Field practicums benefits new officers

New Salvation Army Officers Learn to Meet Needs in His Name

Ordained and commissioned as Salvation Army officers (pastors) in June 2014, two lieutenants share how their field practicum experiences while they were cadets at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) prepared them for ministry today.

Lt. Rachel White, Corps Officer, Jefferson City, Mo.

The Salvation Army’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to “meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” This was backed up in my field practicum experiences as a cadet at the family and community services offices in the Metropolitan Division and the divisional public relations department.

My eyes were opened to entire groups of people needing help that I hadn’t considered before. I was impressed by the staff’s work with those who are often overlooked, such as fulltime caregivers who spend so much time working they often don’t have the personal time to do necessary things like going to doctor’s appointments for themselves. The Salvation Army helps caregivers in Chicagoland get some time for themselves. The Army does an amazing ministry with older adults as well, providing more well-being checks than any other organization in Chicago. This gave me a passion for doing more to help those in need around me.

In the divisional headquarters public relations department, my eyes were opened again, this time to ways of securing funding for The Salvation Army’s work that I hadn’t previously understood. I spent much time learning about donors and how to ask people to support our work monetarily. It can be hard to ask people for money, but the Army relies on it. I found it’s all about relationships and communication. The public relations department also showed me the importance of having up-to-date informational flyers and publications and how to make people feel involved in changing their community for the better.

Lt. Jonathan Tamayo, Assistant Corps Officer, Pontiac, Mich.

Field practicum training is a great way for cadets to put what they’ve been learning into action. I had the opportunity to be a part of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) training program as a cadet. For one semester on every Tuesday, a group of us went to the EDS warehouse where we were trained and involved in packing boxes, sorting food and other tasks. Being involved in EDS is important as an officer because you never know when a disaster might hit wherever you are stationed.

In my first month as a commissioned officer, I was called to serve meals on a canteen in an area where people had been without power for two days. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to be involved in EDS; it gave me a concrete way to help serve people in Christ’s name.

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