696 days and counting

by Lt. Pamela Boateng

I could never imagine that once I gave my life to the Lord, it would lead me to serve as a Salvation Army officer. But besides being a wife and mother, being an officer has been one of my greatest rewards. It is a privilege God has allowed me to serve in this capacity.

As an officer, I can’t help but go back to the first day I walked into a Salvation Army building in Iowa City, Iowa, as a broken young lady looking for purpose and a place of acceptance. The officers and leaders cared for me, loved me and saw me as a child of God. Today as an officer, I make sure I express that same love, care and patience with people in my sphere of influence.

I have learned that ministry is more than preaching a great sermon on a Sunday morning. It is being present in the lives of those God entrusts to my care. Ministry is about sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with others. It is not always easy, but I have seen spiritual growth in others and myself during difficult times.

What I love about being an officer is working with people. Being an officer has allowed me to work with some unique, God-fearing people who I value very much. I have had the opportunity to be a witness of Christ’s love and to make a positive difference in their lives. Just as much as I have taught them, they also have taught me.

I have learned to never underestimate the difference I can make in the lives of individuals I encounter as an officer. For instance, while stationed in Detroit at the Conner Creek Corps, I had many individuals to “pour into” including staff, volunteers, youth, young adults, parents, older adults and community partners. Being stationed there helped me grow in my understanding of the importance of the Body of Christ. I ministered to them, and they ministered to me.

We all had a part to play. We all depended on one another to get the job done. Since we recognized we all needed each other, we were able to function as a great team! Before leaving the Conner Creek Corps, many people expressed their appreciation and gratitude for my family and me. I was blown away.

In my new appointment as divisional candidates’ secretary in the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Division, I am encouraged to continue to be a servant leader, to see others as God sees them, and to trust the new team to accomplish the work the Lord has set before us.

 

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