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Jul11ThuJanice and Jason Brinson felt called to officership, but something was drawing them to Yellowknife. July 11, 2019 by Ken Ramstead
"All of us are called to full-time ministry,” declares Jason Brinson, “whether you are a Salvation Army officer, an electrician or a chef. But each of us has a unique ministry and vocation.”
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Born and raised in The Salvation Army, the Brinsons became senior soldiers when they were 14. The two met at a Salvation Army youth camp and soon became inseparable.
Married in 2001, the Brinsons had carved out a life for themselves and their son. Jason was a paramedic and Janice an administrative assistant for both The Salvation Army and a local trucking company.
“We had senior leadership positions within the corps—we were running a Bible study, I was participating in services—but we soon started feeling as if something was missing in our lives, though we couldn’t put a finger on it,” says Jason.
While Jason felt a nudge to full-time ministry, Janice had reservations.
“I felt God was telling me we had to wait,” she says.
Then, about a year and a half ago, their divisional commander contacted them about a potential ministry opportunity.
“He mentioned ‘the north,’ ” smiles Janice. “We didn’t know where that meant at the time. We assumed some place in Ontario.”
About a month later, the couple were again contacted by their divisional commander, who asked them: “How do you feel about Yellowknife?”
“After we picked our jaws up off the ground, we prayed about it and realized that this was where God wanted us to go,” says Jason.
A Blessed Move
Though they were understandably nervous about packing up their lives, the move to the Northwest Territories went extremely well.
“God took care of everything,” says Janice. “We were naturally hesitant about uprooting our son, and the one thing we prayed for was that upon arriving here, God would give him one really good friend. Our first day in Yellowknife, God gave him three!”
As for the Brinsons, they’ve thrived in their new post as corps leaders. They are responsible for all aspects of the corps, which consists of about 40 people. They also form the spiritual and religious care department for the NWT Resource Centre and Bailey House.
“That said, we often find ourselves helping in other ways,” says Jason. “At times, we will assist with roles that are normally covered by other staff, such as picking up supplies from donors, helping with community and family services, serving soup in the shelter, packing food hampers and assisting with food drives.
“We are blessed,” he says. “We realize God put us here to get used to the idea of full-time ministry. And we have!”
Future in Sight
The Brinsons have recently been accepted as cadets in the Messengers of Grace Session (2019-2021), beginning their training at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg this fall. Rather than move to Winnipeg, however, the Brinsons will stay on in Yellowknife as field-based cadets.
“We are firmly convinced God is guiding our steps,” concludes Janice.