Northern Division, John Foster

If you’re a soldier in the Northern Division, you’re incredibly blessed to have three godly men representing your ideas, suggestions and concerns to the Territorial Soldiers’ Forum. Let us introduce you.

For most of his life, John Foster had been angry at the world. Incredibly, the moment that changed he was alone in a prison cell. He wasn’t a believer, yet felt God standing right beside him.

“I said, ‘God, if you are who they say you are, and if you can do what they say you can do, can you take away the shame, the guilt, the rage, the resentment? If you can, I will know you are real, and I will serve you from this day forward.’”

And something happened.

John and his wife, Janet

“A peace came over me,” John recalled. “This peace was the type of peace I had been searching for my whole life, but I didn’t know how to get there.”

Life now is dramatically different for the 61-year-old, who spent 24 years in juvenile institutions and prisons. John now uses his life experience and faith as part of the Northern Division’s correctional services team; he is a chaplain and a reentry coordinator for inmates who are paroled in the Twin Cities area, greater Minnesota and North Dakota.

Enrolled as a soldier in 2019 at the Minneapolis, Minn., Harbor Light Corps, he is currently its corps sergeant-major and Northern divisional sergeant-major.

“Life is absolutely wonderful. I am a God-fearing man who loves the Lord. I am compassionate. I have a lovely, beautiful wife [Janet]. I am a homeowner,” John said. “God has blessed me.”

In 2011, John started working at the Harbor Light as a security officer, then as volunteer coordinator. In May 2019, he began working with correctional services.

“I work directly with these individuals to help their transition. It’s a critical timeframe from when you are released. If you don’t have certain resources available to you, statistics say there is a good chance you might revert back to your old ways,” John explained.

John likes to share his faith and connection with The Salvation Army every time he leaves his home.

“I realize I represent Jesus everywhere I go,” John said. “I am an ambassador for Christ. I have a coat and some jackets with The Salvation Army shield on them. I purposely wear them when I go out. It is like a magnet in a sense. It never fails that someone approaches me and asks me about The Salvation Army.”

When he is not working or volunteering, John loves to fish—in Minnesota’s warmer months. He sometimes takes along men from the Harbor Light.

John is grateful for his transformed life. “You never know what door God will direct you to go through and what is on the other side of that door,” he said. “But there is always a blessing.”

Click here to learn more about the Territorial Soldiers’ Forum or find your representative.

 

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