Before I start my story, I want to thank New Frontier for the opportunity to share my challenges and triumphs in my first year as an Army officer.
I would like to start my testimony with a Bible verse that quotes Jesus Christ. Matthew 16:24 says: Then Jesus said to his followers, “If people want to follow, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me.”
To be honest, I never did understand how deep Jesus’ words were—and still are—for his believers. To deny oneself and leave everything behind for Jesus and his ministry is one of the most difficult challenges that we have to face today.
To deny onerself is more than just being an officer. It’s more than being a good administrator or a good accountant. It’s more than having good public relations. It’s more than just being ready for the Sunday sermon each week and more than meticulously following the agenda. To deny oneself is surrendering everything for the cause of Jesus Christ. It’s serving without expecting to be served, offering oneself with passion for those in need, being radical in the calling of the Lord and living an intense life in the presence of the Lord.
Who wants to come before Christ?
I have learned much through my errors and mistakes in my first year. I learned to value the time dedicated to the ministry and souls. Like any good officer, I have learned to balance my time with God, my family and my ministry.
Approximately four years ago I heard someone say that the most difficult career is to be a pastor of souls, and I believe he was right. As we came to our first appointment at the Albuquerque Temple (N.M.), we came with the illusion of being conquerors. Little by little we started to see that ministry would never be “conquered,” but that it never ceases.
After our first year we realized that rather than running through our ministry, we must walk in order to accurately hear and understand what Jesus is saying to us. When we do that and are obedient, he will bless everything we do.
For us it’s a great honor to be called as officers and ministers of the Word—first, by God and secondly, by The Salvation Army—and to help others in their daily walk with Jesus. Everything we do inside the ministry, we should do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Placing him before anything else will bring his blessing to our works. When we do this, my family and I are serving the Lord.
God bless you.