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Jun9WedFor Miya Bradburn, becoming a Salvation Army officer is an act of commitment and obedience. June 9, 2021 by Ken Ramstead
“My journey to officership wasn’t due to any kind of an audible call,” says Miya Bradburn. “It’s been a gradual realization throughout the process. But my anticipation to become a Salvation Army officer is no less strong for that.”
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Church in a Thrift Store?
Unlike her husband, Jeff Robertson, Miya did not grow up in the Army.
“In fact, it’s still a bit of a joke between us that, before I met Jeff, I didn’t realize The Salvation Army was a faith denomination. I’m sure I’m not the only one.”
Other than the Christmas kettles and the thrift stores, that’s where it started and ended for her. And so when Jeff told her that he went to church at The Salvation Army, she was a bit confused.
How could you go to church inside a thrift store? she wondered.
Faith in Action
While they were dating, Jeff brought his future wife to worship at Hope Community Church in Ajax, Ont., so Miya soon started learning what The Salvation Army was about. And that it was not just kettles and thrift stores.
“We would start singing and singing, singing, singing, and I wondered, When does church start? We’ve been singing for an awfully long time,” Miya laughs now. “Not realizing that that was a big component of the worship service, I wasn’t used to that sort of free-flowing lack of ritual.”
But the more she worshipped with Jeff, the more she started to appreciate the services, the atmosphere and the people.
“What attracted me to The Salvation Army was the built-in service component, that it was part of what you should do in your faith,” she explains. “Not that other denominations don’t do that sort of thing, but with The Salvation Army, it’s so intentional and so intertwined that people like me don’t even realize it’s a faith community in action, that the Army loves people and helps them.”
Miya became a soldier three years after she and Jeff were married. As a former Catholic, she was accustomed to more ritual than there is at The Salvation Army.
“It makes things feel real to me,” she explains. “In terms of who I am in this place, becoming a soldier was something I could do as a sort of outward sign of my faith.”
So when Jeff emailed her that officership was on his heart and she did not immediately answer (“Very high school,” Jeff smiles.), he asked her in the kitchen a few weeks later if she had received his message.
Matter-of-factly, she replied, “Yes.”
“Does it scare you?” Jeff continued.
“Well, if this is God’s calling, then why would it scare me?” she told him.
Later that year, the couple attended an Officership Information Weekend at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg.
Getting It Done
Now lay leaders at Fenelon Falls, Ont., Miya and Jeff have been asked to stay there for another year as field-based tailored training (FBTT) cadets starting in July. At the end of the FBTT, they will be commissioned as Salvation Army officers.
“Jeff is more the up-front leader,” says Miya. “I’ve always preferred to be the background person doing the work that needs to be done. But becoming a Salvation Army officer is an act of commitment and obedience. If they need me to lead, I’ll do that. I’ll roll up my sleeves and get it done.”
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