Welcome Prayer Warriors
Thirty new cadets introduced to the territory
by Bob Docter –
Joyful singing and the stirring sounds of the West’s Territorial Youth Band greeted 30 new cadets who now become the Western Territory’s contribution to the international Prayer Warriors Session. They marched through a “blood and fire” arch of at least 20 Army flags saluting their divisional commander as they took the platform at the Tustin Ranch Corps.
Presenting the Prayer Warriors
Captains John and Pamela Brackenberry, territorial candidates’ secretaries, presented the cadets to Commissioner Philip Swyers, territorial commander, and provided some background. The new cadets come from 19 different corps, from highly diverse vocational experience with an average age of 37. Twenty-one members of the session are first generation Salvationists.
Two cadets from the Korean Territory, Daniel and Olivia Shin, have joined the second-year session, the Witnesses for Christ.
Swyers, indicating his strong commitment to building a growing pool of officers, stated to the Brackenberrys that every soldier in the territory is praying for them as they pursue their mission of meeting and interviewing applicants. The session flag was then presented to the territorial commander, who called up the session flag bearer. Cadet Mary Chung, a soldier of the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps, stepped forward as Swyers gave her the Army flag. He noted it as an important unifying symbol—a partnership that holds the international Army together. He directed her to carry it proudly.
Chung accepted the flag, saluted, and then, unexpectedly, politely bowed before Swyers who, with equal polite respect, bowed to her, much to the audience’s enjoyment.
Cadet testimony: “It’s about God’s time.”
Cadet Jennifer Hood, from the Seattle Temple Corps, began her testimony by thanking the many people attending the event. “We are here because of you,” she stated. She noted that her parents were officers and that they were true to their calling. “They lived out in private what they preached about on Sunday. They modeled the essence of Christian service and love,” Hood said.
“Several have said to me recently that ‘it’s about time.’ I reply: ‘It’s about God’s time.’” She commented on the impact of a mission year serving in a small corps in Spain without any knowledge of the Spanish language. “God met my need, and the people of the corps prayed for me.
“My entire life experience brought me to this point. We are what God made us. Pray for us.”
Prior to the evening’s message delivered by Lt. Colonel David Jeffrey, national chief secretary, Lt. Colonel Barbara Jeffrey read the Scripture, Romans 8:37-39 and 2 Kings 13:14-19.
Jeffrey calls soldiers to victory in Christ
Jeffrey then stepped into the pulpit and immediately captured the attention of the large congregation. “We are in a war. We are on the battlefield of that war now. The powers of evil rage against us—the foe appears invincible—armed to the teeth by every device of Satan.
“God’s plan for his Army is victory, for we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.
“It is time for every soldier not simply to believe in what God has said and done, but to move forward and believe victory is ours.”
Jeffrey called the Army to war, drawing upon the story of Israel’s King Jehoash’s meeting with the prophet Elisha, now old and frail, as the King of Syria prepares to pounce upon the young king.
“Elisha said: ‘Do this and you will have victory.’ My comrade Salvationists, when you were born again, you were born not only to fight in a battle, you were born to win. Elisha directed the king to shoot the arrow out a particular window. Jehoash prepared to shoot and Elisha put his hands over those of the young king who held the bow. Together, they shot what Elisha called the arrow of victory. Jehoash defeated the Arameans at Aphek.
“It’s time,” Jeffrey stated strongly, “to stop singing Hold the Fort and begin singing:
On to the conflict, soldiers for the right.
Arm you with the Spirit’s sword and march to the fight.
Truth be your watchword, sound the ringing cry,
Victory, victory, victory.
Ever is the War Cry victory!
“Listen to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have divine power to demolish strongholds
“Our weapons include: the authority of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, the righteousness of Jesus, the word of God, Christian love, and intercessory prayer.
“What the United States of America doesn’t need is another church on the corner. What is needed is an aggressive Army of Salvation. Stop moaning that people don’t know we’re a church. The homeless man on the street doesn’t care what people think we are; the drug addict doesn’t care, the person at a Red Shield lodge doesn’t care. They know what we are.
“Don’t feel weak. Take up your weapons. Let God put his hands over your hands as Elisha did for frightened Jehoash. Open the window and shoot the arrow of victory. Don’t be halfhearted. God does business with those who mean business. You measure the dimensions of your own victory. Do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way.”
Swyers then led the congregation in the prayer chorus “All There is of Me” and asked the new cadets to stand with and pray for the soldiers seated in the front rows of the Tustin Ranch auditorium. Each of them has signaled a desire to enter the Crestmont College for Officer Training in the future.
As the welcome of the Prayer Warriors service ended, Commissioners Philip and Patricia Swyers invited Lt. Colonels William and Susan Harfoot to step forward to be installed as the Territorial Chief Secretary and Secretary for Women’s Ministries.
With flags behind the two couples, Swyers stated: “We have a wonderful couple to assume important responsibilities as part of the leadership of the territory. I know them well.”
Turning to the Harfoots, he said: “I have learned the essential requirements for your positions.
1. Always maintain the high integrity of a Christian leader.
2. Always hold a steady, consecrated commitment to God and the Army.
3. Know that our primary purpose is to win people for Christ.
4. Recognizing that the Chief Secretary must make decisions, make sure that your decisions are Christ centered.
5. Grow spiritually in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
He asked them if they would accept these essentials, and the Harfoots responded: “We will.”
Swyers then asked them to seal their commitment at the Holiness table and requested that all divisional commanders and their wives surround them in prayer.
The installation concluded with the Chief Secretary leading the singing of the song “Who is on the Lords Side?”
Lt. Colonel Susan Harfoot pronounced the benediction for the evening service.