CAPTAIN SARAH NELSON
A really exciting thing happened last Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock (EST). We were able – for the first time – to view the complete list of accepted candidates in the “Messengers of Light” session! The very first acceptance took place on April 24, 2013 and the final on July 8, 2014. Over the course of sixteen months, we watched a session of FUTURE OFFICERS come together one candidate at a time. It’s a work God has done which has been thrilling to watch! On Saturday, September 6th, the USA Southern Territory will officially welcome sixty-six, first year cadets!
Now … let me back way up. We can easily get swept away by the excitement of sixty-six new cadets all pulling onto the Evangeline Booth Campus at the same time. For sure, that’s something worth celebrating. But another thing that is celebration-worthy, is the way God has worked out His plan in each candidate’s life. Each of them has a story to tell. Many of their stories begin with, “I will NEVER be a Salvation Army officer.” (Funny how God often calls us to the very thing we least desire to do!) But in the process of calling us, God often helps our hearts change in ways that we never would have imagined. All of a sudden, we may find that things we once felt were worth pursuing are quite frankly, a waste of our energy.
On the other hand, we may find ourselves desiring to serve in ways that never interested us before. When we set aside our own ambitions in order to follow Christ, completely – and I mean, positively NO holding back – we find that the Spirit of God in us has a way of “remaking” us. He works in all areas of our lives in order to help us accomplish what He’s asking of us. Your responsibility … is to simply be obedient. (And don’t sweat the long list of things you feel you can’t do.)
I am VERY excited to greet all sixty-six of our new cadets. I look forward to seeing them in their first-year cadet trim and calling them “cadet”! But you know what? The thing I rejoice most about, isn’t the fact that they are all becoming officers. I rejoice because they have allowed God to use them in just the way He has chosen. And through their willingness to trust and obey, other people are going to come to know Jesus as their Savior. (Can I get a “Halelujah”??!!! Okay … someone else fire a volley!)
We all have dreams for our lives. But do you realize God has dreams for your life too? I encourage (no…I DARE) you to go to Him in prayer – right now – and ask Him to reveal what His dreams are, for you. And don’t be surprised when He shows you.
A full list of accepted candidates post on the Candidates South facebook page tomorrow. Please be in prayer for these incoming cadets and their families. Move in day is around the corner!