Crestmont College welcomes Believers
COMMISSIONER DAVID EDWARDS prepares to present the session flag to the cadets of the Believers Session.
BY ROBERT DOCTER –
Crestmont College welcomed the thirty members of the Believers Session of Salvation Army cadets under a broad, spacious, blue sky and a glorious southern California afternoon.
The chief secretary, Colonel Phil Needham, led the welcome service, which had been clearly impacted by the events of the week in New York City, Washington D.C. and a field outside Pittsburgh, PA.
General Eva Burrows (R), the Army’s 13th international leader, had been scheduled to speak at the service, but restrictions in air travel made it impossible for her to come. General John Gowans’ special representative, Commissioner Norman Howe, assumed that responsibility in her place.
In his remarks Howe stated: “It is a humbling experience to have been on American soil this week. I would have wanted to be nowhere else. Believers–you have the support of the entire Army world. The Lord has made it evident that it is impossible to speak to you outside the events of this week.”
Howe then examined the prophetic ministry of Christ and called the Believers to their own prophetic ministry. He told the new cadets they are to “see and believe”–beyond the immediate to the ultimate. “Jesus told his disciples ‘You will be hated because of me’.” “In the midst of winter there is evidence of summer,” Howe said. “There is the love of God the prophet. He sees that life is unpredictable–that bad things happen.”
Howe then urged the cadets to watch and wait–in prayer–in faith–and to love and serve. “In the midst of human agony there is a regiment of God’s people called The Salvation Army. See and believe–watch and wait–love and serve. This week God has called you to prophetic ministry.”
Major Brian Bearchell, territorial youth and candidates’ secretary, presented the session to the territory. Commissioner David Edwards accepted them and congratulated the group for their response to God’s call. Then he said: “We are given the opportunity this week to see America at its best, the Army at its best and God at his best.” He urged them to maintain the passion and commitment evident in Salvationists on the firing line, at work in serving God and humankind.
Commissioner Doreen Edwards prayed a prayer of dedication.
Those on the stage and in the audience responded enthusiastically to the Latin beat of the Believers session song as they moved and danced in rhythm with their joy.
Cadet Eric Lee offered a stirring testimony in a bold, open and disclosing manner. He described his journey from being a spectator in life to being a full participant. “I thought I’d be a high school math teacher all my life,” he said. “I was holding on to my freedom, but Jesus spoke to me as he did to Peter–‘someone else will lead you where you don’t want to go’, and with my wife, we decided to follow. Only the love of Christ could motivate me to this point.”
The Tustin Ranch band, led by Bandmaster Ed Freeman, provided music for the occasion along with David Dunford who offered a dramatic piano solo.