Where are they now?
Long-serving Western Territory officers recognized[ezcol_2third]
Commissioned in 1990 with the Witnesses for Jesus session, Major Raewyn Aspeitia celebrates 25 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. She currently serves as the divisional secretary for business in the Southwest Division.
Aspeitia said the meaning of being an officer now as compared to when she was commissioned is centered in “faithfulness to God’s way, not my way.”
To new officers, Aspeitia said she would encourage them through the words of Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Her life verse: In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:6).
Commissioned in 1985 with the Guardian of the Truth session, Major Brian Jones celebrates 30 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. He currently serves as the director of curriculum at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont.
“When I was commissioned as a new lieutenant 30 years ago, my understanding and meaning of a Salvation Army officer was limited due to my newness as an officer. Faithfulness to the mission and a passion for people became more real to me over the years,” Jones said. “My calling from the beginning of my ministry until today has been the single factor in my life that has motivated and helped me to grow and understand my purpose in life.”
To new officers, Jones encouraged them “first and foremost to have within your spirit the importance of taking care of your own soul,” he said. “This is a key ingredient in being able to serve effectively as an officer. If your ministry is to be fulfilling to you and others, continue to grow in all areas of your life.”
His life verse: What the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8b CEB).
Commissioned in 1980 with the Proclaimers of Salvation session, Major Katherine Reed celebrates 35 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. She currently serves as the director of special services at the Anaheim Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Anaheim, Calif.
“Being an officer is just as important, enriching and challenging to me now as it was the day I walked across the stage to receive my commission,” Reed said. “I look over the past 35 years of service and I see people—people I was privileged to serve and people that touched my life in ways I would have not expected, from children that went to camp when we were divisional youth secretaries are now officers, to corps people that accepted Christ as their Savior are now leaders within the corps or men and women in the ARC who have enriched my life and ministry way beyond any expectation. A long line of generations that went before me loved me and taught me, and now with my husband to see our two daughters grown and serving the Lord with their spouses and our beautiful grandchildren, I am reminded daily how blessed I am to have had the life I still live.”
To new officers, Reed said to love your people, and start with those at home.
Her life verse: But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. (1 Peter 2:9-10 MSG).
Commissioned in 1980 with the Proclaimers of Salvation session, Colonel Victor Leslie celebrates 35 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. He currently serves as the territorial commander in the Nigeria Territory.
“The calling and purpose remains constant,” he said. “Soul winning is more about the ‘opportunity’ than the ‘strategy.’”
To new officers, Leslie said he would encourage them through the words of Ephesians 5:15-17: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do (NLT).
His life verse: But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Rom. 10:14 NLT).
Commissioned in 1975 with the Soldiers of the Cross session, Colonel Sharron Hudson celebrates 40 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. She currently serves as the territorial secretary for women’s ministries.
“I’m humbled by the opportunities that the Lord has allowed in my life over the years,” she said. “I’m still amazed at how the Lord transforms lives through the ministry of The Salvation Army.”
To new officers, Hudson said, “Go into each new appointment with gratitude to what the Lord will show you. Love the people to whom you have been entrusted by the Lord. Use challenges as opportunities to learn something new and to grow in your own spiritual life.”
Her life verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Commissioned in 1975 with the Soldiers of the Cross session, Major C. Joseph Murray celebrates 40 years of service in The Salvation Army in 2015. He currently serves as the corps officer of the Santa Rosa Corps.
“Being an officer means the same thing now as it did when I was commissioned,” he said. “It is a practical ministry where I have opportunities everyday to help people physically, mentally, socially and spiritually in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
To new officers, Murray said, “Through the years Satan tries to use situations and struggles to cause us to doubts our calling as officers. My encouragement for anyone who is questioning their calling is this: God has been faithful in the past. He will be faithful in the present and future. Try humming a chorus that is meaningful. Recite a Scripture verse. If you are still discouraged and full of doubt, remember the covenant that you signed. Here is what I tell myself, ‘there are no loop-holes in my covenant with God and The Salvation Army.’”
His life verse: Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine (Is. 43:1b KJV) and “In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).[/ezcol_2third] [ezcol_1third_end]
Long-serving Western Territory officers
Major Raewyn Aspeitia
Major Rafael Aspeitia
Major Angie Medina
Major Joy Mui
Major Thomas Mui
Major Mary Paugh
Major Elvia Roman
Major Gil Roman
Major Darren Trimmer
Major Carlos Bravo
Major Cynthia Foley
Major Maria Hernandez
Major Moises Hernandez
Major Brian Jones
Major Philip Lum
Major Jonnette Mulch
Major Allie Niles
Major Kelly Pontsler
Lt. Colonel Joseph Posillico
Major Dawn Rocheleau
Major George Rocheleau
Colonel Victor Leslie
Major Darlan Marquez
Major Eloisa Martin
Major Jeffrey Martin
Major Margaret Peacock
Major Richard Peacock
Major Katherine Reed
Major Mercedes Bravo
Colonel David Hudson
Colonel Sharron Hudson
Major C. Joseph Murray
Major Florence Murray
Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien
Major Victoria Shiroma [/ezcol_1third_end]