Banquet held in honor of new session of cadets

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by Karen Gleason –

A joyful mood filled the dining hall at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont during the Private Welcome Banquet for the Prayer Warriors Session.

After opening words and a song led by Major Marcia Smith, director of campus services, Major Stephen Smith, training principal, recognized the Territorial Executive Council, the divisional youth leaders, and the territorial candidates’ and youth secretaries. Major Nancy Dihle, former territorial candidates’ secretary, received special thanks for her role in bringing each of the new cadets into training. Dihle and her husband, Ray, now serve as corps officers at Portland Moore Street.

Introducing Lt. Colonels David and Barbara Jeffrey, national chief secretary and secretary for women’s ministries, respectively, Commissioner Philip Swyers noted, “their hallmark is they care for people and their focus is the corps…the corps…the corps.”

In her charge to the cadets Lt. Colonel Barbara Jeffrey recalled what the General said about their session name: “Prayer is the Army’s spiritual engine…prayer is the vital weapon in our war; we are led by the prince of peace.”

She urged the cadets to never be too busy to pray—to have a list and pray for those on it—to read three Bible chapters a day (four on Sunday) and to learn Salvation Army history. She also said: “Do what’s asked of you. Don’t complain—no one wants to hear you complain; roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

She recalled prayer warriors of old: David, Daniel, the Apostle Paul, and our prayer warrior model—Jesus, who gave us the Lord’s Prayer.

“Prayer is the vital weapon in the salvation war. Prayer will see you through,” she said in closing.

Led by Duncan Sutton, the combined CFOT Cadet Chorus—who this year could barely fit on the platform—sang, “If you would be strong, put your armor on.”

Second year Cadet Sergio Garcia, Witnesses for Christ session president, welcomed the new cadets “to the family.”

First year Cadet Mark Stearns responded, thanking all those “who prayed for this session—before the first name was ever accepted—and then prayed by name.” He cited their session verse, Ephesians 6:18: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

“We are the Prayer Warriors,” Stearns said. “We are proud to take our stand.”

Commissioner Patricia Swyers led the closing song and Major Tim Foley, assistant training principal, gave the prayer and benediction.

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