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Life of a cadet

waltersBy Dana Walters, Cadet

What is it like to live in a community with people from all over the world, surrounded by great theologians, with a culinary team to cook lunch and dinner for you five days a week?

More importantly, what is it like to dwell in a place where God can confirm his call on your life?

Welcome to my world—the world of a Salvation Army cadet at the College for Officer Training.

My husband and I are in our second year of training and will be graduating in a few short weeks. It has been a whirlwind of activity including classes, seminars, trips to corps, ministry and preaching in Arizona, California, Washington, and Alaska—all the while making friendships that will last a lifetime. What an incredible opportunity this has been, not just to study theology but to learn about people and cultures and how God is working all over the globe.

The wisdom I acquired here includes: be intentional in life and ministry, be holy, show up for work and don’t complain. My favorite part of this experience is learning. We are truly surrounded by quality men and women of God who teach from their own education and life experiences. Each one has impacted my life in a different way, challenging me to further define my beliefs and my walk with Christ.

What is the hardest thing here? Personally, I missed having my kids close by and having my own home where everyone could come and visit. I am a little older than most cadets, so coming into training meant moving away from our kids and their lives as well as selling our home and many things we have accumulated in 27 years of marriage. There were times of tears and sadness, and I did want to run away once, but I am confident that God has called us to be officers, and he gives me the strength to finish what we have started.

As my training draws toward completion, my life verse seems more and more fitting. Isaiah 6:8 says, Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I am eagerly awaiting my commissioning and ordination, and discovering where we will be appointed to serve. I can hear Commissioner Knaggs saying, “You are appointed to…. .” Well, almost.

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