by Lt. Joseph Irvine
I’m finding life as a Salvation Army officer provides a wide array of opportunities for ministry. While some are standard, it’s never the same old thing—and sometimes officership presents extraordinary opportunities for service. In January, my wife and I came across one of these.
The day had hummed along with the usual routine of administrative work and service, and the evening promised to be ordinary, too. But halfway through making dinner I received a call from an officer in a nearby corps. The Salvation Army there had received a request from the emergency management service to respond to a fire, but their canteen was already providing food to those in need. Could we help? It seemed no sooner than I’d changed out of my uniform, I was back in it, activating our canteen and on my way to the scene.
Dispatch gave directions to the rural area. “When you’re close, you’ll see the lights,” they said. They weren’t exaggerating. Crews from multiple rural fire departments had responded to a house fire, and they were working hard to keep it contained. As they rotated shifts, we had the opportunity to provide them with beverages and snacks to keep their energy up and help them stay hydrated. Some firefighters even defrosted in the canteen’s warmth, as did a valve that had frozen that frigid night.
The biting cold and water being sprayed made for miserable conditions, but the firefighters didn’t bat an eye at the discomfort, and we were happy to support them. We remained on site until we weren’t needed anymore and arrived back home at midnight.
It wasn’t the day we had planned or the evening we thought we’d have when the office closed because the Lord had even more in store for us. Whether quiet and mundane or busy and chaotic, we look forward each day to the opportunities the Lord sends our way to serve Him. It’s a privilege, and we count it all joy.