No matter where she is in the world, Cameron Voss connects with her Salvation Army family. A senior at Albion College studying anthropology and religion, she has had the opportunity to participate in projects abroad. Each time it’s bolstered her faith, and she’s made lifelong friends by reaching out to fellow Salvationists.
Cameron grew up attending the Army with her parents, Captains Dan and Amy Voss, who were commissioned when Cameron was in elementary school. When it came time to choose a college, one of her primary concerns was having a nearby corps to attend.
“It was definitely a God thing,” said Cameron, who chose Albion because of its opportunities and proximity to the Battle Creek, Mich., Corps, where she leads sunbeams and participates in Sunday worship services.
In her freshman year, Cameron found her passion during a 10-day trip to Poland to study the Holocaust. While cleaning a pre-WWI Jewish cemetery, which largely had been abandoned as families fled or were killed during the Holocaust, and visiting places like the Auschwitz concentration camp, she was moved to learn more about genocide, culture and religion.
During a free period, she looked up the corps in Warsaw and visited the childcare facility, where she was instantly welcomed and enjoyed learning about The Salvation Army there.
With her course of study decided, Cameron took every required class and applied to study abroad. She was unanimously approved by the review board and began the process of choosing a location and study project.
The day she was supposed to confirm her intention to go to South Africa, she felt God leading her to pursue a program in Rwanda instead. It seemed more than a coincidence when she landed on Rwanda in her program guide for the study abroad program that morning, and the 1994 genocide came up in all three of her classes though not part of the curriculum. By the time she’d met with her mentor, who connected her with a friend who allayed her fears about living and studying in a postgenocide society, she was ready to declare her intention to study in Rwanda. Ultimately, God provided scholarship money that made it cheaper to go abroad than live on campus.
“God opened every door for me to go to Rwanda,” she said.
As Cameron completed her projects and engaged with the 16 other students in the program, many of whom were atheists, she grew in her faith.
“It was difficult,” she said. “How could it not be? The things I’m studying are terrible.”
To remind herself of God’s faithfulness, she made a playlist to listen to after each site visit which included songs such as “I’m in His hands” and “It is well.”
The first chance she had, Cameron located the closest corps’ Facebook page and contacted them both in Kinyarwanda (the local language) and English. Within moments she was messaging with the corps sergeant-major, Francois, who offered to pick her up for worship services the next Sunday. The bilingual services were uplifting and spirited, if long, and Cameron found herself surrounded by her Army family once more.
As Cameron prepares for graduate school, she is considering programs overseas. There will be many paths she can take when her education is complete, and she’s trusting God to guide her. But no matter where God leads, she knows there will be her Army family to enfold her.