I’m the oldest of three siblings and grew up in a loving Salvation Army family. We moved quite a bit – six times before my 10th birthday – in connection with my Dad’s employment. My maternal grandmother had a tremendous spiritual impact on my life and instilled in me my love of nature.
It was during my teen years, at a summer camp, that I first became aware of God’s reality, and accepted the truth that Jesus was my saviour. The people’s spiritual and social need became my calling when I was in my 20s. I saw suffering, lonely, spiritually dead people everywhere, and the Lord asked me through the Bible and through other people to give my life and use my life to bring hope to the people.
In every Salvation Army appointment that has been given to me I have learnt a lot about leadership and about people; and I can honestly say that I am still learning how to be a leader. You need to see and know the people you are leading. You need to know the time, context and age in which you are leading. And as a Christian leader I have to depend on God’s guidance and power in all I am and in all I do. Previous appointments have taught me this through experience, failure and example.
The Salvation Army’s focus on social justice excites me, as do renewed and changed people. Children and youth who grasp faith and hope make me very happy. New people attending our programmes is very inspiring. Faithful people who have spent days and years serving people and building the Kingdom make me humble and grateful.
It is helpful to have lived and worked in different cultures in our changing world where people are moving across borders all the time. We have so much to learn from each other and we need to help each other to understand, accept, appreciate and be enriched by each other. Cultural diversity is exciting, and I believe we will become so rich and so blessed the day we accept that.