Interested Salvation Army officers gather

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Potential candidates for officer training take an up-close look at Salvation Army officership.

The 2019 Future Officers’ Fellowship (FOF) weekend, held Sept. 6–8 at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at Crestmont, united men and women from across the Western Territory in an exploration of what it means to serve God as a Salvation Army officer.

“I believe we are all called to serve God in some way, whether that be as a lay leader, local officer or in full officership,” said Territorial Candidates’ Secretary Captain Joanne Louangamath. “It is our hope that the Future Officers’ Fellowship weekend—with the Holy Spirit’s leading—would help bring clarity in the lives of those seeking his will.”

Upon arriving, delegates joined cadets at the Welcome Banquet for the Messengers of Grace Session, and continued the evening with a session of praise and worship followed by divisional group meetings.

Kenneth G. and Jolene K. Hodder address future officers at Crestmont 

After the Welcome of Cadets meeting Sept. 7, they participated in a joint session with territorial leaders Commissioners Kenneth G. and Jolene K. Hodder, who shared a candid glimpse into their lives and their call to officership.

“We’re looking for people who are ready to sacrifice, ready to learn, ready to go anywhere, ready to submit and ready to trust,” Kenneth G. Hodder said.

Delegate Chris Rodriguera (Chico Corps) said FOF taught him to be patient and to trust the process. “God has shown me that I’m heading in the right direction,” he said. “Most of all I’ve learned to have confidence, not in myself, but in what God is going to do through me.”

Future Officers smile while preparing food during FOF 2019

The session continued with divisional leaders Lt. Colonel Kelly Pontsler (Southwest), Lt. Colonels John and Lani Chamness (California South) and Majors Darren and Mary Norton (Golden State) sharing their view of officership, expectations of those in their command, and practical advice and encouragement for those preparing for officership.

“At FOF, I was reminded that we are all called and that God can and will use me” said Delegate Jason Hernandez (Santa Monica Corps). “My time there confirmed that I want to live a life in ministry.”

Delegates could attend three of five classes: Cadet Life: What Should I Expect?; Family Care Center 101; Living Out Our Faith; Ministering to the Marginalized; Preparing For Training: Your Head, Heart,= and Home; and Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Officer panel addresses new officers during FOF 2019

That evening, after an outdoor taco dinner fellowship with CFOT cadet and officer families, delegates went out to see the movie “Overcomer.”

The weekend concluded with a Sunday School assembly and classes led by CFOT. In the holiness meeting, Del Oro Divisional Commander Major Ivan Wild gave the message, reminding all to trust and remain connected to the vine. 

“I learned to stay rooted in a way that I will not be sidetracked from God’s calling upon my life,” said Delegate Stacie Faasavalu (Long Beach Citadel Corps). “I’ve developed the yearning to dig deeper, love harder and literally surrender my entire being—allowing God to use me in anything and everything for his glory during the waiting period—and most importantly to just trust his timing throughout the application process.”

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