by Terrence Masango, Cadet –
In September 1990, at age 16, I was at the end of my rope—desperate, hopeless, confused. What could drive a 16-year-old boy to suicidal thoughts?
My father was an alcoholic who not only spent all his money on the “brown bottle,” but also had affairs that my mom knew about. We lived in abject poverty in Highfield, one of the poorest high-density suburbs in Harare, Zimbabwe. Some nights we went to bed hungry, and I remember vividly the growling of my tummy while in class. I never owned more than one pair of shoes. My cousins gave me their old clothes. Because he was an alcoholic, my father abused all of us physically, emotionally and verbally. Many nights my parents would fight, and my siblings and I would end up involved. He would chase us out of the house, even if it was raining or cold.
This suffering led me to consider suicide—but God had other plans. While I was planning a way to take my own life, some young people invited me to a Christian camp. I accepted their invitation, and the gospel they preached, receiving Christ as my Savior. My life was changed and has never been the same. At home, problems continued and even got worse, but my heavenly Father cared for me and helped me through those problems.
By 1992, I knew that God was calling me to full-time ministry. I ignored this call and went instead to work in a bank for the next six years. During this time I met my wife Rutendo and we were married in 1999. In early 2000, Rutendo and I sold our house and furniture to raise money to go to the School for Youth Leadership in Australia. It was through this school that we first came to the United States. While working at Camp Gifford, near Spokane, Wash., Rutendo and I received job offers from the Spokane Corps, I as the corps assistant and Rutendo as a child caregiver. We took the jobs at the end of 2000. I went there hoping that one day I would be an international evangelist. I left there aware that the best thing that I can do for the Lord is to touch one life at a time. Seeing young people accept Christ and grow to know him better is more fulfilling than preaching to thousands and never being able to watch them grow! I realized then that God’s call was to officership.
Today, I am happy to be a Visionary. I have a VISION today, that God has a message to the world.
I have a vision…
That the homeless man at the corner of the street will not just get an earthly home, but a home in heaven.
That the AIDS orphan will not need to wonder anymore who their father is going to be for they will have a Father in heaven.
That the hungry mother not only gets a loaf of bread, but will receive the Bread of Life.
That The Salvation Army will not just be the nation’s favorite charity, but will be the world leader in
bringing millions of souls to Christ.
I have a Vision, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”