LIFE BY DESIGN
Future Officers Fellowship retreat
Potential officer candidates meet for retreat.
by NANCY DIHLE –
Representing nine divisions of the Western Territory, 149 like-minded delegates recently came together at Crestmont for the Future Officers Fellowship (FOF) Retreat, where they pursued God’s design for their lives.
Exploring the theme “Design for Life,” participants looked at God’s hand in their lives—how he has shaped them, how he is at work now, their unique gifts and personalities, and the perfect plan God has for them.
Setting the pace for the weekend, Major Ralph Hood, territorial secretary for personnel, examined prominent people in the Bible who were hesitant leaders. He reminded his listeners of God’s promise in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The delegates experienced a day in the life of a cadet—attending classes like Christian Education, Homiletics, and Emerging Trends in Today’s World, and participated in a chapel led by Cadet Dwaine Breazeale.
Majors David and Beverly Ivany, territorial youth and candidates’ secretaries for Canada and Bermuda, guided the delegates through questionnaires from the “Uniquely You” series, and Major Tim Foley, assistant principal at the College for Officer Training, led Bible studies on having a willing heart, a prepared heart and a teachable heart.
During a poignant moment of the weekend, one delegate told of how Major Tom Ford visited him every Thursday when he was in prison. “Without him, I would not be here tonight,” he said—a powerful reminder of how an officer can partner with God in the design of someone’s life.
The FOF Retreat allowed individuals pondering officership to gather and focus specifically on this calling. In response to the retreat, one divisional representative noted, “the cadets and Crestmont staff were able to hit the issues straight on…candidates needed to ask the tough questions, and then have time to wrestle with the answers.”
Delegate Jose Manual Martinez, ministry leader at Santa Ana Temple, said, “God ministered to our lives through each song, teaching, sermon and fellowship and we experienced an unforgettable time of edification.”
Summing up the retreat, one officer said, “My comrade officers at DHQ and THQ, and the training school officers and cadets exhibited to the highest form what officership is all about. We worked well together, supported one another, did our service in joy, and showed a true interest in the delegates.”