Meet God’s Fellow Workers
New session of cadets enters training at the School for Officer Training at Crestmont.
by Tim Foley –
God’s Fellow Workers Session (l-r): Lisa Barnes, Emmanual Masango, Mark Davey, Ray Dihle, Lisa Davey, Kevin Mansoor, Marianneke Summerfield, Craig Summerfield, Stephanie Puza, Elaine Mansoor, Anthony Barnes, Robert Lueras, Yi-Hoon Park, Kihyun Oh, Hye-Won Park, Aeran Oh and Jennifer Masango. Not pictured: Lt. Steve Staneart and Lt. Daylene Staneart.
From different fields where they worked in various roles—policeman, teacher, pastor and foster parent—“God’s Fellow Workers” have answered the call of God for Salvation Army officership and have arrived at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont.
Upon their arrival, many of the cadets expressed excitement about the opportunities to work for God and to learn more about God’s Word and the work of The Salvation Army.
“[Previously], as a pastor’s wife I couldn’t do anything because I am a woman, said Cadet Aeran Oh from the Ventura Corps. Then I found out about The Salvation Army’s opportunities for women. At the College for Officer Training at Crestmont, they will teach me to serve God, not as a woman but as a worker for God.”
Cadets Dwayne and Deborah Breazeale, from Bishop, Calif., are joining the Heralds of the Good News Session. Cadet Deborah Breazeale stated, “I am looking forward to learning how to do things the right way instead of making them up as I go. We have been running a ministry for five years but we haven’t a clue if it’s right. Everyone says it’s great and don’t change anything and leave it the way it is. But if your background is not Army, you don’t know.”
Many of the cadets are returning to college after some years and have expressed concern about getting caught up to speed with the academic life. “I am looking forward to the classes and learning all about the Bible and different ways to teach Christ,” said Cadet Lisa Davey, from Juneau, Alaska. “I am nervous about being here, but I know it’s what God wants.”
God is still calling men and women to this work as Salvation Army officers. “My call is 34 years old, and I finally paid attention to it. I am glad that the Lord has brought me here now so that I can answer that call,” said Cadet Ray Dihle from Torrance, Calif.
“Never say never,” says Cadet Craig Summerfield, from Seattle, Wash. “Before I always said ‘never,’ but I am getting over that hump and realize it’s my calling. This is where I am called to be. When we got married there were pieces of the puzzle that were missing, and then things fell into place concerning my call to officership.”
Cadet Stephanie Puza said, “I am excited about just being here and about everything I am going to get to learn and see and experience over the next two years. It’s something that you cannot duplicate in a corps. It is an experience you can only have at Crestmont.”
Cadet Marianneke Summerfield from Seattle states: “We both have been raised in The Salvation Army and we feel called to ministry in The Salvation Army. As a married couple we can do this together, and I won’t be just the pastor’s wife. It will be a team effort. I am looking for the challenges and how God will use me. I am looking forward to being stretched.”
There is work to be done in the next two years in the lives of these cadets and their families, and they are up for the challenge. Cadet-Lieutenant Steve Staneart summed it up best when he said, “There are only so many opportunities you get before you have to go through Crestmont. The opportunities you get for service after Crestmont are unlimited. Once you have been commissioned as a Salvation Army officer, your opportunities for service are unmatched elsewhere in the world. There are lots of things about The Salvation Army that you just can’t get from a book; you have to experience it.”