by Lt. Carolina Yanez
“Joy! Joy! Joy! There is joy in The Salvation Army.” I learned this song as a small child watching my father lead his congregation while he played the accordion. It was sung the day I was enrolled as a junior soldier and made a promise to follow Jesus.
That is officership for me. God fills our lives with incomparable joy as we minister to others and see God’s amazing grace at work. In His infinite grace, God gives us opportunities to share His love and joy with the world.
I grew up as an officers’ kid, helping my parents at the corps, attending every worship service, seeing the happy side of officership but also witnessing the hardships, sadness and discouragement that can sometimes come.
As I watched others, I felt unprepared and unworthy to be an officer. Looking back, I realize the Lord has used every challenge, every failure, every discipline to refine my faith because He arms us with strength and equips us for ministry as we surrender our lives to His plan. My husband and I love The Salvation Army, and together we discover the ways God uses us individually and as a team as we lead our corps congregation, having the absolute assurance that He goes before us, behind us and walks alongside us as we face every task.
We enjoy being fully involved in our community, meeting local authorities, business owners, teachers and service clubs, as well as the people who come to our building daily looking for help. These relationships open many doors to share about the wonderful things God has done in our own lives.
Watching what God has built through other faithful servants and continuing the work has been a blessing and privilege, witnessing how a child learns his first note on a trumpet or how an older woman still finds ways to serve. But most importantly we are blessed to see how the lives of young and old alike are transformed by God’s love and experience joy through Jesus Christ as they become part of His Kingdom in “the Army of the Lord.”