Tue, Aug 7, 2012
The cadets of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection session have been stationed across Canada to participate in the communities and lives of Salvation Army Corps, throughout the summer. We have asked them to tell us about their experiences so far. Cadets Josh and Tina Howard, are in New Westminster, BC, along with their children, Abigail and Julian.
“IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN NEW WESTMINSTER!”
This is the way worship services begin at New Westminster Citadel in British Columbia, and it truly is a beautiful place. But the beauty extends well beyond the physical beauty of the area—the mountains and the water, the sunshine and blue skies. New Westminster is a beautiful place because of the people, and the way they reach out to each other and to the community.
Since our arrival we have been immersed in the busy-ness of the ministry unit. Having a large number of outreach opportunities, including weekend meal programs, a food bank, a day care centre, shelters, a bed/mattress program, and a painting company called Holy Rollers, our placement here has enabled us to learn about the variety of ways in which the Salvation Army can support a community.
We have had the opportunity to lead and preach in Sunday morning worship services and nursing home services. We enjoyed a week of being part of a team that ran a Vacation Bible School. Josh has appreciated the opportunity to connect with the men of the corps during a weekly bible study, and I look forward to spending a week at Camp Sunrise with a group of Moms and Tots.
But as challenging and eye-opening as our experiences in ministry have been this summer, the people we have met have made an even greater impact on us . We have truly felt like part of the New Westminster family this summer as we have met with people over coffee, joined in fellowship around the dinner table, and even had the opportunity to celebrate the marriage of a wonderful couple from the corps. We had the privilege of hearing testimonies of God’s work in people’s lives, and spent time praying with people in nursing homes and in the hospital. The Lord has blessed us with many new friends here in New Westminster and each one has had an impact on our lives.
What we have seen and experienced in this ministry unit is a true example of integrated corps and family services. The people here love Christ, and love others—and these two things are inseparable. We will leave this city with unforgettable memories and lessons learned, and as we reflect on our experience here we are reminded of Ephesians 4:15-16 from The Message: “God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other.”