Messengers’ Go Forth with ‘Joy’

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‘Breakthrough’ Musical
Summarizes Army Goals for World

By Major Diane O’Brien –

Major Joy Webb (R)

Bright yellow ribbons, tension and tears, bursting vivacity, limbo dancing, urgent questions and moments of commitment were all part of the scene on the Saturday evening for Commission-ing.

The cadets presented the musical “Breakthrough,” which is set in an ordinary restaurant populated by a group of normal people.

As the musical opens, a Salvationist man, in our version John, is reading the paper, saddened by the state of the world in which we live. He realizes that the world needs some godly influence and with his wife, Lisa, expresses the desire to share their faith with those around them. Many of us share their feelings when they admit difficulty in broaching the subject of their relationship to God. As they try to talk to those around, John gets into an animated argument with a group of students. These young people assert that, “God didn’t make man, man made God.” They go on to list some of the gods man has made and worships. The discussion continues on the darkness of this world and we are given insight into the apparently ordinary lives of the people in the restaurant.

There is the well-to-do couple who have grown distant from each other and their adult children. There is the single mother with more kids than she feels able to cope with and the man whose mom died last year. He has no friends to share his pain and he has not gotten over the loss.

We meet the couple caring for an ill, elderly lady and then we learn of her feelings of bewilderment and loss. The students have their own problems, dealing with finance and the future. All these people are dealing with problems which are familiar to many of us. The others we meet, a young couple for whom life seems simple, are suddenly struck by tragedy as we watch. In spite of trying, the self-sufficient couple are unable to help. But John and Lisa, anxious to share the faith they have, turn to God and his word for guidance, and with his help are able to do and say what is needed.

As the tragedy is faced and life returns to normal for everyone else, the discussion goes on. What do John and Lisa have that is different from everyone else? Of course the answer is a strong, personal faith. John explains faith by biblical examples and then by inviting a leap of faith for those who will. At the end of the presentation last week many in the congregation stepped forward in faith to allow God to break into their lives and bring about his restoration.

But our story does not end here. One group of parents and friends following the evening went out for supper. The waiter in the restaurant was very talkative and interested in where they had been. One of the group had made just an hour previously taken a step of faith as she knelt at the Mercy seat when the appeal was given. Now she was able to share that experience with this seeking stranger. The waiter talked about how he felt God was calling to him and his reluctance to risk a response, and the cadet’s family all talked about stepping out in faith.

The waiter did not there and then make his profession of faith, but certainly God is breaking down barriers in his life. He will continue to do so. May we always shine with the light of God in the darkened world around us. May we always be available to share our faith. May God continue to use our simple faith to break through the barriers to people.

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