8,558 days and counting
by Major Alex Lim
Song # 963 in our songbook says “Joy! joy! joy! There is joy in The Salvation Army…” I get excited every time I hear or sing it. It’s been proven by the lives of the many retired and active officers currently working across the territory. I am grateful to be one of them.
I currently serve at the College for Officer Training, but some of the most joyful and rewarding moments of my 22 years of ministry have been spent working in partnership with the adult rehabilitation center (ARC) while I was in the Twin Cities.
While praying and planning for a new ministry program at the corps where I was first appointed, I attended one of the ARC meetings and found out that the beneficiaries did not have a home church. Almost immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me, convicting me that after the beneficiaries finished the ARC program God wanted our corps to continue to care for them and help them walk with Jesus. So, this became one of the new ministries at our corps.
Although there was great joy in this ministry, it required spiritual warfare. There were times when our corps experienced frustration, but through the intercession of several prayer warriors and the compassion of the corps members, some men overcame addiction and became soldiers and some of their families even became corps members.
With the soldiers who successfully graduated from the ARC program and began to lead a stable new life, we created the discipleship group called SOS (Soldiers of Salvation). We met every Saturday for Bible study and fellowship, provided mentorships to new ARC beneficiaries, raised funds for World Services, and performed community care for the corps’ older adults like cleaning up fallen leaves or mowing their lawns.
Even after years have passed, I miss the joyous times I spent with them. The partnership ministry with the ARC has been a driving force for the growth and revival of the corps. I am happy this ministry has continued. I salute the current corps officers who are strengthening this ministry further, and I am grateful to the faithful corps members for supporting and participating in it. Above all, I thank God and give Him the glory for the opportunity to develop this ministry.