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Sep14TueFrom Jamaica to Canada to officership. September 14, 2021 by Ken Ramstead
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When Krishna McFarlane was in daycare, her class had a career day, where she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up.
Young Krishna replied proudly, “I want to be a Salvation Army officer!”
She was four years old.
Finding Her Own Way
Krishna was born and raised in Jamaica, where she attended The Salvation Army.
“I came up through the Army,” Krishna says. “I was a junior soldier, a senior soldier; I joined the songsters and the band. I was involved in everything.
“Then I became a teenager and church wasn’t fun anymore.”
When the 17-year-old announced that she did not want to attend church, her Salvationist mother didn’t force matters.
“She allowed me to find my own way,” Krishna says.
A Time of Loss
Krishna grew up, met her husband and married in 2008. They had a son, Dorien, and purchased a house.
But then “life happened,” she says.
Her husband cheated on her, she lost a position she’d been promised and she experienced a miscarriage. Divorced, Krishna had to give up her house as she couldn’t afford the mortgage by herself.
“I lost my husband, my baby, my job and my house,” she says.
Krishna had tried everything humanly possible to fix the situation, and it hadn’t worked.
One day, she told her mother, “I’m looking for God, but I can’t find him.”
She replied, “He’s not lost.”
“It wasn’t God who was lost,” Krishna realized. “It was me.”
The next week, one of her sisters challenged Krishna to attend their mother’s Salvation Army church during Lent.
As she reached the entrance, something felt different.
“My focus was on the music playing. I don’t remember the song to this day,” she says. “I just remember a presence.”
Krishna ran to the mercy seat praising God.
“I can’t explain it, but people know when they’ve had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on them,” she says. “It’s not a complete unawareness, but your focus isn’t on your surroundings or the people, but on worshipping, like tunnel vision.”
Krishna’s life was never the same after that.
She remembers even then feeling called to officership, but she wasn’t ready.
Krishna immigrated to Canada in 2015—“I wanted to move away from everything bad that had happened”—and studied to be an environmental technician at Centennial College in Toronto.
“But through that,” she says, “I said I didn’t want to become an officer because I had my own dreams.”
Krishna found her way to Cedarbrae Community Church in Toronto and threw herself into the life of the church, becoming part of the praise and worship team.
“It brings me to a space with the Holy Spirit. It’s amazing,” she smiles.
Meanwhile, Krishna had graduated and was employed by a pipeline company when she attended a transformational Salvation Army weekend in Richmond Hill, Ont., in 2019.
“It changed my life,” she says. “I remember saying, ‘God, I know you’ve called me. I don’t know how I’m going to move from this point to where you want me, but I’m going to leave it in your hands.’ ”
That April, Majors Tina and Cecil Mitchell, her corps officers at the time, asked her if she was interested in working at the Army. She immediately said yes.
When they asked her to sleep on it, she replied, “I know that God is answering a prayer.” She started in June 2019 as the administrative assistant and soon became a Christmas kettle co-ordinator.
After three weeks on the job, Krishna declared, “I will never work in a secular place again.”
“I told them I had a call on my life and they replied they already knew,” she says.
In January 2020, Krishna became a Canadian citizen, then applied to the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg. She was accepted and, with Dorien, will start this month as part of the Reflectors of Holiness Session.
“Before, I was happy but still not in a place of comfort. Officership will be my comfort zone.”
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