A letter to the Bridgebuilders

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by Commissioner Linda BondThe day has finally come! After two years, you are moving out from Crestmont to appointments throughout the Western Territory. You have now been ordained and commissioned to serve as Salvation Army Officers.

My life has been intertwined with yours. It started with your Welcome weekend, which incidentally, was my installation service. Imagine! You had General Eva Burrows (Ret.) for your welcome and General John Larsson for your commissioning. Not many sessions have been so privileged!

In between these two special events, I have joined with you in many private meetings for spiritual days and lectures. It has never been a chore to go to Crestmont and share this spiritual adventure with you. This ministry I take very seriously since I, like many others, have a responsibility to speak about things that count and model officership that is both dynamic and sensitive. Hopefully, we have not failed you in this regard.

I have never known the experience of motherhood, but the mother instinct kicks in when it comes to cadets and young officers. While you are anything but children in terms of chronological age, you are very much young ones in officer experience. I think of the challenges that face you and wonder if we have prepared you well. “It won’t be easy,” I told you on your last Spiritual day. If our Lord was tempted at the very commencement of His ministry, count on being introduced to similar intrigues of the evil one. Yes, I know you are starting the adventure of your life. Yes, the Lord who called you has now opened a door. And of course, He honors your obedience and will honor your faithfulness. Service as an officer will be exhilarating and fulfilling. BUT—the ministry is so complex; Satan is so subtle; needs seem so vast. Add to all of this the fact that you have signed up for life!

Now the truth is, you don’t need me to hold your hand. You wouldn’t even want that from the divisional staff, or colleagues, even though you will be glad of their consistent support and understanding. You’re up for this. Tired from an exhausting training program but rarin’ to go! You’re probably already running out the door and shouting with enthusiasm, “we’ll be fine. Not to worry!”

But don’t go without an assurance of prayer support. Even the great days need a generous sprinkling of intercession in case you begin to think you can do it on your own. So, before you run, know that you are loved, valued and prayed for.

In holding you before the Lord, what shall I ask for you? Thanks to the pen of John Gowans, I have been able to clarify the most important requests. Oh yes, it wouldn’t be wrong to ask for influence, harmony, and health. However, I wouldn’t bother the Lord with petitions for wealth or even superficial happiness. “This I will ask for you: God grant each day, wisdom to know His will, grace to obey.” “What e’er the future holds, this is my prayer:

God who is with you here, be with you there!”

Now, be on your way and build bridges (relationships) for Jesus. Richest blessings!

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