Soldiers are heart of Army

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New members marked by willngness to serve “suffering humanity.”

by Robert Docter –

PENDELTON, ORE.: Captain Don Sheppard, Linda Furniss, Carl Geiger, Marjorie Bates, Tammy Miller, Jolia Hernandez, Tim Ledford, Mitch Hernandez, Mike Thamert, Ingrid Thamert and Captain James Lloyd. Flagbearers are Helen Markle and Kelly Whittley. [Photo by Martha Sheppard]

The life blood of a corps flows freely through the veins and arteries of its soldiers. They are more than volunteers, more than laity, more than members; they are soldiers on the battlefield of life. They seek to save the wounded and forgotten, the desperate and marginalized of today’s society through spiritual and social redemption.

As our Army continues to grow with new soldiers, they come with inspiration for all of us. In the first quarter of this fiscal year the corps of the Territory have enrolled almost 150 new senior soldiers and 180 new junior soldiers, thus ending the small statistical decline in soldiers over the past several years. Almost one-third of that number has come to soldiership through women’s ministries. It is through this program that creative officers find ways to stimulate a desire in men and women to be part of something courageous, practical, spiritual and life-saving.

New soldiers come with fervor and freshness, motivated, ready to serve, willing. They are anxious to help. They want to be part of this Army’s commitment to a “suffering humanity.”

They have taken on a new identity. They are now Salvationists and claim the heritage of this great organization.

Officers and lay leaders work together to harness this drive and match the skills and interests of the new soldier with the needs of the corps as it seeks to achieve its mission. All soldiers seek to find ways to contribute to that mission.

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