was welcoming refugees at the Winnipeg airport. To see the love of God put into action, and to see their faces and feel the joy along with them, will stay in my heart and mind forever. Being a Salvation Army officer is a privilege and I am excited to see God’s work being done through his people.
Cadet Dave McFadden
After 20 years in engineering, I was struggling with a lack of fulfilment in my career. I wanted to do something that would make a positive difference in the lives of others. I asked God for direction and he made it clear that officership was what he had in mind. Through our placements, we got to experience a broad range of ministries with some amazing and inspiring people. It was encouraging to see how God is working in so many different ways as people put their trust in him and bring his grace and presence to those around them.
Cadet Renée McFadden
In our placements, we ministered with excellent officers and broadened our understanding of the diverse roles we were preparing for. This included ministry with Indigenous and multicultural families, providing spiritual care in a hospital setting, building inclusive faith communities for people with disabilities, participating in an Alpha course and engaging children in camping ministry. I look forward to seeing where God is already at work among the people in our new community and how we can join them in faith and service.
Cadet Shelley Oseil
Participating in the men’s Bible study at the Waterson Centre in Regina was a moving experience for me. Seeing the men open up about themselves and who they wanted to be with God’s help was humbling and inspiring. I am grateful to those men and was touched by their honesty. I realized that being an officer isn’t just about leading, but investing in and celebrating the lives of people, wherever they are at. We have a responsibility to walk with one other and care for each other in all areas of our lives. That’s what community is all about.
Cadet Sabrina Silvey
I grew up attending The Salvation Army and knew at a young age that God was calling me to officership. I am an evangelist—I love talking about the gospel. However, I had several placements where I needed to find a way to be an evangelist without words. In these experiences, God brought me out of my comfort zone and this enabled me to grow and stretch in him. At CFOT, I learned that if we go into situations looking only through our eyes, we can feel defeated before we start the task. But if God is our vision, we will be open to seeing him work through the situations.
Cadet Johnny Valencia
Since I was a child, I had a yearning to serve the Lord. In fact, I used to play church with my siblings and cousins, and I was always the preacher. During my journey to officership, I was fortunate to have a summer assignment at Jackson’s Point Camp, Ont., where I was humbled to see a huge number of children dedicate their lives to God. CFOT has helped me to discover who I really am; though I am imperfect, I know that God can use my imperfection for his glory.
Cadet Carolina Valencia
When I was living in the United States, I met a couple of retired Salvation Army officers who introduced me to the Army and told me that I would become an officer one day. After we moved to Canada, my cousins, then Aux-Captains Fabio and Angelica Correa, invited us to attend the Army and we became senior soldiers, clearly knowing that officership was our calling since day one. I celebrate God’s grace in my life as I look back and see that it is only through him that I was able to come to Canada and train to be a Salvation Army officer.
On behalf of the College for Officer Training (CFOT) staff, it is a pleasure to present to you this year’s session, the Joyful Intercessors, who are to be ordained and commissioned as officers of The Salvation Army.
In keeping with their names, graduating sessions take upon themselves an identity of their own. What better assignment than to be commissioned with the task of ministering joy on Christ’s behalf. As C.S. Lewis has said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Hallelujah!
As we commission these Joyful Intercessors, we also give thanks to the Lord for the partnership of intercessors from across this great territory. Intercessors who have encouraged Salvationists to accept this important calling to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Intercessors who have faithfully prayed for workers to be sent into the harvest fields. Intercessors in home congregations who have represented the joy of following Jesus and helped make possible this occasion for celebration.
Most of all, we give thanks for the promises offered by God’s Son, Jesus Christ, which will faithfully accompany the lieutenants in the journey ahead. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).
Major David AllenPrincipal, CFOT